I remember one JOB in particular. It was in the wooden Barracks at MCAS El Toro Santa Ana. This was in 1969, it seems as though you were either coming from, or going to RVN. There were many old salts waiting to go home. Some of which had only a pair of utilities, and a new set of greens, receiving early outs to go home for Christmas. The majority were coming from 3rd Marine Division. PFC Kenneth Rexford Brown, formerly Sgt. Brown showed me how to pull your blankets tighter from underneath the rack, by using the springs. Of course we learned that in recruit training but KR had a trick that made the blanket tighter still and even remained that way. I believe KR got out and went to WalaWala Washington. I remember that many of the Marines were “cut a huss” for not having the proper uniforms. I can remember the inspecting Colonel coming closer and approaching a Marine that was obviously not prepared for inspection. He would ask where are coming from Marine? The Marine would reply something almost incoherent, and definitely a different language. The Colonel only said “well done Marine” and continued his inspection. That was definitely one of those days when I knew I had been in the presence of heroes. That evening we celebrated by putting a poncho liner inside a footlocker filling that with ice and beer, and listening to Johnny Cash and Luther played the boogy woogy. The party was great until the OD made us take our shindig outside the barracks. After paying for the beer, ice, and a battery operated record player the only record we could afford was albums on sale in the PX. Johnny sold for .99 and a pack of Camels for .27 cents. I remember Friday morning formation, when Captain Wade, Mustanger and one of the greatest Marines to put on a uniform would read off the names of Marines shipping out WESPAK. I remember Sgt Joe Dunlap our Platoon Sgt. in El Toro. I saw him again in Hawaii as GySgt Dunlap and I was a SSGT. We were mounting up for Operation Frequent Wind. I remember being “gigged” while on embassy duty in Chile for having dust on my wall locker display. Even with that “gig” we won the detachment of the year award. 3 Years Running. I mean RUNNING our NCOIC SSGT Turnbow had been a Physical Fitness Instructor prior to coming on MSG. That guy made us run like Forrest Gump. Like Forrest, my running days are over. Our memories and Junk on the Bunk are what make us ALWAYS A MARINE. Semper Fi D. Womack
MARINE OF THE WEEK // “I looked down, and a lot of my right leg wasn’t there.”
Lance Cpl. Brady A. Gustafson
2d Battalion, 7th Marines – HAVOC, Marine Corps Forces, Central Command
July 21, 2008
In the village of Shewan, Afghanistan, Lance Corporal Gustafson’s squad was ambushed from multiple positions by enemy insurgents with rocket-propelled grenades and medium machine gun fire. The attack was initiated by a rocket-propelled grenade that pierced the hull of his Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle and struck him, resulting in severe traumatic injury to his right leg. Despite bleeding profusely, Lance Corporal Gustafson quickly identified enemy positions and engaged them with accurate fire from his M-240B machine gun while a tourniquet was applied to his leg. When the vehicle to their rear was disabled by further rocket-propelled grenade fire, he directed his driver to push the vehicle out of the enemy’s kill zone, and shortly thereafter the vehicle was engulfed in flames. Although medium machine gun fire continued to impact around him, Lance Corporal Gustafson remained steadfast, returning concentrated fire on the enemy. His effective suppression allowed the Marines behind him to safely dismount and exit their burning vehicle. Lance Corporal Gustafson braved the effects of shock and reloaded his weapon twice, firing more than 400 rounds, before he allowed himself to be pulled from the turret and receive medical treatment. By his bold actions, daring initiative, and total devotion to duty, Lance Corporal Gustafson reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
The Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller
starts the Washington Nationals game by throwing the opening pitch.
This game is devoted to honoring our corps, country and families.
Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or Submit your own Story !
Sgt. William W. Rollins
2d Battalion, 7th Marines – HAVOC, Marine Corps Forces, Central Command
Balkh Province, Afghanistan
June 19, 2008
Award: Silver Star
Enemy fighters ambushed Sergeant Rollins’ squad with a high volume of machine gun and rocket propelled grenade fire from multiple prepared positions. With the majority of his squad pinned down by the accurate enemy fires, Sergeant Rollins rushed to within 30 meters of the enemy positions, in the face of almost certain death, and provided suppressive fire which allowed his men to escape the immediate ambush area. Once his Marines withdrew, Sergeant Rollins courageously maneuvered through enemy fire to rejoin his squad where he continued to attack the enemy while the wounded Marines were extracted. Then, with enemy fire still impacting around him, Sergeant Rollins dragged a Marine casualty to safety. Sergeant Rollins aggressive actions in the face of the enemy drew fire onto his own position and provided his squad the reprieve they needed to maneuver to safety. Sergeant Rollins bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
(Photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah Anderson)
The American flag, when borne on the shoulder patch of an active-duty soldier, is supposed to be reversed, says Timothy Mangolds.
“It’s supposed to commemorate (that) you’re always running toward battle” with the flag appearing as if it’s flowing behind you, explains the 27-year old who served in the Army from 2009 to 2012.
Cpl. Richard Weinmaster
2d Battalion, 7th Marines, Marine Corps Forces, Central Command (Forward)
Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan
July 8, 2008
Award: Navy Cross
Then-Private First Class Weinmaster’s squad was conducting a dismounted patrol down a narrow side street when enemy forces ambushed the squad with machine gun fire and hand grenades. Upon contact, Private First Class Weinmaster immediately began engaging the enemy positions with his squad automatic weapon. As he delivered suppressive fire and assaulted the enemy, encountering a withering volume of fire that passed within meters of his position, Private First Class Weinmaster saw two hand grenades tossed over a wall land in the middle of his patrol. Noting where one of the grenades landed, he quickly placed himself between the grenade and his fire team leader, using his body to shield both his team leader and several other Marines from the blast, which occurred immediately. Private first Class Weinmaster was seriously injured when the grenade detonated, but his valorous actions prevented his fire team leader from receiving any shrapnel. Although he was critically wounded, Private First Class Weinmaster continued to carry on the attack, engaging enemy forces with accurate automatic weapons fire and forcing them to break contact, until he collapsed from the gravity of his wounds. By his outstanding display of decisive action, unlimited courage in the face of extreme danger, and total dedication to duty, Private First Class Weinmaster reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Sgt. Rafael Peralta
1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, Regimental Combat Team 7, 1st Marine Division
Fallujah, Iraq, November 15 2004
Award: Navy Cross (Posthumously)
Clearing scores of houses in the previous three days, Sergeant Peralta asked to join an under-strength squad and volunteered to stand post the night of 14 November, allowing fellow Marines more time to rest. The following morning, during search and attack operations, while clearing the seventh house of the day, the point man opened a door to a back room and immediately came under intense, close-range automatic weapons fire from multiple insurgents. The squad returned fire, wounding one insurgent. While attempting to maneuver out of the line of fire, Sergeant Peralta was shot and fell mortally wounded. After the initial exchange of gunfire, the insurgents broke contact, throwing a fragmentation grenade as they fled the building. The grenade came to rest near Sergeant Peralta’s head. Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, Sergeant Peralta reached out and pulled the grenade to his body, absorbing the brunt of the blast and shielding fellow Marines only feet away. Sergeant Peralta succumbed to his wounds. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Sergeant Peralta reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
A top Navy admiral acknowledged Sunday that the destroyer Fitzgerald was in danger of sinking after a catastrophic collision off the coast of Japan Saturday and was saved by the “heroic efforts” of her crew that “had to fight very hard to keep the ship afloat.”
Marines with Bravo Company, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion practiced handling and firing the M320 grenade launcher module at Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 6.
2nd CEB is one of the first Marine Corps units to be issued the M320, which has already been in use by the U.S. Army.
I was with 7th Comm. Battalion on hill 10, just outside Dogpatch, Christmas 1967. We all made plans to see Bob Hope at Freedom Hill. We were looking forward to all the “Eye Candy” he would bring to our part of the world. We made the trip along with about twenty thousand other swinging D-cks. We were so far up the side of that mountain all we could see was Mr. Hope’s red baseball cap.