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Lima 3/25 has been the workhorse of RCT 2. name a town in al anbar province and they've been there. Name a mission or battle or news story about al anbar province since march and it will involve them, usually as the main effort. they average over 3 weeks worth of missions each month.

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Sgt Grit in Kansas City

My crew and I will be in Kansas City, Missouri August 3-7, 2005 for the First Marine Division Association Reunion Stop by and see us if you're there!


Last weekend driving through the infamous Hwy 58 corridor toward Franklin Virginia , the traffic was moving and the family and I were doing 60 in the far right lane. Out of nowhere , there was one of Virginia's finest was on my rear with the blue lights on and we were stopped. He politely executed the license & registration ritual and then informed me that I was clocked at 76 in a 55 zone. (Earlier, a similar vehicle to ours had passed us by and we guess that all he saw was us when he pursued) Before hearing an explanation, he changed the subject to my Marine service , having noticed my "Emblem flag" and "Marine Dad" decals. I was then thanked me for my service and respectfully requested that I obey the speed limits. As he walked away, the wife exclaimed "Thank you Lord" and I said "Thank you Corps!" But what needs to be said is " Thank you Sgt. Grit".

"Semper Fi"
Robert Shuler
USMC 1969-75
Mebane, NC

Several Retorts

I carry a silver business card case with me at all times. In it I have several retorts printed on business cards. When someone starts to bad mouth our policies in Iraq or about our military, I take out my silver business card case with the Marine Corps Emblem , my name rank and dates of service engrave on it, and give them one of the cards. I then give them a cherry g'day mate and walk away. It seems to work very well.

SSgt Sam Matthews, Jr USMCRetired

Enlisted At 14

At the July meeting of our Marine Corps League Detachment, one of our members brought with him his son who had just graduated from MCRD, San Diego. I asked the young Marine if he knew Medal of Honor Recipient Jack Lucas was standing a few feet away. He did not, and he then approached Jack and had a long visit with him. This young man will have quite a story to tell when he returns from his ten day leave. For those who do not know the story: Jack Lucas lied about his age and enlisted at age 14. He was finally caught, and plans were made to send him home. Determined to remain in the war, Jack stowed away on a troop ship, destination unknown. Other Marines and Sailors snuck food to him, until he was finally caught again. The ranking Marine officer decided that if Jack was that determined, he would allow him to land. Thus, at age 17, after three years in the Corps, PFC Jack Lucas landed on Iwo Jima. He pulled two Jap grenades under him and survived only because one was a dud. When I joined my college fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, 43 years ago; we had to learn the names of the two fraternity members, at that time, who had received the MOH. One was Gen. Louis Wilson, who died recently. The other was Jack Lucas.

Lamar Reynolds
Commiskey-Wheat Detachment, MCL
Hattiesburg, MS

Like My Son

My dear Karen, In answer to your question, how do I answer this women, let an old Marine Veteran try to help. What I would have answered was" my son became a Marine at this time so that you would have the right to ask such a question with out getting a punch in the nose from a patriot or worse from an enemy who is bound to take over America if not for men like my son." I know I'm a little late in this answer but I'm just catching up with my Sgt. Grit News Letters.

Cpl. Frank Panetta
G/Hdqrt.2-7-!st Marine Div.
1-22-42 to 10-12-45

Major Larry Wine

On May 27,2005 Major Larry L. Wine Sr. , answered his final roll call. He died from cancer , from Agent Orange (that our Gov. said for a long time was not the cause of cancer). Anyway Major Larry Wine and I were very good email friends and I was able to meet him and his wife Phyllis at a Long Ago Marines reunion last November. I called him on land line every week end to see how he was doing. One week-end he told, me that Hospice had put him on Oxygen, I knew it was almost over. Major Wine was a Mustang Marine, but he had to take a Medical Retirement because of his cancer. His Wife Phyllis called me and told me, Larry had passed away 5/27/05. I wanted to make sure he received Full Military Honors, so I told his wife I would make some phone call's for her. I called the Commandant of the South Carolina Marine Corps League, Ed Hammons and asked if he had any MCL Detachment in or near York SC, and told him about Major Wine, also about the Marine Corps League Fallen Marine Program. He gave me the phone number of Rick Torrence who is the Commandant of the Olde English Leatherneck Detachment, about 30 minutes from York SC. Ed and Rick told me they would make sure Major Larry L Wine would receive Full Military Honors both from the Unites States Marine Corps but also from the Marine Corps League as well. I received a phone call and email a few day's later from both Commandants Ed Hammons and Rick Torrence that the mission was accomplished. A week later I called Phyllis Wine to see how she was doing, and she told me that the Marines took VERY GOOD care of Major Larry L. Wine and herself at his funeral service. Now that's Brotherhood, two phone calls to Marines I've never met and the request is done. Commandant Ed Hammons told me that South Carolina is now going to adopt the Fallen Marine Program also. If any MCL Detachment wants to find out more about "The Fallen Marine Program" go to They started the program 2000 and my Detachment adopted it in 2004. My sincere thanks to the MCL in South Carolina, and the Regular Marines who paid Honor to Major Larry L. Wine, that's Semper Fidelis.

Paul R. Renfro, Chaplain, McLemore Detachment #324, Houston, Texas

To Grady Rainbow;
NEVER, NEVER, listen to those dumb @ss civilians that tell you to "let it go" or "get over it" They will never know nor will they ever understand. continue to honor your friend and his family because that is what sets a Marine apart from the rest of the world... Semper-Fi & God Bless America Ted Tube C/Co 1st Bn 7th Marines 67-68

Both Hams

The only other community of individuals I know of that is as quick to welcome a fellow as Marines is the Amateur Radio family. When I was in boot camp at Parris Island in March-April 1983, I was going through interviews for the clearance I'd need for my MOS. The MSgt was having a fine time grilling me - and I was enjoying it just as much. One thing I remember was that he absolutely couldn't believe that a 23-year old California girl had never smoked grass. I had tasted it once, decided it was nasty and never tried it again, so he eventually agreed that I had never really smoked it, but we had a fine time going 'round and 'round about it. Somewhere along the way, it came out that we were both "hams" and the 3-day interview process got a lot more friendly after that! It is one of the memories of boot camp that still makes me smile 22 years later.

Allison McKowen

I Still Remember

Sgt. Grit, I've been a Marine for almost a year now. I got to MCRD San Diego on May 17 2004. Golf Co. PLT. 2087. I've lost contact with most of the guys I went to boot with but I remember most of them vividly. A couple weeks ago I was on MOL looking for some of them but I couldn't find my rack mate from 3rd phase. I thought it was strange since he was there last time I checked a few months ago. A few days went by and I was reading through the latest issue of Marine Corps times and I came across his name. Unfortunately it was on the list of KIA's. He got blown up in Fallujah along with 3 females. I thought for a second that maybe it was another Marine with the same name, but I doubt that there is more than one PFC Muy, Veashna. I still remember the conversation we had one night after the Crucible... I guess we won't be having that B.B.Q. after all. I don't remember what his MOS was, and it didn't say much about him in the article except that he was killed in the blast. But the Corps lives on continuing the fight. May God bless him and comfort his family.

LCpl Fernandez D.J.
MCAS Yuma Az.
MAG-13 MALS-13

Who Served With Me

Sgt. Grit;

I just read the item by Corpsman Mark W. Stepenson about his service with 'The Corps.' I want to thank him and all other Corpsmen for their service. As an old Mud Marine, there is no group of men I hold in higher esteem than the Corpsmen who served with me.

Over three tours in Vietnam, I had ample opportunity to observe the selflessness and gallantry exhibited by these men. Long ago, I forgot that the Corpsmen technically were members of the US Navy. They wore the Corps uniform, ate the Corps food, slogged side by side through the heat and muck of the same rice paddies, dodged the same bullets. However there remained one striking difference. When I tried to make myself small in fire fight, the Corpsman often left his place of safety to go in harms way, ignoring the enemies fire to tend a wounded Marine. A Corpsman placed himself between me and the enemy one afternoon to treat my wounds. He paid the price of protecting me with his life.

When Mark lands on the heavenly shore, he can just walk up to the gate guard who will be in full Marine Blues, Say, I served with "The Corps" and the gate will be opened. God Bless all Corpsmen who have been "serving Marines." As I never write the word Marine with a little m, I never would write or think of Corpsman with a little c. Thank you, Corpsman Mark W. Stephenson.

L.E.A Chase-Meadows
Former Gunny

Platoon 361

Sgt. Grit,
With all the talk about Drill Instructors in your past few news letters, I would like to know what happened to mine. They were as follows;
S.Sgt. C.J. Eason
Sgt. R.L. Patton
Cpl. S.C. Shockley

I graduated September 1954, Platoon 361 and I still remember all of them very well. If any one of them read this I would like to thank them for a big part of what I am today. Their training, I took with me into the business world and still use it til this day. Now going on 71 years of age, I still walk ( can't run as I have replaced my knees ) at least 60 to 70 mins 7 days a weeks. There are days that I would rather sit on my duff than walk, but with the training I got in boot camp, I suck it up and do it rain or shine. I feel I owe that to the 3- Marines that taught me discipline while in boot camp.


Another FMF Doc

To Doc Stephenson,
As another FMF Doc I too spent half my career with the "Big Green Machine". Beirut, Norway, Okinawa, Korea, Desert Senior (X4), Somalia and the roughest of all an OSO in Spokane. With all the deployments etc I spent around 11-12 of my 22 years with the "Grunts" To me there is only one "Corps". It just happens to have two first names, Hospital and Marine. Like you I am proud of my time in the field and was never more happy than when I was in the field. The greatest Honor and respect that exists is between the Corpsmen and Marines they serve with.

To bastardize a popular phrase

To My Corps
In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right, but My Corps, right or wrong.

Doc Higgins

Overcame My Fear

I'm proud to be a Marine. Although I'm not on active duty, it doesn't change things. I was in the Corps from 1961 to 1964, and took Boot Camp at wonderful Parris Island. Everything I've accomplished in life is a direct result of my training. I learned to never give up. I retired from law enforcement after a 29 year career. During that time I had different assignments from under cover to riding a motorcycle. I was a point man on the swat team, and overcame my fear of heights when I rappelled of an 8-story building. My point is this: it just doesn't get any better than being a Marine. I'd go back in today if the Corps would have me. Thanks go to S/sgts. Drew, Grabenbauer and Noland, Plt. 113, C. Co. 1st. Bat. MCRD.
Cpl. Tom Balash

After Almost

Sgt. Grit;

First of all, THANK YOU so much for this wonderful newsletter. It is always the high point of my week when I can set down and read those words, thoughts and feelings from fellow Marine brothers and sisters...after almost a decade of marriage, my wife is finally beginning to understand this "Marine Thing" we have among us. When I'm checkin' out the latest from "Grit", she always leaves me alone until I finish. I travel a great deal (about 100 days a year) to schools across the country talking to kids about drugs, gangs and prison, (www.MAD-DOG.ORG) and therefore I fly a lot. She has been with me in airports when I see young Marines in uniform and always tell 'em "Semper Fi, Mac" and offer to feed 'em or buy 'em a 'beverage'. She has also seen the same thing happen in return, or have folks say "Welcome Home" when someone notices my buckle, or jacket or forearm tattoo (Mad Dog - USMC) when we're out in public someplace. She asked me once..."You really love those guys, don't you?" I told it was because we all love each other enough to do whatever it takes, because we all know that no matter what we can always count on each other when it really counts. God, how I miss it. Any way, enough of my rambling. I have read several messages from guys looking for their old D.I.s, and I'm not much different. I graduated from M.C.R.D. San Diego in March '72, Plt. 2133, DI's were GySgt. Lawrence, SSgt. Sheffer & Sgt. Spivey. When we graduated, I didn't really have anywhere to go, no family to speak of (or that cared) and decided that I would just take it easy for a couple of days and then report to Infantry Training School (San Onofre), Camp Pendleton for my training. Sgt. Spivey knew that I had no family and was gracious enough to let me hang for a day or two with him, then took me to CamPen in his ugly green Ford van. Also...I was stationed at Camp Hansen on Okinawa as an instructor with Division Ranges where I served with a guy named Randy "Boot" James from Somerset, TX. We used to play football in the mud on weekends any time it rained, had a great time...on and off base. He introduced me to Absenthe (sp?) water...I can still feel it. I used to have a photo of he and I after an all night training march to the northern training area and back, both of us soaked in sweat...but smilin' and "salty". I have wondered a million times what ever happened to those two, and have thanked them both in my mind many for teaching me about what being a "Marine" means, and the other for being my first friend in The Corps. If either of them read this...well, you know. Sgt. Grit...THANK YOU AGAIN, for all you do for all of us. I'll be through OKC soon, and will stop in and 'resupply'. Take care and SEMPER FI, MAC.......

Dale "Mad Dog" Messmer

That's All He Wanted

Sgt. Grit, My son is coming home from college, that is paid for, fully paid for! After one year and a lot of fun and good grades he told me it is time for him to carry on! he wants to come home and join the CORPS, just like his dad. I was in from 81 to 89, I was med. discharged due to spinal injury in dec.87 in Cuba. Due to my being a disable vet. at 100 %, he and his brother have VA collage paid for! He said it was more important to be a marine at this time, then to wait for collage and ocs. He wanted to carry-on the family tradition! My heart is torn in to, should he finish school or through it away and go to the sand box,( we live at camp LeJeune), that's all he wanted to do is be a Marine like dad! my wife is proud and sad too! being a Marine is not the problem it's school, anyone with any helpful thoughts? I have all ways loved my time in and would never change a thing!!!! even the pain I have now!! We know to many at the sand box, soo y'all stay low!!!

Sgt Ken "P" Patterson

So I Went Back

i was in veit-nam for two tours , first one was in chu lai in 1966 and then went aboard the uss iwoa jima and the uss prinston. was in hmh 363 , and alot of time in olongapo city subic phillipines!!! best times of my life!! went home and got stationed at a reserve staition at south waymouth mass. couldn,t handle all that bull sh-t so i went back to veit-nam in1968- 1969 was in hml-367 for a while and then went up to dong-ha first full squadrin up there and we got our @ss kicked, 122mm russian rockets !! remember the rock pile and kia sanh ?? ihad a h&ll of a time serving our beloved marine corp and would,t trade it for anything!!! god bless all you marines out there!!
cpl. paul dean u.s.m.c.

I Am Very Proud

Sgt Grit I retired from the Corps in June 1992. I went in May 1972, to go too VN, but when I went in they stopped sending people over there. But in the twenty years that I proudly served the Corps, I have been many places. I served three tours in Okinawa, and in Ca., also Az, and in Va. My last tour was in Jacksonville, NC, and from there I went to the first gulf war. I thank the good LORD, that I did not lose any of my team in that war. I ran a combat log, in the forward area, and support 2nd LAI., My son is in the Corps, and he has been to Iraq, and three of his fellow Marines, lost there lives there. I am thankful that the LORD, kept his hand on my son and brought him home. The really sad part of it, was that his mother died before he could see her again.

I loved my time in the Corps, and if I could go in again I would, but age and body will not allow me to do that. I am very proud of what my fellow Marines are doing around the world, and the sacrifice that they endure, to help us stay free.

William J. Plew

Not Much Going On

Sgt. Grit,

To add to all of the other replies for Karen (the Marine mother who was asked why her son joined the Corps):

This may help mothers to understand why their son or daughter became a Marine. Explaining this to any non-Marine affiliated person will never sway their views, as they will never understand what I am about to say. Only your child , Marines and family, and your close friends and family of your Marine will understand.

I can remember joining, 1989, it was somewhat a war free world, I was 18 full of life and energy. Not much going on in my life, just a good kid with an unknown future ahead. In fact I didn't even know what I didn't even know, (about life that is). But somehow I did know that there was a future in the military, a way to make something out of myself. So off to Marine Corps Boot Camp I went. We can all understand that kids join the military to help out the country and make a honest living on the side. But why did I or your child join the Marine Corps? Why not the Air Force? Surely the Air Force college tuition is higher, jobs are safer, or barracks are newer/bigger/nicer? Life in the Air Force would be easier.

Out of all the other "better" services, why do kids join the Marine Corps? When I say "better" I mean better benefits, better college tuition, better civilian orientated training (so what did you learn in the Marine Corps, "I can kill you at 500 yards"), better chow halls, better barracks, better duty stations, usually better fighting conditions during war (we all know the history, and I am not trying to down grade the other branches and their conditions during any war or fight, we all do what we all have to do. The Marines are not called Devil Dogs for nothing), etc... And the Marine Corps is known for its "do more with less" attitude. So, getting back to the question, why the Marine Corps?

My first brush with this question was during my Avionics school, Millington, TN, right after Boot Camp. Both Navy Squids and Jarheads were taught together. We were all sitting around with the senior instructor. He began to ask each of us why we joined the military. Every answer from a Navy Squid had to do with college, its a better job than I could have gotten elsewhere, nothing better to do, wanted to see the world, likes ships, nuclear school, had a signing bonus, and whatever. But when a Marine answered up, each answer was exactly the same, "he wanted to be a part of the best, he wanted to be the best, and the Marine Corps was the best." It did not matter that the other services had more to offer and may be easier on a daily basis, they were not and never will be the best. The Marine Corps was Hard, and we wanted to be made Hard by the Marine Corps. That was a known and respected fact by all in the class, even the Navy senior instructor.

I have heard that same answer from every Marine every time it was asked. I truly believe no matter what the circumstances were for your child to join the Marine Corps. When it is all boiled down, "being part of the best, and being the best" is the reason for joining the Marine Corps. And that is the legacy your child has earned when becoming a Marine, that is the Everlasting Greatness that can never be taken away when given to us on those meat grinders in San Diego or Parris Island. It is embodied within the name, Marine. The road is hard, and for each Marine it started the day he/she had the notion to join the military and walked away from the other branches and into that Marine Recruiters Office. Before joining we each knew the Marines were the least "benefit having" branch of the services, and were the first called to war. But in the end the Marines are known for being the best! So we are now part of that breed. We are now part of that brotherhood. As Marines we know the legacy can not die, it does not diminish, it only gets greater, disrespect (a feeble attempt) can never take it away, it is not hidden away, it is there for all to see and witness, there is nothing our enemies can do about it, it is witnessed by the world wherever we go on a daily basis, it is forever!

And as good ole Gunny Hartman in "Full Metal Jacket" said, "And always remember this... Marines die. That's what we're here for. But The Marine Corps lives forever. And that means you live forever."

Cpl Gwatney
1989-1995, Avionics VMA-223
USMC, Cherry Point

And I Challenge

This past weekend in the midst of watching fireworks from the rocks beneath the pier in Oceanside, Ca i took a couple of minutes to remember why i could sit on these rocks and watch this show. I am a 19 year old Lance Corporal who has not been to Iraq yet but will be going there in september. Even at my young age i know why...why i can barbeque...why i can watch fireworks...why i can fly the American flag. i can do these things because of a young marine i knew who went to boot camp just a year ago and was killed about 6 months back...because so many like him that have put their lives on the line and never come home. The brave men and women who fought at Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Chosin Resevoir, Danang, Fallujah and so many other battles in between. So i would like to express my sympathy to those who have lost someone in any war and extend to them the thanks that we can celebrate the birth of this great nation because of their sacrifices and the sacrifices of all those serving. So every American, i hope that you didnt just put a flag out and say that you did your part, i hope that you all took a moment or two to remember why you have a long weekend off from work on the fourth of july. And i challenge every American to take pride every morning when dressing in whatever uniform you wear civilian or military to remember that you wear that because of the men and women who have come before us who have fought and died and those who continue to do so as you read this, just as i do every morning. God bless the fallen and their families. And those who serve and their families.

Green JR
Friend to a fallen marine
Brother to so many others

Whenever I'm Asked

Sgt Grit, I recently had to go into the hospital for a cardiac cauterization where they put a catheter from your groin into your heart to see if you've got blockages or whatever. I was quite nervous when I was wheeled into the procedure room. A technician introduced himself as "Tim" and explained that he would be assisting the doctor with the procedures. He asked if I had any questions and when I peppered him with the questions I had, he said, "You seem pretty prepared and ask good questions , you must have been in the service." Of course, as always, whenever I'm asked if I was in the "service, I replied, "NO, I was in the Marines!"

He then turned around to all the staff in the operating room and in a berating tone said " Why didn't anybody tell me there was family coming in here today?" He then proceeded to tell me about his Gulf war service as a Marine and donned a camouflage Lead apron with a Bulldog on it. He also made the Dr. quite aware of the importance of his patient. I came through with flying colors and a renewed respect for the word "Family"

Bob Doherty USMC AMTRACS 1959-1963

Made A Small Difference

Sgt Grit, I spent a lot of my time in the Navy as a "devil doc". I served with the 1st Recon Batt. in Vietnam in 1971/72, and again with the 1st Marine Division in Saudi in 1990. I am proud to say that I was a "Marine Corpsman" and that I made a small difference in the lives of others. I am proud to call my self a brother marine. I still live in Oceanside, CA and I love the fact that I can interact with the younger Marines of today. This is a wonderful generation and they are doing us very proud in far off places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Thank you Sgt Grit for allowing us a place to express our feelings. Take care all of you "Devil Dogs" out there and "Semper Fi".

Samuel H. Brookins III

Unconsciously Become

Dear Sgt. Grit:

I have been meaning to write for some time, but have never gotten around to it. Recently, two identical twins from our area enlisted and are now going through their initial training at Camp Pendleton. As a survivor of the Korean war, I feel an important message should be heard by all young Marines, and those who aspire to become Marines. Pay Attention To Your Training! It Will Save Your Lives! During moments of crisis, you will unconsciously become the product of your training. Not everyone responds to crisis in the same way.. but if you pay attention to your training, in almost all cases, you will revert to what you learned during training exercises. I had served a voluntary 3-year enlistment from 1947 to 1950. I had gone through radio school at Camp Del Mar in San Diego, and was then assigned to sea duty aboard the USS Mt. McKinley (AGC-7) for two years. I was sent to Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, VA for my last year of service, teaching radio procedure to young Officer Candidate students. I was discharged in May 1950 and recalled 4 months later, serving from September 1950 to June 1952. Immediately upon recall, I was assigned to 2nd Anglico, where I went through the necessary training to become qualified as a naval gunfire and close air support spotter and Assistant Team Leader. I was with 2nd Anglico for about 4 months when I was TAD'd to the 1st Marine Recon, special team Alpha. We encountered some situations where we didn't have time to think out solutions - we just reacted ... we automatically responded in the manner which we were taught. We became the product of our training. We made the right decisions and we all lived. After my release from active duty, I became a Police Officer... and again, my Marine Corps training stood me in good stead time after time through the years. Again, Pay Attention To Your Training! It Will Save Your Lives!

Robert (Bob) Dean
Sergeant 650966
1947 - 1952

Thoroughly Experienced

Sgt Grit,

My parents are retired and live a few blocks from the beach in Tijuana, Mexico. I reside in San Diego, but this is were I call home. Well, the other night, another Marine and I visited and decided to drive down into the sand in order to enjoy the ocean. Well, it was getting late (11 pm) and we decided to make a break. We got back on the street and headed towards my parent's house. Soon enough I get pulled over by an Officer of the Law, Tijuana type.

At this point, thoroughly experienced at these matters, I placed a $20 note on my left breast pocket.

The officer informed me that I exited the beach area incorrectly on a one way street. This was unintentional but true. He said he would have to issue me a citation ( aka bribe) so he asked me for DL and registration. As I pulled out the registration from the wallet, he noticed the EGA on my military i.d. He asked me if we were in service. I responded yes.

His tone mellowed and his facial expression showed signs of sorrow. He stated that his younger brother was in the Army. I asked if his brother had served in the Iraqi sands. The officer said that he was currently serving over there. The officer asked me the same, I then mentioned that we had just returned from our 2nd tour in Iraq.

He handed me my license without the citation and send me home.
Sgt L.A. Perez
OIF 1, OIF 2.2
MWCS-48 DET FWD, Miramar CA

P.S. Half of our detachment has strong ties to Mexico. To pay for our families opportunities in the U.S, We proudly do our part and carry our own weight (and some).

I Can Say That

Hey Gritand Semper Fi Marines. I am one of Chesty's Chosin and I can say that I have never been prouder of our young marines today. Both male and female serve us proud and as such deserve our gratitude and affection. I served my country proudly and with dignity and honor for 16 years was medicalled out at 87% and have never taken one penny in tribute from my country. I signed a contract with my country and did the very best I could in all situations to live up to that contract and never felt that they owed me anything. I lost my knees in indo-china in '66 and as such lost my jump status. When I was shipped back to the states, I was shuffled around different assignments until the Dr's. finally put me out. The marine of today is just as tough, resourceful and dedicated. With all the new toys, I only wish I were 16 again.

Semper Fi to all and your loved ones.......

Ethan Lightfoot (CWO-4) (USMC-RET)

To Be God

"Some good people might have stayed in the Marines if things had been tough enough to create the conditions where a guy couldn't quit. Physical fitness by itself does not mean tenacity. The thing that really disturbs me is the drill instructor being made to stand in front of his platoon and swear that he's going to be nice and not use bad language. That DI's got to be god when he walks in there. The officer's aren't the problem, Congress is the problem and the American Civil Liberties Union lawyers." James Webb, FORMER SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.

The Few and The Proud

He looks in the eyes of young children and sees a pure innocence he has long forgot. He has allegiances and oaths that those unlike him would never understand. At times he recalls when he had done things that really pain him today to remember. He wonders a lot about those he held close, so long ago.

He speaks to God a lot, but never in the conventional way.he actually talks to God. He asks the Lord what brought him to this point in his life and asks if he is doing the right thing. He lies awake at night to watch over a friend, or to keep safe a fellow man he does not know.

We ridicule him, we scowl at him, we mock his code and yet we order him off to die for what we believe in. We are ungrateful at the least, unfaithful at the most. We do not hold for him a high enough place of honor. We look in pity rather than brotherhood on the family he leaves behind. And what's most amazing is, for all this.he volunteered.

He is brave and reverent and lives for respect given and respect felt. He doesn't only know history.he honors it. He understands that he plays a major part in history. We hold men and women like him to a higher standard than we hold ourselves. We ask that they represent us on the world stage. Sometimes they have our blessing and sometimes they have our scorn. Remember they do what we ask of them to do.

They make their family proud, and that makes us proud too. Their politics is unimportant, their sacrifice is not. We should thank them everyday that we don't have to do what they do. We should honor their families for their sacrifices and never stop letting them know how grateful we really are. Only in this country can I witness a people that changed from despising their soldiers to honoring them.

When you see them at the airport applaud, at the deli buy them a cup of coffee, or on the street shake their hand or just say have no idea how good it will make both of you feel. I could not be prouder of my country or it's military. They are the finest assembly of young men and women America has to offer, bar none.

To them I will be eternally grateful!


Tommy Leonard

I Passed On That

In the July 14th Newsletter, Ken "P" Patterson wrote about his son leaving college to join the Marine Corps. Ken, I did that exact same thing in 1968, knowing that I would probably go to Viet Nam. Have courage and faith. Your son is showing maturity, good judgment and patriotism. His intelligence will be recognized. The Corps may offer him OCS and he may get his college degree and become an officer. I passed on that offer and became a "Grunt", 0331. A Major told me that if I turned down OCS, they would give me the worse job in the Corps at the time. I made the right choice and was proud of being a Machine Gunner. It was one of the best decisions I made in joining the Marine Corps. I went back to school and earned my BS and MBA, after returning from Nam. The Marine Corps helped me to become more mature and school became easier, because I achieved things much harder in The Corps than what any school to throw at me. Support his decision and encourage him to be the best.

Secondly, in the spring I raise the American Flag along with The Marine Corps Flag in front of may house and they stay up until after the Marine Corps Birthday every year. This year, the first week of May, while I was home on Monday working out of my house doing paper work, my door bell rang. I was on the telephone with a customer, so I could not answer it immediately. The bell rang a second time and the person was knocking on the door as well. As I hung-up the phone the person was knocking real hard now. When I answered the door, no one was there. I walked out and someone was walking around my house. I called out to him. He immediately asked "Are you okay?" I looked at this person and had no idea who he was and wondered what he was talking about. I answered "Yea, why?" He immediately pointed to my flags, and it took me a second to realize what he was doing. My Marine Corps Flag was flying upside down. He announced that he was Gunny John from the Marine Unit at Westover, in Chicopee, MA. I told Gunny that I did not realize this and deserved a kick in the a@@. He said "Yes you do" and immediately gave me one, for which I stood there and took it. Gunny usually goes to the base by another route, but went by my house for the first time and same the flag flying upside down. He immediately stopped his Jeep, blocked my driveway and knocked on my door. The "Distress signal" was up and he was checking. We talked for some time and Gunny made sure that I changed the flag before he left. He wanted to stop by again before him and his unit went to the Sandbox, but in reading the newspaper, they deployed earlier than what he thought. I am looking at how to get in contact with Gunny John. If anyone knows, please let me know at If you can send me his email address or postal address, I would like to stay in contact. Gunny, if you are reading this, you and your Marines do your job as expected and come home safe. I'll have the cold beers waiting for you and your Marines when you get home.

Semper Fi
John Hurley
Cpl, 68-71

Hobbs NM

Hey Sarge,

And one final statement from the Chief of Police in Hobbs NM. Ya'know my bite may be bigger than my bite. Really stirred these fella's up....
Sgt. T Sheaf

Dear Sergeant Sheaf,

I learned of this alleged letter last Friday, but have not seen it yet. It is my understanding that it appeared in one of Sgt. Grit's newsletters. I am trying to find out more information about this to be able to better respond to you and others regarding what appears to be erroneous information.

While I am not sure this is the same incident, I was in church on a Saturday evening when we heard numerous sirens. Believing that there was some major incident outside, I excused myself and went out to investigate. What I observed was police cars from both the Hobbs Police Department and Lea County Sheriff's Department, as well as various apparatus from the Hobbs Fire Department all traveling with emergency lights and siren. I contacted the police department dispatch center to determine what was occurring, and was advised we were escorting a returning Hobbs resident who was one of our military veterans who had just returned from the Iraq War. I returned to church, and advised my wife of what it was, and that I wished I would have known, because she and I would have been out there with the units. I was proud that our community would do this for our veterans.

My father and his brother and my mother's brother are United States Army Korean War Veterans; an Uncle is a United States Marine Corps Korean War Veteran; another uncle is a United States Marine Corps World War II Veteran; my cousin is a United States Army Vietnam War Veteran; my brother-in-law and I are United States Marine Corps Vietnam Veterans; my younger brother is a United States Navy Middle East Veteran; and our eldest son is a career United States Marine who is currently a Gunnery Sergeant and was in Iraq during the initial invasion, as well as being a veteran of two other armed confrontations.

Please be assured that as a veteran, a relative of many veterans, the proud father of a United States Marine, and the Chief of Police of the City of Hobbs, I would never have disciplined any officer for participating in this event, nor would I have permitted a member of our staff to discipline any officer from participating in this event.

Like the Hobbs mother of the United States Marine, my wife and I know the fear and anguish of having a son in Iraq. During the invasion we didn't sleep; neither our daughter-in-law or us had heard from our son from the time he started waiting in Kuwait to cross over until after they made their way into Beirut. We knew these Marines were hurting for supplies and word from home, but couldn't get anything to them because the mail wasn't going through. Every opportunity we had, we watched the news for the chance to see any sign of him, and to find out what and how he was doing. I finally found out what I put my mother through when I was in Vietnam. And when he returned home, we made sure he had a very large welcome.

I am a firm believer that "Freedom isn't Free", and that we dearly owe these brave young men and women who are willing to fight for our freedom. If you know a veteran of any of our wars, please tell them thank you from my family and I. Also thank them on behalf of the members of the Hobbs Police Department.

Semper Fi, and thank you Sergeant Sheaf for your service to our country in the United States Marine Corps.

Kenneth W. Bohn
Chief of Police
City of Hobbs Police Department

I Can Tell By

Sgt Grit The " You might be a parent" is so ever lastingly true it is hard to describe. Our son is a L/CPL with 1st LAR. He has had one tour in the land of sand and is about to go back for his 2nd. One day pushing my shopping cart through the check out at Wal-Mart the cashier said " Got a kid in Iraq?" " I can tell by what your buying" You know, baby wipes, duct tape, insect repellant, sun screen, the whole works. Not one paragraph of that did not touch us is some form or other. My wife and I are so proud of our son and all the Marines words are not enough. OOOO RAHHHH!!!!! Semper Fi!!!!

Tom Horn
USMC 65-69

He Felt Bad

SGT Grit,

I have received all of the newsletters since the change over. I wanted to take this time to thank you for the wonderful newsletter that you provide. It a blessing to glean encouragement and hope from them. My son is currently in Iraq with a due date home around the end of September. He was wounded June 21 and was back out on patrol with his team by July 4. He felt bad every time his team went out and he wasn't there to do his job. I am so very proud of my son and the brotherhood that he has become a member of. Thank you once again for the service that you provide. May God continue to bless our troops, our president and our country. Semper Fi!!

Linda Russell
PMM of LCPL Christopher Beavers

Off The Hook

Proudly displaying our USMC flag from Sgt. Grit. By the way this flag saved our bacon....we live on a 60 acre farm in the Pacific Northwest. At the crack of dawn one morning a SWAT team of DEA guys drove up our 1/4 mile long driveway trying to access a spot in the woods north of our property where a pot field had been spotted from the air. Looking suspiciously at us at first [my husband was smoking....and he rolls his own to save money they spotted the USMC flag and immediately relaxed. From their subsequent comments we could tell we were off the hook in their minds, as rightfully we should have been. Finding no way to get-there-from-here, they left and we never saw them again. I don't know if they ever found what they were looking for, and I haven't had the nerve to hike back there and look for it either. Periodically though a blackhawk type helicopter circles the woods north of our place real low in a grid search pattern. When they fly by, I just stand by my Sgt. Grit USMC flag and wave.

Ronna who has a green thumb but only for plants legal to grow Proud mother of two Marines, LCpl Derek & Dylan

Sometimes I Feel

Sgt. Grit,

I'm sure I missed the last two newsletters. I realized that I was missing my usual reading materials for my Friday evening commute home.

Sometimes I feel that every word in the newsletter should be read into the Congressional Record or at least be published in every major newspaper just to balance off the usual propaganda.

Dennis Kennedy, Captain VN '65-'66.

$10,000 Per Call

A writer decided to write a book about the many churches and chapels found on military installations. He bought a plane ticket to Fort Jackson, SC thinking he would start by working his way across the USA. On his first day he was inside the Base Chapel taking photographs when he noticed a golden telephone mounted on the wall above a sign that read "$10,000 per call." The man, being intrigued, asked a soldier who was passing by what the telephone was used for. The soldier replied that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 you could talk to God. The man thanked him and went on his way. Next, he stopped at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, DC. There, at a very large Chapel, he saw the same golden telephone with the same sign under it. He asked a nearby Airman what this phone's purpose was. She told him that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 he could talk to God. "O.K., thank you," said the man, and left. He then traveled to Ft. Hood, TX , Wright Patterson AFB, OH, the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, and Naval Air Station Oceana, VA. In every chapel he saw the same golden telephone with the same "$10,000 per call" sign under it! He decided to travel to a Marine base to see if he would find the same phone. He arrived aboard Camp Pendleton, CA and while waiting to visit the base chapel, he was invited into the Enlisted Mess. There was the same golden telephone! This time, however, the sign under it read "40 cents per call." The man was surprised. Just then a Gunnery Sergeant walked in and he asked about the sign. "Gunny, I've traveled all over America and I've seen this same golden telephone in many chapels on many different military installations. I'm told that it's a direct line to Heaven, but in the Army, the Air Force and even the Navy the price was $10,000 per call. Why is it so cheap here?" The Gunny smiled and answered, "You're on a Marine base now sir. It's just a local call." Bill Hart Cpl., USMC, '53-'56 ANGLICO, 3/6 Have a fine Marine Corps day!

Illegal To Stalk

Some 20 years ago I thought I was prouder than anyone could have ever been when I walked across the parade deck at Parris Island. I thought even then that my father was not as proud as I was. Now, as I prepare to go to Parris Island to watch my son walk in the footsteps of his grandfather and his mother, I know I will be much prouder than he is. You never know that you are raising a Marine. You never know that 13 weeks actually takes 100 years from your life. You never know that it is illegal to stalk a US Postal Carrier until you have a child "on the island". I write my son every day. Sometimes twice. I have his picture all over the house, not the ones that were there when he left, but many more that I dug out after he was on the plane. Ones of him wearing my cammie cover. Ones of him playing Marine with a diaper and a bucket on his head. Every time I write "Dear Son" I can not help but think of what it means to have raised a US Marine. By the grace of God, I have achieved something that many mothers do not get to know. I have found out what pride really is. It is not because he is following in the footsteps of his family. It is that he has made a commitment to serve us, you, me. I will forever be changed, as the mother of a United States Marine. Semper Fi, Teresa" (mother of Christopher A. Hilty, currently of Parris Island, SC)

Not Critical

I would like to know if anyone else is experiencing problems with their postmaster. Ours in Georgetown, Ca doesn't feel it is important to raise the flag daily. I stopped by on Monday after taking my husband to the VA ( he is 100% disabled) and asked why the flag was not up the clerk said he reminded the postmaster daily but the postmaster did not feel it was critical. I registered a complaint with the main post office and would like to get some help making this idiot realize that people care. The address for the post office in Georgetown is Post Office Georgetown, Ca 95634. I married into a Marine family and proudly wear a support our troops red, white and blue bracelet daily, fly the colors on my vehicle and at our home and feel this is treasonous. The post office in on the way to the local elementary school and sure sends a good message to our children. My husband and father in law are both retired Marines.

Semper Fi and God bless our flag and country
Ann Lang

When I Told My Dad

I'm now 43 years old. If I was asked my proudest moment in life, I'd probably say it was hearing a Marine at MCRD San Diego refer to me as "Marine" shortly after graduation on May 10th 1984 (platoon 2021 Hotel Company, 2nd recruit bn)

I was prior service in the Army (1980 -1983) Nothing can compare to the feeling of earning the title "U.S Marine".

When I told my dad (god rest his soul) shortly before I got out of the Army that I wanted to join the Marines, he told me if I was so "gung-ho" I should re-up in the Army and go special forces or something. That way I'd probably be a SGT soon.

I told him I'd rather be a private in the Marines than a Sgt in the Army.

Sure, boot camp was "less than pleasant" especially when the D.I's discovered I used to be an "Army doggie" but it was worth it.

Hearing "good morning Marine!" for the seasoned Marine at MCRD that sunny day 21 years ago is something I'll never forget.

(I served as an 0311 with E Co. 2bn / 3rd Marines from 84 - 87)

Greg Deuerlein

P.S I got out as a Cpl and was fine with it.

The Desired Result

Sgt Grit---I am receiving your newsletter and am enjoying it. By the way, in 2nd Force Recon(in the late 60s) the saying WAS: "To overcome, we adapt, we improvise, we innovate". If you think about it, it makes more sense. "Overcome" is the desired result. It's not part of the formula. I've heard it said other ways in the movies about recon, etc, but if they're trying to say it the way WE said it back in the day, "overcome" is the goal. I'm not being picky or anything. I thought you might just like to know.:^) Stay low and dry, Marine.

Jim Lykins 2531

I Lost My Scholarship

In response to:
Sgt Ken "P" Patterson

Hello My name is LCpl Brandon Mitalas. Your son's feelings are some of the exact same that I and some of the other Devil Dogs I know have experienced more than a few times. My unit is a reserve unit and have been called up twice now since the start of the War on Terror. I was secure in college on a soccer scholarship when a few planes flew into three buildings and another was brought down in a farm field. I can't explain why or how but I walked into a recruiters office after years of telling them no thanks and I signed the papers. People thought I was crazy giving up a free education, but then again Washington is a very liberal, tree huggin' hippie state. After finishing my training I returned to school. My unit was called up for the second time last summer, two weeks before training camp for soccer and a few months after I signed a full ride. When I was told we were going to Iraq, it was never a question in my mind, I was going no matter what I had to do. Incidentally I lost my scholarship and was told I was not welcome back on that schools team because of my duty. The coach of Concordia University in Portland Oregon, Dan Birkey said, "good luck finding another team to play for." He said that in the most condescending tone ever. Am I mad, nope. I am not telling you this to toot my own horn. I want you to understand that when you get the call (both metaphorically and literally) you answer it as I am sure you know through your time in the most dominating force the world will ever know (Semper Fidelis) All I can say to you Sir, is support your son. College will always be there. But the ability to serve, both mentally and physically diminishes with each passing day. He wants to accept the challenge of earning the title? Then I want to give him a big OOH RAH when he does. Semper Fidelis.

LCpl Brandon "Meat" Mitalas
Alpha Co. 4th LSB

Short Rounds

hi sgt grit:sgt stamper from the old days here.i really wished we had this letter and site when i was still in the's really great and keep up the great work.semper fi
I served more time with the Marines than the Navy, I preferred the Marines and consider myself 75 percent Marine.

Sgt. Grit. I just wanted to let you know that since I started receiving your news letter it's really great to see there's a lot of support out there for our marines and all our troops.

SGT. U.S.M.C. 1979----1983
Richard J Martinez, New Mexico.
I've got a question, Why wasn't I give a glob, anchor and, eagle when graduated from PARRIS ISLAND boot camp in 1952????????????? SEMPER-FI Sgt. JIMULLEN
Just got a e-mail from friends that General Krulak was injured from a fall off a ladder...6 ribs fractured and a collapsed lung. He's hanging tough...Keep him in all our prayers.

Semper Fi to all Marines
Especially to our Brother's that are harm's tonight
J.P.Looker( Former Sgt.of Marines 65/69)
As an older Marine the eyesight is now starting to fade a might. Just a note to let you know the new format is a lot easier for this old Marine to read.

Thanks again for all the great stories, keep them coming.


You only have the rights you are willing to fight for.

Semper fi
Sgt Grit

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