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Welcome to our Marine Corps Newsletter archives. Read our patriotic stories of American courage sent in to us by Marines and their families. Enjoy!

Sgt Grit American Courage Newsletter #38

"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid."

Ronald Reagan

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New Items!

Well, well, about those Frenchmen, Germans, and N. Koreans. I have put together a few items to commemorate the recent events.
T-shirt sizes S-XXXL

Bumper Sticker

New Survey!

Survey Question: What do you think of France and Germany?

"Going to war without the French is like going to Thanksgiving dinner without your mother-in-law."
"Going to war without the French is like...well...World War II."

Submitted by: many of you

I wish the French would have the same attitude that England has about standing by our side on Iraq. When I look at all Military Cemeteries on the net - I feel like they forgot about all the lives lost giving them their Freedom back. Talk about a short memory.


My husband is a Sgt in the Corps and right now he's in transit to Kuwait. No one wants war but I don't want this country to treat it's service members terribly like they did in Vietnam either. Better us over there than them coming over here I say! I think people my age are a bunch of pampered sissies living in a dream world. They want things all peachy keen. I knew nothing about the military or the Corps but being married to a Marine sure woke me up! I'm soooo glad I'm not one of them! I'm just waiting for someone to say something to me! Errrrr!

Prayers to ALL service members young and old!
A. Aparicio Proud Marine Wife Of Sgt. L. R. Aparicio, Jr. "Sgt. A.P." (96-Present)

"There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war."

--George Washington

Sgt Grit, I know that the vast majority of our military personnel and their families have the greatest morale in the world. Sometimes though, when we see things in the paper and on TV about demonstrators and people who protest our coming actions, we feel a little under-appreciated. When I was in Vietnam and when I came back and went to college I was pretty disheartened by a lot of the stuff I saw. Got into quite a few fights over the term "baby killer" and pretty much was considered a hard case by most of the kids I knew. For quite some time I was bitter. But I have a little story that may give you some hope for all those Americans who oppose you though you go to fight for them.

I work for the Govt now and I have a lot of Marine Corps stuff in my work area. One day, a few days after the troops went into Afghanistan, a guy came up to my work area and asked me if I had been in Vietnam. I pointed to my Sgt Grit bumper sticker about University of Viet Nam, School of Warfare, and told him proudly that I had been there. He then looked down for a moment and then looked back up at me and said "I want to apologize to you and thank you for fighting so that I could live in peace." As my mouth hung open and I looked at him in shocked silence he told me that he had been a war protestor in the 60's and had even spit on service men when he saw them. He said it took him until 9-11 to realize what America was all about and the necessity to fight to protect it. He then shook my hand and walked away. He's been back several times to ask me about things in the military and he really is trying to understand the thoughts of someone who loves their country enough to go fight for it.

I hope that some day, a former war protestor will come up to you and apologize and thank you for going out to protect them and their children. Steve Eslin
Pvt to 1st 1966-1978

Dear Marines,
Today, I received another e-mail from a very close friend, an Officer in your "Corps". Unrepentantly, he ships out tomorrow.

In 52 years, I was raised and trained in the love/respect of your Marine Corps, by family and your fellow Marines. Have seen so many ship out over the years, and unfortunately, a few didn't come home. But during the last few years, I guess I have gotten a bit to close to many, and my father warned me years ago to continue to support you, help in all ways possible, but do not get close as I would get hurt. I have known this Marine for years that is shipping out, just like so many. He has supported me so much to help younger Marines. Met his wife and he has a large family. He is one "fine" Marine. I fully realize that we are going into a fight and I am just here sitting on my butt. But I can say one thing, Something that I most strongly feel. You each, are the "backbone" of America, and for 227 plus years now, you have never failed. The Marine Corps has always made America proud. And I pity those poor "sob's" in Iraq when the Marines roll in. And the World will see, that the United States Marine Corps is still alive an well, and they will continue to fear the thought of Marines being sent to their Country if needed by America. That famous term, "Send In The Marines" will still continue to strike fear in all. I wish to add, that our President and the people of this great Country support you each. Every day, I meet so many civilians whom not just worry about what you might have to do, but most importantly, they are most "Proud" of you and our Nation. This makes me so proud. Fore, America seems to be swinging back to supporting our Armed Services, and you, the United States Marine Corps. Do me one little favor, when you see a Marine called back to "active duty" pull a "Chesty" trick. Holler at the Marine, "Hey Ol' Man, welcome back". And if the Marine is shipping out, Holler, "Hey Ol' Man, you take care of that mess quickly". "Chesty" always called his Enlisted and NCO's, if he didn't know them; "Ol' Man". A sign of respect. I truly respect you each. I know that you all will perform to the highest standards of the United States Marine Corps. God Bless. We are proud of you in serving our Nation, the United States of America.

Semper Fi

"One legislator accused me of having a 19th century attitude on law and order. That is a totally false charge. I have an 18th century attitude. That is when the Founding Fathers made it clear that the safety of law abiding citizens should be one of government's primary concerns."

--Ronald Reagan

"We saw it in Hitler's Germany. We saw it in the Soviet Union. We saw it in Cambodia, and eventually we will see it in Cuba. And once Saddam fails and falls, the Iraqi people will shock and disgust the world by revealing the full, ghastly scope of Saddam's oppression."

--House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

Hi Sergeant Grit,

For those Americans and other Nationals who do not understand why Iraq must be stopped immediately, I offer this short but (hopefully) simple analogy.

Your neighbor across the street and down a ways is suspected of building pipe bombs and amassing large quantities of ammonia and chlorine bleach to make some gas, and it is suspected that he also has some kind of germs he plans to spread around. You have not seen these pipe bombs or other things yourself, but reliable neighborhood kids say they have seen them, and once the bombing neighbor even gassed his own kid for being late mowing the lawn.

According to some Americans and others, you should NOT call the police to go in there and take away his "toys" BEFORE he uses them to blow up the neighborhood but you should wait until your children have boils and blisters all over their bodies to "prove" he has the bio stuff, and you hear large explosions all over your neighborhood and see body parts flying before you call the police to go in there and take care of this mad bomber neighbor. I hope the ones saying this are the ones whose arms and legs are doing the flying, and it is THEIR children with the boils and blisters, not mine. I am for calling the police RIGHT NOW and letting them go in and take the bombs and bio and chemical stuff away BEFORE he uses them, and not AFTER. Proof?? Didn't he gas his own kid? How much more proof do you need.

Dan Dye,
USMC, then and forever

"[President Bush's] critics demand a smoking gun [before attacking Iraq], but the problem with waiting till one is found is that a smoking gun has just been fired. It will be too late."

--Paul Greenberg

"Iraqis Call Shuttle Disaster God's Vengeance."
Saddam is about to get a lesson in VENGEANCE!!


Sgt. Grit.

I am looking for help from your readers. I am a college student who has to write a term paper I have chosen to write on Why the United States must go to war with Iraq. My paper is due May 15, 2003. I am looking to your readers to tell me why they think we should or should not get into a war with Iraq. If you could please post this in your next newsletter and have those wonderful readers of your e-mail me their own opinions I would greatly appreciate it.
My e-mail is
semper fi!

"Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent. Selected from the rest of mankind, their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at Large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed in the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions."

- From Common Sense by Thomas Paine, 1776

Dr. Phillip B. Hill
Cpl, USMC 1953 - 1956
Korea 1954 - 1955


In response to Mark Stewart
Maybe you have just a little to much dust left on your "brain housing group." Did you by chance think that the reason the stock market is down is because of what happened on September 11th? Did you by chance see how far the stock market dropped after it reopened? Probably not. Because if you did then you would realize why unemployment is up. Companies are trying to save money. And what is one of the quickest ways of doing this? By laying people off. You say you supported President Bush's father in the Gulf War. What do you think that was all about? And in case you have forgotten, when in the US military you are required to follow your "Commander-in-Chief" or get out. Nothing else.

All I know is I will continue to serve my country till I am no longer capable. I am definitely not in it for the money. If I was I would not have reenlisted. I am very proud to be an American. Always have and always will be. To the older and wiser Marines and other service members. I am glad to see so many of you with fight still in you.

Matthew L. Clark Sgt (Oct 1998-Present, Active)
MCAS Beaufort, MAG-31

Those of you that have known me for a while know that I fly our Nation's Standard 24/7, lighted at night on a 18 foot flagpole attached to my house. I have been doing this for the better part of twenty years. Before that I usually flew the Flag only on holidays. Finances have allowed me to add the light and replace the Flag every four to six months as needed. On Marine holidays I would also fly our Corps Colors. Today I raised a new Marine Corps flag to also fly 24/7 in support of our Marines and their efforts on our behalf. I suspect no one will notice but me, and other Marines, and that's ok. I know. May God bless all of our Armed Forces, especially the Marines while they are deployed in harm's way and help them obtain a swift and decisive victory without the political b.s. that usually interferes. May they also come home safely, and soon.
Semper Fidelis,
Mike LaBozzetta
Sunrise, Florida
Cpl 1964-'67

"National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman."

--John Adams

Hi Sgt. Grit.
My Son, a Marine, was deployed from Miramar to Kuwait the morning of the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia. We watched a couple of minutes of CNN in another Marine's room just as we were leaving for the armory to pick up his weapon. It struck me wrong, I guess, during this difficult time for any parent (PROUD but nervous) that the news was calling the astronauts "heroes". They certainly have "guts" to get in that thing but I know tons of people who would go in a minute for a ride in the shuttle (risk and all) but are not willing to consider joining (or encouraging their kids to join) the Marines!

There's more to "hero" than guts. It takes guts to jump off the high dive the first time. It takes guts to ride a bull for 8 seconds (or less). If the bull throws the rider and he is unfortunately killed, would he be called a hero? Absolutely not!

I'm not really saying my son is a hero and they aren't. I'm just saying they aren't. I hope my son doesn't have to be, but I'm sure it's in him!

Thank God for my Marine and all Marines.
God Bless America and God bring them all home.
Stephen L. Howell
Half the man of my Son
San Diego, CA

Killed by accident....22
Flags at half-mast for them......0

[P]ower still matters.
More precisely, economic power is not a replacement for military power. Lest we forget, Kuwait's economic wealth did not protect it from the predatory Saddam Hussein; quite the opposite. Nor was the Iraqi dictator finally driven from Kuwait because his GNP was smaller than that of the U.S., Britain or Japan. It is not the industrial productivity of democracies that is feared by ... armed bandits ... but the kill rates of their gunships."

--Ronald Reagan

Well I never thought I would write to the Marines. But I thought you should know my 2 sons are Marines as their father also was. So you see I have a lot to be proud of. My oldest son has already spent 5 years in this wonderful military and now is younger brother has just left for boot camp so my house is very quiet now as they are all grown up and doing what they want, and I could not be prouder of them for there choice. My son is a Sgt and he loved every minute he has been in the Marines as I am sure his brother will also. So thanks for taking two great kids and making them better men.

a very proud Mom

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I am a freshman at Port Angeles High School in Port Angeles Washington. I am currently enrolled in a NJROTC unit here and a guy I personally know who was an Officer in the unit and CO just returned from Marine boot camp and says he is probably going to war but we in NJROTC know that it's not maybe it's he's going because he's a mechanic and wherever the hummvee's go the mechanics go so wish to up a prayer to all the Marine who will go and to all service men and women God Bless the Marines and God Bless America from Adam Konrad and all NJROTC members of NJROTC Roughrider Company Port Angeles Washington.
Semper Fi

As my only child sits at Pendleton with his recently activated reserve unit, I was able to reflect on how my father must have felt when his only child left for Vietnam 37 years ago.




Send Saddam (shoeshine boy) Hussein an Email and let him know what you think.
Dan Hubbell




It tore my heart out to hear that he had to give up his truck because it was vandalized and spat upon. Sometimes I think that we Marines and Patriots from the 20th century are from a time gone.... that the world and America no longer has the same values. I pray that such is not true. Sgt. Grit, I enjoy your site. Keep the faith.

Semper Fi.
Bob Simoneau, USMC VietNam 66, 67,68

Show your support.....sign-in.

To Ray McKinley: Ray, my brother, you were there in the past wars, so were we all. For we are the seeds of our fathers, brothers, cousins, uncles, grandfathers who fought, some of whom were wounded, some of whom died, all of whom suffered. You were there just like Patton was at the battle of Thermopile, and countless battles down through the ages.

You were spared this battle because you were there and indeed the almighty father has spared you for a reason and you are fulfilling his objective even now. For in visiting those past battles, and hearing the sounds of war and seeing the suffering, indeed the feelings of war, you are tearing up because you know what these brave warriors went through because you have been there, will be there and in fulfilling the Father's wishes will communicate not only the futility, the hurt, and the suffering but the honor, integrity, commitment, courage of those that fought there.

You see Ray, you are the instrument chosen to help bring the message to all warriors, past, present and future so that the long line of Marines will continue on into the future. So that no matter what politicians may do to abridge past promises made to Veterans, there will always be a few, proud, Marines to serve because they have always served, are serving, and always will be.

So tear up Ray when you walk those hallowed grounds as I have, as countless others before us have. There is nothing to be ashamed of, quite the contrary. Semper Fi, Ray

Richard E. Nygaard SSGT USMC 1953-1963

"History tends to judge harshly those who saw all the warning signs and had the chance to act, but failed to do so."

--Rachel Marsden

Just one of the problems with all of those goofs who are protesting this country's military policies is their lack of commitment. In your last newsletter, you quoted a London news source as stating that 60 war protesters were en route to Iraq to act as human shields in the event that the U.S. & her allies went to war against Iraq.

60? There are hundreds of war protesters here, in this country alone, who should be more than willing to follow this nitwit O'Keefe to Iraq! O'Keefe says he wants 10,000. I say there should be more! This type of action thins the herd of stupidity and should be encouraged for the good of those who love this country and what it stands for! I would suggest that O'Keefe and his group of loons start looking for more fodder at this country's university campuses. What kind of leadership skills are the faculty of these institutions showing if they're not in the first wave of those getting to Iraq to act as human shields? If these faculty members are serious about how committed they are to their anti-war feelings, they should have no difficulty sacrificing themselves for the "good" of their cause.

How quickly all of these moron protesters forget about 9/11. Shame on them all.

Rich Cervenka
L/Cpl - USMC - 1969-71
Chicago, IL, USA

Sgt. Grit,

I am writing in response to Mark Stewart and his brain housing group. Isn't the freedom of speech the greatest gift of all? To think you could be that negative in Iraq! I'LL TELL YOU WHAT MAGGOT, Marines do what their Nation needs them to do. Just like my brother did in another unpopular war called "Vietnam." My wife and I both served our Corps, and so does our son, our only child. So please, don't be so negative, and support our brothers and sisters wearing the emblem we helped protect.

3 Sergeants 1 L/CPL that didn't make it.

In response to Sgt Mark Stewart's attack on President Bush I MUST disagree. Granted there is plenty of room for disagreement, but Sgt Stewart (Ret) needs to be less invective and more observant. Mark, I hope will read this and respond. This is NOT a personal attack on you or your patriotism. You categorized yourself as a lifelong democrat. That's fine, but this is not about political affiliation whether on the left or right side of the aisle. Like you I was raised a democrat. Both my parents were democrats. My mom still is a labor union, big government, republicans-are-evil democrat. When I was about thirty-two years old I began to view the political process differently. My right of self-determination free of government intrusion to shape my destiny emerged. The circumstances surrounding this metamorphosis are of little consequence. You and I and other free thinking Americans cannot tailor our political views upon regimes which regard us as domesticated cattle raised for their own profit.

Although I'm a registered Republican, I've voted occasionally for a worthy democrat. My political views are conservative. By that I mean, I believe in myself. I am not defined by another's value as to what I might do for them. To earn my vote or patronage the request must come from the heart AND the head. If I may paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, "citizens should be disciplined through sound education not simply an intention to do right". Over these many years I've reread the books I should have committed to memory as a younger student of history. This compels me to watch Europe with guarded resolve. One cannot ignore the terror of Europe, its wars, its failures. MAYBE ... just maybe the president had it right. Old Europe must reinvent itself from the ashes of its ruined history. They simply are not paying attention or lack the courage to take on the bully. Europe's reluctance to again not stand the moral high ground and stop tyranny reaffirms their selfish and insular political climate. Let us continue the discourse. Please go back and reread "The Federalist Papers", "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine, and anything and everything Thomas Jefferson wrote. These exchanges MUST be intellectually sound and honest. Stop with the name calling.

Mike Watson, Sgt of Marines E-2/7
RVN 1967-68 "Semper Fidelis"

Well all the moms have written in about their sons so here I go. My son joined the Marines in May, 2001 on the delayed entry program and left for boot camp in January, 2002, 4 months after 9-11. I was wishing he could change his mind because I suspected what was coming but he never wavered in his decision. He graduated in April, 2002 from MCRD, San Diego and my husband, my sons girlfriend, my sons best friend and myself all flew down for 3 days. I maxed out every credit card I own but it was the best money I have ever spent. I was never so proud of my son, that was until this last December when he came home for Christmas. He showed up at church on Sunday morning, as I expected, but he had purchased his dress blues and everyone in the family knew but me. It was to be my surprise. I have never seen anything so drop dead gorgeous as he was walking across that parking lot. When he walked in the door I ran up, hugged him and said "give your mom a kiss' and under his breath he said "mom stop" but I got my kiss. One of the ladies in the church laughed and said only a mother could get away with that. We spent 13 wonderful days with him and had a great time. Last Sunday the 26th he shipped out, to where I have no ideal, I'm just waiting to hear from him. And its really hard not knowing where he is. So please keep my son and all sons & daughters in your prayers as they head out to protect us. But also keep us parents in your prayers because this is tough. I write him almost every day because I never want him to think he's been forgotten and want him to know how very much I love and miss him. I do get upset because all the news talks about is the army but my son says that the marines will go over and do all the work and the army will come in and clean up the mess.

Debbie Hailey, Bartlesville, OK
Very Proud Mom of
PFC. Torriono A. Hailey, 29 Palms, CA

Hey Sgt Grit,
Your most recent newsletter will be the last one I read for three months, as I am leaving for recruit training at MCRDSD on Monday. I just wanted to say that I really love reading the newsletter and eagerly anticipate the day that I will read it as a Marine. Unfortunately, for now I must unsubscribe.
Rick Morris

Hey Sgt. Grit...I'm leaving tomorrow to Camp LeJuene before we head out over to Kuwait....keep us in your prayers...God Bless America!

Sgt. Siders Jr. Vernon U.S.M.C.
6TH Communications Btn

I am a Captain - a mobilized reservist currently working at Central Command in Tampa. This morning on my way to the gym, I heard on 970 WFLA AM that spouses (I.D'd by Stickers and Clothing etc..) of Deployed Marines are being harassed both physically and verbally by the "Peace" protestors in California...have you heard anything about this?

I would appreciate you putting word of this in the newsletter and passing the word that it's happening. Maybe Marines staying back, and other Former Marines can help put a stop to this... I know if I ever saw anyone doing this, they would have a painful rest of the day. I can speak from first hand experience as a father and husband that my wife is having a tough enough time with me gone already.

Sean Cary
Capt. USMC

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

--John Adams

Encore from President George Bush's SOTU: "With nuclear arms ... Saddam Hussein could resume his ambitions.... Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qa'ida. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists.... It would take just one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known."

The Federalist


I've read the newsletter for some years now and been entertained, humbled, saddened and so on. But until now I've never been enraged. Part of me wonders why in the world you ever put the letters from Moore and Stewart in there. Obviously I don't know; but I speculate that maybe you wanted to show us how confused this country is - even inactive Marines (though I sincerely hope both of these are imposters). Anyway . . .

I'd like to respond to ex-Corporal Dan Moore and ex-Sgt. Mark Stewart (newsletter #37) who profess their grave doubts about the pressure we are currently putting on Hussain and the possibility that we may attack Iraq. WHAT MARINE CORPS DO YOU PROFESS TO BE VETERANS OF? The Corps that I joined in '61 knew the difference between right and wrong as did the United States.

Mr. Stewart, your "brain housing group" appears, sadly, to have been horribly clouded by democrat/liberal BS! You've bought in to the "it's all about oil" garbage and 'Saddam can't even fart without our knowing it'. Grow up!

And Mr. Moore, do you REALLY think that those inspectors are going to be able to find weapons in Iraq, which I understand is about the size of California? Does anyone remember how many Marines it took to find and root out the Japanese on tiny Pacific Islands? How many Americans it took to try to root out the Viet Cong from the tunnels? A chemical or biological weapon need be no larger than a 105 round - pretty darned easy to hide. How, exactly, are we to demonstrate proof?

Let me suggest something to you. I guess, Mr. Stewart, that you long for the day when Slick Willie and his once-time hippie band ran the country. We could lob a couple of million dollar missiles over to an Iraqi tent, hit a camel in the bu** and call ourselves guardians of democracy. Well it didn't work, folks and that's why the world is in the fix it's in now.

In case you missed it, radical Islam declared WAR on civilization a number of years ago. WAR - as in dead innocents! Please go to one of the many websites about 9/11 and take another look! Ever hear of Pearl Harbor? The New York City attack was WORSE - and it was against innocent civilians. THAT is proof! And remember, Muslims tried to destroy the WTC over a decade ago! Had those subterranean bombs had their intended effect, knocking down the towers, there would have been 50 or 60 thousand dead.

How many Imam's must preach from their pulpits that it's good to die while killing infidels (meaning us, folks) for it to be proof? How many suicide bombers must kill how many innocents for it to be proof? What more proof do you need? Are you going to wait for 10,000 dead in Chicago? 20,000 dead in Miami or Atlanta?

Read the international news. It appears beyond dispute that Saddam, i.e. Iraq, is paying the families of suicide bombers a reward for their actions. Terrorist cells are being caught here, in Britain, Italy, Germany, even France with weapons, plans for biological warfare. What more proof do you want?

These people hate us because we allow women to drive and to show their ankles in public. They hate us because our very strong influence is messing up their medieval ideas about how life ought to be.

For what it's worth, I think President Bush truly hopes that we will not go to a hot war. I think that he is trying to put so much pressure on the middle east that Saddam will be forced into exile. Then perhaps a decent, civilized government can be put into place which will help stabilize the area. That could conceivably bring about modernization, indeed, civilization in the other Muslim countries. Then, just maybe, the middle east could be stable and civilized for the first time in over a thousand years.

You fellows and I and I suspect most Sgt. Grit readers are not privy to the intelligence information that President Bush and Secretary Powell have. Most of what we have is the ravings of the predominately liberal, democrat press. They're perfectly happy to parrot the democrats' mantra "it's all about oil." Well, to them and you, I suggest you contact the families of the 3,000 dead in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Ask them if it's all about oil!

And by the way. Will someone please tell me why these anti-war protestors are doing their silliness in Washington and San Francisco? Seems to me that they should be marching in Manhattan, maybe going south from midtown past the firehouses down to that big hole near Battery Park. If you want to protest war, go to the place where the war has been.

A Marine General once said to a group of us: Marines don't start wars - we finish 'em! This one's already in progress, whether you like it or not.

Larry Marsh
USMC 1961 - 1965

When asked by a reporter (in all seriousness) to respond to Saddam Hussein's claim that Iraq has no ties with al-Qa'ida terrorists, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld offered only a brief response: "And Abraham Lincoln was short."

SGT Grit,

This may be the first time writing to you, but I have purchased items from your catalog and read your newsletter for over a year now. I enjoy reading your newsletter because it confirms that other people share my views about So Dumb Hussein and the current situation. Being a veteran of the first Sandbox Siege in 1990 -1991, I can relate to what these young Marines and their families are feeling right about now. To the Marines, trust in your training, your leaders, and each other. There is no finer fighting force in the world. To the families, trust in your Marine, their leaders, and your country. The only negative thing I have to say about the issue is that now we have to subject a new generation of Marines and their families to combat because we did not finish the job the first time. While I am no longer on the active rolls of the World's Finest, my heart bleeds scarlet and gold. Marines, you will fight the good fight in Iraq and we will fight the good fight at home. We will scold those individuals who dare speak out against our military. We will invite the bleeding hearts and peaceniks to pick up a rifle and walk a mile in your shoes. We will comfort your families and reach out to you with letters and emails. But most of all , we will love you and be waiting for you to come home. While I know that Once a Marine, Always a Marine is part of our culture, I think we should amend that for Ken O' Keefe. He doesn't deserve to call himself Marine. We should start a petition to have his name erased from everything that concerns the Marine Corps. Good thing he was in England when he started on his journey, I am sure a few good natured Marines would have helped him pack for his journey to H*ll if he was still stateside. Thanks for letting me ramble. Semper Fidelis
Bill Hedrick Jr
USMC 1985 till Eternity

Sgt. Grit -
I was reading the Survey Archives and noticed that 87.70% of the respondents favored making Veterans Day a national holiday so citizens can vote. Obviously, these ladies and gentlemen do not visit "The Wall" for the combined Marine Corps birthday and Veterans Day ceremonies, unless that is, they do not bother to vote. I have attended the ceremonies many times over the years, but I hate to think that I would lose the opportunity to vote by attending future ceremonies if they are held the same day. I always vote and if election day is changed to Veterans Day, how does one stay home to vote, and at the same time, travel to D.C. to visit "The Wall". I did not vote this particular survey question, but if I had, it would have been a definite NO!! to elections on Veterans Day.

Semper Fi
Ed Moore C 1/5 1st Mar. Div. - An Hoa - '68/'69

"Ammunition beats persuasion when you are looking for freedom."

--Will Rogers

Sgt. Grit,
I have been reading your newsletter for weeks now and truly enjoy it. The pride to be called American continues to grow when I read each letter. My husband (Ed Hardaway) was in the marines from 88-92 and stationed at Cherry Point, NC. He was in the Desert Storm. Every time he watches the news and sees reporters talking to the Iraq people about war it infuriates him. You see he agrees with your readers that the US needs to wipe Iraq off the map. He tried to reenlist after 9-11 but due to the fact that is a Disabled Vet from the Gulf War (he has seizures that they relate to the chemicals he inhaled while on board in the gulf), they said that he would have to give up his VA rights to join and that they could not guarantee that he could get his seizure medicine at all times. We were not married at the time he was in the Marines but since we have been married I have felt as if I was on every maneuver and training with him because he tells me about all of things that he loved about that life. I just wish I could have been there with him to support him during that time. So please tell all of your marine wives and families to please support our Marines and keep them in their prayers. Marines, Thanks for keeping us Safe!!!!!

Semper Fi
D Hardaway

Thanks to Fox News ,this truism, WW2 French rifles for sale, never used, only dropped once.
Keep up the good work. SSGT.Francis X (VC DUCK) Curran. Ret.

This is in regard to Mark Stewarts tirade regarding the forthcoming liberation of Iraq. Mark, you obviously allowed your political agenda to cloud your thinking. In fact, I would really have to question your supposed service to The Corps. I can't believe that you are seriously suggesting that in a time of war our young Marines should disregard their duty and honor in favor of exercising your liberal philosophy. I surely don't have access to all of the intelligence that our Commander in Chief does and I seriously doubt that you have been made privy to a wealth of secret CIA and NSA documentation. Suffice to say, we (as individuals) do not have enough knowledge to make informed decisions and we must therefore defer to those that do. I trust the President, our Commandant and the strength of the Presidents cabinet. Further, I trust today's young Marines to carry on the tradition that sets us apart from any other service in the world. Yes, we are bad a*s Marines and Saddam knows it. Unfortunately this point has been lost on you. Give my regards to "Hanoi Jane" you obviously share a common heart.

Mike 3/3, 3rd Mar Div. '66-'68

While you are remembering the Marines who heading "somewhere", please remember and pray for one tiny Missourian who is assigned to the USS Porter with the Roosevelt carrier. She is worried about the 2 kids and husband she leaves behind but proud to wear her uniform. She maybe Navy and not Marine but she is helping keep Marines safe. I am proud of her for doing her part. Wish I could be doing the same.

A "too old" Aunt in Missouri.

Sgt Grit,
First I would like to say what a wonderful newsletter this is. I read mine everything I get it. Now I would like to speak about a great friend that I have. My friend and I have been friends and fellow Marines for a couple of years now. We served at our last unit together and were even roommates. He was my best man at my wedding and the godfather to my children. He was deployed to Kuwait a couple of months back and ever since he left my family and I have felt like we lost a family member. The unique thing about this great Marine is that he uses his moral calls to call me and my family. When he calls it is great but I sometimes have find it hard to talk to him because he is there and I am here. Sometimes I feel as if I as a Marine am not doing what it is that I should be. I feel like I should be there in a fighting hole with him instead of here. I brought this up to him the other day and he told me that he was the front lines to protect my family and other families from afar and that it was my job to protect every bodies families from here. He said that it is not him who is on the front lines but me, because I am here to prevent further terrorist attacks on our homes. A smile grew on my face as he said this. Shortly before our conversation ended he told me not to sweat it as he knew that I to would go to far off lands to protect him and his family if told to do so. In short I would just like to say to all those Marines who are not deployed remember this. Although you are not there in the sand box with those Marines you are here and they are counting on you to do your job here and protect our home front.

Semper Fi
Sgt Travers

I have been receiving your newsletter for the past few months and still get chills and swell up with pride after reading the letters from our troops who are currently in Harm's Way. I was a grunt in A Co 1/8, 2nd MarDiv from 88-92, and helped do the job in 90-91. I guess I just wanted to let our brothers and sisters in arms that regardless of what they may see or hear, OUR PRAYERS AND HOPES ARE WITH YOU...FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!!! Thanks Sgt Grit for having this platform to get the word out to these brave men and women...

Semper Fi,
C. Hutter

OORAH Grit, just a little footnote to our EX Marine Mr. O'Keefe notice the EX, why don't we pass the hat for a collection to charter some "cattle cars" and send all the people that really love "Good Old Saddamn" over there to live with him in the sand. It will be like going to the Beach but I am sure the temperature will be a lot HOTTER pretty quick. I will go so far as to bet that his boys will not bring them a cold beer while they lay out for their tans. Swimsuits optional. Semper Fi
Ron Shouse Sgt USMC Nam Class of 67 & 68

Ok Grit,
This ones for all the young Americans that are headed to the middle east. You are heroes! Make no mistake about it. I, myself took that trip in 1991. The last couple of years (in my opinion) should be a wake up call to all Americans about terrorism. This is not "W's" way of finishing what "Daddy" started. When the USS Cole was hit , we should have taken on the battle-cry that so many of our parents and grandparents did when Pearl Harbor was attacked, instead we followed "Billary's lead and played it down, because in an administration that doesn't have real sex, there can't be real war, right? Then we were hit hard on 9/11/01, and for a while the American Spirit began to soar, yet (not even 1 1/2 years later) so many so-called All-Americans want to act like it never happened. If only they would do the math, i.e.; One Mad Dictator +One Mad Billionaire+ North Korea + Philippine Al-Quaida factions+Chicago connections = Global Threat. Instead of standing and chanting in front of government buildings, the blind activists of the the U.S. really need to rally behind our President. Let's not wait for something else to happen in our own backyard again. Let's keep in the forward section of our brain housing groups that you, our brave men and women of the U.S. armed forces are the only reason that the activist have the freedom to protest.

I wish all of you Godspeed and THANK YOU.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

--John F. Kennedy

Sgt Grit,
Great newsletter. I forward to my long distance and local Marine brothers. The one thing that really chaps my a#s is the war time patriots. These people wouldn't know how to fly a flag if there fu*#$%g lives depended on it. I have seen people locally fly tattered and torn flags. They even took the time to lower them to half mast last week. If your going to lower it, Fu*^$%g replace it. Or are you just a war time patriot. No clue as to how to fly a flag. If your going to fly it, have the pride to fly it right or take it down. Don't try to impress me with your "war time patriotism", it doesn't work. Maybe we can start an e-mail chain going to teach these PATRIOTS HHHHHAAAAAA how to fly a flag. GOD BLESS THE COUNTRY AND CORPS. GOD BLESS THE MARINES NO MATTER WHERE THEY MAY BE.
Jeff King
Cpl. USMC 80-86

We are a big muscle-bound nation. We are so physically strong! We have muscles and missiles and more. But how did we, as individuals, get so wussy, so weak, so whiny when it comes to our ability to stand for what we stand for and take the world's blow? Why do we celebrate those who complain? Why don't we celebrate stoics who can take it? They're the ones who move history. It's a disputatious world. Rocks get thrown. And you know what? Too bad. Tough. That's life. Nothing is free. If you hold a controversial position you will draw controversy and its cousin: denunciation, dislike, etc. It's the price you pay. That's what I think our culture is losing and wants to get back: The old stoic sense that you pay a price to stand where you stand. This, ultimately, is the story not only of all adults who fully take part in the world but of America itself.

As I think about sitting on the top of Marble Mountain looking out over the "South China Sea" in 1969...

The thought crosses my mind...
"The Politicians DID IT AGAIN" !!!!

They are preparing to send our "Brother/Sister Marines" and the members of our Sister Services into "Harms Way" once again!!!

To unscrew something that they can't fix, after they spent years screwing it up...Yeah..lets get the "Draft" back so we can have even more young people to be "Killed & Maimed"... Then throw them back on the streets with no help... Geez...we can even clean up the streets of America at the same time... Sure sounds like "Macnamara's 100,000" to me !!!!

Decisions made by "OLDE MEN/WOMEN" that have never fired a shoot !!!!

Now don't get me wrong... I am all for kicking "Saddam's and his Cronies As****" plus a few other Counties...I just think that "ALL" of the Congressmen/Women and Senators "Children" plus all of the Politicians that allowed to be sold, gave away Tech support, Chemicals etc. to our enemies should be in the first "Assault Wave"...right at the very point of the spear...

Sorry...seen just to many "Full Body Bags" !!!! Being filled needlessly...with the excuse..."We didn't know how to stop it"...

Dear Heavenly Father !!!!
My Prayers are with all of our Men and Women going into "Harm's Way"...I Pray that they "ALL" return safe...I would say "and sound" but we know better...
Respectfully submitted
(Sgt) Glen Smith
1st Med Bn (2nd Tour)

A sign at a business establishment in Philadelphia, PA:


This sign was prominently displayed in the window of a business in Philadelphia. You are probably outraged at the thought of such an inflammatory statement. One would think that anti-hate groups from all across the country would be marching on this business... And that the National Guard might have to be called to keep the angry crowds back. But, perhaps in these stressful times one might be tempted to let the proprietors simply make their statement . . . We are a society who holds Freedom of Speech as perhaps our greatest liberty . . . And after all, it is just a sign. You may ask what kind of business would dare post such a sign?

Answer: A Funeral Home
(Who said morticians had no sense of humor?)

Submitted by: Billy Lewis

Hi Sgt. Grit,

First I just have to say that I just can't wait to get your newsletters. When I come in and check my e-mail, and see your newsletters, it makes my day. I felt the need to pass this story on to you and all the other MARINES out there.

On just about everyday, I fly our beloved Corps flag from my 2001 black dodge ram p-up. The flag is 3'x5' and I also fly a smaller POW/MIA flag underneath it. I was on my way home one day and saw some kids walking the other direction. As I passed them, I glanced over and saw the oldest one (16 or 17) flip me the bird. I thought to myself "This kid has BIG BRASS ones..." As I got to the signal I elected to turn around and confront the young man. He was surrounded by about 4-5 younger kids who were rather impressed at the older ones use of the freedom of expression. Well, I guess the older one thought I was just going to drive on by but the younger ones just knew something was about to happen cause they kept there eyes on me. I made a u-turn and drove back to the group. One of the younger ones had a very concerned look on his face while he was pulling the shirt tail of the older one. When the older one turned around and saw me, he had that "Special" look on his face that all know-it-alls take when they know they just bit off more than they could chew. (I think we ALL know what I'm talkin' about, remember Boot Camp?) I got out of my truck and walked up to the older one and did something that just blew his mind. I stuck out my hand and said "I just want to shake your hand for taking the time to tell me in your own way what you think of MY MARINE CORPS." I continued telling him that the only reason he had these freedoms is because of the tens of thousands of MEN and WOMEN who gave their lives, minds, blood, and limbs in the defense of this country. I told him that they fought against some of the most fearsome enemies so that we, AMERICANS, could be free to express ourselves whenever we felt like it. Then I issued the precaution. "Just remember, I, and every other AMERICAN and MARINE have the same rights and freedoms that you have. Remember this the next time you decide to flip-off my flag or anyone else's. I or they will exercise their freedom of expression and kick your dumb -ss into next week!" Well you could hear a pin drop. I asked the older one if he understood and he told me "Yes Sir." Like my FATHER (USMC WW2 survivor of Tarawa, Tinian, Guadalcanal, and Okinawa) would say "I guess once in a while you have to hit the mule between the eyes with a 2x4 to get his attention". SEMPER FIDELIS, MARINES (past, present, and future) May GOD protect our MARINES going into harm's way!

Thanks again, Doc Blackmon, for saving MY life.
Daniel Miller
USMC 74-76 0311 OORAH!

This is in replay to "Dyed in the Wool" Democrat, Mark Stewart's diatribe about the failings of George W. and his administration and his soon to be war in IRAQ. Mark, you claim to be a SGT in the Corps at some time or other and that the Corps taught you to use your brain housing group. Not Possible. You were taught to use your brain housing group by your parents, your schools etc.. The Corps taught you how to be a warrior and how to recognize, defend, attack evil and to be part of a team. The Corps does teach its Warriors how to wage war the most effectively and to protect one's self and one's buds in combat. It sometimes even teaches one how to be a man. But the Corps does not try to teach you politics as you imply by criticizing our Commander in Chief. True, in prior administrations, some Commanders in Chief, not only lied to the troops, they lied to the Nation and they paid dearly for it. Johnson decided not to run for a second term because he knew he could not win in the circumstances. Nixon won on a bring the boys home ticket...Some would argue that he lied about that too but even more importantly, he failed to bring home all the POWs. Clinton, well he was what he was but he was still the Commander in Chief. No Commander in Chief in today's world would even consider lying because it would mean the end of his political life forever... So my question to you is who in Hades are you to question the Commander in Chief? "use your brain housing group"? Where were you and the other Dems who decry our efforts to end terrorism during 911? Where you when they bombed our embassy and killed more than 200 of our Marines? Better you drop the pretense about being a member of a political party and remember that if you were indeed a Marine, speak you piece and get into your desert camo load your 782 gear and get your butt in gear to help win this thing.

You don't care for G.W.? Tough, that is not your call except once every four years at the polls. You need to get this message loud and clear once and for all. The Dems lost the election not once but twice. The Marines lost nothing. So stow the BS and get with the program...Now get your butt over to supply, get some diesel, some matches and go burn those Sh*tters until you get some oil for your own brain housing group.

P.S. If you really want to learn about what Washington Politics is all about, watch Fox News. O'Reilly, and three other of the announcers are all Marines....Really. That is why FoxNews is so successful, No Spin, Just the Facts, You Decide.....Sheeesh.....failed programs indeed.....sheeeshhh.....

Richard E. Nygaard SSGT USMC 1953-1063

To Cpl. Dan Moore,
I, too am a VietNam vet, and now as then, it has been assigned to the U.S. of A. to police the world, whether we want to or not. To let a country like Iraq continue on unchecked will only cause more pain and suffering later. Do you believe that Saddam would have stopped after taking Kuwait if the United States had not stopped him? The only thing wrong, is that we did not finish the job then. Just as in VietNam, we were not permitted to complete our mission. When I came home in 8/66 I was greeted by family and a large group of protestors marching at the Federal Building in Pittsburgh, Pa. Was I upset? To say the least. To see protestors marching now causes me great pain and I don't understand what they and yourself do not understand about Iraq and Saddam. He must be stopped before he manages to include the entire Middle East in his unproclaimed conquest. He and his country as a whole are an evil that must be stopped forever so the other countries of the Middle East can continue with their lives. This task has been assigned to the United States and we will prevail and I hope the rest of the world will learn that we will do what needs to protect our country and the world wherever and whenever need be.

James W Walters,
Cpl 8/63 to 8/69 U.S. Marine Corp

The greatest gift we can give our troops.... PRAYER! Pray for our troops in the Middle East as the situation has become tense these past few days. That is the news my Lance Corporal boyfriend gave me during the much-anticipated first phone call from Kuwait. He has been at Camp Commando for about a week. The call lasted about 5 minutes, and ended with a marriage proposal. Glad to report that my fiancée is doing well, as are the rest of the Marines posting security at Camp Commando. Our boys are very well-trained and the best in the world, there is little to worry about. God bless the Corps. I want to send a shot out to all the MSGs in BA.

--Christina, California

Dear Sgt. Grit,
I feel I have to write in response to the letter about the Blue Star Flags. They can also be obtained from your local American Legion and possibly the V.F.W. I know this because I am the Chaplin of our auxiliary and we sell them. I'm not trying to take business away from you, just giving people another place to look.

God Bless
Connie Palmer

Sgt Grit,
You may have already seen this, but if not, this might be worth sharing with the rest of the brotherhood. While there are still a fair share of twinkle-toes, Gucci, lost-in-the-sauce kids out there who are afraid to get dirty if they have to move away from the spot that they sit in while playing with their game boys, there are still quite a few young men today who have taken up the challenge to share in the unique warrior spirit that in every heartbeat of every Marine, young and old. As Chesty said, "...old breed, young breed, there is only one Marine breed." After 21 years (and still hooking and jabbing) as a Marine, I am still blown away by the deep-rooted respect endeared to anyone who has ever been called Marine. God indeed does have a special place in his heart for ALL Marines! To all the Devil Dogs who are 'in country' or are currently deployed aboard ship, especially those MALS-39 Marines, we got your back! Semper Fi!
Dave Garza
Chief Warrant Officer of Marine

About the so called "Mothers" flags. When I went to the Korean War, my mother had one hanging up. Yes, she belonged to the Blue Star Mothers and wore the cover with pride. I still have it.....the blue star is only pinned on. It seems she must have been pessimistic. She might have been "upgraded" to GOLD star mother.

My E6 son has been in the military for 12 years and is aboard the USS CONSTELLATION CV 64, in the Persian Gulf . For the many years he