Sgt Grit Marine Corps Merchandise

Welcome to our Marine Corps Newsletter archives. Here you can find USMC articles and memories sent in to us by fellow Jarheads and their families. Enjoy!

Sgt Grit Marine Corps Newsletter - March 31, 2005

I'm a quadriplegic from the Korean Conflict and was wounded in 1951. I have been confined to a wheel chair for 53 years, have very little use of my arms and legs. People think I was crazy for enlisting.

I would do it all over again!!

Cpl. James P. Hill (Retired)

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2 Limited Time Specials......

NEW Only Until April 10th!

Special Family Member Bumper Stickers!
You've seen (and loved) the shirts, but now be sure to get a bumper sticker... My Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, Niece, Grandma, Grandpa, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Friend, Granddaughter, Grandson, Daughter, Son, Husband, Wife, Sons, Son-in-Law, God Son, Friends is a Marine (are Marines)

Also Only Until April 10th!

Many Colored Emblems - OVER 40 different color/shirt Combinations to choose from! You have to check these out...

Special Men's Golf Shirt

Special Women's Golf Shirt

Special Women's V-Neck T-Shirt

Special T-Shirts

New Items

The New Spring Catalog is here! A few items didn't make it in time, but they're here now:

Recruiting Command Patch

1st Battalion 26th Marines Patch

5th Force Recon Company Patch

Once a Marine Wife Hat/Lapel Pin

Key to My Heart Hat/Lapel Pin

See all the new stuff

Again, the New Spring Catalog is in. All of the new items are on the web and you should be receiving a catalog soon.

Closeouts - Only available while stock lasts

The Grunt Padre (Book)

Operation Iraqi Freedom Battle Roll Call T-Shirt

Old Corps T-Shirt - Size MEDIUM only!

Second Annual Gritogether being planned.

They Are Truly


As a former Marine who did his time on Sea duty and Vietnam, (9th and 26th Mar,Regts. MOS 0311, I would like the world to know that the Marines I have seen in today's Corps, we who have served before them have no need to worry about the torch being passed. They are truly Marine In Every Sense Of The Way.

Semper Fi,
J.P.Looker Sgt.65 - 69

My Husband's Job

Sgt Grit,
The other day at Wal-Mart, I was standing in line to checkout. I had a pin on my blouse of a Marine Corps and American Flag. Someone who knows my hubby is deployed saw me and began to ask if I'd heard from him and how he was doing, etc... The woman behind me in line asked "Is your husband in the Army?" To which I replied "Heck No, he's a Marine!" She said "Oh" like it was a bad thing. We continued to wait in line. A few minutes passed and she asked me "Does it bother you that your husband is a murderer?" I just said "No" and then asked her if she would like to know what the most important part of my husband's job is. She replied "No but I suppose you are about to tell me." I said, "The most important part of my husband's job is to protect your right to be as ignorant as you want to be." At which point, the man standing behind her in line began clapping. She went to another line. The man who clapped was a Vietnam Marine Veteran, and he told me "That's the way to keep your bearing" He said that if I hadn't said anything back to her, that he would have, but he thought that was the best possible response I could have made. Here's a thank you to all our Marines who protect our rights everyday, and to all the Marines who have ever done so. Ooorraahhh!
Semper Fi,
wife of a deployed Marine

My Grandfathers Life

Hello to all fellow Marines and Servicemen, I had the honor of serving the Corps from 71-75 at Parris Island as an MP. My comment is, that back in 71' I was just out of high school. I had two uncles who had served for more than 20 years in the Army. They both suggested the Marines. Having had grandfather that had served in the Marines from 1918-1920 at P.I. and Quantico. I saw only one choice. My grandmother said that by my going in the Marines, it added years to my grandfathers life. I remember telling my Dad, that I had signed up. He said "Are you nuts?" Well after about 24hrs at MCRD San Diego, I wondered. I was proud at the end of my service to have made the choice to become a Marine. My prayers are for all those great Americans in harms way,Semper Fi carry on.
Sgt. Hackney in Illini country...

Platoon Numbers

Hi Sarge:

I read your column most of the time. I see Platoon numbers of 4138 or 4827. What I am wondering is how these numbers are derived at. I was Fox Co. Platoon 318 graduating in September of 1951. Do the Platoon numbers stop at a certain point and return to zero ?

If the platoons were graduated at the rate of 140 or 150 a year, in fact that is even close to the number, in the last 50 odd years they would be up in the 77 hundreds. Perhaps you could enlighten an old jarhead.
P. Almond

Registered For The Draft

The other day, I was rudely reminded that my drivers license was expired. In a rush I went right away to the DL office and took a number. Now I wasn't the neatest of the bunch. Actually wearing my colors. i.e.. vest with EGA on back and numerous patches from you. hair wild etc. I noticed many folks shying away. Finally I heard. Hello sir and a young marine stood up to introduce himself. It seems he knew what the patches were. He was just back from Iraq and we chatted as the line grew shorter. Finally it was his turn. While filling out the paperwork the lady at the desk asked if he had registered for the draft. Wonders.

Cpl Paul W. Upthegrove

older but not wiser

Seemingly At Random

At the risk of beating "whether Marines were ever drafted or not" into the dirt...when I was getting my pre-enlistment physical in Jacksonville FL on 8 Mar 68, a stereotypical Chief walked into the room where we were all in various states of getting undressed. The Chief had us all stand at our version of attention while he went around the room and seemingly at random, pointed out four men in the room, them promptly announced, "You are going to the United States Marine Corps." One obviously overweight character collapsed on the wooden bench and began to cry like a baby.

Subsequently after reporting to Parris Island, SC on 2 July 68 to Platoon 193 our Senior Drill Instructor (To this very day, I cannot bring myself to refer to Marine Drill Instructor as a DI!!) informed us that we were the first platoon he had put through that had no draftees.

I spent 30 years in the Corps, and do not recall ever knowing a draftee. Which tells me, even draftees became good Marines, because there was no evidence of being a draftee once a Marine left Parris Island.

Love your news letter, keep up the good work.

Jerry Cox
Major USMC

Echo Company 2/3 Vietnam Veterans

Echo Company 2/3 Vietnam Veterans are having their 2nd annual reunion. It will be held at the Ramada Inn, Triangle, Virginia. The dates are 5 Jun through 9 Jun 05. Anyone that served or was attached contact Don Hinman 585-798-0830 or by email Semper Fi.

The Counter-Recruiter

They Guys and girls,
From what I've read in the news, there's a new monster in the ranks, He's the "counter-recruiter".

This is a guy who comes along after the Military Recruiter.
Talking to students in High Schools, in the neighborhood and sometimes, in the home.
Explaining the negative aspects of military life.

At first, it rankled me.
But then after some thought, I started thinking, maybe it's not such a bad idea.
Perhaps, there's a need for someone to point out, that there's a lot more to military life than what's told you, by the military recruiter.

It's sorta like having the ACLU defending cases, that, at the time, seem to go against our grain.
But, don't you think, that after all is said and done, we need someone or some organization of authority, that will champion an unpopular belief or idea.

Seventeen and eighteen year old kids, are so impressionable.
And let's face it, Military Recruiters are "super salesmen". These kids see the glamorous uniform, a chest full of medals, and a salesman, who's filling quotas and trying to get warm bodies on-board.

I'm not implying recruiters lie, but they certainly omit explaining a lot of the hard facts of military life.
The military recruiter will answer your questions.
But how many kids know, what kind of questions to ask..??

I know some of you guys, like myself.
I could have listened to a hundred counter-recruiters.
My mind was made up about joining the Corps, long before my father and I, signed on the dotted line.

But as a seventeen year old Black kid in the early 50s.
The Marine Corps' literature, office photos, or the recruiter. They all "conveniently" failed to point out, being Black, there was only two or three units I'd be assigned, in this Black and White Marine Corps.

I don't know, but it seems to me:
If we're selling a truly superior product. We should have no fear of competition, even if it's under the guise of a "counter-recruiter".

It'll help weed out the undesirables, before boot camp, before combat and before they bring "shame" to themselves, their unit and to the Corps.

And a special prayer to all of you who are in harm's way, on a daily basis.

Thank you and Semper Fi.

H S Bane
1103546 (Marine at Large)

CW Operator

A "CW" Operator is a 2533 (MOS) aka-spark chaser, aka communications / Morris code qualified. "CW" is short for "Continues Wave" which is what radio operators use for sending Morris Code.

Henry H. Hight--2533
and Always.

To the Marine who wanted to know what CW stands for, it means "continuous wave" as in Morse Code. As a Recon Marine and one time radio operator, I had to (attempt to) learn this. Not an easy task, and my hat was always off to the real communicators who made it look easy.

Recon Marine

Sgt Grit:
If I recall correctly, CW stands for Constant Wave, the method utilized to transmit/receive Radio Telegraph traffic (Morse Code). Again, if memory serves, the operators were commonly referred to as "Ditty Chasers".

Art Curley
University of Science, Music and Culture Parris Island Campus

Sgt Grit

Aw, c'mon, Grit - we aren't THAT ancient are we? The MOS was 2533 and the official title was "Radiotelegraph Operator". The unofficial name was "armpit-smellin', static-happy dit-chasers". All of us had the capability of using Morse Code at 18 WPM or better. Bet you hear from more than one of us "wackos".

My head's still ringin'.....
JJ Leist

you were a 2531 correct?
I am a 2533, radio-telegraph operator. that's what C W means. you know, dee dee dot dit.

As a high speed cw radio operator that means I could send and receive morse code at least 35 words a min.
Former Sgt Ron Haines 1947-1951
F-2-7th Marines Toktong Pass Korea

"CW Operator" = (Interrupted) Continuous Wave Operator - Radio operator - a "Key Pounder" - One who sends and receives Morse Code - For really fast communication, uses a "bug." I suspect, the way communications are handled today, the "art" is pretty well gone and forgotten!

Semper Fidelis
Dave Engler, Cpl., USMC - 410936 - 1942-1946
H&S/2/12/3rd MarDiv/FMF Pacific
Northern Solomons, Bougainville, Guam, Iwo Jima

Still Lacing Em Left Over Right

Sgt Grit,
I very much enjoy your newsletter. Sometimes tho, it's very hard to get through it without something getting in my eyes.

I was raised by a Marine. From the time I was a youngster I heard the words; "hit the deck", "boy, you better straighten up or I'll grab you by the stacking swivel and stack your a**" "breathe, relax, aim, slack, squeeze", and so many more. We buried that old Marine Corporal last November with full Marine honors. During the last 20 years of his life he never went anywhere, formal or casual without the EG&A on his shirt or hat. Whenever my brother or I would call our dad "the old man" he did not think it was disrespectful. On the contrary, he felt we were showing him the utmost respect as the 'old man' in the Marine Corps was the commander.

My brother and I became Marines during Viet Nam. He served with the Marine Air Wing at DaNang in 1969 and I served with the Marine Security Guard Company in Saigon also in 1969.

I would like to add more to what one of your writers had written in the newsletter who had later joined and then retired from the Army. I too served 6 years in the Marines and was discharged as a Staff Sergeant. About 6 months later, I joined the local Army National Guard primarily because it was close to my home and I wanted to perform some community service. I rose to the rank of Master Sergeant in the Army Reserve and then was offered a Warrant in the Reserves. I retired after 28 years with the Guard and Army Reserve as a CWO4.

It wasn't until a few years after I retired that I told my story to a friend. He could not believe that a Marine would serve with any Army unit. Let me tell you, every time I joined or was transferred to a different Guard or Army Reserve Unit and the commander found out I was a former Marine, I was given a leadership position on the first day, no questions asked. Even the Army values what and how the Marine Corps trains its personnel and the Army values the dedication to duty and honor that the Marine Corps instills in us. After spending 28 years in the Army, I finally realized that I may have worn the uniform of a Chief Warrant Officer in the Army, but I was nothing more than a Marine in disguise in the manner in which I wore the uniform, took care of my men, led and trained them and in the devotion to duty to my unit and my commanding officer. Once a Marine, always a Marine!

Semper Fi
Still lacing em left over right,

Robert Thomas,
Staff Sergeant of Marines &
Chief Warrant Officer of Soldiers.

Geez, You Guys Really Are Just Grunts

Recently, a Marine Corps Harrier squadron was invited to attend the annual Air Force Red Flag exercises at Nellis Air Force Base, NV. This is one of the USAF's big exercises, where they test combined arms employment of tactical air assets. The USAF F-15 pilots showed up on the ramp with dozens of rear echelon airman types and tons of equipment such as Ground Power Units, Accessory Power Units, Hummers, Trucks, Air Conditioners, etc.

The Marines appeared ready to operate in a combat environment and showed up with only their Harriers. The Air Force commander commented to the Marine commander: "Where is all your support stuff? Geez, you guys really are just Grunts that know how to fly."

Not wanting to disappoint the Air Force commander, the Marine commander got an idea of his own. He talked to his 1st Sergeant and later that night, the 1st Sergeant had his Marines make up bayonet studs on hose clamps. (There's a pitot tube sticking out of the nose of a Harrier.) In the hours of darkness, the 1st Sergeant had the clamp with the bayonet stud tightened onto the pitot tube of each Harrier.

The next morning, the Air Force pilots fell out on the ramp in front of their F-15s. The Marine pilots fell out on the other side of the ramp in front of their Harriers. Each Marine pilot had on his deuce gear with a bayonet in the scabbard. The USAF commander ordered his pilots to "man your planes." The USAF ground crews by the dozens scrambled to their trucks, APUs, GPUs, etc. and the pilots ran to their planes.

The Marine commander ordered his Marines to "Fix Bayonets," whereupon each pilot ran to the front of his Harrier and fixed his bayonet on the stud attached to the pitot tube. The Marine commander then ordered "CHARGE," and the Marines jumped in their Harriers, dusted airborne, and flew off.

The Marine commander turned to the USAF commander and said; "This is what we Marines consider Close Air Support."

You've gotta love them!


Pvt Zilch

(From the Bulletin Board)

Dear Gunny, Thanks for the Welcome...I served with the 3d MarDiv in Okinawa '56-'57...Ended up @ Marine Barracks, Wash., DC for a year and a half. On your website yesterday I read where an ole Marine was clearing out his grandma's attic and he came across a few years of old Leatherneck magazines....and a comic type book about a PVT. ZILCH....He was wondering whatever happened to Pvt. ZILCH...was he phased out or what......Well, I AM PVT. ZILCH...I am the creator of the cartoon character...Am just retired and cartooning full work appears regularly in Barron's, Harvard Bus. Review, Wall St. Journ. Read. Digest.ETC ETc....Anyway, would like to hear from anyone who remembers PVT ZILCH....Hope you can help me ...I'm still a novice navigating on this contraption....Semper Fi, Roy Delgado, Sgt. USMC

Way Back When

I've read quite a few vignettes regarding bumper stickers and love them all. But I'll pass this tale onto you for what it's worth. I received a letter, years ago, from a machine gunner in our ole H-3-5, Korea, asking if I was the Sgt in the 1st Div. Catalog Mailing list that he thought he knew. I called and our reunion has been close ever since. However, a few days after our initial call, I received a Marine Corps red cap from him. I asked where he got it and he told me from Sgt Grit's catalog. I wear this cap everywhere, golfing, biking, stores, etc. I met a Marine last week in church, 91 years young, who was with the 3rd Div. in the Pacific in WWII and went through the hammers of h&ll in those horrendous campaigns. He still suffers terribly with wounds inflicted way back when. I gave him a Marine Corps golden tie pin that I was wearing and this brought tears to his eyes. I had an extra red Marine Corps hat and gave it to him yesterday at a St. Paddy's day dinner/ dance and thanked him for setting a standard during WWII for us Marines that came later to uphold. We sure as h&ll did it in Korea and our hats are off to all of the Marines that followed us and are performing at a h&ll of a better pace than I think we did.

Thanks again Sgt. Grit and I'll be ordering a few new hats and tie pins.
George Maling- Sgt. Korea

Taking My Draft Notice

Sergeant Grit

I enlisted in the Marine Corps in February 1966 by taking my draft notice to a Marine Corps Recruiter in Columbia, Mo. I was sent to St Louis AFEES on a bus for a physical. Very interesting trip to say the least. I was heckled and laughed at because I was an enlistee and of all things the U. S. Marine Corps.

Upon completion of the physical process we were all put in a large room and those that were being drafted were put in a circle. Very large circle. An Army Master Sergeant walked to the middle and started in a circle say Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps pointing his finger at each individual. You should have seen the men changing position. This didn't deter the Master Sergeant's determination to do his assigned duty.

The next morning we departed for Lambert Field and our trip to MCRD San Diego. Amazing the number of bus buddies that were headed along with me to our date with history.

Ron Wasilewski GySgt, USMC (Ret)

Goes Like This

Hi Sgt Grit. Looking for to the May Bash. In reference to the March 17 newsletter, I think I know the song that Bob Rickabugh was talking about. It was by Ssgt Bob Lay. One side was "Make a Marine". The other side was "Ballads of the Marines". Make a Marine was about boot camp. Part of it goes like this I think. You take a little sweat and a little blood, you make a boy. You take a boy, you make a man, you take a man and you make a Marine. The flip side was about Vietnam. It was to the tune of "Sink the Bismark". Part of it goes like this I think. In March of 65 in the land of Vietnam, the war was hot and heavy. They sent to the pentagon for the Marines. They hit the beach a running with their rifles held high, those mighty gallant men, the U S Marines. I was a tea tottler, never went to the bars, but heard it at the A/W root beer place on Hill St. semper fi Cpl William Pippin 66-69. University of Vietnam grad 67-68

Come With Me

In regard to draftees in the Marine Corps, I may have among the funniest stories (not to the protagonist, however). I met this Marine in the late '60s and he told me his "sad" story. He received his induction notice, went down to his induction center and was placed in a large room with many others. At some point, an Army sergeant walked in and said in an empathetic sincere voice, "Is there anyone here who really doesn't want to serve in the Army?" This young man and five others raised their hands. Then the sergeant bellowed, "Then come with me - you six are in the Marine Corps!" Next stop, P I.

Semper fi!

Sgt. Rick Feinstein, USMCR
10 Dec 63 - 10 Dec 69

The Picture Was Taken

Sgt. Grit,

From late '78 to '81, I had the honor of serving at HQMC under CMC Gen Louis Wilson, WWII Vet and MOH recipient. During his tenure, Gen Wilson made it his personal quest to do away with the fat bodies left over from Vietnam days and before. Along with strict re-enlistment and promotion guidelines for weight in proportion to height, all Sgt's and SNCO's were required to submit official photographs, without blouses. These had to be annotated with height and weight, verified by the CO recommending re-enlistment or promotion. As a monitor in the Aviation/Comm section (MMEA-84) at the Enlisted Assignment Branch, all re-enlistments in my Occ Fields had to come through me for re-enlistment/duty station options. These were first carefully screened by the Enlisted Performance Section (MMEA-8). One morning one of the Gunny's from the "8 shop" as we called it, brought a re-enlistment request submitted by one of my Marines. He was laughing so hard when he showed me this Marine SSgt's picture that I couldn't understand what he was saying. Finally, composing himself, he told me to look at the creases on the trousers in the photograph. The creases were flat! The picture was taken with the SSgt laying down on his back at attention! That picture made the entire rounds of the Enlisted Assignment Branch and was followed up by a Priority Naval Message to the SSgt's Commanding Officer. The command was directed to resubmit the pictures with the SSgt in skivvies from 3 different angles! I saw the results and needless to say he was denied re-enlistment and his CO was retired.
Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC, Retired

Ask Permission

The most important Sgt. Grit bumper sticker I own is not on a bumper but taped to my front door: "Marines Always Welcome. Relatives by Appointment."

My relatives know that I'm serious. I have a couple of good friends formerly with the 101st Airborne. They always ask permission to enter the premises. Ooorah! Keep those stickers coming.

Dr. Dennis Benson, proud dad of Sgt. Kris Benson, 1st Marines, 3/7 Weapons Co.

Sailor's Creed

Sgt Grit,

I was standing in the cash register line at the NAS Ft Worth JRB Exchange, perusing the news rack while I waited my turn. The front page of the Navy Times had a picture of the back of a naval officer's head with a caption reading (paraphrased): "Some naval officer's object to being called "sailor" and reciting the Sailor's Creed".

Made my wonder what the Commandant would say if a Marine officer objected to being referred to as a Marine. I think I can guess what his reaction would be!

Dwight Lada
Very retired Mustang

Sharp Objects

Last year I was in the hospital for an angiogram. One of the attending nurses saw my USMC tattoo and introduced himself as a former Corpsman. From that point on I called him Doc. Even as the surgeon/doctor was getting ready to put me under I commented to the "Doc" that he was still taking care of Marines. The doctor was cutting a spot on my thigh to insert the tube and I told the Doc that people with sharp objects near my groin make me nervous. I don't think the doctor found this amusing. I hope the Doc wasn't bothered by the doctor because of my comments.
Mike LaB.
USMC '64-'67

Gut-Wrenching Thought

Hey, Sarg,

Being a Marine is truly a life-changing happening! I was thinking back to those wonderful days at MCRD, during the Spring of 1964. It was during my third week of "boot camp" and a gut-wrenching thought came to my mind one evening: that my DIs were actually trying to kill me. As I looked out over the City of San Diego and heard the sounds of airliners coming and going next door, I thought to myself, "They can kill me, but they can't beat me!" This became my "life's motto! When I ever feel as though I can't accomplish a task or make it through a given situation, I think back to that day, visualize my DIs telling me that I can't make it, that I will never be a Marine, I get a gritty look on my face and say to myself, "They can kill me, but they can't beat me!" This remembrance has gotten me through a lot of tough times over the past 41 years!
Once a Marine - Always a Marine!
"Semper Fi" to all of my Marine brothers
B Lonn
USMCR, '63-'69

Love Of The US of A

I am a proud D.A.V. USMC who had almost 10 yrs of service to my country and I would do it all over again, back in my day (old corps) we joined because "no balls no glory, no honor no badges" not for no college money, just plain old love of the US of A, remember Beirut-never forget.

I Put Through 6 Platoons

Sgt Grit
I have been reading your post's for a while now. It is top notch. I spent 11 years in the Corps. Reading all these post is a sobering event. All I can say is I wish I was there (In Iraq) 0311/0369. Ooorah. I am envious though. The time I spent in the Corps was between 1974-1985. It was not cool being in the Corps or any other services during the mid and late seventy's. Trying to get some loving was real tough, if you know what I mean. Jacksonville was a real s***-****. We used to go up to Fayetteville to get some good libo, and they hated us too, but not as bad. It is almost like Camp Schwab and Hooterville and Kin and Camp Hansen. ( Okinawa when it was 13 months} Well I am real proud of our MARINES. If I could I would swap out with any of you guys that had a pregnant ole lady. ect..I missed the whole boat when It came to combat action, short of getting sniped in El Salvador and fighting the flies in Kuwait (Embassy duty) But I put through 6 platoons in MCRDSD. So I guess I did my part. I just figured that anyone that I put through boot camp, retired 2 years ago. So I guess that I did my part, or whatever I could.Semper Fi, Do or die. I would take a good squad of grunts over anyone in the world. Seal's, greenies, and rangers don't even come close. Semper Fi. William Tucker. Ssgt USMC.....Go Get'em boys

Went Back The Next Day

I thought about posting on this newsletter but always felt a little weird about it. Well what can I say about my beloved Corps. It not only changed my life, but made me a very happy person, confident, fearless, and instilled a deep love of my country and the Corps. Having lived in New jersey all of my life I always wanted to join the NJ State Police. At a high school job fair back in 1990 I went to see a NJ State Police recruiter who was stationed right next to the USMC recruiter. The 6-04 Trooper just took one look at me and said " Boy, you better go there first ! " as he pointed to the USMC recruiter, who also sent me away ! Actually the recruiter at the time was Sgt G. Powell who later was on History Channel's Mail Call explaining landmines to the Gunny.

Well I went back the next day and enlisted in the USMC delayed entry program. Went to PI on July 13, 1992 ( The most comfortable temperature time of the year !! ) and graduated a MARINE on October 9, 1992. 1st Bat, D Co, Plt. 1097. I was an Air-winger ( I know the Grunts hated us ) I was a structure mechanic for the KC-130 ( MOS 6096 later changed to 6056 ) Well I served my time in the Corps loving every minute of. I was discharged in 1996 as a SGT. I then finally got into the NJ State Police where I am a road Trooper. There are a lot of former Marines who are Troopers and every Nov 10 we get together and celebrate our Corps birthday.

I still grieve when I hear that a brother Marine is lost over sea's. As previous in previous posts by fellow Marines, WE ARE ALL BROTHERS. I am so proud of the job the MARINES are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. To all those who will earn the title. Good luck and always be faithful to your God your Country and your Corps !!
Glenn 1992-1996
New Jersey State Police

Make Up Stories

I was always proud to be a Marine, I joined up in 1966 spent most of 1967 thru 1969 in Vietnam with the 26th Marines as a Forward observer for Navel gunfire, arty, and air (0849/2531) but when I came home I found out fast not to let people know where I was from 1966 to 1970.

Because of my injuries I was 100% disabled and used to make up stories about how I was injured, when people found out the truth I was shunned, insulted, fired, even beat up by three guys out side a pizza parlor. Even my uncle from London England made a special trip to see me in 1970 to tell me how ashamed he was of me, and called me a baby killer. I tried living in New York, Fla.,Texas, California, Oregon, and Washington State (where I still live) the reaction was the same everywhere, people hated Vets.

After 9/11 I said screw it and bought one of your 26th. marines Vietnam veteran hats and wore it to the airport when my wife and I were going to Las Vegas. While standing in line to board the plane an elderly man and his wife walked over to me and said is that hat right, were you in Vietnam? I answered yes, and to my surprise he thanked me for serving my country and shook my hand. Tears started to flow down my face, for the first time in my life I was speechless and I couldn't respond to him, my wife took over and told them I had been waiting over 30 years to hear that. Twice more on that trip I was thanked for serving my country by complete strangers. I wear that hat everywhere now...
Semper Fi...
Cpl. D.Worton USMC and still proud of it...

Corps Values

I just finished reading "Corps Values" by Georgia Governor Zell Miller. Miller, a former Marine has hit the nail squarely on the head to my way of thinking. This is a short book, about 100 pages but it is packed with stuff we all need to read and heed. Should be mandatory reading for anyone who is old enough to read and understand. He cites the Corps for instilling these values in him, These values have stood him in good stead all of the rest of his life. Among the 12 Corps Values he lists:
This is a most inspiring book. Pass along the word.
Lady Leatherneck

Heal Slowly

To all jarheads coming home welcome you have done a great job, now your the elite, old jar head once a marine always a marine. you have done your job, but it's not over. You need to fine rcomrads,name numbers states, have reunions ,it time to heal and the best way is to talk to your old friends fine out what the VA can do for you now and later, it was hard to come to civilian life no one to understand you! no one to express to ,you need to heal slowly, I found out the best way is reunions and keeping in contact with old comrades talk talk, and it better than any old doctor who thinks he knows where you are coming from, you came from along tour of duty ,no one knows what you feeling! and Thanks for what you have done ,theirs nothing like a being a Marine Always, Simper FI,do or die, I will be looking for you Marine, to hear your side your stories. Military order of purple hearts of the U.S.A. Ft Worth Tx got some

Eat Out Of A Can

James Bunn!

You may be only 18 years old, but you are about to be attached to a group of people that have been together for well over 200 years. I did not join the "Corps". I got there by way of the US Navy in Camp Lejuene, NC in 1967. It was called "Field Medical Training School" back then. I enlisted in the Navy because the Army was going to draft me and my father, who was a Sperry Ball Turret gunner in the Army Air Corps in WWII told me that he did not want me to "sleep in a foxhole and eat out of a can". So, I enlisted in the Navy. I decided to join the Medical Corps and become a Navy corpsman. After my corpsman training and "Field Medical Training School" in Camp Lejuene, NC, I spent some time at ST Albans Naval Hospital in Queens, NY, going to Floyd Bennett Field to pick up Marines on the MAC-V flights coming in from Nam who were too shot up to stay in "Nam". It got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore and I went to the Navy yeoman and volunteered to go to "Nam" I got there on 9/27/68, which was my older brother's birthday. I had an object lesson on the first day! After that, I spent a lot of time doing my job for my brothers.

I know one thing! Regardless of what McNamara says, or that nut, (Westmorland) that was in control for a while, we ended up fighting for each other so we could survive. I know for a fact that I owe my LIFE to the corps. I saw seventeen men stand up in the middle of a firefight to protect "Doc". It was "Operation Meade River". We lost a lot of good friends that day, including one of our brother corpsman. (and most of our officers) But it's all true! You have a great tradition to serve for. My guys at the reunion that we do now, always say that their corpsman are part of the corps. I have never met a greater group of people in 35 years. The Company Corpsman at Meade River was Michael Tam. He went on to be the "Corpsman of the Navy" Our platoon commander was 2nd LT Rick Gabrial. He lost a very good leg that day. Finally went down on 911 on the plane that hit the Pentagon!

Semper Fi Brother! That's the one I trust. God Speed! (that's a Navy thing) Get home safe and be proud for doing your duty! DUTY, HONOR & COUNTRY!!

"Doc" Nealand
Hotel 2/7, 1968-1969

Prior Service NCO

Sgt Grit,

Maybe you saw on NBC with Stone Phillips last Sunday evening, a US Marine (prior service NCO) now a 2nd Lieutenant is in need of our support. Supposedly he is catching flack from the JAG for what sounds like him just doing his job. He has been brought up on charges for shooting two Iraqi's who turned on him in the process of him having them remove items from their car. Please read the story.

Maybe if you would please, spread the word around of this need and support. This story can be found at

Thank you Sir!
Semper fi,

Douglas Booke
Marine Veteran

He Shrugged

Hey Sarge:

As always, I'm enjoying your most recent newsletter, and share things from it with some of the retired Marines I work with, as well as the Navy Chief in my division.

I was cruisin' on my Harley, following my lady's Explorer, in Daytona during the week of the Daytona 500, when I was cut off by a blue mini van. As this van occupied the space that was a moment before filled by my bike, I saw the chevrons of a GySgt prominently displayed on the rear window, as well as a license plate holder with U.S. Marine Corps surrounding the FL tag. I grumbled a mite, but as this was a brother Marine, I forgave the "cager" his indiscretion. The stinky stuff hit the rotary air circulating device.

The unfortunate Marine pulled alongside Patti...she gestured for the guy to roll down his passenger side window, which he obediently did. Shades of boot camp, without vulgarity, she began an absolutely marvelous dressing down of the Gunny. All I could do was watch the show. He was a gentleman, and politely listened and quickly dropped the "yes, buts" from his vocabulary. After she was done, I then pulled along side the Marine and pointed to my 3rd Marine Division, Viet Nam pin on my motorcycle jacket, he shrugged, and flashed an apologetic grin, I then smiled, saluted, and rode away.

I admired them both, the GySgt for being an attentive, respectful listener, while facing the wrath of a fiery civilian lady, who loves her biker, and her for the protective ferocity of taking on anyone perceived threat...she'd have made a great Marine or FMF Corpsman!

It's always good to see a Marine respect a lady, regardless of the circumstance. It makes me proud to be associated with the Corps. God bless the Marines and our other troops, deployed and serving at home....Thanks for your sacrifice!

Semper Fi
"Doc" Wells

"Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war and my fingers to fight". Ps 144:1

18% Body Fat

Dear Sgt. Grit,

My husband is on the Marine Corps' weight program and as of April 1st if he is unable to lose 12 pounds he will be immediately discharged from the Marine Corps. As of March 27th he weighed 215 pounds, and he is required to weigh under 203 pounds. My husband is almost 6 feet tall with a big build. He is under 18% body fat. He left 3 weeks ago to go to Baghdad.

He joined the Marine Corps because of his strong desire to be a Marine and to serve his country. He has been told a number of times by his superiors that he is an "outstanding Marine." He has never once in his three and a half years in the Marine Corps been in any sort of trouble. I see his peers always getting in trouble with only a slap on the wrist for their consequence. To me, it is ridiculous that my husband volunteered to go to Iraq, and because he is a couple pounds overweight, he is going to be kicked out of the Marine Corps. He is a dedicated Marine who loves what he does. I don't believe that being a few pounds overweight affects his ability to accomplish his job at all.

The weight program he is on requires that an NCO must train with him every day after work. To my knowledge that has happened twice. I am proud of my husband. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that when they say they are in such a huge need for troops they are willing to kick a great Marine out because he is a couple pounds overweight.

Thanks for listening to my letter.

I love all our troops and I am so proud of them all! Thank you for your service, and come back safely.

Carli T.

Sgt Grit,

I just received the spring catalog and to my surprise my poster;(tight 360, Pg.110) I should say Dick Kramer's poster made it to your catalog. I am the guy on the front left, our team met Mr. Kramer in Camp LeJeune in 1995 while he was taking photos of his son's (Steve) unit; later on in the week Dick was introduced to our platoon at 2nd Force Recon Co. To make a long story short, several months later while on deployment I received several signed posters from Dick. So, for Christmas my friends receive a mug with my mug.

Thank you.
God Bless America

Alex Bello (Gungy)
USMC '76-'99
Semper Fi.

PS. Ghillie Man (poster) is one of my former team members; Kevin Helms from NC.

Told Him To Leave

In response to and furtherance to the Air Force veteran who followed up on the mistreatment of a dead Marine in RVN, I witnessed a situation that haunts me to this day. I was the Casualty Assistance Officer in Birmingham, Alabama 1968 - 1970. The bodies were very appropriately transported to Birmingham via Delta airlines in most cases; however, in the instance to which I refer the body was transported via United Airlines.

The Marine's family was outside to see their Marine arrive, and the Sergeant Major and I were there to make sure things went properly. Unfortunately, they did not. First, a loud string of profanity was spouted by one of the cargo handlers. Getting a casket in or out of a passenger jet's cargo hold is difficult, and at first, I thought he had mashed his hand producing a profoundly inappropriate but in some ways understandable reaction. However, in the next breath, he was cussing at the casket and the Marine inside. At that, I told him to leave the casket alone as he was unworthy to touch it. Went inside to his boss and told him what happened and demanded that someone with a semblance of human decency replace that character. That all happened, but the damage was done. The look on the faces of Marine's relatives was more pained than that which they had shown when I was telling them of his death.

I have never forgotten that incident, nor have I forgiven United Airlines for not giving the baggage handler some training. I imagine he would have been highly trained if he were going to handle something of tremendous financial value, but apparently to United Airlines, financial value far exceeded patriotic and service related value. As for the handler himself, I can only hope that was fired and that as result of that firing he lives to this day on the painful verge of death by starvation.

Richard E. Hulslander
USMC forever
Former Captain


Dear Sgt. Grit,

As a Marine I am proud of my family of brothers and sisters. I have caught a lot of crap from people at work about my EGA I wear pinned to the leather shield on my fire helmet. But, Like I have told everyone of them, until they can earn that EGA, they don't need to PAM (p!ss and maon) about anything. I just wanted to inform all my fellow brothers and sisters that the us mint is making a silver dollar, a Marine Corps silver dollar, I was told by the people at the mint it would be ready for circulation in July or August. If they want to see it go to the US Mints web kicks *ss, just like us.

Semper Fi
Cpl. Jeff Attison USMC 89-97

Man He Looks So Young

Good morning Sgt Grit
Several years ago they had the "Moving Wall" in a local town (Beaver, Pa.) on display for the towns 200th year anniversary. Although I had been to the" Wall" in DC and had seen the "Wall" before several of our Pipe and Drum band wanted to go see the "Wall" that was on display at the local town square. First of all I served with the 3rd MarDiv 66-69, RVN 1/67 - 8/68 and a have several good friends names on the wall. Reluctantly I agreed to go with them to see it, we approached the "Wall" from the rear and I was okay but as soon as we came around to the front of it some old feelings and memories came over me and I broke down and started to bawl like a baby. When I collected myself and we came up to the Honor Guard they had on duty, it was a young Marine, they had be boots with the M16 stuck in the ground with the dog tags and helmet on top of it. He was standing tall and when I looked him over I told a friend there with me " Man he looks so young and it looks like he doesn't even shave yet", my friend who served with the 5th MarDiv in Nam just kind of chucled and told me " didn't we look the very same". I did have to laugh at myself, looking back I guess we were all young but our training and God got us through it. We were young, Americans and best of all "MARINES". Semper Fi ! D Brown, Pittsburgh, PA.

Sound Familiar

Sgt. Grit,
What PR agency dreamed up these recruiting slogans? "Join the Navy and See the World" - Air Force: "Aim High" - Army: "An Army of One."

I know where the Marines got their recruiting slogan: from the Spartans!

In "Gates of Fire," a novel by Steven Pressfield about the Spartans and a handful of their allies at the Battle of Thermopylae, a character by the name of Bruxieus is quoted saying: "Other cities produce monuments and poetry, Sparta produces men."

Sound familiar?

The Spartans sacrificed their lives to save their country in that battle, and their heroics inspired Greece onward to victory over the Persians.

As long as the Marine Corps continues to build men, it will continue to inspire the nation to victory on the battlefield and to lives of honor off the battlefield.

My thanks to every modern-day Spartan serving and protecting our country. Keep up the good work, and may God bless you one and all.

Semper Fi!

Tom Couillard
White Bear Lake, Minnesota
(Golf 2/4, RVN, 1968)

Short Rounds

Sgt. Grit,
I'm really happy to see that more USMC officers are contributing to this website, and hope that they will continue to contribute and express their thoughts and feelings.

Jim Neal USMC 60-67

Would like to pass on that another Marine has gone to do his final duty. L/Cpl Joseph Szasz 58/62. Joe was a proud Marine; a loving father, husband and a good friend. Along with his other duties he was also a member of the Marine Corps boxing team.

Phil Carlson
Cpl. 59/64

Sgt. Grit:
In my previous e-mail, I mentioned the designations "USMC-SS and USMC-SSV". This probably needs some further explanation. USMC-SS were draftees assigned to the Marine Corps by a Selective Service Board; USMC-SSV were also draftees who volunteered for Marine Corps service.
Semper Fi.
JimMc, GySgt, Hendersonville, TN

From an Iwo Jima survivor
God Bless Us All and Remember...Semper fi
Howard Haury
1-A-14, 4TH. Marine Div. WW11, 1943-1945

This Area Is Dedicated To The Few The Proud The United States Marine Past Present And Future The Finest Most Respected Fighting Man In The World. War Is Not Honored Here The Warriors Are IF Wars Must Fought Someone Sure As H&ll Better Be Ready And Sure As H&ll Better Know How. Marine Corps League Northeastern Detachment Semper Fidelis

Sgt Grit
It is with pleasure I present to all a new marine Dustin T. Smith he graduated today 03/24/05 2nd btn E co he stood on the same deck that I stood on in 1966 and was it wonderful to walk on that deck again and to see all of his company start out on job that will take where few have traveled. If you get a chance go back to P.I. the good time do come back

William Watson
cpl of marines

Loved the jane fonda joke - hip surgery? I saw what the heck - just hang her! (Excuse me, but I thought traitors were hung, not operated on).

Doc Hiser FMF

thank you for all your letters, our son just married this last monday. he is a marine at miramar, ca, and will being going to Iraq in October. they are an inspiration, thank you for serving our country as well. debbi mills, lancaster, ca

Sgt. Grit,
I've been getting your e-mails for sometime now. Been reading the ones about not having bumper stickers, for what it's worth "Keep Them Up." People need to be shocked once in awhile or more.
Being a Marine from 1959 to 1967 I'm still a Proud Marine.
Sgt Gandy

my name is derek wilkinson and when i am 17 and join the marine corps i will be a 5 th generation marine on my dads side of the family and i cant water to go to basic training
semper fi
derek wilkinson

Agent Orange

"A Marine should be sworn to the patient endurance of hardships, like the ancient knights; and it is not the least of these necessary hardships to have to serve with sailors."
- Field Marshal Montgomery

Cpl. Tapley, M.P.
0341 '75-'79 Semper Fi!

Hello:Sgt Ski
Comm 1/7 RVN '68/'69
My only son was deployed on March 1 to Iraq for the third time.
Semper Fi Rose

This is for Lorena Grey and all the parents who have lost their Marine,
We as Vietnam Vets still kneel and pray to Our Lord for the safety of our brothers. We will always kneel and silently pray for those who have fallen. We will always keep them in our prayers.
Ben Nam 70-71

Sgt Grit
We can do anything with nothing...........FOREVER !
the way I learned it from some engineers.....along with welding the crack of dawn
(former) Sgt Mike Doukas USMC

It is funny I find myself at my work now out back smoking a cig but I find myself marching and calling cadences to myself...Tell you this, when you get into the Marine Corps before U make the choice to get out think twice. If it wasn't for my kids I wouldn't of got out.
Cpl. Addy, John

Nobody like to fight,
Someone has to know how.

Semper fi
Sgt Grit