Sgt. Grit Community

Home For Christmas

21 Dec 1965, I had just finished my specialist training at Schools Bn, Camp Del Mar, Camp Pendleton, Calif., and was given 25 days leave before reporting to 2nd AmTracBn, Camp Lejeune, N.C. I caught a ride with a classmate up to the Los Angeles area where we stayed the night with his Grandmother, then we’re given a ride to LAX to get a flight home for Christmas.

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Christmas Dinner 1966

No presents, no Santa Claus, just rain and more rain. Christmas day December 25, 1966. Convoyed from Dong Ho to a site that later became Camp Evan. Spent the afternoon digging in and laying our howitzers. Instead of Santa, we got mortared and the grunts, a ground attack. Then the rains came. Wet powder, swollen ammo boxes and fiber containers. The call for illumination coming from every direction. Then a night move that put us in a river bed. During the night The dry river bed became a river. Morning found my section on an island. Some positions were flooded. Unfortunately the Howtar (mortars mounted on pack howitzer chassis) had been located below us, but no one knew that an earthen dam was there and since water seeks its own level, the battery was completely submerged.

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Marine Joke

A Marine is traveling home on Christmas leave in his blues and the airline puts him in first class when he checks in.

He boards the plane and sits down next to a Catholic Priest – also traveling in first class.

The stewardess comes over immediately and offers the young Marine a drink. The young Marine asks “ma’am, may I have a glass of scotch… Read More?” The flight attendant replies with a smile “absolutely, sir.”

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THREE MARINES WITH SPMAGTF-CR-CC EARN PURPLE HEARTS

Cpl. Tyler A. Frazier, a mortar Marine with 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, who recently returned to Twentynine Palms following a deployment with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command, was awarded the Purple Heart Medal by Lt. Col. Steven M. Ford on November 7, 2018.

All three Marines received the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in Syria, while attached to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command, operating in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria, during the month of October. Each Marine has since fully recovered and returned to full duty status. Cpl. Rousseau and Cpl. Hendrickson both returned to Syria to rejoin their units. Cpl Frazier redeployed back to the United States with 3d Battalion, 7th Marines.

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MARINE OF THE WEEK // “When you inflict that number of casualties on the enemy and none of us were killed, that’s a pretty successful fight”

#MARINE OF THE WEEK // “When you inflict that number of casualties on the enemy and none of us were killed, that’s a pretty successful fight”

Gunnery Sgt Brian Blonder
Force Reconnaissance Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines
Shewan, Afghanistan
August 8, 2008
Award: Navy Cross

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THE FIGHT FOR TARAWA: 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF ONE OF THE BLOODIEST BATTLES IN THE PACIFIC THEATER OF WWII

It was photographs and video scenes of American casualties lining the beach that would stun the American people in the aftermath of the Battle of Tarawa. Imagery of significant casualties floating in the surf disturbed the public, setting into motion public protest and angry letters from families mourning loved ones lost in battle.

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“THE PRESIDENT’S OWN” REMEMBERS GEORGE H. W. BUSH

As the nation mourns the passing of one its finest patriots, current and former members of the Marine Band remember President George H. W. Bush as a man whose love of music and uncommon graciousness elevated the unique relationship between the Chief Executive and “The President’s Own.”

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Farewell & RIP President George H. W. Bush

As I sit here watching the state funneral of President George H.W. Bush, I’m reminded of a very brief enconter with the man when he was Vice President in the spring of 1984. I was on the staff of USCentCom as the Operational Comm Chief of the J-6 Directorate and was assigned as the project officer for the DOD/FEMA Exercise Night Train. This exercise senerio involved a nuclear laydown by the Soviet Union on the United States and the reconstitution of the government after such a catastrophy. It was the first time that DOD and FEMA had worked directly on such an exercise and evidently Vice President Bush had a keen interest in it. Normally a field-grade officer would have beenUS assigned such a project, but we were short of field-grades, and USCentCom was a minor player, so USAF BGen Sam Greene J-6 assigned me. It was day two of the exercise, the laydown had occured and we were doing our morning brief to the CINC and staff. Just as I took the dais to brief comm status, from the back of the auditorium I heard, “Atten-hut!” and down the aisle strode the CINC, LTG Robert Kingston and Vice President Bush. They took their seats and the CINC nodded to me, and I began to give the status of satellite comms available when I was interupted by the Vice President saying, “Err, excuse me sergeant! Do you mean to say we still have satellites working after the laydown and subsequent electro magnetic pulse (EMP).” It was like a kick in the chest, so I gulped and glanced at my boss, Gen Greene, who gave me a nod. Gen Greene and I had disscussed this, because neither of us agreed with the Pentagon staff that satellites would not be burned out by the EMP. But the Pentagon had decided that if we lost all the satellites we would’nt be able to conduct an exercise, so lets pretend that they were OK. I explained this to VP Bush and waited for the onslaught. He simple asked if I thought we should practice war the we would have to fight it, and I agreed. He then said, “We’ll see about this!” So we finished the briefing and returned to the crisis action center. Within and hour we received a flash message from DOD that all satellites were gone, except one which had been hardened prior to launch. I remember feeling vindicated because the VP’s feelings mirrored my own, but as a minor player MSgt I didn’t have power to correct it, but as the Vice President he did, and he did something which made the exercise a little harded, but much more realistic. I mostly remember that when he spoke to me he didn’t speak down, but as an equal who had information that he needed to make a decision and he appreciated that. From that point on I always had the greatest admiration and respect for him, and as an independent voter was honored to cast my ballot for him in the 1988 presidential campagin. I retired from the U.S, Marine Corps later that year, but in 1990 when planning for and execution of Desert Shield and Desert Storm, I was one of the first to volunteer for reactivation because I knew that if we were being led by President Bush it would be done right. As with the lose of my own father who had fought in WWII a few years ago, I am saddended by the loss of those of The Greatest Generation, and hope that us Baby Boomers and others can continue his work. He will be sorely missed, May he rest in peace! With greatest respect, Edd Prothro, MSgt USMC Ret 1964-1984

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Christmas At The Bridge: 1968

Christmas Eve 1968, while at the Liberty Bridge compound,about 1800 We were sitting around playing some “back alley bridge” when our platoon sgt walked into the hooch and said that he had a gift for us.From behind his back he pulled out a bottle of what turned out to be Jack Daniels (Maybe Jim Beam don’t know for sure anymore) I Had to go on watch at 2000 on the perimeter.Took one sip and thought ,at the time,that was it.I had the watch in the 50. Cal.bunker with 2 other guys and it was getting close to the end of my watch when off in the distance, on the other side of the river, toward the location of the “Alamo” , red and green cluster pop-ups were being shot off.There was no gunfire so we assumed it was to celebrate the Holiday.Someone on our line decided to return the same ,much to the dismay of the OD.I returned to the hooch just a little past midnight I thought everyone was asleep then I heard some one say “Hey Har we saved you a shot it’s sitting buy your rack” found it in my cup next to my rack ,smelled it first , shot it down said “Merry Christmas” and went to sleep . Just one of many memories that return from time to time. Harry

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Funny How You Never Forget

Early 1967, I arrived at the An Hoa Combat Base from FLC (Fork Lift Command) at Red Beach, attached to the LSU (Logistic Support Unit). One of the first nights there, I attended the outdoor movies that were famous, or infamous, for showing war movies especially from the TV series “Combat”. There I sat watching the make-believe combat scenes on the movie screen while just a few hundred yards outside the perimeter real-life fire fights were taking place. We’d watch as our tracers crisscrossed with theirs. Strangest thing, the grunts sitting on the ground watching the war movies would break out in cheers when our tracers (I think) would engage the bad guys.

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