Sometimes I read about Marine Corps terms, this one may have already been put out there, but I am sure that some of the younger people may not have heard it.
In case you're not familiar with the term, 'breaking starch' refers to the act of putting on a fresh military uniform, pushing your arms and legs through the heavily starched shirt sleeves and pant legs with knife-sharp creases, literally breaking the starch.
As I age, I enjoy remembering things I did years ago, why... because I can't remember what I had for breakfast. LOL
In This Issue
Geeezz what a crazy news week. We have brave men and women fighting the good fight. Their efforts get obscured by all the craziness. They deserve better. But isn't that always the case. History may not repeat itself, but it certainly echoes loudly.
Here we go: made up for lost time, Superheat Double Nuts, House Mouse, raid on Rendova, salt was added to the buckets, Korea, Army dog never asked, my parents knew one another, breaking starch, swingin' with the wing, matter of honor, lo and behold, Beirut Marine, the christening,
Today is a good day to die!
"As You Were "
We Can't Pick
Just today, I read a post where a peace time Marine reservist came forward to air out his issues with not be called or referred to as a Veteran.
Let's put this issue to bed - once and for all.
Marines who served our country in peace time have my utmost respect.
When duty called - they answered.
When integrity, loyalty and honor were hanging in the balance both then and now - they fulfilled their oath of office.
We can't pick or chose our battles - we must support and defend our country - when and if we can and without any preference or indecision.
You Marines are brothers to us and never allow for one day --- anyone come between us.
Thank you for your service to our country.
Gene T. Spanos
U.S. Marines Sgt 66-71
West Pack ground forces
RVN - DMZ
11th Engineer Bn - Squad Leader 2/68-2/69 (see photos)
Dear Sgt Grit,
Enclosed is my Initial Phase I copy. I kept the originals all these many years. I joined on 15 Sept 1953. Arrived at PISC MCRD the following day. Check out those prices!
Within seven months me and my 'band of brothers' were in Korea. The armistice was in effect and we faced stragglers, holdouts, diehards and plain old bandits. After spending a swell 13 month tour of duty in Frozen Chosin we boarded the 'Go Home Boat' and 18 days later we were back in the US of A. No one flew home in those days. I arrived in Vietnam in Jan of 1966, pulled 13 months of duty and left in Feb of 1967. That was my first tour there. From your catalog page it appears I was in country about three years before you. (you didn't miss much: white tee shirts and spit shined boots etc"
Back in the day I was in Plt 343 Company I Second Bn. We had eleven battalions but that was paired down to nine when my platoon graduated 6 Dec 1953. I still keep in touch with my DI who lives in Jacksonville NC he's in his 80's. Upon retiring I can compare all the rifles I fired in combat: The M-1, M-14, M-16, M16A1.
Enjoy the list.
Bob Hughes USMC (53-79) 6511/8061/8511/9999
Santa Ana Ca 92706-3049
Have an outstanding Marine Corps day!
WWII Marine Raider
Our granddaughter has been visiting. We signed her up for dance camp and for guitar lesson from the dance teacher's brother, Tim Vana. Tim saw my Marine cap and gave me a CD of a wonderful single he had recorded, "Always Faithful" in tribute to the Marines. He told me about his dad, a WWII Marne and we asked to take them to dinner, which we did Friday night. It was a privilege for my wife and me.
Cpl. Dick Vana enlisted in the Corps early in WWII and volunteered for the Raiders. He was assigned as a replacement for Red Mike Edson's 1st Raider Bn. on Guadalcanal, arriving after much of the action. The Bn. saw action on Guam, where Cpl. Vana was hit in the head. He had just turned his head, by God's grace, and a sniper bullet pierced his helmet and grazed his head. He was treated, given a purple heart and returned to the lines the next day. After Guam, the Raiders were formed into the reconstituted 4th Marines, assigned to the 6th Marine Division. He fought on Okinawa for 99 days, which includes 17 days of patrolling after the Island was declared secure, during which members of his platoon were killed. He was wounded twice by shrapnel in each leg, but just pulled it out, bandaged it, and kept going. He didn't turn in to sick call, so received no Purple Hearts for these wounds. (Not the John Kerry type). He was training for the invasion of Japan when we dropped the A- bomb, saving his life.
Dick had been going steady with his future wife, Marion, since she was 13 and he 14. They married before he went overseas and he didn't see her for over two years. They made up for lost time, with ten kids, 28 grandkids and the 13th great-grand child is on the way. A great American family. She is gone now. Dick is 88, still driving, working a little, writing, reading and enjoying the family. He gave me copies of touching letters he received from the father of one of his close buddies who was KIA near him on Okinawa, of a letter he wrote to HBO criticizing the portrayal of Marines in "The Pacific," and of an oral history the local library created about him. There are wonderful history stories and great Americans, right in our own neighborhoods. Look around.
Robert A. Hall
Superheat Double Nuts
Guess I'll jump on the call sign bandwagon with the ones I remember. Chu Lai, RVN in 1965-1966. I was Aviation Ordnance 6511/S&C Clerk Typist 0141. Also performed duties of mail clerk and operated the squadron radios (PRC-6s and PRC-10) and squadron telephone switchboard. Our squadron VMA-224 call sign was "Oaktree" and the MAG-12 was "Oxwood" .
Others I remember from being on the switchboard were "Blade Switch" and "Iron Hand Charlie".
One of the other squadron's call sign was "Miss Muffett" and of course, "Black Sheep". Later, at MCAS Yuma, Weapons, Our base radio was "Keyport Attire", and the two air weapons ranges were "Rakish Litter" and "Panel Stager". Visiting squadrons remembered were "Baker Boy", "Packsaddle" and "Jackstay". I also recall a Group commander whose A4 tail number was 00. His call sign was "Superheat Double Nuts". All good memories.
Sgt. USMC 1963-1967
Second Bn, Seventh Marines (2/7) went into Vietnam in July '65 at Qui Nhon.
I grew up in Antigo, WI, and the little cafe on our main drag was called the Dixie Diner.
As luck would have it, 2/7's call sign was Dixie Diner. The S- sections were Dixie Diner one through four, the X/O 5 and the C/O Dixie Diner 6 (or for emphasis: Dixie Diner 6 ACTUAL). I forget them now, but all sections had a number... Sick Bay (BAS) was 16, Chaplin 21.
These were on the switchboard in the wire section also for the Bn. telephones. We had an SB-22 switchboard with wires that extended from the base and plugged in to connect the two parties talking on EE-8 phones. Ancient history, but still available
(Pictures and uses): http://www.prc68.com/I/SB22.shtml
Thanks for the memories,
MSgt USMC Ret
I joined the Corps in 1965 Boot Camp San Diego Calif (MCRD) First Battalion Plt.119 Any way I was volunteered by the D.I. to be the rank of the platoons House Mouse. But I was not alone and to this day I cannot remember the recruits name.
Well it's been 46 yrs since then one day while talking with other Marines at a meeting while forming Chapter 267 of the VVA I let it slip that I was a HM during my days in Boot Camp.
At our meetings at the now formed Chapter I'll hear the familiar "Hooouse Mooose" call or order whatever you want to call it sound through the air from somewhere from the back of the room, but I know who does the calling but he calls out in only the way other Marines know what it means and stands for thanks Ken.
Being a HM had its benefits. While doing the duties that were assigned the other HM and myself would be able to what we would be doing the days assignments these were written on a black board by the senior D.I. or for the whole week. Of course I would inform those in the hut maybe one or two and then it would spread like wild fire it was like telling your best friend about a girl friend and you know what that was like.
I'm happy to say that it did not carry over into ITR. Well I hope others will come forward when reading this. I do know that when the platoon went to the rifle range everybody became a HM because of those d-mn field days when the barracks were swept swabbed and dusted so d-mn clean you could eat off the floor I Thank You
V.M. DeLeon USMC 2146619 65-68
Raid On Rendova
Semper Fi, Sgt Grit.
It was my understanding (I read it somewhere, and can't find it now) that the July 2 1943 Japanese bombing raid on Rendova, was the largest bombing-raid loss of American lives in the Pacific; and the number of dead, I thought was about 75, with a couple hundred wounded. I saw a list of fifteen specific names on your blog. Do you know where I could find the others?
Why I am asking: My father-in-law served with VMF-213 one of the several fighter squadrons which flew support for the ground troops as they worked to take New Georgia. Fighter control allowed them to return to base at Guadalcanal early due to a large tropical storm rolling in which they thought would preclude Japanese bombers from having time after the storm to reach Rendova and bomb.
Fighter control was incorrect in this assumption. The next day on July 3rd, a similar large thunderstorm was rolling through. The VMF-213 pilots requested permission to return to base "being tossed around like a feather" in the storm as they said. Fighter control, I'd expect due to the large loss of life a day earlier, did not allow them to begin their return to base till much later. One of the VMF-213 pilots was lost in this storm.
This weekend, I will be heading to Dallas to visit the family of this pilot.
You know on second thought, I probably don't need a longer list of those men lost on 2 July 1943, a person is a person, and the loss is the same to the family. Probably wouldn't do anyone any good to look at a list of names you can't draw any real connection with.
Ps: I found my Robert Sherrod book, "History of Marine Corps Aviation in WWII" and he states: "They dropped an estimated 50 bombs in the Rendova landing area, causing the heaviest casualties of any single raid on American positions in the South Pacific: 59 killed, 77 wounded. About three fourths of the casualties were among 43rd division headquarters personnel, the rest sailors and Marines.
Just got your newsletter today. While I was baking cookies, for Christmas, I had some time to kill and thought I would look at the newsletter. Lo and behold I got so engrossed in it I burned my cookies.
Some of the letter that you included were so much like the things that happened to me in Boot Camp, that I just lost track of time and the rest is history. I am a hollywood Marine (Plt 149/1964) and remember Camp Mathews very well.
We had a couple of guys get caught smoking in the head late one night. The DI's did nothing but send them back to their tents. The next morning we were told of the incident and were given a free cigarette break (no push-ups). While on break someone went to the mess hall for two pounds of salt. The two offending recruits fell out with their buckets full of water and a canteen cup. The salt was added to the buckets and the dumb sh-ts had to smoke a pack of cigarettes then drink a cup of water. You can guess what heppened next. Up it came and you better not get any on the DIs roadway. A second pack of cigarettes and another dip out of the bucket. Needless to say I bet those two guys have never smoked since.
John R. ROBICHEAUX
FLAMES & 106'S
Hosted Wounded Warriors
Last week while on vacation to Florida, my girl friend and I stopped in Key Largo for some lunch. After we sat down I noticed a large Marine Corps flag hanging on the wall beside the Army flag.
I asked the waitress why the flags? Her reply was the owner was part of a group that hosted wounded warriors. She then ask if I would like to meet the owner? Of course I said yes. Over came this normal looking gent in his 60's.
After introductions I asked about the wounded warrior project he was involved with, he explained that he along with some of the other restaurant owners in Key Largo provided free meals to the wounded warriors that they brought to Key Largo about 5 or 6 times a year. Most recently, 6 men from our armed forces and 6 from the Brits military. He went on to say that the transportation was paid for with donations. After the warriors are there, they are given instruction in SCBA diving by a local dive shop with special instructors. The warriors are there for a week enjoying the most primo diving in the world...
This story inspired me so much that I thought that I would let you and the Marines know about this great thing that they are doing. It all started by a gentleman in Scotland, who is still very involved. The restaurant owner's name is Bob Marshall of Rib Daddys Steak and Seafood (food is great) 102570 Overseas Highway, Key Largo FL 33037 and the Atlantis Dive Center of Key Largo, Fl.
I think that if one wanted to give to some outfit to help our wounded warriors that this would be a good choice. I know that I did !
T. S. Wilkins
I read Sgt Tate's statement with much interest. I too was a Marine Reservist from 1962 to 1969 and can relate to his feelings. There were several responses to his post stating he could receive VA benefits. That didn't seem right to me and after some investigation I found the following information from the VA in regards to benefits: You are eligible for benefits "if you were/are a Reservist or National Guard member and you were called to active duty by a Federal Order (for other than training purposes) and you completed the full call-up period".
I graduated from Parris Island, trained at Camp Geiger and then Camp Lejeune for a total of 183 days. That time was considered active duty but only for training. I consider myself a Marine but sadly not a Veteran.
Cpl E-4 USMCR
Korean War Unaccounted
Saw the note in your last newsletter about 7997 still carried as unaccounted for from Korean War. My dad, Robert Moses was listed as missing in action at Chosin reservoir while serving with the Army. A couple of guys from Texas have a website at Koreanwar.org that allows friends and family to share their remembrances of their loved ones. Just click on the website and type the last name in the search box and you may find info on the one you are looking for. Really appreciate these guys effort as well as your newsletter.
Cpl BJ Moses USMC 1967-69
I Looked At Him
As a District Executive (1999) for the Boy Scouts of America, I was the guest speaker for an Eagle Scout ceremony in Waycross, Georgia. Every time I mentioned how proud of being an eagle scout I was, I also mentioned the pride of being an US MARINE. When I finished my speech this old retired Army Green Beret who happened to be there came to me and asked me; WHY are you alwyas bragging about beinga Marine??... I looked at him in the face and I told him that I wasn't bragging, that I was just PROUD of it.
After that I took some picture with some old Marines that were there (WW2), one of them fought in Guadalcanal. I went home more proud than ever and the Army dog never ask me that question again.
Daniel "Dan" Munoz
I was in 3d LAAM BN, A Btty 79-82
We had a maintenance officer, who was a Warrant Officer. We called him Gunner, or Sir. Our First Shirt called him Mr. I don't care what they were supposed to be called, but when I saluted gunner Kelly, he returned the salute and said don't salute me. usually the salute was a hey Gunner.
Sgt frank thompson
3d LAAM Bn
Thought you would enjoy this shot of my two most-excellent daughters Sarah and Sylvia wearing their summer birthday presents. granddaughter Margaret is crouching behind in her camo!)
Thank you for all that you do!
Scoop Neck USMC Red T-Shirt
Alive And Well
Please allow me to correct a portion of the above letter. I was a member of Platoon 256, MCRD, San Diego in 1959. Our D.I.s were Tomlinson, Fry, and Lee. Our company commander was Captain E. E. Evans whose father was a destroyer captain who posthumously was awarded the Medal Of Honor during World War 2.
I had a conversation with Captain Evans' daughter approximately three years ago. She told me that her father was alive and well. He had retired from the Marines as a full colonel.
On a trip to the Philippines, I visited the National Cemetery in Manila and took a picture of her grandfather's name inscribed on the Tablets Of The Missing from World War 2.
Ray Priest Corporal 1959-63
P.S. If I remember correctly, the first man to loop a seaplane was Alfred Cunningham a few years before World War 1.
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
"If you are afraid to speak against tyranny, then you are already a slave."
--author John "Birdman" Bryant
"I have often been afraid, but I would not give in to it. I make myself act as though I was not afraid & gradually my fear disappeared"
Don't know who said it, but I like it!
"There is nothing more expensive than the 2nd best military."
In response to short rounds letter dated Aug 4, 2011. I served in Alpha 1/5 during the same time. I started in QueSon Valley. From there we went to Hoi An, Phu Loc, Hue City. I was on Troui Bridge with the 2nd Platoon when we were hit. I was S/Sgt Monroe's radio operator until I get hit in Hue. Your letter brings back some memories.
Semper Fi. J.R. Stack
Sgt Grit, Served Jan 1942 - Apr. 1946 Never saw a liberty card stateside nor China.
Sgt. A. Dreves 369396
My Parents Knew One Another
Here is one more retired CWO4 and I have really enjoyed all the stories in the news letter. I am not a gunner but I have all the respect in the world for them and some are even friends of mine. Yes call me Chief Warrant officer even Warrant Officer. I like Sir and have no objections to being called Sir. Calling me Gunner is appreciated but just don't do it when there's a gunner around.
While station with the headquarters of the 4th MAW I received a letter from HQMC uniform board. They asked my opinion on changing the warrant officer bars. Because it seems that field grade officers of the time (late 70's) were having trouble determining what grade the different bars represented and wanted to make all bars silver. The bars would have one red square for a w1 and 2 red squares for a w2 and so on. The whole thing rubbed me wrong.
I responded with: if a Major or Lt.Col did not know what rank I was that I would gladly take the time and explain it to them. I also stated that if I had to do this it would need repeating as by the time a Marine officer reached field grade and he/she still did not know the rank structure they were pretty slow learners. I sent it in and forgot about it. A few weeks later my letter was in Navy Times and the uniform board decided to leave our rank insignia as is. I was amazed by the number of my fellow Warrants who contacted me and said way to go.
Later stationed at Quantico Gunner James Carter (no relation) a mustang Captain and myself were asked to give a one hour class to each of the 2nd Lt companies going through the basic course. These classes were great and I enjoyed them. Subject was relationship of new Lt's to Warrant Officers and LDO's. Sorry but Lt's can ask some really stupid questions. We always asked the TBS staff to leave and it was just the three of us and the newly minted Lt's. We let them ask any thing they wanted and gave them the answers to questions they would not ask their instructors.
Toward the end of the class, every time one of the 2ndLt would ask why Jimmy had a bursting bomb while I had two bars. Jimmy would grab the mike and start on about 10 minute rant on gunners. The Captain would let him go for sometime then take the mike from him and hand it to me. I would look at the Lt's and say I can read and write a little bit and my parents knew one another and we would end the class. Gunner Carter would always laugh the loudest.
One thing I learned early on is if you want something done, right and in a hurry a Marine Gunner the guy to go to. Oh yea please never ever call me Mister. Most all Warrant Officers hate to be called Mister by seniors and juniors.
Jason and his new wife stopped by Sgt Grit while on their honeymoon. Marines get the best looking women. Both he and his wife ride. When done they will have covered 3,000 + miles on the honeymoon ride. We took a picture of his outstanding tattoo. Sgt Grit
Sgt Jason Coop
K 3/5, 0311
Afghanistan, 2 x Iraq, Okinawa, Thailand, Taiwan
Swingin' With The Wing
My best duty station
Mental snapshots as I remember them:
1967 - Bombing range (practice bombs and strafing with those 20MM gun pods), (call sign: Panel Stager) 30 miles out in the middle of the Yuma desert. Tower about 35 feet high. F4 Phantoms (loved that bird), A4 Skyhawks, F8 Crusaders. Hops of 4 birds each, all hours of the day and night. Flying over the tower and then breaking left one by one to set up a proper interval as they came around on target. Even had some Air Force birds from Luke AFB on occasion.
Our team consisted of about 5 Marines: one to measure the dive angle, one in the main tower to sight the impact through a telescope, one to sight the same impact from a one-man tower about 1/3 mile to the south via telescope and call it in via the radio, one to plot the two points on a wall chart and call the hit to the controller. "50 feet at 11 o'clock, dive 45 degrees". As the controller was relaying the info to the aircraft, the following bird has already dropped his ordnance and the next impact was being calculated. It was a constantly moving event: calculating, communicating, people shouting numbers over the radio, from inside the tower, from the dive-angle man outside the door, pilots calling "rolling-in" and "clear of target". A bulls-eye resulted in the pilot buying the crew a case of beer. Watching for pilots with target fixation (rare) and yelling at them to "pull up, pull up" getting them to snap out of their momentary trance.
Temperatures in the 100+ range often in the summer. Night time stars that shinned so bright. Illegal aliens walking across the target from Mexico right in the middle of a hop. Then screaming "Abort, abort!" into the microphone. Aircraft relegated to hovering above in a tight left-hand traffic circle. Running out there in the jeep and arresting the illegal's with an empty M14. What a joke. Mess hall running out some chow in those big silver metal canisters. Getting a visit from our NCOIC SSgt Lynch every now and then but otherwise left on our own. Rose to the controller spot as a lance corporal when the existing controller, a Corporal, received "across-the-pond" orders which arrived with the latest chow delivery run. A hop was checking on and he said: "Hey Bob, you got it" and walked out of the tower. That was an interesting introduction to one of the fastest moving jobs I ever had in the Corps. Loved the he-ll out of it.
Watching an F4 Phantom flight leader breaking off a night-time formation to run down a UFO only to be left in the dust. Target maintenance - hot, sweaty business dragging tires into a pile in the center (bulls-eye) and grading the target area with some 4- wheel drive ford pick-up trucks. After maintenance was completed, charging through the sand as fast as you could in one of the trucks, up the strafing mound and see how far the truck would travel airborne. One PFC manage to leave the entire drive train behind upon landing (permanent private E-1 from that point forward). Tower pets in our zoo-in-a-box: scorpions and rattle snakes. Nineteen year old kids acting like lunatics.
Wing Wiper Forever, God bless you all !
Bob Imm, SGT (6511)
OCS DOR 1968
Chu Lai 69-70, H&MS 13
See you started a corpsman section for the Tattoos. Here is mine.
Unused Room Of My Mind
While stationed at MCAS, Yuma, AZ. In 1965 a group of us would take an occasional road trip up north to Las Vegas, NV for a little R&R. On one such trip just before being deployed across the wide Pacific, I was able to turn an $85 stake into $7,200 over a two day weekend. Being rich, young, and naive I sent $6,000 home to mom and took the remaining $1,200 with me back to Yuma as a flash roll. A few days later a fellow L/Cpl friend of mine, Jeff Allen, was informed by his sister that their mother had been injured in an auto accident. She asked if he could come home and help with some of the expenses. Needless to say in 1965 a L/Cpl's pay didn't leave much room for anything other than personal expenses. The serendipity of the moment got to me and I lent him half of my $1,200 to go home for a 30 day leave where he could help out.
While Jeff was on leave I received my shipping orders and went west to a certain Southeast Asia Republic. Since it was quick unearned money, I figured it was gone to a good deed. While the rest of my life transpired, I dumped the entire incident into an unused room of my mind only recalling it on subsequent visits to Las Vegas or when making a donation to a worthy cause.
Skip forward to June, 2011 almost 46 years to the day. I am sitting at home watching a Texas Ranger baseball game when there's a knock at my front door. Standing there with all the spit and polish of a Marine Recruiter is a young Gunnery Sergeant. He introduced himself as GySgt Michael R. Allen son of Jeff Allen, asking if I remembered his father. It took me a couple seconds, but the memory flashed, and I replied that I did. Mike then related how his father had been medically discharged after Tet of '68. He went on to explain how Jeff had brought him up on the traditions of the Corps and a system of honoring one's obligations. Mike then said that Jeff asked him as his son, and if the opportunity arose, would he please repay the loan that I had made in 1965. When Jeff died in May, 2011, Mike Googled me and found my home address. While in transit back to Afghanistan, and on a matter of honor, he stopped by to return the loan with interest. It was such a poignant, emotional moment that we both decided to donate the money to Toys for Tots and AMBUCS (American Business Clubs) Amtrykes (therapeutic tricycles) for kids program. Once a Marine always a Marine.
William 'Bill' Birge
MSgt USMC ret.
Lo And Behold
I joined the Marines in 1957, had two brothers in already. After learning the dit dah dits, I was sent to Japan for OJT. Enroute, we had to stop at Hickham after what seemed about fifteen hours in the air. As I was the only Marine aboard this two deck aircraft, I had to find the Marine Liaison officer to get a chit for chow and a rack for the rest of the night. Upon finding the Sgt manning the booth, lo and behold it was my oldest brother Sgt W R Okel that I had not seen since 1949. He wanted to take me to the NCO club for drinks, but being a brand new Pfc, I was afraid of missing the flight to Wake, and did not feel a Pfc would be welcome in the club.
Jerry Okel E4 1676038
I look forward to Thursday morning when I get to work, the first thing I do is turn on my computer and go directly to my e-mail, and open it up to read all of the stories for the week.
I was a state side Marine from April 92 to April 96, I graduated from MCRD San Diego. Kilo Co. 3rd Battalion, MCT San Onfre, Camp Pendleton. Motor T school 3531 Del Mar, Camp Pendleton, checked in at Duty Station MCAS El Toro 3rd Maw, worked or stationed at MCAS Tustin, MWSS-374 Motor T. (now all moved to Miramar).
I loved my time spent there at Tustin next to the huge Historical Blimp Hangers, I was there for three years and miss all of my brothers and sister that I was stationed with, many a good Marines came and gone from there. I still keep in contact with a few of them that I have got to know on a personal state.
I remember one time before we were going to 29 Palms for a movement to replace the tarmac or landing strip, our squadron was to stand a Commanders Inspection, JOB, PFT, and Readiness. I was chosen to stand a Junk on the Bunk Insp. I was decked out in my Alpha uniform ready for the Captain and his Asst. to come by, I was a LCpl at the time and on the other side of the room was a Cpl. (last name Del Aharo) as they came in they first asked the Cpl his name, he locked his body and responded as expected, his asst, didn't know how to spell it and asked him to spell it out for him, he responded by spelling it out shouting the Phonetic Alphabet, half way thru he began to stutter and became nervous, the Capt. Stopped him and said just spell it out normally Marine, he was still nervous, the Capt. Exploded on him and reamed him, gave him a good @-- chewing because he was a Cpl.
I was still standing at parade rest waiting for my turn a bit nervous after seeing the Cpl get reamed, He turned to me, I locked and cocked my body as expected and he looked at me straight into my eyes, and asked my name. I answered LCpl Wolfe, Sir. He continued, where are you from, I replied Stilwell, Oklahoma sir, he asked where I went to Boot Camp, I replied, MCRD San Diego sir, his response was, so your one of them Hollywood Marines Right. I replied NO SIR I'm just one of The Few, The Proud, I'm a U.S. MARINE! He looked over me in my Squared away uniform turned and walked out, his asst which was a SGT, looked at me square in the face and said Good Freaking answer Wolfe, (nicely put), and left. Can't wait for next Thursday, to come to work! Keep em coming SGT GRIT! Leadership is developed - not discovered, OOHRAH!
LCpl USMC 92-96
I'm a Beirut Marine (Feb.-May'83 & Oct.-Dec.'83)with 2/6 H&S Co. Comm. Plt. I was coming home from work one day and I was behind a truck with a "Beirut Marine" bumper sticker (from Sgt. Grit.com of course). First of all, ever since I've been out of the Corps, I have never heard of Sgt. Grit or have I ever met any Beirut vets here in my hometown of Lynn, Mass. As I was saying, I'm behind the truck with the bumper sticker. I hollered out, "when were you in Beirut?", he hollered back at me,"Oct.- Dec.'83". I asked, "who were you with?" he responded,"2/6". Well that blew my mind.
I proceeded to tell him that we were there at the same time during my 2nd tour and to follow me to my house, which was right around the corner. His name is Joe Cafferelli and he was a police officer on his way to work. Well, we shot the sh-t for what seemed like forever. I told him that we should exchange numbers and talk later so he wouldn't get in trouble from his boss for being late. He asked me, do you see these bars on my shoulders?...I am the boss (LMAO).
It felt so good to finally talk to someone who has seen what I've seen and experienced the same losses as I have. He then told me about the Beirut memorial in N. Carolina and the one here in Boston, Mass. I never knew... please forgive my ignorance.
Out of the 241 who gave their all, 9 were from Mass. The BVA Mass. chapter is headed by a remarkable woman by the name of Christine Devlin. Her son, L/cpl. Micheal J. Devlin 1962-1983 of Westwood, Mass. was taken from her on that fateful day of Oct 23, 1983. This woman organizes the memorial event every year and should be commended for her own personal sacrifices she makes so that those brave peacekeepers will never be forgotten.
Finally, Joe told me about the Sgt. Grit website, where he got that sticker. I tell every Marine that I meet now, young and old alike, to grab a couple of six-packs when they go to your web- site... "because you're going to be there awhile." It feels like coming home every time I'm on the site. If it weren't for you Sgt. Grit, I wouldn't have never been able to expand my Marine Corps family (including your Co.) with these wonderful people in it. "Semper Fi" to all. Lest we forget, "The first duty is to remember".
Sincerely, L/cpl. Darryl J. Bradley Sr. Mar.'82-Mar.'85.
The American Way?
In response to Sgt. John E. Miller's touching story about how he fought in Vietnam for the American Way. What is or was the American Way? Maybe he had forgotten how it really was, fighting America's most difficult and arduous war.
I remember it as I am sure the majority of Vietnam veterans who actually saw combat remember it a little differently. There is no glory in war and honor is bestowed only upon those deserving of it in my opinion. Was being called baby killers and having human feces thrown at us upon arriving home, the American Way?
We were told if we were smart not to wear our uniforms when we got home. I was so appalled when I came home after my first tour that I re-enlisted eight months before my first enlistment was up in order to return to WESTPAC. Sure there were those who said I was crazy or had a death wish. The fact of the matter was I felt more at home with fellow Marines in Nam than I did back in the world amongst the cowards, also known as anti-war demonstrators, peace-niks or hippies.
I fought for myself as a Marine and for my buddies who had my back. The ultimate goal was to return home in one piece after our 13 months tour was over. All too often it didn't always work out that way. I may sound bitter and I am. I remember very vividly how it really was. I can go on and on, but just what was the American Way back then if not fighting for each other?
I also knew that one day the war would end, but I never thought in my wildest dreams that it ended the American Way.
Sgt. Joseph Alvino, USMC
Regarding Slight Curve
During the 60s there was a tradition on the Island that after you graduated your first platoon. Your hat, campaign cover, was christened at the club by the other hats in your company. The christening as you can imagine consisted of various alcoholic beverages.
The other hats also allowed you to wear a diamond on the top of the cover and the brim had a slight curve, mostly from when you corrected recruits up close and personal. The brim had a way of bending against a recruits forehead. You could always tell the more seasoned Drill Instructors by the color of the cloth band above the rim, the more time on the field and the band became a light green color. This was particular true of the Stetson Campaign Covers.
We always had two covers, one for regular duty and one for parades, inspections and graduation. The dress Campaign cover was always kept in a press in pristine condition. Still have both.
G Co. 3rdRTBN
Whipped Them Down
In David Johnson's story he made mention of a fact that makes some of us mad. He said, and I quote; "Marines who did their duty through a Dark and Difficult time in Our Nation's History."
We won that war, we had Presidents that didn't want us to win. At Hue, which was the Worse, and all over Vietnam we whipped them down to their knees. One President didn't want to bomb Cambodia and Laos when the North was using it for places to hide out and escape the punishment given them by the Marines, Army, Navy and Air Force.
Even while we were fighting the hordes of Communism and the Jane Fonda's of the United States and the World, most all of us stood long and tall in front of the idiots from the people who would rather live as a slave than stand up and fight. Most people think the Vietnamese were tired of the War and wanted to quit. If that was true why were there so d-mn many Boat People.
It was an Honorable War with Honorable Men Fighting it. Pride in our Corps means Pride in our Country regardless of the decisions made by our Commander in Chief. We will stand long and tall while they rot in History.
GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Ret.
WWII, Korea and Vietnam and D-mned Proud of IT
"I'll be out of the area all day"