This Grit-Together, known as "Barb's Grit-Together", started in 2002 and is the longest running get together of Marines, which started on Sgt. Grit's forums.
Pam S. Weiler
Good Conduct Medal From 1958
You may wish to inform Marine Farris that my GCM has a bar and was issued July, 1958 per picture attached.
My New USMC Shirt
My new USMC shirt just in from Sgt. Grit for fathers day! Thanks Shanna.
Cpl. Tim Haley
Charlie Company 1/9
"The Walking dead"
60 mm Mortars
Get this moto performance t-shirt at:
U.S. Marines Under Armour Performance T-shirt
My Memories of Boot Camp
Jim Brower's contribution cracked me up since he was "the old man" of his platoon at age 20. The same thing applied to me, but I was just 19. Two of my D.I.'s (a Sgt and a Cpl) made a big deal of this in front of the entire platoon with the Sgt saying to me, "Cpl XXXX is only 17, a Marine and a Corporal. You're 19 and you haven't accomplished anything with your life!" Naturally my response was silence. If that Cpl was 17 then I was 22. And although I was not yet a Marine, I had lost my dad who was a LtCol in the Air Force in 1968 at the age of 10. I starting working for pay at 11 years old, helping my mom and also saving enough to buy a boat, a car and rent my first home. My grades from H.S. were good enough to get an appointment at one of the Service Academies (since I was the son of a veteran who died in the line of duty) but I went to a Community College to try and help my mom with my part-time job. Since this was 1977, my D.I. Cpl hadn't been in Vietnam. Both my dad and brother were. When you don't know what even a kid has been through in his young life, sometimes you shouldn't let your alligator mouth overload your hummingbird azs. And I retired as a United States Marine (just too early and not by choice).
J. A. Howerton II
SSgt USMC (Ret)
The Expression On His Face
Just wanted you to know that I am very pleased with your items I ordered for 10 and a half month old George. The dress blue outfit was well worth the wait. You can see the expression on his face. Dad started out at P.I. in 1977 from Detroit, MI and served until 1980.
Put your Devil Pup in a squared away set of blues at:
Dress Blues Baby 2 Piece Set
That's Me In 1969
Been diggin' on Sgt Grit for quite a while now. Thought I'd submit this flick, from one sarge to another. That's me in 1969. Semper Fi. I was in Truck Co., HQ Bt., 2nd Mar. Div.
I Learned A Lot
A while ago at a visit to the VA Dental a person that I was talking with asked me what I learned at boot camp. I had been telling him I had not hated my time at Parris Island. I told him, "I had learned a lot... one thing was how to cover my ass!" He said I had learned that at ITR. Well maybe I did. But later on the drive home I got to thinking about what I had learned at PI.
I learned how to be part of a team. If I did something wrong my whole Plt could suffer. I learned responsibility. To take care of my self and my gear. I learned how to finish what I started. I learned how important what my Instructors told me. I learned when I found fault in my fellow Marines I should handle it. That I held the Marine to my left and my right lives in my hands. And that I could trust them and they me. I learned how important my Country is to me and those I hold dear. I learned how important a school circle may be.
On Sept 15th of 2015 will be 50 years since my beginning began. I would like to stand on 1st Bn MCRD and look back. If anyone knows of a person from Series 144, be sure to let me know.
Semper Fi 'til I die!
USMC 1965 to 1969
A Rare Flicker Of A Smile
The year was 1978... MCRD... San Diego... I was in Plt. 2065... the house mouse was having his tail chewed off in the duty hut... The SENIOR was on a roll... evidently some thing of an administrative nature had irked the the exalted one... with a booming command voice the request for a carpenter was called for... myself having cleaned my weapon for the 100th time that day, and bored out of my mind... decided that I would volunteer my services... centering myself on the hatch... I rapped three times... "Sir Pvt Hodder request permission to speak to the Senior Drill Instructor, Sir!" "PERMISSION Granted... Speak thing!" "Sir, the Private wishes to inquire how much the job pays?" The ENTIRE SQUADBAY breaks into laughter... The SENIOR Rises from his desk... a rare flicker of a smile... he asks... "Pvt Hodder are you A Good Carpenter?" "Sir, Yes Sir..." He responds to my assertion... by stating that he has 2000 pencils he needs sharpened and they have to be done in 1 hour! Needless to say... after that excursion into insanity... I Loved Cleaning My Weapon From That Point On!
Sgt Hodder, USMC
A Note From Your Mommy
I saw an article today about the crack down on base decals at Camp Lejeune and it reminded me of my experience upon my return from Vietnam in 1970. I purchased my first new car but had to have my mom co-sign for the loan due to the fact I was only 20 and no established credit. Once I arrived at Camp Lejeune I went to get a base sticker but was told since I had a co-signer on the car I would have to have a notarized statement authorizing me to drive the car. I looked at the Marine behind the desk and said, "You mean I have to have my Mother send me something saying I can drive my car?" With a great big smile he looked back at me and said "Yes Sergeant you have to have a note from your Mommy."
Former Gysgt. of Marines
Good To Go For One More Day
I had this made for me to keep my wife NANCY Ann's ashes & my MARINE memories in. Every time I open it up memories come flooding back. As long as I know what I'm looking at I'm good to go for one more day. The only people I care to share with is my USMC brothers & sisters. One day my ashes will be placed next to hers, then it is finished.
Fell Over Laughing
In reply to Jim Brower's post from this week's newsletter, I nearly fell over laughing at his point #2... Boot Camp erections. I too can't recall getting any in my 13 weeks at Parris Island, but I do recall this issue being discussed many times by many other Marines over the years and to a man, they all claim that saltpeter was applied to our food to help combat against woodies, but I don't know if that is true. What I do suspect is that most of us, myself included, were just too d-mn scared and exhausted to think about anything other than getting some sleep and getting off the Island.
Lima 3/8, Weapons Plt
Proud Of Being A Marine
Please pass the word on to your Husband "Semper Fi", yes I to am a Marine Vet and yes every year my wonderful wife gets me something from Sgt Grit. Like you my wife is very proud of being married for 37 years to a Marine like myself and I'm sure your husband is almost as proud of being a Marine as he is his wife being proud also! THANK'S for the OOH RAH!
In 1962 my unit Hotel Btry/3/10 was attached to BLT 2/6 for a Mediterranean cruise. A Marine in the battery was always complaining and griping at just about everything. While at sea we had daily inspections and the griper was told he needed a haircut. My section chief, SSgt Cary Poole (SSgt E-5) a WWII veteran, cut hair while we were at sea aboard ship. The griper went and got his haircut but of course he was not satisfied and he told SSgt Poole he was going to get some satisfaction for the poor haircut he received. The griper went to see the chaplain who listened to how he had maintained his hair within regulation at the maximum length ever since leaving boot camp and that he was seeking some justice for the scalping he had received. The chaplain had listened to everything the lad had told him and then gave him his explanation. The griper returned to the battery area and other Marines wanted to know what the chaplain had said. The griper almost crying said the chaplain told him that he could not cut hair any better then SSgt Poole.
Between Meal Sustenance
MCRD SD in the sixties usually found a series (four platoons) using one head. With a platoon strength of around 75 most of the time, that meant that 300 vigorous (mostly) young men were using the twenty commodes, four trough urinals and a few sinks... the potential for rapidly spreading disease was tremendous, and mandated that the space be maintained to better than hospital standards of cleanliness (besides which, it was the Marine Corps...) Duty of cleaning the head was rotated among the platoons of the series, and the major effort occurred during morning police call. Bowl brushes, scouring powder, disinfectant (I recall mostly an iodine-based liquid in gallon jugs, called "Wescodyne") were provided via the Company Police Sergeant, and the platoon with the head duty would have a squad detailed to scrub the joint at some point between morning roll call, chow, and begininning the training day... and 'the things that get measured are the things that get done'...
DI's usually had some sort of between meal sustenance stashed in one of the duty hut lockers... not pogey bait, as that would have been hypocritical, but maybe things like canned sardines, smoked oysters, soda crackers, jelly... and peanut butter... ah yes, peanut butter... On a fine California morning, with a platoon in their second or third week, "YT" (Yours Truly) had had the overnight duty, and along with that, the duty to inspect morning police call... sooooo... looking in the aforementioned locker, YT espied a jar of peanut butter... from memory, a jar of "Skippy Chunky Peanut Butter", whereupon 'improvise, adapt, over-come' kicked into gear, and YT acquired a dab of chunky PB on... (and this is important...) the first joint of the second finger of the right hand.
Proceeding to the head, and stepping inside, the cleaning detail was found standing at attention... (damn well better have been!)... the "PVT in Charge" was summoned forward to report. "Pvt? is this place clean?" "YESSIR!" "Are you sure about that?" "YESSIR!"
"Good... get that seat up"... YT then reached into the commode bowl, and ran his index finger around under the rim... coming up with the second finger... with the Skippy Chunky dab on it. After sniffing, then tasting the second finger, it was "Nah... I don't think so... you got ten more minutes to get this place squared away"...
It took the grapevine less than ten minutes to spread the word... "Sgt D eats Sh!ite, man... I SAW HIM DO IT!"...
Great fun the next few days catching some private passing by... "C'mere, boy... I wanna breath on you."
I wasn't the only one to ever pull this stunt... but we never had an outbreak of bubonic plague, either...
The heads at Camp Matthews (rifle range... now mostly under the Revere Campus of the University of San Diego) were of similar design, but there were one or two on the periphery of the tent camp that didn't get a lot of attention from Facilities Maintenance... or were viewed as a handy supply point for 100 watt bulbs for the tents. One in particular was known for being a dark place, and since all hands at the rifle range pretty much lived in utilities, it was just assumed that by sheer force of numbers, anyone venturing through the gloom to a commode in this head was a recruit... so it was known as a place to sneak a smoke. Great fun to put on a soft cover, ease on in there in the dark and have a seat... sooner or later, someone would come along and take a seat adjacent... followed by "hey, Man... you got a light?"
The light, would, of course, reveal a starched collar... with chevrons on it...
Just looked at the picture again... four sinks... two on either side of the double doors... and oddly enough, I don't recall a d-mn thing about heads for the DI's... we surely must have had some sort of segregated facility.
A Great Man
Only to reinforce Chris Kyle's statement in admiration of Marines I must tell you about a meeting with Kyle that will tell you what a great guy Kyle was.
Every year in Utah the sheriffs have annual meeting for the purposes of awards, new laws, and pass information. About three years ago the guest speaker was Kyle. That evening there is a dinner party. The senior sheriff and I are good friends, because of my still living as a Marine and he likes that. He called Kyle and me together and announces that Kyle was a better sniper than Carlos Hathcock just to start a peeing contest between us. While I am thinking some salty response, Kyle states "Hathcock was a better sniper than I will ever be"! An answer from a GREAT MAN.
Windward Marine 29 June 1962
A little history from the "Windward Marine" the base newspaper for Kaneohe MCAS. I was stationed there in VMA 212 from 1961 to 1963.
1960 - 1964
Attitude Is Everything Day 41
Here is this week's most popular Marine Corps quote that was posted on Sgt Grit's Facebook Page. The replies are nothing short of what you would expect from our fellow Marine brothers and sister, or Marine family members.
Here are a few of their comments:
Logan Waller - So true. You love the Corps before active duty and and after active duty. It's the greatest organization ever created. Nothing inspires more awe and pride.
Baker - Semper Fi. Until I die. that is more than just a saying, it is an Oath. By Myself to my brother's & to My Country, Yes, In that order. Semper Fidelis.
Gil Woodside - My boyhood hero!
Dan R Martinez Sr. - Marines are forever!
Check daily to see what the next quote or saying of the day will be on the Sgt Grit Facebook page.
Platoon 1066, 1969
The Marines of Platoon 1066 MCRD San Diego 1969 met in Branson, MO once again for our seventh annual reunion on 4-7 June 2015. We were again joined by our two surviving Drill Instructors, SGT Eddie E. Alley and GYSGT Anthony Gatling. Our Platoon Commander (Senior DI to you Parris Island Marines out there), SSGT Guadalupe Gonzalez, was KIA in Vietnam after returning for a second tour there after he finished with us at MCRD. He stepped on a mine while on patrol. He has a place of honor at each of our reunions.
While there we attended two excellent Branson shows, had a reunion banquet dinner, shared lots of camaraderie and reminisced about the "good old" days over some cold beer. After our group picture was taken with our platoon guidon, SSGT Eddie Alley instructed us to "fall-in" and he proceeded to march us up and down the reunion hotel rear parking lot. If it had been 46 years earlier, we all would have been doing "squat thrusts forever" for the way we marched. At one of the shows we attended Vietnam Veteran SGT Kenneth Fielder was given special recognition for his service there that resulted in 5 Purple Hearts and 3 Bronze Star Awards obtained during his tours in country. On Saturday night we had our reunion banquet and all of the great items so generously donated by SGT GRIT were distributed to the attendees to everyone's delight. These former "Hollywood Marines" proudly wore their SGT GRIT gear for the rest of the reunion. On behalf of Platoon 1066, I would like to thank you for once again being a very special part of our annual reunion. Everyone looks forward to your goodies each year. For those Marines out there that have never been to Branson, MO it is without a doubt one of the most "military friendly" places you can visit here in the states.
Bob Deal '69-'75, MOS 1371
Proud Member of PLT 1066 - "Honor Platoon"
Vietnam War Trivia - The Origin of Chu Lai
Until the Marines landed on the beach in Quang Tin Province in 1965, Chu Lai didn't even exist. There were no towns in the vicinity, and the area that was chosen to be an expeditionary airfield had no designation on any of the maps. As it turns out, the name "Chu Lai" isn't even a Vietnamese name - it's Chinese! Here's how it happened.
"Although few things were named in Vietnam for living serviceman, there is a known story of one location named for a living Marine in Vietnam. Chu Lai, in Quang Tin Province, was not even a town when the US Marines constructed a major base there. When then MajGen Victor H. Krulak selected the site for an airfield, a naval officer accompanying him remarked that the site was not marked on the maps. Krulak replied that the name was Chu Lai, giving the officer his (own) name in Mandarin Chinese â€” thus General Victor Krulak named Chu Lai for himself."
--from the book "Vietnam Military Lore, Legends, Shadows and Heroes", by MSgt Ray Bows, USA Retired
This same reference to the origin of the name given to the area now known as "Chu Lai" (which today is currently maintained by the Vietnamese as an international airport), can also be found in Robert Coram's book, "Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine".
MGySgt USMC (Ret)
1964 - 1987
West... Chu Lai
Geez, you'd think a trained map maker would know that it was standard practice to include the grid square of the unit CP on the monthly Command Chronology... readily available on the internet. I give you, as an example, one I just looked up... this being for 4/12. Close to the top of the first page, one finds, and I quote: YD 877145 1-28 March, and just under that AT947768, 29-31 March... those sure look like grid square numbers to me...
I'm beginning to think this guy may have been the anonymous 'Former Hat'... be a shame if he STFU, being good for entertainment value...
(didn't take the time to throw 1stMarDiv in the Google hat, but when we moved ashore from the SLF to Chu Lai (BLT 3/5) about the beginning of August of '66, we camped for a bit by "Task Force X-Ray"... which was 1stMarDivHq (Forward)... they had recently moved down from a stop on Okinawa (I think) and brought a plywood city, including flush toilets, with them... or the SeaBees and Marine Engineers had it built ahead of time.)
'Command Chronology' and unit in Google will get you there most ricky-tick...
I have to weigh in on the debate about the location of 1st MarDiv HQ in Vietnam. I was stationed there from July 1970 until a few months later when I was transferred to HQ III MAF, which was down the road at Red Beach and across from FLC. To get there, one traveled through a ville called Dogpatch. There was no processing center there. It was a Vietnamese ville notable mainly for the wh-res who would run out to the road and try to flag down customers from the passing vehicles. 1st Division headquarters was not, repeat not, at Chu Lai at that time. It was outside DaNang on a hillside. I remember that 1st Recon was also there. I spent many a night on the guard line on the ridge line above HQ and recon patrols would sometimes pass through the line into the valley below.
I believe Sgt. Wayne Sanders' memories to be faulty in a number of areas. I hope that I have helped to clear up some of his misconceptions.
Sgt. Bill Federman
I served with Marine Fighter Squadron 122 1969-1970 in Chu Lai. I went to a one week school in DaNang and had to take a flight to DaNang which I was told was approx 50 miles North of Chu Lai.
MSgt Bill Dugan
It's hard to cover up the smell of old b/s with newer b/s. Since there are a lot of us here who have "been there - done that", and who read this newsletter every week, then I have a piece of advice for "Sgt. Sanders"...
When you find yourself in a hole that you can't get out of, then it's a good idea to quit digging ;-)
MGySgt USMC (Ret)
1964 - 1987
I spent '66-'67 at a lovely piece of PSP called Ky Ha, 4.5 miles North of Chu Lai! Was there with HMM-165 and HMM-362. Unless there has been a major land mass shift of tectonic plates, Chu Lai is still 55 miles SSE of downtown Da Nang, and nowhere near the West side of Da Nang.
As far as cartography, I used and drew, designed and laid out topographic and plan/profile maps for 32 years after my years in the Corps. I worked as a surveyor and GPS operator/map maker for Spokane County. The GPS work was the last 15 years I worked there. If the "cartographer" would provide the latitude and longitude of said wayward Chu Lai, it would put all this rigmarole to bed. Lats and deps please?
Semper Fi 'til I die!
I certainly do not wish to impugn anyone's recollection of their service in Viet Nam, but these are the facts as I remember them.
You went through dog patch and you would pass Freedom Hill on the left. You would continue on and Division Hill was on the left. Up a tad was Division Recon on the right. As you would curve right, 11th Motors was on the left. A little further was 11th Marines on the right. The Army was next on the right and was a searchlight base. Then onto the Village of Da Son (sp).
Chu Lai is not a suburb of Da Nang. That's a Fact. It is South of Da Nang. I was a radio operator (2533). I am glad you didn't make any of the maps that I had ever read, I would be in Hanoi now instead of Phoenix.
The Guy Was Crazy
I have read most of the stories about boot camp and even a few about me as a drill instructor. Some of them are slightly exaggerated and some are more than truthful. Before I graduated from high school in 1960, there were no Marine recruiters in Alaska. There were navy, army and air force but no Marines. I started writing to the officer in charge of the Marine Barracks in Kodiak, I was living in Anchorage. Finally in July of 1960 we got a recruiter. I checked in and was told after graduating from boot camp, that I would be a paid professional killer. I loved it, I was flown out to Kodiak Island because there were no Marine Officers in Anchorage and sworn in as the first Marine from the state of Alaska. Late in August I was put on a plane (some old 4 engine thing) to head for boot camp from the Elmendorf (can't remember how it's spelled) air force base. Seemed like many, many hours before we landed in Seattle and then LA, each time we landed we picked up other navy and Marine recruits. I was not much into gambling but learned a new game called Acey Duecy from a future navy guy while spending our time on the flight. Won 5 bucks (beginners luck) which was a big windfall back then. We got to the old Lindbergh field and waited for about 20 minutes and this beautiful navy bus showed up. Some navy guy got out and asked for everybody joining the navy to join him. He said welcome aboard gentlemen and please get on the bus. Us low life's waited another 15 minutes, there were 8 of us. A 6X showed up with an animal in charge. Use guys joining the Marines get over here. Jump in the back, spit out any chewing gum and no talking, either to yourself or one another. Sit at attention until we get to the Depot. I figured out that I was in trouble and if back in those early days, if I had known what a queer was, I would have said I was one (this guy was scary).
Just to get out of this chicken outfit. Then I met GySgt (E-6 at the time) Ayala, he was punching, hitting and throwing recruits around like they were used up sand bags. Many years later, he was a SgtMaj and I, a GySgt and we had a good time at the club.
Just to clear things up about salt peter in the mess hall chow--No, there wasn't any. I served two tours on the drill field and ate the same chow as recruits. The chow did not hamper my anything. I, too, had problems with bowel movements in boot camp, everyone does. It's not uncommon to go 10 days without a bowel movement, due to the change in diet.
J L Stelling
Lost And Found
I'd like help locating/contacting the following Drill Instructors of Plt. 2078 which graduated on 19741016. They are:
SSgt. R. H. McCulley (he retired as a GySgt and was a 7051)
SSgt. R. E. Pruitt
SSgt. D.W. Lara (last I knew he was an aircraft mechanic with MAG-39)
SSgt. C. W. Adams (Senior DI)
Any help is appreciated. Thanks and Semper Fi!
I know I'm asking the impossible after all these years, but, if there was any way at all for me to get a boot camp graduation book. I've tried many times with no success. Maybe you could post this so all your readers could see it. Hopefully someone can help me. I was at San Diego MCRD back in '67, platoon 3055. Drill Instructors were: Gunny Watson, he was the senior, Sgt. Russell, and Sgt. Stangeroni (not sure of spelling).
I just want my kids, grand kids, and great-grand kids to see what it was like back then. I just hope someone can help me.
L/CPL Dan Lisowe
Does anyone at least have a platoon photo, PISC, Plt. 173, 20Sep to 07Dec'61- yep, we outposted on the 20th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
Every now and then I can still see us scrubbing those wooden decks (second floor of the old wooden barracks) using bleach in the water to make 'em look lighter (and therefore, cleaner?). And the wash-racks, and tie-ties, Brasso, Lubriplate, black shoe polish for brown shoes...
Where are you, Willie Sims?... Yancy Bivings, III?... David J. Surrette?
20Sep61 to 04Jan68
To Gunny Rousseau,
Appreciated you providing the medical update. I am certain that I express the view of all Sgt. Grit subscribers when I say it has been an honor and a privilege getting to know you through your submissions to the newsletter over the years. I hope to continue reading these for a good long while.
I too, have a good conduct medal with the bar on top from January 1966 as was presented to me at DaNang with VMFA 323. They stated that all they had on hand were left over from WWII. I entered country July 10, 1965 at DaNang with VMFA 542 till December then was transferred to VMFA 323, MOS 6511. Loaded lots of ordnance on F-4s.
I was assigned to the USMLM in the 70s, before this happened. Thought your readers would enjoy it.
Read: Lance Corporal Montague.
Mary Dassau SFC (ret)
A hero is given a military Farewell in New Jersey. He passed away showing as much bravery as he did on the battle grounds... Derrick MaGee has a wall full of pictures and military accommodations, but...
Watch video and read more at:
Military K9 Passes Away, Receives Police Escort to the SPCA
My vision of retirement? Buying a house on Camp Pen. Get part-time job as maint. electrician, work at my old base... eat, sleep, sh-t US MARINE CORPS... praying to GOD that ALL your old buddy's have the same VISION... Can't think of a better retirement! AMERICAN by birth... U.S. MARINE by the GRACE OF GOD.
After reading the post from Barry Farris about his Good Conduct Medal I checked the one issued to me which was issued in Viet Nam in 1968 and to my surprise to find it also has a bar above ribbon. Looks like they still had left over supply of the older design in 1968 also.
Sgt LW Dornan 1965-1968
I originated a request through your newsletter as to how to get a replacement Purple Heart certificate a couple month ago. The 6/17 newsletter provided the exact info needed. I should see the replacement in about six months, pretty speedy to me. Thanks to you, your company, and SgtMaj Wayne Dillon for providing the assistance.
Sgt Ron Myers
So sorry... God bless Gunny Kyle.
Proud Mom of 3 Marines
Hello Sgt. Grit,
To Lee Van Kleese, JFK visit to MCRDSD was 6-6-63. If you search YouTube for the Presidents visit, you can see a number of old videos.
"I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it."
--Col Jessup, fictional character in "A Few Good Men"
"Happiness is a state of being convincingly deceived."
"Panic sweeps my men when they are facing the AMERICAN MARINES."
--Captured North Korean Major
"In the beginning of change, the Patriot is a scarce man, brave and heated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a Partiot."
--Mark Twain, 1904
"Our Country won't go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There won't be any AMERICA because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race!"
--LtGen. Lewis "Chesty" Puller, USMC
"[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt."
--Samuel Adams, essay in The Public Advertiser, 1749
"Heart breakers and life takers", who believed we were all John Wayne reincarnated?
"Welcome to the Suck."