I was asked by the President of the WMA-HOTX5 group to send in these photos.
I am Cathleen Ursula (Barrientos) Gruetzner. Class of 1979 - MCRD Parris Island, SC. Women Marine Association-Heart of Texas Chapter 5 - Austin, Texas. Veterans of Foreign Wars-Post 4443 - Highland Hills/Oakhill, Texas. Fleet Marine Association-Branch 201 - Austin, Texas. Past Photo: May 1979, and Present Photo: November 2012.
Expect The Worst
The football in the mud articles reminded me of SOMS, MCAS Beaufort '75-'76. Around noon each day we would do our PT, a 3-mile run on the perimeter road. We always had time left over and would play volleyball in front of the Hanger area. We only had two rules. The ball could only be hit a maximum of three times on one side and the other rule was, there were no more rules. A bloody mouth was not uncommon. When you challenged the ball at the net you could expect the worst. By the time your feet touched the ground again, your fingers could be mangled or at least bleeding from cuts. There were a lot of eyes poked and scratched from the open hands that missed the ball and found your face. Getting kicked under the net was common from all the legs and feet of the six Marines jumping for the same ball, either to block or swat. It was great fun and we never lacked participants. We actually referred to it as Slaughter Ball!
SSgt L K Reed
When will the complexes end? There's room for good natured ribbing (we're all in the same boat), but over time that kidding can make one start to wonder if he might be lacking in some way. Stand tall - You are a Marine, not a Soldier, Sailor, or Airman.
So, why do some within our ranks beat themselves up over such things as these?
I wasn't a grunt.
I didn't retire.
I wasn't a regular.
I'm not a combat Veteran.
I didn't go to boot camp at...
I (fill in the blank - there's always something).
If you aren't/weren't a male combat grunt Mustang who went to... for boot camp and retired with 30 years of service in active duty with at least one Medal of Honor, then you're not all the Marine you should have been. Come on!
As long as you earned the title, you are a Marine. Every MOS is necessary. Every Division is necessary for the time in which it exists. We are a family. We should support each other as a brotherhood. Each of us performed a duty necessary for the whole to function. Mission accomplished! Semper Fi! Carry on!
To SSGT Whimple, regarding "However the question is, are we Nam Veterans?" Though you may not be a "Vietnam 'combat' Veteran", I would think it correct to say you are a "Viet Nam Veteran", as you served during that time period. I make the distinction between "service Veteran", which we all are, and "combat Veteran", which many of us are not.
I have a fantail story of sorts of my own to tell. Actually, the USS Tripoli didn't really have a fantail stern (at least not in 1985), and this was more on the middle level, where the stern watch stands post. We were off the coast just circling around for a couple of days preparing for our MCCRES invasion of Pendleton. While I was exploring the ship I found the stern watch and started shooting the breeze with him. His back was turned away from his area of responsibility while we were talking, and I saw a body drop right past us! I said, "Um, is he supposed to be doing that?" Holy cow! All h-ll broke loose! "Man overboard! Man overboard!", the stern watch yelled into his mic. Some horns blew and some brass showed up. I decided it was time for me to make an exit.
Later that day, just about everyone on board was assembled in formation in the hangar. The ship's Captain had the guy whom they fished out of the sea brought before him to be made an example of, and to be sentenced to the brig until they got back to port for court-martial. Apparently, the Sailor was sick of being in the Navy and decided to jump ship. Dumbazs! We were well enough out to sea, there's no way in heck he was going to swim it in. Land was a barely discernible gray line on the horizon. I guess he might have been trying to commit suicide, but really, I think he was counting on that stern watch to see him fall. I could say he was lucky I was there to see him drop, but on the other hand, I was distracting the stern watch. I guess it just wasn't time yet for that (ex) Sailor to breathe his last.
E, 2/23, 82-88
Paying Tribute With A Salute
When I went on an Honor Flight to Washington, DC. out of Jacksonville, Florida (All in one day), I could not resist having my picture taken at our USMC Memorial Statue (since I am an IWO JIMA survivor) and paying tribute with a salute. I also have a miniature of said statue on a shelf above my desk at home. Once a Marine, always a Marine.
On another subject which has taken up space in your newsletter lately is my being sent to USMCRD San Diego, despite the fact that I enlisted in New York City, which of course is definitely east of the Mississippi. This was about seven weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor (1-23-42 was my enlistment date in the regulars), and Parris Island was full. So, I got a four day train ride (fortunately in Pullman cars) from Penn Station to San Diego. I didn't board in time to get a lower berth, but being only 18, it was no problem to climb into an upper berth. One advantage to the whole thing was that I got travel pay from San Diego back to New York when I was discharged in 1946, and at the time my wife was in Chicago, which is where I disembarked (from the train of course). They weren't flying troops then, yet.
Cpl. Bill Daw
currently in Jacksonville, Florida
Spit And Polish
My last tour before I retired was at 8th & I in 1999. I felt like being at the Barracks was the pinnacle of my career. Spit and polish were the orders of the day. Immediately prior to my retiring, the Marine Corps had adopted the new rough side out combat boots. Given that, I did not have the opportunity to see them in widespread used.
Fast forward to the present time. My wife had a conference in Washington, allowing her former sea-service bell hop the opportunity to tag along and be able to visit my old haunts from my days at 8th & I. The Marines, as usual, are simply outstanding. Standing at the barracks took me back, and short of being older and softer around the middle, I felt like I was home.
The Marines were squared away as usual, but on more than one occasion, I saw boots that were not up to our high standards. Besides being unpolishable, they must be uncleanable as well since I saw scuffed and dirty boots. (I'm also not a fan of Corfram shoes either.)
I think all of my brothers and sisters would agree that while we all grumbled at polishing brass and boots, it also added to the good order and discipline of the Corps. I do not understand the mentality where leaders think that doing away with those things gave Marines more time for training. In combat, of course all the spit and polish sets aside for combat operations. But in garrison, spit and polish fills the void. Additionally, we all know that the spit and polish activities were conducted after hours and allowed one to set themselves apart from sh-tbirds and slackers.
I don't know about the trend over the years away from items and approaches that separated Marines from the other services. Our uniforms and approaches have resulted in Marines wearing utility uniforms that look more and more like the Army.
Maybe I'm "Old Corps" now, but these things matter. We should hold on to the traditions of spit and polish, even if they seem out of style. Boots can be made that are both comfortable for marches and allow Marines to do what we've always done. I say you're not a real Marine if you don't have stained fingertips from spit-shining your boots (and dress shoes).
My favorite time in Boot Camp was Mail Call which, I'm sure, was everyone's favorite time - a link to the real world back home. But, there were dangers with Mail Call. The DIs couldn't read your letters but they could "feel" the letters for contraband inside. Packages were inspected and cards were fair game for ridicule or worse.
One recruit got a two layer chocolate birthday cake from his mom. He had to get his bucket, fill it a third of the way, stir the cake in the water and drink it all down. He did it, but barfed a couple of times doing it.
A S.W.A.K. on the envelope earned 10 push-ups. A recruit in our platoon got a card in an envelope covered front and back with the dreaded lip stick prints and the card inside was also covered with kisses. He owed several hundred push-ups and was placed at the front of the platoon to start paying up. He did about 15 (only 8 of which were acceptable to the DIs) before he collapsed face first into the sand swearing he could do no more.
The DI stood on his back and said he would not get off until he was given more push-ups. The recruit did three with the DI on his back and then pumped out 10 more before he was told he could stop. The DI proved to that recruit and to the entire platoon that when you thought you could do no more, when motivated, you could.
I got caught in the "Mail Call" danger twice. One girl wrote that she would be my life saver. Unfortunately, she taped 5 Lifesaver candies to the bottom which earned me a trip to the Duty Hut. The DI asked me what I was going to do with the Pogey Bait and I answered that I was going to throw it out. He said no because that poor girl spent so much effort putting them on the letter. He said to put them all in my mouth and chew them up but not to swallow anything. He put his fist next to my throat for emphasis. Once the candy was reduced to sharp, tiny shards, he ordered me to sing the Marines' Hymn as loud as I could and that when I finished, there had better not be any Pogey Bait left in my mouth. With each breath, some of the sharp, little pieces had to go down with the breath. My stomach hurt for a few days afterwards, but I got it done.
I only got one card, but it said "Ex-wolf". Another trip to the Duty Hut. When I finally was permitted inside, there were a few DIs there. I was ordered to get on all fours and yell "Woof, woof, woof" several times while the DIs roared with laughter. Another DI from the company came in and asked what was going on and I was ordered to do my performance again. He said they had a sheepdog in their platoon and left to fetch him. Sheepdog was a guy who reported to Boot Camp with shoulder length blond hair. In receiving, rather than cut it all off, they just buzz cut a stripe down the middle front to back and left the "Sheepdog ears" in place. It was kept that way for a day or two after he was picked up by a platoon before the rest was cut off and he was forever called Sheepdog. When they got back, sheepdog was down on all fours and yelling "Arf, arf, arf". Finally, his DI said, "What does a sheepdog do when he sees a wolf near his sheep?" "Sir, fight Sir!" "Well, go at it." There we were on our hands and knees yelling "Woof, woof, woof" and "Arf, arf, arf" biting and fighting each other for several minutes to the enjoyment of all the DIs. Ahh, good times!
I still enjoy getting mail, even if it's only junk mail. And I really enjoy getting E-mail every Thursday - this grunt.com newsletter.
1966-'69 (I got an 11 month cut out of Nam.)
Guadalcanal 1903 Springfield
All the research and history I have ever read has indicated to me that when the 1st Marine Division landed on Guadalcanal on August 7th, 1942, they were all armed with the 1903 Springfield left over from World War I (except for the BAR men, of course). I recently commented on a Guadalcanal video on You Tube that depicted all the Marines armed with M-1's. I left a comment noting this about the film and the following short exchange took place:
Jack Wise 2 weeks ago
(This film is) All well and good, but, the Marines did NOT have the M-1 Garand when they landed on August 7th, 1942. They were armed with the old 1903 Springfield from WWI. Not the 03A3 as depicted in the movie "Pacific". And, why in the world would they have an Englishman narrating the story of an American operation? He did well enough, I guess, but were there not any American narrators?
Then, several days later, I was notified that I had gotten a response to my comment:
hawksdawgs 1 day ago
Yes they did have the M1 Garand, some units had older models but there were no bolt-actions with the initial landing force. Once supplies had a chance to come in, they were given newer models. Who cares?
Jack Wise 22 hours ago
My apologies to contradict you sir, but my father and two uncles were there August 7th, 1942 in the initial landing and there were NO M-1's. What do you mean "there were no bolt actions in the initial landing force"? They were all armed with the bolt action 1903 Springfield Rifle. "Who cares?" I'm surprised at your attitude. The men who were there care. It is a lie, a distortion of history. The media naturally assumes the viewers are stupid and won't know the difference.
My question is, did I dig deep enough? I was so sure the standard infantry weapon for the 1st Mar Div was the '03 Springfield. I know the M-1's came in and were issued later, but for the initial landing force?
I would appreciate any assistance anyone can give me on this.
Kadena Airman's Club Lighter
Enclosed are a couple of my lighters from the days on Okinawa. The Kadena Airmans Club lighter was given when you paid two dollar dues for a month. They would give you something. You can wind it up and it plays China Night. I have had it 54 years! The other lighter is my zippo. I had it engraved with places we had been. I also had that lighter for 54 years. The zippo lit a lot of Camels and Pall Mall. A carton of Camels costed 80 cents a carton on the rock in 1960.
Cpl. E4 Tom Loch
Hq and Mike Co, 4th Bn, 12th Marines
To Fight A Gentlemanly War
On May 5, 1969, south of the 1st Marine Division's area of operations below Hoi An, Special Landing Force Alpha (made up of 1/26 Marine's battalion landing team) were lifted off the U.S.S. Duluth by HMM-362 helicopters. I was one of the Marines who landed on "Barrier Island" that day in an area boxed off on the land side by a line of ARVN, Korean Marines, and elements of the Americal Division.
At dawn, residents of the villages were informed by loudspeakers or leaflets that the hamlet was going to be searched and that they must all leave their homes and move temporarily to an assembly area. While their identity cards were being checked in the assembly area, my fellow Leathernecks and I were searching every nook and cranny in the village for arms caches, or looking in underground tunnels for the Viet Cong.
As we approached the Mayor's hut we were surprised to see a group of villagers who hadn't gone over to the assembly area. In the hut a very distraught old man was leaning over one of the most beautiful young Vietnamese girls I had ever seen. As our Kit Carson Scout began translating the story I knew America could never win this war. Our translator told us that during the night the Viet Cong had made the entire village watch as they repeatedly r-ped one of the Mayor's daughters. When they finished and in front of everyone, they displayed a .45 Cal pistol and inserted the barrel between her legs. The projectile from the forty-five was the last violation her body would need to endure. Following the shooting they announced that anyone collaborating with the Americans could expect the same treatment.
To win the war I realized that the American forces would have to become as ruthless as the enemy we were fighting. But, had we done so, all of us would have been tried for war crimes. So not only were we limited by our politicians as to the targets that could be bombed in North Vietnam, but our troops in the field were asked to fight a gentlemanly war in the bush.
Observing the brutality inflicted on the Mayor's daughter by the Viet Cong during my tour of duty worked in a positive way for me. It left my conscience clear whenever I fired my rifle at a Viet Cong or called in artillery on them. That incident on Barrier Island allowed me to think of the enemy not as people defending their homeland, but as a group of barbarians capable of unspeakable crimes against humanity.
Operation Daring Rebel came to mind last week when a young male acquaintance asked, "Was there an objective?" "An objective for what?" I asked. "You know, an objective to win in Vietnam. Was there a war to win? From the movies I've seen it looks like it was pretty chaotic over there."
He asked a tough question, one I'm sure most Vietnam Veterans still ask themselves. After seeing that young Vietnamese girl lying in a pool of her own blood, my objective in Vietnam became very focused - to administer the revenge I saw in her father's eyes.
In answering his question I simply said, "My primary objective was to stay alive with a secondary one of killing as many of the enemy as I could. The first one I accomplished, the second one was impaired by politics.
B Co. 1/26 Marines
Exposing Too Much
Dear Sgt Grit,
Every Marine Corps Base has bars outside the gates - some raunchy, some nicer than others. The Clubs on base do not have the same atmosphere, and we Marines have to express our feelings to the women of the clubs outside the gates--! Some women were always wearing something always too tight, as well as exposing too much. The Marines did not complain at all - because we were able to seek - and usually never conquer these women, who listened to our stories, while we bought them champagne, cocktails, or beer or whatever.
Two sisters from the north were knockouts and had all of us eating out of their hands, but one Marine actually got to be taken home by one - the prettier one - no less! His name was Jim, from Tennessee or Kentucky - a Cpl. - a big drinker - and a quiet guy in the squad bay. We saw him go home with her as he reeled off his bar stool, and was definitely into his brews! This was Friday at 1 A. M. We all waited to hear his story that weekend? No Jim Saturday or Sunday - his rack was empty? Monday morning at Muster - he was missing - and his name was not called?
I asked the Gunny, "Where is Cpl. Jim F (not using his name)? Gunny, answered in sick bay on medical restriction, and the C.O. is p-ssed! Maybe he beat her or killed her in a drunken rage?
So, I went to Base Hospital, and was told he had no visitors - (I served staff mess duty at the Staff NCO Mess at the hospital, and got a Navy friend to get me to see him. He looked like sh-t and was in pain. I found out he took her home, and then passed out before he could perform in bed! She took a hat pin and penetrated his manhood with it for his lack of duty to her. He awoke in a motel, and drove to the hospital before passing out. I left that duty station the next week, and Jim told me - he would track her down - in a search and destroy mission, and have his day for repentance.
Most of the women on the strip were out to earn a living - if we plied them with drinks - they made money to live! It was the nature of the game. All the girls outside in the surrounding towns wanted to marry a Marine - get away from the local environment - and move away. It was the Nature of the Beast!
In four years I found one special girl - and my emotions were mixed over my involvement? A wise Marine Buddy told me after I got engaged, and put a deposit on an apartment, "Tell her to wait until after you get discharged and have a job - if she loves you she will understand?" She was p-ssed and we split. Another girl was a drinking buddy of mine. We got loaded together all the time. A lot of laughs, and she was very cynical on life - but a real good lady and friend. She chose an Army Captain who was still married, as she could go to the PX, and got to go on base to get perks too!
I got out and survived the rat race.
Something For You
Not long ago my wife and I were at the grocery store in the produce section. As usual I had on "A Sgt Grit USMC Cover" and I noticed an elderly gentleman who was working in produce kept watching me and my wife. As we were about to leave, he came up to me and said, "I have something for you." He gave me what looked like a business card. The face side had the Eagle, Globe, & Anchor in red with Semper Fidelis below it; and written on it were the words: "Civilians cannot and will not understand us because they are not one of us. The CORPS - We love it, live it, and shall die for it. If you have never been in it, you shall never understand it." On the back side in red was "The Title" "It cannot be inherited. Nor can it ever be purchased. You and NO other one alive can buy it for any price. It is impossible to rent and it cannot be lent. You alone and OUR OWN have earned it with your sweat, blood and lives. You Own It Forever. The Title, United States Marine." He was a WWII Marine Vet who had seen my Cover. We introduced ourselves with a Hearty Vet Handshake and a Boastery Semper Fi. I haven't seen him since' but I carry the USMC card he gave me, and found it an Honor to have met him. Just like the Sgt Grit T-shirt on Brotherhood: "All Men Are Created Equal; And Then A Few Become Brothers". No matter when WE served; WE are all part of an Honorable and Elite Family. "The ELITE FEW" We are all BROTHERS.
'69-'75, SGT, USMC
If I may, I'd like to respond to Mr. Peter Wierenga's letter in the April 25th newsletter.
Children of Marines, wives of Marines, parents of Marines, and many friends of Marines wear the Marine Corps emblem and Marine Corps gear. Not many of them have ever earned the title Marine, but they still wear the emblem on various articles of clothing. I suspect that many of them would tell you that they earned the right to wear the emblem because of deployments, long hours of their Marine's absence, and just the general difficulty of being associated with a U.S. Marine. I'm sure that my wife would tell you that she earned the right to wear the emblem because of her unwavering dedication to me through two tours of duty on the drill field and 44 months in Vietnam. I'm not foolish enough to dispute any of those arguments.
So, all that is left for me to do is to welcome you to the Marine Corps family. However, there are two rules for you follow when wearing the Marine Corps emblem:
Rule # 1 - Don't ever falsely claim that you are a Marine; You are not. When someone says to you "Semper Fi", return the greeting, and explain why you wear the emblem.
Rule # 2 - Don't ever, in any way, shape, or form, bring discredit to the Marine Corps while wearing our emblem.
Finally, I really don't think that you would violate either of the above rules, but I felt obligated to write them. There's no question that Marines need friends like you, and we eagerly endeavor to make as many converts to our friendship rolls as we can.
Thanks Sgt. Grit for allowing me to "Sound Off".
A Former "Hat"
GySgt, USMC (Ret)
I have subscribed to your newsletter for quite some time. I am so glad to see Peter Wierenga 's letter (Joe Civilian) in the issue that I just read. I too have never served, but want to openly show my support to the Marine Corps. My stepdad, who enlisted in the Marines during Vietnam, was pretty much the only father figure in my life since my parents divorced when I was only 5 yrs. old and my real dad was an alcoholic. It is because of my stepdad that to this day I have so much respect for those who have earned the title of US Marine.
I receive the Sgt. Grit catalog and see the shirts, caps and challenge coins in it and although I have ordered in the past, mainly for my stepdad and the adopt a wounded Marine package, I am totally scared to death to order any of the shirts, caps or challenge coins for myself. I'm so afraid that as a civilian, I would be offending those who served by wearing those items so I don't buy them. If those of you would be offended by this, then like Peter, I want to know how a civilian like me is to show support to our Marines if it is inappropriate for me to wear the shirts, or to have the challenge coins or whatever. Exactly what is appropriate for me to wear to show support to Marines without being accused of being an imposter?
This posting is in response to the Joe Civilian story submitted by Peter Wierenga. Peter, I applaud your respect, and your support of our branch of the service and our traditions. But, aside from thanking every Marine Veteran (and every Veteran for that matter) when you see them in public, I don't know of a way of supporting the Marine Corps by wearing shirts and covers marked with Marine-related verbiage and logos, without having to explain to every Marine who greets you with a "Semper Fi" that you are not a Marine.
A few years back I walked past a guy with a really sharp and clean high-n-tight and I just assumed that he was a brother jarhead. So I gave him a hearty "Semper Fi" and he replied, "huh." I asked him if he was a Marine and he said no, but that he liked the haircut so he elected to wear his hair that way. But then he told me that he gets that reaction from many Marines that he comes in contact with and did not understand why. He was not lying about being a Marine, but then again he was clearly agitated that he always had to explain himself. Not that the high-n-tight can only be worn by Marines, but it is a signature haircut that screams "Marine". Can you imagine then, the reaction you will get when Marines approach you wearing a Marine t-shirt or cover only to find out that you are not a Marine? Some might hear your explanation and thank you for supporting us, but it is more likely that there might be some of us who might react defensively. Especially those old WWII jarheads! Those guys are still dangerous!
Thanks again though for your respect! God bless America and all of our fighting men and women and all of our Veterans!
Lima 3/8, Weapons Plt
Mr. Peter Wierenga,
You desire to show support for the Marines is great. I would say you can wear anything that states Marine or U.S. Marine as long as it does not make it look like you served in the Corps, retired from the Corps, or served in combat in any area. There are many covers and t-shirts that just say Marines, United States Marines, and other things related to the history of the Corps, however they do not indicate that you actually were a Marine. Also when greeted by a person, who did serve, with a Semper Fi or other well-known Marine to Marine greeting, make sure that you make it clear that you support the Corps, but did not serve. I saw an older gentlemen wearing a Marine cover that indicated he had served and I took him for a WWII veteran and offered the Semper Fi greeting and he did not respond in the normal way. He only smiled then laughed a bit and moved on his way. I felt it was a bit disrespectful to wear an item indicating service when he had not served (my opinion from his lack of response) and I was not happy about it. Due to his age I did not confront him. I have also seen many people wearing different parts of the Marine Corps dress greens (this happens with other services uniforms as well) and they cut them up sow items on the uniform that should not be there and in many other ways disrespect the uniform that many Marines have worn who have died or been badly wounded in the service of this great Country. I have confronted a number of people doing this because I earned the right to wear the Marine Corps uniform and the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, and they did not as well as the fact they were wearing the article of the uniform in a disrespectful manner.
It is not illegal, however I feel it should be to do the things people do to the uniform and wear it thinking they are so cool, but they are really being so disrespectful to everyone who has worn the uniform of any branch of the United States Military. People who want to wear parts of the uniform should enlist and earn the right to do so and once they have served most will not wear it in a disrespectful manner. At any rate that's my soap box for today. Again in answer make sure you do not wear an item indicating you did serve, and make sure if you are greeted you make it clear you support the Corps, but you have not actually served.
Thank you for showing the respect you have shown by asking your question and not just doing it. It shows you respect what people have done and who have served this great Country in the United States Marine Corps or any other branch of the United States Military. Not to many young people know how to show this kind of respect.
SSgt Joseph Whimple
U.S.M.C. 2-70 / 12-76
First of all thank you Pete for your support of the Marine Corps. It is deeply appreciated I assure you. As to wearing Marine Corps hats and shirts I can only offer you my opinion. I believe that Marine attire should be worn by Marine's only. The folks that served in the Corps and are presently serving have earned the right to be called The Few The Proud The Marines and thus have the honor to wear Marine gear. I know that may seem to you as being a narrow minded view and it may well be, but that is my humble opinion. The Marine Corps is very special to me. I served in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Marine Divisions in my 4 years which included a stint in Viet Nam in 1965.
Thank you again for your support of the Marine Corps and Semper Fi.
Cpl. Andre 1962-1966
More Controlled Tears
On 24 April I read the story entitled "Let's go Home" by Frank "Doc" Morelli and I must say it brought a lot of tears to my eyes. I have never had the honor of seeing "The Wall" in D.C. but it is on my "bucket list".
Some 10 years ago I saw the Traveling "Wall" for the first time. My wife and I drove up to the cemetery it was being displayed at and as we walked toward it there sat a bullet riddled chopper, and next to it in much the same shape an old jeep. My wife asked me why I was shaking and I looked at her and asked what she was talking about? She held my hand up and sure enough I was shaking uncontrollably! I gave the names of a couple of my buddies to one of the gentlemen their and he gave me the panel where to find them. As I walked up to the panel I rather quickly found the names and just fell to my knees sobbing like a child. A couple of other fellows that were there came over and evidently noticed my cover and the insignia. One said to me "Its ok Gunny, they are all in God's hands now, so they are all fine." Why I remember those words I cannot tell you, but I was at least able to go on after that.
Five years later "The Wall" returned and yes I once again cried, but it was more controlled tears if that makes any sense. Over this coming Memorial Day weekend "The Dignity Vietnam Memorial Wall" will be displayed and yes, I will be there, this time as part of the security detail, and yes I am certain I will once again cry, but then most of us from that era do.
To all that were there, to all that returned, but especially to all that did not come home... SEMPER FI!
In the April 25 issue of Sgt. Grit News, Joel McHoul asked if anyone else remembered that operation? Well I certainly do. I was with the 3/6 Headquarters Company attached to H Company as a wire man. When we went ashore I had so much cr-p on my pack board that I slipped coming off the landing craft and darn near drowned. With the help of my partner, I righted myself just in time to get my picture in the July 28, 1958 issue of Time Magazine. I'm the one soaking wet without a helmet. A somewhat inglorious, but no less famous event in my Marine Corps career. BTW that is my partner in front carrying my helmet.
Jason R. Barr, Cpl.
Remember it well. The 2nd Provisional Marine Force landed elements of 2/8 and 3/6 with support from the carrier Essex at Beirut in order to secure the airport in July 1958. I was TAD from 2nd Topo Co attached to The 2nd Provisional Marine Force G2 under the command of Brig General Wade. G2 was commanded by Lt. Col. Smith of 3/6. The one thing that really stands out, it was really hot.
We may be old, but we're still out there.
Bob Zastawski, Sgt (1639410)
Joel McHoul - certainly do remember Lebanon 1958. I was 0311 PFC I-3-6. No bathing beauties where we landed. Many paratroopers from Germany took over our road block south of Beirut after about a week or so. Rest of time living in the dirt with dysentery up in the hills. Lebanon 1958 is engraved in the base of Iwo Jima Memorial in D.C. Also, there is a Beirut Veterans of America organization for both the '58 and '83/'84 deployments. Send me an e-mail and we will compare notes: Richard Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In your newsletter of 25 April 2013 Joel McHoul wanted to know if anyone remembered the Lebanon Crisis of 1958. Well I do. During that period I was a member of the Marine Communications Detachment stationed aboard the USS Pocono AGC-16. In June 1958 we departed Norfolk, VA, our home port for a six month Mediterranean cruise, but were diverted to Lebanon because of the crisis. Upon arrival, our ship tied up to one of the docks near the city of Beirut. Some FMF troops came aboard and we supervised the comm personnel on radio watch in Radio One, which was the ship's operating compartment for incoming and outgoing message traffic. I remember sending and receiving more Flash messages than I could count. For those who are not familiar, a flash message is the highest priority level of communications, and is sent only upon enemy contact or extreme emergency.
After about a month and a half, with the situation calming, we were allowed liberty in the city of Beirut from 1200 to 1600 in utilities. Later on the uniform was changed to khakis. One of the members of our comm detachment was a Sergeant (E-4) who was a Korean War Veteran and wanted so much to get into the action if there was going to be any, somehow sneaked aboard a helicopter (the Pocono had a helo pad) which was transporting some troops to the field. He was eventually discovered and sent back to our ship and was busted to Corporal.
We left Beirut after about three months which extended our Med cruise to 9 months and were also awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. Enjoyed my 15-month tour aboard the USS Pocono. Semper Fi.
GySgt G.R. Archuleta
Never Retired, Always a Marine
I recall... my buddy, PFC Jerry Bago and I were in Radar School in Millington, TN when we heard about it. We went straight to unit HQ stood at attention before the Adjutant informing him that PFC Bago and I were volunteering to go to Lebanon. He just laughed and said, "Get back to class, we got guys for that!"
Cpl. D. M. DeEmo
In response to Expeditionary Forces 1958 I think I may be one of the few who can say that while I was not a member of the landing force I was an 8-year-old whose father was a diplomat at the US Embassy in Beirut, and my brothers and I watched the Marines land. We lived across the street from the Mediterranean Sea, and a few blocks from the Embassy, and we would sit on our apartment porch and watch the Navy ships and then we would go down and visit with the Marines who were stationed outside the Embassy. It was there in Beirut in 1958 that I decided that I wanted to be a Marine, and in 1973 I graduated from OCS. Talk about a dream come true.
I well remember Lebanon in 1958. I landed with the first wave as a Cpl. with F company, 2nd Bn. 2nd Marines. Lebanon, while designated an Arab country, actually had a population which was approximately 75 percent Christian. The President of Lebanon, Mr. Chamaun, was a Christian.
There was a Presidential election coming up, and the strongman in the middle east, Gen. Nasser of Egypt, wanted a Muslim elected president, not a Christian. To accomplish this General Nasser was backing the Muslims in a civil war, and by the summer of 1958, the Muslims seemed to be winning. The immediate danger was that the rebels were poised to take the Lebanon International Airport. Lebanon is a very small country with only one airport capable of handling large multi-engine planes. If the rebels took the airport, they could control the entire country. The Marines were sent in to secure the airport, which we did, and then stayed on to help keep the peace.
There was a medal authorized for this Expeditionary Force, but I never got one. I was told there had been a fire at the facility where Service Records were stored, and mine was among those which were burned.
In response to the letter from Joel McHoul and his participation in the 1958 Landing at Beirut: I had returned to the States from some 16 months at Amtracs Yokosuka then 9th Regt. Mid-Camp Fuji, Okinawa and a huge EX in the Philippines: STRONGBACK. Then on leave with orders to 29 Palms. As a field (voice) R.O. I had, before going O'seas, been some 15 months with 2/5 at CamPen and cont'd with that MOS 'til discharge. The Beirut Landing took place not long after I reported to the Palms. I asked repeatedly for a transfer to the 2nd Div. as I had known many of my Buds, from the Far East O'seas, had been sent to Lejeune. As it turned out I never got the transfer and sadly, Ike never allowed our guys to pursue the Syrians as they fled into the Becau (sic) Valley and Syria . Had we as a Nation taken care of that major problem then, we certainly would have reduced the terrorism we have since experienced, by some 60 - 70 percent. I'm fully confident of that. Back then almost the entire neighborhood was allied with us with the exceptions being Egypt and Syria. And the U.S.S.R. had its hands full in keeping a lid on Poland and Hungary, etc... Too boot, the Lebanese had pleaded with us to give them the help they so desperately deserved. We missed a grand opportunity to save the world and ourselves the enormous grief we have since experienced.
I was at Camp Pendleton, with the 5th Marines at Margarita, H&S 1/5 81 mm. We got the word to pack up and get ready to deploy from San Diego.
We got everything packed and were getting ready to get on the 6X's when word came to stand down. We were sent back to our Barracks to unpack.
I guess they figured you guys could handle it with out any other help.
Cpl. Robert Maskill
We were returning from our visit to Okinawa. We cruised the shores of Lebanon for a month in 1958. I guess that we would have been one of the first units to land if something did break out.
We practiced with our machine guns every day. I'm sure that we shot a lot of fish. The Navy did not fire any of the big guns. I was a Marine, my MOS was 0811. I was on the 155mm Howitzers. I was in the USMC between 1956 - 1959.
Expeditionary Forces, 1958
I was in MACS-8, in New River, NC in 1961, just out of boot camp and school at MCRD San Diego. The squadron was just reforming from returning from Iwakuni, Japan. There was one older Cpl, Pappy Kempf, who said he was part of that landing in Lebenon, as I remember, he laughingly, said they came off the landing boats, ready for combat to be greeted on the beach by Lebanese selling hot dogs, coffee, doughnuts, etc., and his favorite wish, was that "Chesty Puller would have been able to put a beer machine at the end of every barracks and a girl in every bed".
Never have come across him since, and it's possible this could have been a sea story, cause most of us that were there were just out of boot camp and school, and you know how that goes. On an another note, I was never lucky or unlucky enough to experience the pinning on of the stripes, cause I never got any, was L/Cpl for 4 years. Every time I was stationed somewhere long enough to be eligible, I'd get transferred and have to start all over again. I never had any office hours or anything. Just wasn't in right place at the right time.
Love to read of all the experiences, brings back lots of memories.
Dear Sgt. Grit,
I remember the 1958 invasion of Lebanon. I was almost half way around the world at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, in 1958, but I still have the front page of the "Stars & Stripes" newspaper that had the banner headline "1500 Marines Invade Lebanon".
In those days, news from around the world was at a premium and I always read the "Stars & Stripes" cover to cover as did many at overseas locations.
I really enjoy your newsletter and have enjoyed the fine products I have received from Sgt. Grit.
Phil Urquhart, LCpl 1956-1959
Do indeed remember that deployment â€“ but from afar. Was at Little Creek with the LFTU group training summer reserve troops, when word went through the camp to muster up about 0900 (memory may fail as it has faded) and by 1200 our training staff had been reduced by over half... when it was clear I was not included, I asked the First Sgt. why I did not get to go, and looking up with the glare that he was famous for, he replied, "H-LL HARGIS, you are 24 years old! We need young troops to do this job, and you can get back to figuring out how to train the same troops in amphib ops and Vertical Envelopment with what you have left!"
Don't know if we can claim the same success in the level of training that the deployed Marines assured in Lebanon, but everyone on the training corps did double duty and things turned out okay!
Hargis, J. L. 1685529/E-4
Letter about Lebanon. I landed there in July '58 . I was with M-3-6 weapons plt. I think we left in October.
John Heran 1647373
In answer to Joel McHoul's letter, I was one of the Marines who loaded you out, matter of fact, my whole boot camp Platoon went to Lebanon with the exception of 6 of us; we went to Okinawa.
Cpl E-4 Dennis Cosgrove
With regard to the posting of Joel McHoul on 'Expeditionary Forces, 1958' in the 25 April newsletter, I think I can share another view of this event. If my recollection is correct, at the time, I was a Corporal E-3 radioman (2531) with Alpha Battery, 10th Marines based at Camp Lejeune. In those days my battery was in direct support of 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines as a Battalion Landing Team. On July 15th, 1958, the BLT was embarked on shipping at Radio Island, Morehead City, NC, headed for Little Creek, Virginia to train Midshipmen from the Naval Academy. My radio jeep, a AN/MRC-37, was dogged down on the upper deck of an LST and as we waited to get underway we were listening to the local radio station (WMBL) in Morehead City on a small transistor radio when the music was interrupted by a special announcement to the effect that the "United States Marines have just invaded Lebanon."
There we were, more or less combat loaded, cast off and moving out to sea when suddenly we changed directions, moved back up and unloaded. We convoyed back to Camp Lejeune and, I believe, were the only battalion in 2nd Marine Division that did not deploy to Lebanon. Mostly, I think, we felt cheated of the opportunity. Hadn't thought about that in quite a while.
Joe Featherston 1956-1978
Major, USMC, Ret.
Bruising Was Beyond Nasty
I know it was still going on in the late 80's and early 90's, only we called it pinning. When I made PFC at MCSSS in 1989, everyone that was my new rank and above formed up into a gauntlet, which was everyone present. Myself and one other Marine who was promoted had to take a step forward, come to attention, and have the stripe "pinned" to our shoulders, left and right at the same time. Forward... march... until everybody had pinned me and I reached the class commanders at the head of the gauntlet, who put on my chevrons and then literally pinned them into my chest with one swift punch. Then it was about... face... and back down the gauntlet for more of the same, until the starting point had been reached, and the ordeal was over.
Although I recognized the necessity of the tradition and willingly participated in it, I couldn't so much as lift my arms for two days and the bruising was beyond nasty. Once in the fleet and having made LCpl, a few Sergeants voiced some anticipation about pinning me, but nothing ever came of it.
LCpl Raines, Paul D., one each
As a young PFC on barracks duty at NWS Charleston, SC, we had about 70 Marines in each Platoon. I remember when I picked up L/Cpl all the Marines that were in my platoon, L/Cpl or higher, lined up in the hall way of the barracks, one on each side. I think that was the first time in my life that I was really scared. I knew what was going on and I was bound and determined to make it to the end of the hall. I have seen Marines getting there new rank "pinned" on and most of them only made it about a quarter of the way down the line. I wanted to make it all the way.
I was and still am proud to be a Marine. I wanted all the Marines to see just how tough I really was so down the ranks I went. The first few Marines were not that bad, but being me and not having a filter on my mouth I said "this is not that bad" huge mistake. From then on I think all the Marines were out to make me eat the words I spouted off. I made it about 3/4 of the way down, and that was it. I think a few of the Marines were lining up to pin my stripes on again.
I always felt that since I had my stripes pinned on by every Marine that was promoted to the rank I was at that time, I was going to pin there stripes on too.
When I was promoted to Cpl I knew my blood stripes were getting pinned on also. I parked my car behind the company formation so after I was dismissed by the Company Gunny, left face, forward march, column left, I marched my butt right to my car and left... lol... Good thing this was on a Friday. Everyone had forgotten about my promotion by Monday!
The stories I read in your newsletter sure brings back some very fond memories.
Bravo Company 1/5
Bravo Company 1/3
Stripe stamping - I don't remember it being called that, but we did it in the 1980s. What about blood stripes, though? Do they still pin and slap the Corporal chevrons into the skin over your collar bone? (Or are they all plastic now?)
E, 2/23, '82-'88
Kept Cigars In His Holster
Doug Helmers mentions DI tells. In order not to cause anybody to get a bad reputation I am leaving out names. I went through MCRD PI at the end of 1957, and things were different then. The DI's wore pistol belts and empty holsters. Of course our Senior being a cigar smoker kept cigars in his holster. Most of the time he had a cigar in the corner of his mouth, but when he appeared in front of you and shifted the cigar to the middle of his mouth you had best tighten your stomach muscles.
I always say I wouldn't do it again for a million dollars, but I also would not take a million for my ten years of active duty.
Back On The Island
Hey Marines :)
After almost 50 yrs my feet were back on the Island! MasterSgt Taylor "wanted" pics with me for his blackberry. My church, St. Michaels, bought me a new uniform - one I could fit in! Ya'll ever get the chance, go back for a visit. These young Marines (just look at them) are ALL ABOUT having the chance to live the Corps with us old guys. You will be treated with so much respect you won't believe it! Ya can see they got a ton of "I been there" ribbons.
"I", 3/9, '67-'68 (0311)
He Liked My Cap
Dear Sgt Grit,
Monday evening the 15th of May 2012. My wife was working late, so I ate supper at a local eatery here in town. A couple next to me asked a question and we began to chat. I was wearing a Grit cap with the words US Marine Veteran and my 3rd Marine Division emblem.
I looked down at my plate and heard a voice say, "Thank you Sir for your service." It has been 48 years since I have served. I looked up at this gentleman with tears flowing down both eyes. No one had ever thanked me. Forty-eight years of emotions flowing out of me and it felt as if a large weight had lifted from my chest. The gentleman told me he had paid for my meal, and he had served thirty years in the US Army. He liked my cap and felt to do what he did. I thanked him and told him no one had ever thanked me for serving. He left and the people next to me offered to buy my dessert. I thanked them and explained that I have diabetes and could not take them up on their offer.
I told my wife that night, and again tears flowed down my cheeks. I guess it was good medicine for me.
Sgt Johnnie Markley
US Marine Corps
One fine night while on Night Mess Duty in Hawaii we were preparing breakfast - the world famous "SOS".
"This concoction takes a "Very Large" amount of salt".
In the galley there are two circles painted in red on the floor â€“ one is labeled "SALT" and the other labeled "SUGAR". And ,on these spots were two "Very Large" spit and polished GI cans â€“ one with Salt and the other with Sugar. Well somehow they became switched, and we proceeded to prepare the "SOS" with the right amount of "SALT" according to the recipe. During this whole process no one bothered to sample the "SOS". So, when the Officer Of The Day (O.D.) came for breakfast, and the O.D. was always the one to sample breakfast before the troops, he took one big mouthful and sprayed it all over the place and he "Shouted Out":
"What The H-ll Is This?"
Well, needless to say we were all in serious trouble, and now what do we serve for breakfast? Well we broke out case after case of eggs and we made scrambled eggs that were stirred on the grill with two metal serving trays.
We were in Hawaii - and after it was over, we ate breakfast and survived the O.D.'s "RAGE", and when it came to rest we all said, "Just Another Day In Paradise."
L.G. Lovett 1954 - 1956
1500XXX - PLT. 354
A Quonset Hut Marine
Opinions Vary On Blood Striping
I was pin-striped as a Corporal and later for various ranks. Yep, it hurt, but I viewed it as part of joining a tough group of people. And, maybe you have to look at the intent of the people doing the pinning. Were there knuckleheads in the crowd? Yep. But the majority were guys who were congratulating you, and it was a guy's way to welcome a new member to the club.
Suffice it that I had my Gunny chevrons pinned on by a General who made it pretty high up. He's probably retired by now, but given some of the responses, I'm not sharing his name to preserve his reputation. I was proud to have him hammer them into my cammies with my wife looking on.
I've also found myself lying on the ground after a boot was placed in my chest - in punishment for being a dumb-azz recruit pointing my M-16 in the wrong direction. Did I feel hazed? NOPE!
I also went through the Shellback ceremony. We had fights on ship and everyone stood around and watched. I could go on and on.
I didn't join the Marines thinking I was joining a college fraternity, and neither do the kids joining today. I joined the Marines to be part of a tough, loyal, and hard-charging organization. And, part of that includes hanging with the tough crowd. I remember a quote (maybe made up, but certainly gained legs when I was in the Corps) attributed to Chesty Puller along the lines that you're not a Marine unless you've had an NJP. And, I can imagine that Chesty may have pin-striped someone a time or two.
I say to keep an eye out for the truly abusive and destructive individuals and deal with them. But remember, the enemy will not back off, and will be much tougher. We need Marines that are tough in spirit and physically tough. Being able to face the gauntlet requires a level of mental and physical toughness that may be useful for facing more difficult and tough situations in the future.
Clear The Mess Deck
In response to 'Rocking and Rolling' - (Norm Spilleth). I was USN on an APA â€“ USS Henrico (APA-45) and in rough weather we would feed the troops standing up. I was a Radio Operator and at times would eat chow when having the chance. So, on occasion we had to 'share' the Mess Decks with the embarked troops.
One particular 'rough' day I was eating my evening meal with the 'troops' and I picked a table with a spot at the end so that when the ship would take a roll, one could pick up the tray while the unsecured trays would slide down and sometimes off the table. Well it was early in the 'trip' and most of the Marines hadn't gotten their "Sea Legs" yet so as the ship rocked and rolled parts of the eaten meal were regurgitated and the whole Mess Deck was getting pretty 'ripe'.
I did my part to 'clear the Mess Deck' as a tray with some 'pre eaten chow' went sliding by, I speared a pork chop (or whatever 'mystery meat' they were serving) and put it on my tray. Suddenly I had the table to myself and wasn't bothered with any more sliding trays.
RM2 USN 1956-64
An 'old Gator with service on APA's and LST's'.
In December of 1955 myself and several hundred fellow Marines set sail from San Diego on the same APA George Clymer headed to Okinawa. Funny thing, we boarded early in the morning and set sail late evening. While still tied to the pier many of the Marines got sea sick! Two days later at sea we ran into a hellacious storm... guess what? Everyone was fine!
Spent 3-months at Camp Napunja (condemned Army Base), and then on to Sukiran, 14 months. (looked like a Marriott to us!).
F-2-9 - 3rd Mar Div.
1955 - 1959
The FLIGHT LINE
Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #4, #11, (NOV., 2014)
I'd like to take a minute of your time and fill you in on how far we've come in the past 4 years. That is, if you don't mind hearing some of the same ole stuff. I started this offering to help educate or enlighten some of my fellow MARINES in the MARINE CORPS League Detachment that I was affiliated with at that time. In the approximately 8 months that I had been promoting and writing it, we had gained some ground. I provided the Flight Line for at least three Detachments, and I was willing to branch out from there. It's a known fact that it's not easy to get something new started, but I'm gaining. So, if you know of any Detachment that might be interested, Please contact me through this Detachment. This does not cost anything and I will do it as long as I can. I might add that I don't even type very well so, I'll say the same thing that I said when I started this, and that was, if you find misspelled words, don't blame me. Blame this d-mn computer, OK!
All the time that I've spent fooling around here and there's still a war going on in Vietnam so I'd better get back to it.
Let's pick up from where we left off in Vol. #3, #8. Remember In July of 1965 a Detachment of 10 UH-34D's from HMM-161 (including me) moved from Phu Bai to Qui Nhon in II Corps to await the arrival of the Army's 1st Cavalry Div.
MAG-16 moved from Da Nang to the Marble Mountain Air Facility (MMAF) on 7 Aug. All MAG-16 aircraft were operating out of MMAF by the beginning of Sept. 1956. The first all-MARINE night helicopter assault took place with BLT 2/3 and HMM-361, HMM-261 and VMO-2 in Elephant Valley on 12 Aug. In September a Detachment of 6 CH-37C's (Deuces) from HMH-462 were attached to H&MS-16 at MMAF. On 12 Sept. all O-1B Pilots from VMO-2 were sent to Okinawa, and the O-1B was parked at the Da Nang airstrip. VMO -2 lost their "V", becoming an all-helicopter squadron for the first time.
Between 18 and 24 Aug, Operation Starlight was conducted on the Van Tuong Peninsula, 15 miles south of Chu Lai by the 7th Marines and the SLF (HMM-163), and supported by MAG-16 Helicopters (HMM-261, HMM-361, and VMO-2). This was the first significant contact with major VC units (1st Viet Cong Regiment). The tactical success there led many to believe that the U.S. Forces would achieve victory and hence, we would be all soon going home.
MAG-36 arrived of the coast of Chu Lai on Sept 1st to join the III MAF. They consisted of MABS-36, H&MS-36, HMM-362 (H-34's ), HMM-363 (H-34's), HMM-364 (H-34's), and VMO-6 (UH-1E's).
It's A Marine Thing
Does the expression "get'em by the stacking swivel", or 'grabbed him by the stacking swivel' still have currency? Or is it one of those expressions that Marines still use just because it's a Marine thing and the user really has no idea of where the expression comes from? Those of us who were Marines before the advent of the M-14, (and then the M-16, and its many variants) will recognize the meaning instantly... for those of you who were wearing triangular trousers (diapers... never mind the Velcro fasteners...) not so long ago, the M1 Garand (one 'R') has what might appear to be a second upper sling swivel, except that this one is split in the middle, with about a 3/16" gap in the side opposite the mounting screw. It is mounted to the end of the gas cylinder assembly, between the upper sling swivel and the bayonet stud. It was used to link three rifles together, forming a triangle... for "stack arms". Additional weapons might be added to the stack by propping against the triangle, but only three would hook together... if a fire team's stack, the BAR might be added.
A triangle arrangement, with its three legs, will stand steady on uneven surfaces... not so, in the for example case of a four-legged chair and a three-legged stool on the same surface... to 'grab by the stacking swivel' alluded to either grasping the windpipe, or grabbing a handful of shirt... replaced today, maybe, from what I read, by the "knife hand"...
Never had occasion to stack arms with the black rifle, assume it may be done much like with the M-14, where the stack man (middle) forms a 4" loop at the upper end of the sling, and those to his left and right insert the muzzles of their rifles into the loop, then put the butts on the deck... worked fine, and although it was a 'no-no', most DI's could find a way to make 'stack arms' look like a drill by the Rockefeller Center Rockettes... precision-wise, anyway... usually, the recruits were to watch for a movement of the 3 x 5 card (given to the DI by the inspectors, had the sequence of movements to be performed)... and all would resume the position of attention at the same time... looks sharp, when done properly...
Lost and Found
This photo was probably taken in 1943. My uncle, John McQuade (with the salty seabend) had just returned from Guadalcanal. That's me (180xxxx) at age seven with my Mother.
Uncle John's gone now. He would never speak about Guadalcanal. As I got older, I sort of kept an eye on him, as he had a serious drinking problem. When drinking, he would tell me that he didn't deserve to be alive with so many "good friends" dead...
He had a serious case of jungle rot, which would rise up periodically, but he refused to go to the VA, for the same reason, he couldn't do it with so many "good friends".
This is a real shot in the dark, I'm just wondering if any of the remaining heroes from Guadalcanal might have known Uncle John, my hero...
He was very proud of me when I enlisted in 1958.
So many unappreciated heroes from that time, so many....
Gunny Shearer wrote about "fairy tales" vs. "sea story's". Gunny, I bring to your attention that only our enlisted sea story's begin with "this ain't no sh-t"... officers say "you may doubt this...". By the way Gunny... this ain't no sh-t... did you ever hear of someone hitchhiking (unarmed) from DaNang to Quang Tri?
"Sneaky Pete" Dahlstrom... that ain't "no sh-t"!
I just heard from a young inactive Marine friend of mine that when they re-enlist in the Corps, that they re-up. Would someone please explain to me when the Marine Corps started conforming to what the other services do. The politically correct crowd might be trying to accomplish that as their tactics would be to start by getting everyone to think alike.
Well, the Marine Corps is unique and it used to be that when you re-enlisted... you "shipped over", all the rest re-up. Marines had better start learning tradition or they might wake up some morning to find out they are only a part of the Army. What a disgusting thought.
Sgt Inactive 1377--- '53-'56
Can anyone else recalled the "Sea Bat"?
In response to DDick's question about the tail letters on the flying boxcars out of Iwakuni... they would have been QD. The squadron at the time would have been VMR-152. Once they got the KC-130's they became VMGR-152 and are currently stationed at MCAS Futenma on Okinawa.
My grandson just made L/Cpl. (My GRANDSON what's wrong with this picture). Anyway, I asked him if they still pinned on the stripes and his answer is nope, it's considered hazing. Not that it matters this old Cpl will still pin on his E3 stripe when I see him next. Won't tell him that or he will never visit Grandma and me.
Cpl. Chuck Hayford (Active Nov 1963 - 1966)
Loved reading these stories. I don't think anyone remembers the 1958 Expeditionary Forces. I read it and was made aware of my son's MEU he's on could end up the same scenario. God Bless.
You have to say it out loud to get the full effect: That C-119 in the navy was R4Q. Then there was a modified version called the R4QU2. I'm sure this will slip by many.
Jim Murphy SSgt WO2, Major
"The average man doesn't want to be free. He simply wants to be safe."
--H.L. Mencken, 1926
"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere."
"Truman lost his temper, MacArthur lost his job. Acheson lost a war, a million and a half people lost their lives and Stalin didn't even lose a night's sleep."
--Thoughts on North Korea from the 1950's from an old Forbes Magazine
"The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants."
--Omar Bradley, Address on Armistice Day 
"This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God had given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins."
"The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave."
"Pvt sh-t stain, if u don't get squared away, I'm gonna recycle your azz back to the block, and you'll be suckin' fartz outta hospital sheets for a livin'."
"I'm so short I'm sleeping in a match box using a rifle patch for a blanket."