Pay Their Dues

Pay Their Dues
SITREP From Machete Alpha 6

(March 1995, Military magazine, PO Box 189490, Sacramento, CA, 95818)

The other day I had occasion to think about an old friend of mine, Major (Chaplain) Aloysius P. McGonigal…I’m not kidding, that was his real name. Father McGonigal with his real name. Father McGonigal with his smile and wonderful Irish brogue could have played Barry Fitzgerald’s part in a remake of an old Bing Crosby movie about Catholic priests. In combat he was one of those chaplains who had a calling to be with the troops…out where the body bags are filled…where that old saying “there are no atheists in the trenches,” means something…but that’s another story. He loved the troops…but never try to BS him.

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Patriotic Poetry dedicated to those who Protect Us

For our Protectors
by: Wendy Wirth
Poet and admirer of all who protect us
Ames, IA

Sgt Grit:
I just read your newsletter and would like to comment on Michelle Christman?s letter. I totally agree with her about the WWII memorial. I went to Washington, D.C. on the 9th of May. Even though this was to be my 3rd time visiting, I had never gone to any of the memorials. I had read that the WWII memorial was open somewhere, though my parents and brother kept insisting it wasn?t. On the 8th we went out there and I dragged them around the huge wall that surrounds the Washington Monument to the WWII memorial, and I was right it was open. It was a unique experience, I have the tendency to stop and let my eyes take things in, I seem to remember more that way. After we walked around the whole memorial, and saw the pillar for Iowa (my home state) we walked up the reflecting pool to the Lincoln Monument. On the way there we stopped at two more memorials. I?m not sure what the first one was called, it was round, sort of resembling the Jefferson, very cool, I happened to see it because I glanced over at a certain time. I don?t know why, I think it was God who wanted me to see it. The next one we stopped at was the Korean War Memorial, also very moving. On our way to a place to eat we stopped at the Vietnam Memorial, the Wall, as we were walking past it, we got the chance to view a crew inscribing a new name into it, it was an experience, I don?t actually have the words for it at the moment. I?d like to include a poem I wrote on my way back to the hotel that I believe my moving experience at the memorials helped me write.

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Untitled – by C/PO1 A.S.

by C/PO1 A.S.

A shadow of uncertainty overwhelmes my thoughts,
Stories of courage make it hard to swallow,
Tales of love lost brings tears to my eyes,
And in the end my life will follow.
I have waited to call it my own for years And soon I will have my chance To join the Few and the Proud Even though my family rants.
People before me have served their time
And though not all have come home,
They can all call themselves Marines
Without a trace of regret shown.
Soon I will be among them,
A leader leading the best.
Taking the baton from those before
Who are taking an unwilling rest.
I will make them all proud,
Proud of what they fought for,
So they it it wasn't in vain,
The freedom which they died for.

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You know the saying “every Marine is a rifleman,” well I am proof of it. I was stationed at Canp Pend. in Feb 1968 as a truck mechanic (3516), Tet was in full bloom. When the 27th Marines were sent to Viet Nam, I went along, as a grunt. From a mechanic to a grunt in a couple of hours. What a lot of people didn’t know was that the men of the 3rd Bn 27th Marines in Nam were mostly of non-grunt MOS’s. But that didn’t stop us from doing our jobs. One of our Marines was awarded the MOH, his name was Robert Burke(I believe he is the youngest person to win the MOH in Viet Nam)

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My Marine – With Strength and Courage

My Marine
Kayla Judge

With strength and courage
He spends every single day
Fighting for our country
In many different ways

He stands guard with his rifle,
Not knowing what to expect
He has left behing his old life
Without any regrets

Daily prayers are said each night
To keep this loved one out of fright.
For he has gone so far from home
Always feeling as if he is alone

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Lost But Not Forgotten

Lost But Not Forgotten
By Donna Hammerbacher

Memories linger in the mind,
Recalling time gone by;
Deeds of good, some of bad,
All captured with a sigh.

I see him moving as in a cloud,
Tall and confident;
His essence bright I shield my eyes,
I know not where he went.

The door bell sounds and brings me back,
I recognize the dress;
Two uniforms pristine and proud,
Brothers of the best.

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The Hardest Job

Sgt. Grit,

I noticed that you have posted a few poems about Marines and Marine familys i wrote this before basic and never showed it to my mother i would greatly apreciate it if it was posted thank you.

Cpl. Lasse Larsen

The Hardest Job
by Cpl Lasse Larsen

This is mom her job is the toughest in the world.
She is a millitary mother.
Everyday she is strong.
She waits for her boy who may not come home.
Her job is to be strong when I call home.
Cuz its mom that I called when I was scared.
Mom that was there when I broke my arm.
She taught me how to be a man.
How to hold my wife and raise my girls.
To hold my head high.
To love my country and never back down.
She taught me its OK to cry to the pledge.
She is my mom and I do this for her.
For I have learned what mom really means.
Its Mother Of Marine.
SEMPER-FI!! To my M.O.M.

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A Different Christmas Poem – Embers Glowed

A Different Christmas Poem
Provided by LCDR Jeff Giles

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

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Happy Birthday in Heaven

JANUARY 24, 1940-NOVEMBER 9, 2006

When ocean breezes drift my way
I feel and smell the salty spray.
Life afirming-a gift from the sea
it brings our lord so near to me.
I feel his power in the ocean roar,
in sun splashed waves that pound the shore.
I see his face where ocean meets sky, where sunset burns brightly-God’s all seeing eye.

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