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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 #89

'If I do die, Dad, I want you to know that I am right with God
and everything will be OK.' -PFC Geoffrey Morris

RIP You Are Missed! 19, of Gurnee, Ill.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died April 4 from hostile fire in Anbar province, Iraq.

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"The distance Iraq has come in less than two years is remarkable. In January 2003, all political power in the country was concentrated in the hands of a single sadistic dictator. He represented, and answered to, no one but himself. Today, 7,200 candidates are campaigning for the privilege of holding office in a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people. If that isn't progress, nothing is."
--Jeff Jacoby

Dear Sgt Grit,
My son joined the USMC in March of 2004, since that time we were told about how strong the Marine Corp family is. On December 20, 2004 our house burned down. The night of the fire while the flames were coming through the roof one of the firemen said hey look there's a Marine. I turned around and there was Gunny Lydick, we knew each other from when my son was recruited. He had heard about the fire and came over to see if we needed anything. His wife Christine arrived with coats, blankets and shoes. Gunny informed me that my son was granted emergency leave and was on his way home from North Carolina to be with us. After the fire was extinguished, and the openings in the roof, windows, and doors were boarded up, the fire department left, and all of my great neighbors went back into their homes, Gunny was still there by my side. The temperature outside was near 0 degrees and Gunny had been outside for hours. He offered my wife and I to stay at his home for as long as we needed. We decided to stay with some close friends in a nearby town and Gunny followed us to there home. The next day my home was broken into Gunny heard about this and for the next several days drove by the home and checked to make sure nobody else had entered it. There were only a few things that were able to be salvaged from my home, Gunny let us have the use of his pickup truck to bring these items to our rental home. He calls us a few times a week to see how things are going and if we need anything. I wanted to write this so new family's to the Marine Corp know that when they are told about how the Marine Corp family will always be there for you when it is needed, that it is true.

Dennis Drummond
Proud Marine Dad

Hi Sgt. Grit,
I just wanted to say thank you for your newsletters.

I've been receiving them for a few months now. I'm always looking forward to them. Every time I read the stories and letters my eyes just fill up with tears. I feel so much love and pride, its hard to explain. It makes me feel so proud to be an be the wife of a United States Marine.

My husband, Sgt. Eric Esparza is currently in Iraq. He is scheduled to be home sometime in March and I sure as heck can't wait! Its been a long 7 months already.

Much love and appreciation to all the Marines. Those in Iraq/Afghanistan, may God bring you all home safe and soon! My prayers are with you and your families.

Take care,
Proud Marine Wife of Sgt. Esparza 1/3 Alpha Co.
*I Love My Marine*

I just wanted to thank all the armed forces for our freedom. For all of you who everyday put your life on the line for us here back home there is no words to express my gratitude to you. I pray everyday for all of you that you make it home safe. I also say a prayer for your family members. For the FALLEN, God bless all of you. I have so much respect for our military and all they do. For the Marine that shot that insurgent Job Well Done and Semper Fi. God Bless All of You.
Tammy K.

Semper Fi.
I was walking by the television the other day, my wife was watching some talking head show, when one of the heads mentioned something about the 72 V!rgins for the Islamic terrorists. I Really don't know what made me think or make the following comment, but my wife looked at me with a really shocked expression, then started to laugh harder than I have heard he laugh in a while.

All I said was, "What makes all them terrorists think that their 72 v!rgins are female? Imagine getting there just to see 72 guys with their back sides turned up. Wouldn't that be the pits."

Bob W.

"This I hope will be the age of experiments in government, and that their basis will be founded in principles of honesty, not of mere force."
--Thomas Jefferson

Dear Sgt Grit

I have enjoyed reading the newsletters that you send out and what the family members and Marines have to say about their feelings and experiences. It was also good to see some of the older Marines writing as well. Once a Marine, always a Marine! This is so true! I have noticed that those who serve in the Marine Corps have so much honor and pride in their jobs as well as their service. I have talked to many of those who decided to get out after their first enlistment. Every one of them have said that they wished they would've stayed in. I try to encourage my husband to enjoy the experiences that God has made possible for him to have and to try to enjoy seeing so many countries that he has. I tell him that many people never get the chance to leave the U.S. and still others never leave their state. It is an awesome privilege to be a part of a Marine's life and to share these experiences with him. We have talked many times about how much he wants to stay in the Corps and I am glad, because he takes pride in his work and he works very hard at the task that is put in front of him. I think the Marines are doing a terrific job and we need people that know what they are doing and want to get the job done quickly and efficiently. These are the people that we need the most in our Corps! My husband was in Iraq for the first six months of the war. Soon after he returned he was sent to Japan for a year. He will return in April and has already been told that he will be returning to Iraq soon after he returns. I am very proud of him, but my prayers continue to go out for his safety, as well as the safety of others in Iraq and other places of danger around the world. God Bless our Marines!

Semper Fi
Lisa Pratt -Wife of a Marine Cpl
Marine wife, toughest job in the Corps!

23rd Marines, Iraq

Sgt. Grit:

Just finished newsletters 86, 87 and 88. Saved the reading for tonight to help me get my perspective together. Actually it's my "sh** together" and "a** wired" to be more precise (pun for the language buffs).

Needed the reading of your newsletters because my son, Cpl Brian Shea, was reactivated (member of the FDNY) and headed out last night for his second tour to the "sandbox". Spent the good part of today with my other son cleaning up Brian's apartment - would you believe we filled up two blue re-cycle containers with assorted empty bottles. Tis a fine send off we had! Sitting on his kitchen shelf was two wallet size photos enclosed in plastic of Marines in their graduation "blues". Father and son.

Reading your newsletters (as I always do) will be one of the things I will be doing in the coming months. It is always comforting being connected to those who understand what has occurred in the past and what is occurring nowadays. Feeling as I do right now and having read the letter from the Illinois Mom and the comments in later newsletters - I would like to comment on this subject.

This Mom has read many comments from individuals since she first wrote her letter. Among them:

Ron Shouse - his "it's a private thing" and "just our job, ain't no thang" hit it right on the nail.

SSgt JRS - the "be patient and give him lots of hugs" is sound advice. (By the way JRS - according to the tile I purchased from Sgt Grit FDR's old lady quote was:" The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps."

PMM Sheri - her "Don't ask for more (info) either" is very true. And to Sheri - your son's quote of "No God Will Ever Forgive Me For" is understandably normal to many of us. If your lucky enough to reside near a chapter of the Marine Corps League - send your son to them when he gets home and he will receive all the forgiveness he requires from those in the know.

Ray Walker - every word he wrote is true.

My comments to the Illinois Mom: My son Brian went over the berm the first day of the war and made his way up to Baghdad. He returned home from that first tour the end of "03". It was not until the following Memorial Day (there are certain holidays that really hit us very hard) that he said anything at all to me about his experience.

I am sure you can see from many previous newsletters that much respect and reverence is given to Marine Moms. I can still remember my reaction upon returning from Nam when I saw the new grey in my mothers hair. "Did I cause that ?"" I still remember saying to myself. As the mother of a Marine - you will know what to do when the time comes. We call it "adapt and improvise" and Marine Moms do it so naturally.

Thank you Sgt Grit for this method of release that you provide and Semper Fi,
Kevin Shea
Sgt - Nam - 67/68

"In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels...that they will control the usual current of the passions or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations...that they may...warn against the impostures of pretended patriotism -- this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare by which they have been dictated."
--George Washington, his Farewell Address

Hey Grit,

Just a note to let all of our family know that this past week the 3Bn25Mar Cleveland,Ohio shipped out for deployment to Iraq. To all those marines a huge "SEMPER FI, and GOD SPEED".To the families of those Marines we say thank you for your sacrifice in what are very difficult times. I write this as a Marine who served our Corps some 35 years ago. Our American Legion Post #112, Madison, Ohio will be visiting the Brookpark and Berea Posts amongst others on 5March 05. We are looking forward to hopefully seeing some of you there. We'll have some spirits, offer our support and have some good times. A little something to take the edge off.

Cpl. of the Marine Corps

I just heard about the young marine that returned from Iraq and committed suicide by police. The story sadden me and outraged me at the same time. If we learned nothing from our time in Vietnam it should be to take care of our men as they come home and try to step back into the life that came before. My husband served with the 1/7 Delta Co 69/70 machine gunner and his brother served his Corp in Korea and my uncle served his Corp in 64/65 and my son served his Corp 97/98 and is now a police officer. To say that the Corp is a part of my life would be a understatement. They are all proud Marines and all have a duty to those that come after them. Our men coming home are not the same as when they left. Families need to know that there are people to call for help when they see that there is a problem. I know that there is a taboo to admit that you need help but the help is there. We have vets in this country that know the pain and confusion that can happen when returning home from a war zone. My question is this, Please reach out to these families and their Marines and let them know that there is someone to just listen to them. Take the time to let them know that they are not losing their minds and that there is a light at the end on that tunnel. Contact your local VFW or American Legion or just visit someone in the hospital somewhere and lets make sure that what happened to that young marine does not happen again. My husband has sever PTSD. I know all to well the pain that they go through, the suicide thoughts, the ideas that they are not good enough or strong enough to make a go of life. We have been married 30 yrs now and I Love my Marine and cannot bear to know that these young men feel that much despair to take their own lives. Not again. Reach out a help. I know that I will.
L Gibson
Nevada, MO

We as a nation have forgotten that wars are to be fought to win not just to contain a groups of scum sucking rats. Stop getting our young people killed by letting the rest of the world dictating what we do and how we fight. We have not fought a single war sense the second world war to win, just to contain. Our government and politician are the major reasons we have suffered so many defeats and deaths.
Sgt.R. M. Wallen USMC

To Mike Holloway, DEP, Tampa, Fl (Ship date August 20, 2005) and Amelia cousin PFC Wagner (ship date June 27, 2005) THANK YOU !

Proud Marine Mom of a 0311 !
I love my grunt !

Hello Sgt.,

This is for all the parents, siblings, spouses and kids of returning Marines. Don't be upset if they don't tell you all about it. This seems to have been true of fighting men for decades. My dad was in WWII and never told any stories to my Mom or two older sisters. He later loosened up enough to tell me just the funny stories. But never anything gritty or serious. Dad was a tough old coot and wanted to protect his women folk from the things that happen in war.

True Story -

A prissy-pants lieutenant (Army) was taking a short cut through the motor pool and met Dad coming along carrying a truck battery. The lt. started to chew Dad out for not saluting (with a heavy truck battery in his hands Right!). What he didn't see was Dad's captain coming up behind him. The Chewer became the Chewee as the captain reamed him for not knowing that the motor pool was a "no salute-work area" and for taking a short cut into an area he had no business being in.

Later in Dad's service he was working under a jeep when a voice called out "you need anything soldier?" Dad peered out and saw a pair of boots and said Yeah, he needed a something-something wrench. A hand came down, with the correct wrench. A shoulder followed the hand with a galaxy of stars. Dad came shooting out from under that jeep saluting Gen. Patton for all he was worth. The General calmed Dad down and told him to be at ease. He was out and about checking on how things were going for the common soldier.

Compare the difference between a man who thought he was important to a man who really was important.

With every Sgt. Grit I receive I pray for everyone mentioned and their families. To the Marine who said he had done things God would never forgive, No Way! God is big enough to forgive anything. You are precious to Him and He loves every rude, cussing, battle weary grunt out there. Honey, there's an old gal praying for you.

Proud daughter of a soldier and aunt of a Marine.

My son Robert leaves for MCRD on Jan. 23, 2005. This is just one week away. He was in the DEP for 5 months. Every time someone asked him what he was going to do with his life, he was proud to tell them he would soon be a Marine. Not to many people were happy about that. I am very proud of my son. Of course I am worried, but I am his mother. He is very proud of his uncle Capt. Kevin Langley and hopes to do as well in the USMC. His uncle served in the Gulf War and Iraq War. He just recently received the bronze star. I am proud to be the mother of a future Marine and a sister in-law of a decorated Marine.

Semper Fi,
Maria O. Wells
Las Vegas

"It is very imprudent to deprive America of any of her privileges. If her commerce and friendship are of any importance to you, they are to be had on no other terms than leaving her in the full enjoyment of her rights."
--Benjamin Franklin

Hi, Sgt. Grit,
Good Friday morning to you and all Marines and their families everywhere. Our Marine, L CPL Daniell --- is still in Iraq, finishing the fight to keep those elections on course. Praying for all involved to be safe and to be effective in the fight. We continue to be oh, so proud of our Marine. He sounds so tired on the phone; doesn't want a party when he gets home, doesn't want to answer a lot of questions and talk about his experiences there. He's lost dear friends and had others terribly wounded. It's taken its toll; I just want my son home to rest and to get the sleep he's missed these last 6 months.
Debi Bell

Sgt. Grit

I am a 30 year career Law Enforcement Officer. But I write this as a proud father of an Air Force crew chief, Justin Herrick, stationed in Italy, and the equally proud step-father of a Marine PFC Tina Cabri, stationed in Camp Lejeune. PFC Cabri is set to leave for Iraq on February 9, 2005. Her younger sister (Tami) is ready to DEP into the Marines just before her sister leaves, just after her 18th birthday. Words cannot begin to say how proud their mother and I are of each of them, they have been transformed into adults with their desire to serve this great country.

Just before the recent national election, I was on a security detail for President Bush as he arrived in Clearwater Florida on a campaign stop. He walked over and started shaking hands with those lined up near the airport gate. As he approached me, he reached out his hand in the best Texas handshake, looked me square in the eye and said "Thank You for your service" I know his reach was extended through me to those I love the most...and to all those that serve here or in other countries, in Law Enforcement or the say thank you for your service to this great country!

Darrell Herrick
Clearwater Fl

Sgt. Grit:
I must take exception to the recent comments about Ivy League Marines. I know a few Marines who were in my graduating class of 1961 from Princeton University. I served in RVN from 3/65-4/66 as a helicopter pilot and again (for a second tour) from 11/68-12/69 as a C130 pilot. Does that count for anything? You can't place people in a group and then smear everyone in that group. That is nothing more than bigotry. By the way, I spent 9 years on active duty and then 21 years in the reserves. Does that mean anything? I now volunteer my time for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. I've given classes to schools about the Vietnam War, given speeches about Marine Corps history, and fly the Marine Corps flag. Don't tell me that I was never a real Marine simply because of the school I attended. Nonetheless I will fight for your right to express your opinion, even if it is simply stupid.
Col. USMCR (Ret.)

Good day.

I've been reading this newsletter for quite a while now, and I frequently share things from it with others, there have been some wonderful, inspiring and informative thoughts and letters contained here. The reason I'm writing today is that I'm a bit surprised that there seems to be such an issue raised over the poem written by a Marine, obviously feeling frustrated, as many of us are, by the dictations of those who don't truly understand war and try to do every thing so "politically correct" to the point of hindering our Military. I seriously doubt this young man intended anything against a particular school or higher education, but was just using a phrase as an expression. Whether it was the best to use or not is debatable, but is it worth debating? Instead of debating it and defending what schools we did or did not attend, let's remember one word "grace". Offer this Marine the grace to let it go, to understand his frustrations, and instead of writing about that particular mistake, lets honor him and our other men and women in uniform for the job they are doing and tell them how much we understand, how much we support their efforts, and how valued they are in the defense of freedom, including the freedom to agree or disagree with this young mans writings.

Thank you for your time.

Very proud mother of a SGT in the Marine Corps, and a Soldier who is currently serving in Iraq

Just a little 'ditty' you may or may not want to 'share'.

I own a delivery service and do a lot of pickups in the Washington DC area and get to do deliveries throughout the country. Naturally all the local Military bases are 'closed camps' and are particularly hard to get onto, even for a 65 year old USN VN vet. I must say though, the OTHER services have an assortment of security guards on the gates, with most of the Navy bases joint USN and civilian security guards.

The exception is MCB Quantico. There the gates are manned by USMC types and the professionalism sure shows. Whenever I approach the gate (making sure my lights are on dim) and I have my ID's ready, the majority of the men just wave me through once I have stated my business.. Granted they show a little more leeway at the Fuller Road gate because it still services Quantico Town but the Gate Guards are always polite and I get the feeling that when I get called "Sir" it isn't in any way disrespectful or 'snotty', it surely sounds and feels genuine.

Now maybe they are supposed to put ALL non sticker vehicles through the paces, but it sure makes me feel good that the active duty Marines treat obvious former vets with all due respect etc.....

George R. O'Connell
RM2 (E5) USN 1956-64
Annandale VA

I am 17 years old, and I leave for MCRD Parris Island February 7th, 2005...I'M SO FREAKIN MOTIVATED! I've been in the DEP since September, and I know all the general orders, the mission of the Marine Corps Rifle Squad, and I've been studying out of the Recruit Study Guide. (the ones you get at boot camp). I've also been promoted to PFC because I enlisted 2 people, and I'm hoping to get meritoriously promoted to Lcpl in boot camp! A lot of people tell me I'm crazy, and that females don't belong in the military. I've lost one or two friends because of my choice. I just tell them that someone has to fight for their freedom to party in college, and it may as well be me! I just wanted to say thank you to all past, present, and future Devil Dogs out there reading this, even to the ones who are no longer with us anymore, like my grandfather. OOH-RAH and Semper Fi, and all that good stuff! Thank you for my freedom! Just knowing that in twenty some odd days, I'll start recruit training with the best fighting force in the world fills my heart with pride, and I can't wait to be apart of it all! And to the families with sons or daughters in Iraq, your strength can never be measured. I can't even imagine the pain that you must be going through each day as your kids are fighting, you are all so strong! Hang in there, they'll all be home before you know it, I have faith and I pray for all of our troops to come home safely each and every night. God is watching over them.

Thank you for everything,
Kimberly Stewart
Albany, Oregon

PS: Your website is awesome! Keep up the great work!

You can retire your tattered, worn out and frayed American flags without cost to you. Send your flags to the Kitchen Table Gang Trust, 42922 Avenue 12, Madera, CA 93638-8866 and we will dispose of your flags in a proper and dignified manner with full honors and dignity pursuant to the United States Code. We have been doing this for he past seven years. Our flag retirement ceremonies are held on Flag Day, June 14th each year and are conducted by a volunteer U.S. Marine Corps Honor Guard supervised by GySgt. Dan Kelley USMC (Ret.).

Charles Taliaferro

The days are long, yet the years are short. These words have been resounding for me this past week, as I look over the days of 2004 and the year of 2004. Often I wonder, where did the year go...seems just like yesterday that we were putting up decorations and baking cookies, yet I know that 300 and some days have passed. My perception of time changes from moment to moment. Some moments take forever like waiting to see our Marine at the gate in Hawaii for the first time since his return from Iraq, to the moments that are over in a heartbeat, like the two weeks we spent in Oahu on his turf, his permanent duty station. 2004 has been a year of personal and spiritual development and I am certain 2005 will be the same in diverse ways, ways I have never dreamed possible or probable.

Would enjoy seeing a reality show of soldiers and Marine's loved ones back home. Meeting people and sharing about our son's military service is always a unique experience. Never knowing if this revelation will bring out the wrath or the respect of the person I am speaking with Sometimes I am asked, "How do you do this?" So, for a slice of reality, I'll share how many military parents feel on a day to day, minute by minute basis. I received portions of this in an email, and the author is unknown....I have changed bits and pieces to reflect my life, my thoughts and emotions.

You see me everyday going about my life as usual, or so it appears to you. I am your co-worker, your neighbor, the person sitting next to you at church, or at a ball game. I shop at the same grocery stores and fill my car at the same places you do. You can find me anywhere; you might see me anywhere, but do not be deceived by the normalcy of my actions and words. I have not been "normal" for months. I am the mother/father of an American soldier/Marine.

I am the one with the frayed yellow ribbon or photo of my son/daughter pinned on my clothing. It was fresh and new when our loved one first deployed months ago. We know the war is not over and will not be over...the war on terrorism is with us to stay. My child is in a place where bullets and grenades are as common as the birds singing outside your windows. I am dedicated to wearing my ribbon or pin until he comes home, because this reminds me and others to pray for him. So please, when you see someone wearing a yellow ribbon or a support your troops pin, whisper a prayer for their child or children and for all the others still protecting our country while facing the holidays and birthdays and celebrations without their families and friends.

My house is the one with the faded yellow ribbons and the United We Stand placards. Always remembering how our lives were changed on September 11, 2001. There is an American flag on a pole attached to the front porch, and black ribbons get attached on days of remembrance. A small red and white banner with a blue star in the middle hangs in a window. We were presented with this by our local American Legion. Gold Star parents are the ones whose sons or daughters do not return home. Our hearts are in a constant ache for them and a piece of our heart and soul is with them.

When you drive by a house with a banner or military flag waving, please pray for the family and the son or daughter who may be overseas or homeland choosing to defend our ways of life, which we take so very for granted.

My heart is warmed each time I pass a home or car with a yellow ribbon or support your troops magnet as I know you have an idea of the sacrifices being made. Thank you. For many emails are received sporadically as well as phone calls, yet at times, there are no calls or letters for weeks at a time, and the papers are filled with stories of wounded and casualties or negative comments and it pierces our souls.

When I read of a soldier or Marine that has been killed and the name has not yet been released by the Department of Defense pending notification of family, restlessness, depression, insomnia and even physical illness can rule my life until 24 hours have passed and the men in dress uniforms have not appeared at my door. You learn how to scan your neighborhood before you pull into your driveway, hoping there are no government cars parked outside your door. You then feel guilty as the relief turns to grief as you know others will be getting a visit. The days of taking a full breath are long passed, we sometimes need to remind ourselves to breathe.

Going to the store is a chore that many of us avoid until the cupboards run bare. If you see someone standing in front of the snack foods, with tears streaming down their face, stop and give them a hug. If you see a man and woman at the store buying tuna and crackers, beef jerky, hand sanitizers and baby wipes take a moment and see if they are filling a care package, and if you can, ask what you can provide. If you see a woman buying more than 3 sympathy cards at one time, and tears rolling down her face, know she is a part of an online support group who sends cards to those parents whose child has paid full price.

I am here among you, trying to carry on a semblance of a normal life and my holiday table will have a place setting and chair ready for our loved one whom we know will not be with us. Like so many others I am the parent, the mother of an child serving in the military. Because of their sacrifices, we sleep in our bed at night safe and free. Your prayers and words of love mean the world.

May your holy/holly/holidays be filled with the Light of Spirit, the love of the Divine, the Joy of Creation, and the Compassion of the Eternal. As always, I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you and look forward to sharing a new year filled with wonders and joys. May each moment of your life be overflowing with blessings, prosperity, love and grace.

Mary Ellen Salzano

I have read these messages for several months and I, like some of your veteran Marine readers wish I could do more to help our cause in Iraq. We feel like we need to be there to make our own service justified. This is also for Marines serving everywhere, every Marine's service is valuable. You go where you are told to go and you do what you are told to do! I am proud of our current Marines in Iraq who are trying to fight a war and trying to be politically correct in the process. This is not a war on terrorism, this is a war against Islamic Fundamentalism. I agree with Lt. General Pitman USMC Ret., we should use overwhelming firepower, including bombing their holy sites, if we're going to fight the fight, fight to win.

Semper Fi.
Gale Owen
SSgt USMC 77-90
GySgt USMCR 90-95
SFC ArNG 95-99

dear grunt- just a quick response to the letter from "just plain bill;"

his friend must not have done much studying in her ancient history classes in college because of several of the following reasons: 1)the Q'Ran was NOT written in Aramaic, it was indeed written in Arabic. nor was the bible, however, Jesus did speak Aramaic.

2)the phrase "72 v!rgins" is absolutely nothing like "7 white raisins" in Arabic.

3)it is impossible for his friend to be fluent in ancient Aramaic because ancient Aramaic is no longer spoken. Aramaic is still spoken by tribes in Iraq and Syria who speak Aramaic, however, it is a different language than what was spoken during Jesus' time.

sources of this information come from:
-Toma Gabriel; Arabic language instructor at the defense language institute (American citizen from Iraq; he speaks both Arabic and Aramaic fluently)
-Miriam Stephan; Arabic language instructor at the defense language institute (American citizen from Iraq; she speaks both Arabic and Aramaic fluently)
-Dr. Omer Elgarrai; Arabic language instructor at the defense language institute (Sudanese citizen and scholar, has 2 Doctorate Degrees (Education from Ohio University and Islamic Studies from University of Cairo)

just thought I should clear that up.
Semper fi
cpl greg rosenberg

Sgt. Grit,
Was wondering if you could pass the word. Here in upstate NY, we have a tribute going on May 21st of this year, called "echo Taps" We will be placing a bugler about every tenth mile between the Elmira national cemetery, and the Bath VA National cemetery. We have about 20 miles left to fill. {41 total miles} On cue, each bugler will start playing Taps at about 30 second intervals. Upon completion, they will be picked up and transported to the Bath VA, and I do believe they ALL will play taps together. So..... Any Marine buglers or trumpet players that are interested in attending, I can put you in touch with the proper chain of command.
Semper Fi,
Gunny B
Terry Briggs []

Dear Sgt Thank you for allowing us a place to speak our minds. But this time I need to say what's in my heart there are people out there downing this country our president even our men and women in uniform funny thought do your readers understand that most of these cowards speak out against the very things that protect their rights to do that. They call my brother MARINES baby killers and speak about civilians being killed every day for no reason. I would ask these people did you ever once stand in front of our flag to defend it, instead of trying to burn it. Did you ever place yourself in harms way instead of insulting those who willing do. Instead of running off at the mouth pick up a weapon and join the men that stand at the wall rather than throw stones at those who put their life on the line. Unfortunately we will always have people like that to contend with. From the rice patties of NAM to the dust of the desert the CORPS has proven itself and the men and women who place themselves in harms way for EVERYONE. I rejoice every time a recruit graduates that I have a new brother or sister. I feel the pain every time I read about a brother giving the ultimate sacrifice. I cry when I see my brothers returning that have suffered the pains of war. I wish all my brothers and sisters and their families a safe and happy new year.

To Gunny in Miami .......
If found this quote by Constance Clayton and thought it most appropriate to send to you. "There is no such word as can't. "

To James D. Broone, Cpl 1943 - 1946
My son will be deployed to Iraq the end of next month along with his brothers in Bravo Company, 1 / 5 1 Platoon, stationed at Camp Pendleton and I believe that if my son were in the same circumstances as that young man who shot the "Terrorist" his actions would be the same .... protect himself and his brothers and do the job that he was sent to do ...... protect this great nation from individuals like that "Terrorist" !

I love my Grunt!

Yasser Arafat gave the Palestinians death, destruction and misery; yet was honored by the UN when they dropped their baby-blue flag to half-mast. Ronald Reagan helped make the whole world a safer place to live in yet the UN honored him with...nuthin'.
Military Magazine

Sgt Grit:
On January 10, 2005, Marine C. E. "Blackie" McClelland reported to Haven's Gate for duty. Blackie was a member of The Raider Battalion during World War II. Blackie was a devoted Marine, he was on the Board of Trusties at the Marine Military Academy in Harlington Texas. With his passing another small piece of Marine Corps History is lost. Blackie was a life member of several Marine Corps association including the 1 Marine Division Association, and the Cpl. J. Alafonso Detachment of their Marine Corps League. I ask your reader to keep Ruth his wife of 62 years and the rest of his family in their prayer.

When he sees St. Peter Blackie will say "One more Marine reporting to Heaven, sir for I spent my time in H&ll"

Lawrence "Larry" Trujillo

Semper Fi
Sgt. Grit,

thank you for the letter it took a little weight off my shoulders, My husband should be back from Iraq in 9 months he is also a brother marine of yours,

Dolores Rubino

My father joined the marine July 1942,successfully completed boot camp,Parris Island,and was stationed at camp Pendleton,Calf. He trained there until the 4th. mar.div. was activated. He served with the 4th. beginning with the first wave on Kwajellene,Namaur Island. He was attached to co.B engineers ,blew up a pill box,9 enemy dead, and was wounded. He recovered,and spent the rest of the war with the Fighting 4th. mar.div. He is now 83yrs old.

My oldest son, Graduated The U.S. Navel Academy,class 1995,attended the basic school.Quantico,Va. then reported to camp Pendleton.Calf. one tour in Kuwait,1998, attained the rank of captain,and is currently in active reserve. Now, my youngest son,(21yrs.old) has just graduated from boot camp last week,1st.BN, C,co. 1006, and will be reporting to camp Lejune,NC. 25 January to begin SOI training,. Needless to say, Grandpa is a very,very Proud Marine, Keep up the support! ooh,rah!

H.G. Lewis

"As riches increase and accumulate in few hands, as luxury prevails in society, virtue will be in a greater degree considered as only a graceful appendage of wealth, and the tendency of things will be to depart from the republican standard. ... It is a common misfortunate that awaits our State constitution, as well as all others."
--Alexander Hamilton

Sgt. Grit:
I enjoy hearing from "Old Corps " Marines! I too am ready, willing and able to help out. The Corps doesn't think old Marines of my age can still pack our gear, but at 62 years young I can still shoot straight, and I'm a very fit 190 lbs. The least guys like me could do (as another letter writer stated in the January 20, 2005 Newsletter) is the supply and other mundane duties. Re-up the "old guys"! That old Marine saying, "Once a Marine - Always a Marine", is so very true! Till the day I die I will always be proud of the day I became a Marine: 13 May 1964 and became a United States Marine (Platoon 218, MCRD, San Diego!

To h&ll with regs! Get us into the action!

Semper Fi & God Bless the Marines!
R. Lonn

Michael Damigo is correct about the gang associations of the Northern Structure and Nuestra Familia. I spent over 30 years in California law enforcement, retiring as an Assistant Sheriff with a long history of working in corrections. Saw 'em every day. Getting younger gang members to enlist in the military is a strategy they have been using for about ten years now, with the goal of gaining training and access to weapons.

Raya's motivation in starting a gunfight with officers will never be known, but I suspect the cocaine in his system may have played a part. As Mr. Damigo mentioned, Raya didn't see direct action while overseas and what the press reported as his imminent return to Iraq was a deployment to Okinawa. When all is said and done, he was just a bad guy who wore our uniform for a time. His mama will miss him, but California cops won't.

Michael Hackett
Assistant Sheriff (Ret) Imperial SO

"It is only the warlike power of a civilized people that can give peace to the world."
--Theodore Roosevelt

Attention on Deck Marines, and Military Personnel and Civilians!!!! On 26 March 2005 at 1400 that 2:00 P.M. for all others there will be a Medal of Honor Ceremony to praise those who has went above and beyond the call of duty to insure our freedom. Our Special Guest of Honor will be Col. Robert J. Modrzejewski USMC (Ret). Col. Modrezejewski was awarded the Medal of Honor in Vietnam during Operation Hastings, and the Keynote Speaker will be Gen. James E. Cartwright USMC Commander US STRATCOM. Also the same week from 22-27 March the Vietnam Moving Wall will also be in town. The Ceremony is at Veterans Park located at 18th & Boulder. The Medal of Honor Ceremony is brought to you by the Marine Corps League Detachment 857 here in Tulsa. The Vietnam Moving wall is brought to you by Vietnam Veterans Of America chapter here in Tulsa, Ok. Hope to see you all there.
Semper Fi
Ray Lancaster
PAO Marine Corps League Det. 857

I thought you might be interested in a website we set up for our Marine sons serving in Fallujah, Iraq. There are lots of cool pictures and some video from Fox News. We really love your site! Thanks for all of your efforts on behalf of our Marines and families.

Semper Fi!
Danielle Ibsen
VPMM of LCpl. Dan & LCpl. Tim Cord in Fallujah

Sgt Grit,

Anytime someone tries to get a rise out of me by asking about us Marines being a "part of the Department of the Navy", I tell them that yes, we are. We're the "Men's Department".

God Bless our Marines, their families, and all our service men and women, home and abroad. May we be given the guidance to finish our mission(s), and to bring 'em home, without further loss of life.

Semper Fi Mac.
MSgt Franklin

Regarding all these graduates of Ivy League and other fine schools who are now making passionate if somewhat irrational defenses of their indefensible institutions, I wonder why they don't do something meaningful like organize alumni boycotts of donation and other fund raising activities? I personally don't give D@MN that a few good Marines came out of Dartmouth, Michigan, Harvard, Berkley or any similar pig wallow of slimy, sloppy thinking.

Let's look at some meaningful history about the grads and policies/practices of these so called elite institutions. SecDef McNamara and his so called whiz kids, all graduates from the institutions of higher learning under discussions in these pages not only gave us the jamming M16's which contributed to many deaths in RVN, they had the ignorant audacity to suggest that the cause was that the Marines were not properly cleaning their weapons. I just wonder in what part of Yale or wherever did they attend Boot Camp. The only unclean weapons in the Marine Corps are those that have been stuck up somebody's @$$ at Boot Camp or OCS because it was not pristine immediately prior to insertion.

Look up General Westmoreland's educational background? The great Westy is in question because of his espousal of the "Maginot Line" he tried to create along the DMZ. The core of the Marine Corps is and, since the wooden ships day, been light infantry organized and trained for attack, and heavily reinforced up to and including artillery and attack aircraft. One would think that even a third grade education from a troubled inner city school would enable a person to understand that light attack infantry are not the troops to man static defenses. I guess they missed that at the Harvard "B" school.

Then we have the whole issue of the strategy used in I Corps RVN. Until Westy and his elitely educated friends squeezed General Krulak out, the Marines were denying RVN troops their supplies and safe havens through various programs that worked directly with the people. The Army actually knew all about these programs as the Green Berets had been successful with similar operations before the Viet Nam war became officially recognized as "hostilities."

Today of course, we have an entirely knew cadre of F#$@ing civilians telling the military how to run the Iraq war. We have had the "Shock and Awe" thing in Baghdad, which is reminiscent of the preinvasion bombardment of Iwo Jima. In both cases, our brilliantly educated people knew that the enemy had been eliminated and the infantry would have a cake walk.

By and large the history of our most highly regarded institutions, while including some tremendous success in sciences and other areas, has been even greater in not only its failure in the area of military science but in its success of aiding and abetting, hopefully unwittingly but still an open question, the enemy. Graduates of these institutions have consistently mislead, under staffed, and under funded military operations and then to twist the knife they have energetically placed in the back of military men and women, openly attacked them in all of the media.

If any of these institutions had treated another group - minority, social strata, religious sect, etc. - the way it has treated the US military it would find itself under Congressional investigation, have its life blood government funding suspended, and be vilified by the press. However, what has happened is that not only have these institutions actually been encouraged to continue their disastrous relationship with the military, the few worthwhile military people who have graduated from such places have actually sprung to their defense.

I am a graduate of a small, possibly "elite" eastern university, The University of Rochester, where I actually learned a great deal. However, it was at Quantico - OCS and TBS - and then Ft. Sill where I learned self discipline, leadership, tactics, weaponry and the necessity of making good decisions.

Richard E. Hulslander
USMC, formerly Captain

The Commandant of the Marine Corps, in his White Letter No. 11-04 to all general officers, commanding officers and officers in charge, dated 31December 2004, sent a tangible signal that Marines do take care of their own. Caring for combat wounded Marines and the families of Marines lost in combat is something that has been an issue for us for a long time. Now, the Commandant has directed the Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs to move forward in establishing a program to take care of wounded Marines and the families of those lost in combat.

Following is the text of his White Letter:

Subj: Establishment of the Marine For Life-Injured Marine Program

1. The Marine Corps has a long history of caring for its fallen and injured Marines. As we all know, many Marines have recently suffered extremely serious combat injuries. Many of these Marines would not have survived in previous wars. However, because of our magnificent medical care and our ability to get our wounded treated so quickly, they are fortunately still with us. Nevertheless, their trauma still has a potentially devastating impact on them, their families and their future.

2. Although there has always been great concern for our wounded, there has been no formal program within the Marine Corps to address their special needs, and we have often relied upon other federal agencies to care for them after they have left the Corps. After talking with many of these Marines, their families, doctors, and commanders and in conjunction with extensive research by HQMC, I have established the Marine For Life- Injured Support (M4L-IS) program. This program will be our direct link to these injured Marines and their families. The Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (DC M&RA) is the lead for M4L-IS. Implementation is already underway. M4L-IS will address all aspects of care for the Marine and family to include the very best medical care, travel and lodging for family members, coordination with external support agencies, retention in the Marine Corps if desired, transition support to Department of Veterans Affairs care, priority employment in the civil sector, continued monitoring after separation, and other forms of assistance as required.

3. To support this program with the urgency I believe is required, I have directed that we fully fund and man the M4L-IS program. I expect all HQMC staffs and field commanders to ensure their Marines are aware of this initiative to take care of our own. Quite simply, it is the right thing to do. Once a Marine always a Marine. Keep attacking and Semper Fidelis. Signed-- M. W. Hagee

Sgt Grit,

Sometimes we have to smile at ourselves. I received this from Kathy Tattersall, from central Illinois, the mom of lstLt. Brandon Tattersall:

A navy chaplain, of course, will officiate.

Dear Family and Friends, we are gathered here today in the sight of God and the Marines to witness this exchange of vows, and see the love that these two dedicated, loving people have for one another. Wilt thou, :_, take :_ (who will from here out be referred to as 'dependent'), as your Family Member, to dwell together in so far as the Marines will permit? Wilt thou love her, comfort her via the U.S. Postal Service, phone or email, make sure she knows where the commissary, MCX, and the church are and what time she is scheduled to use the laundry room the DAY that she arrives, wherever you are stationed? Wilt thou attempt to tell her more than 24 hours in advance that you will be leaving for two weeks, beginning the next morning? This especially applies to the years you will live in a foreign country. --------------------------------------------- Wilt thou, :, take this Marine as thy wedded husband, knowing that he is depending on you to be the perfect Marine Wife, running the household and being nice to his Commanding Officer's wife? Further, you understand that your life with your husband (what little you may have together) will not be normal, that you may have to explain to your children not once, not twice, and more often in the same day, that mothers DO have husbands. This Marine is their daddy who loves them very much. Wilt thou love, respect and wait for him, preparing his favorite meals when he comes home, freezing them when he doesn't, send him his favorite cookies and pictures of yourself and family so he can remember what you look like? And last but not least, put the 'Welcome Home' sign on the door when he does arrive? ---------------------------------------------- I, :, take thee :_, as my 'dependent' from 1900 to 2200 hours or as long as allowed by my Commanding Officer (subject to change without further notice). For better or worse, earlier or later, near or far, I promise to look at the pictures you send me, maybe not when they get to me, but before I rack out (unless I'm too tired, then for sure the next day). I will also send a letter if time permits, and if not, to somehow, some way, make time. ---------------------------------------------- I, :, take thee :, as my live-in/live-out husband (from here out known as 'sponsor'), realizing that your coming and going and 0330 staff meetings are a normal (albeit absurd) part of your life as a Marine. I promise not to be shocked or taken by surprise when you inform me that, although we've just arrived at the new duty station, we will be leaving within the month. Yes, I'll have you as my sponsor as long as, while you are away, my allotment comes through regularly, and that you leave me a current Power of Attorney and the checkbook at all times. I promise to memorize your Social Security number, as this is the only way active duty personnel will recognize me at any appointment I have. I am a Dependent/Spouse and proud of it, dependent upon myself and my resources. Although I miss you when you are away, I know I can handle whatever comes across my path. -------------------------------------------- Now then, let no man or woman put asunder what God and the Marine Corps have brought together, only for them to soon say 'goodbye' to another. :____ (Active duty/Sponsor) leaves :___ (Dependent/Spouse) for his duty station tomorrow. :___ (Dependent/Spouse) will join him whenever the Accompanied Orders arrive. The Marines hereby issues this lovely, dedicated, independent woman knowing that she will be an asset not only to your marriage, but also to the Mission of the United States Marine Corps; which is, all you need to know to remain in a State of Readiness. By the authority vested in the Bible, elaborated in the USMC Regulations and subject to current directives concerning the aspects of marriage in the Marine Corps, you are now a 'Marine with Dependent'. You may kiss the Dependent/Spouse.
Semper Fi,
Bob Rader #1405534

My son Robert left for MSRD yesterday (1/22/05). He is 18 years old, but when I look at him, I still see my baby. He was a bit embarrassed, because he was the only one to have his family there to see him off. We were a bunch of woman sobbing in front of his new marine buddies. I told him he is lucky to have such supportive women in his life. Never be embarrassed, your the luckiest man in the world. We are so proud of him and all men and woman who are American patriots. I know my son will do great and I am not worried. I am PROUD! to call myself "MOTHER OF A MARINE".
Maria O. Wells

We must recognize that we have a great inheritance in our possession, which represents the prolonged achievement of the centuries; that there is not one of our simple uncounted rights today for which better men than we have not died on the scaffold of the battlefield. We have not only the great treasure, we have a great cause.
Winston Churchill

Artillery Brings Dignity
to What Would Otherwise
Be Just a Brawl.
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God Bless America! Sgt Grit

God Bless America!!
Semper fi!!
Sgt Grit

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