"In reality there is perhaps no one of our natural Passions so hard to subdue as Pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will now and then peek out and show itself."
—Benjamin Franklin

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I have been putting off writing this letter, much to the dismay of a good friend and fellow Marine, who thinks that by writing this, it may help me, and possibly others, deal with what he and I believe to be a common issue amongst "former" active duty Leathernecks.

I am a proud Corporal of Marines, 1988-1992. I was trained as a machine gunner, 0331, and served as a Sea Duty Marine (Security Forces) on board the USS Wisconsin during both Desert Shield and Storm.

Ever since 9/11, I have been fighting a selfish feeling of unfinished business, as has my Viet Nam buddy since he came back to the world in 1971. Although nearly a generation apart we both feel relatively the same and many have told us that we have done our part, and now it's time to let today's' Active Duty Marines do their job. To let them serve with the same honor, dedication, distinction and pride that was instilled in all of us by our DI's.

Okay, so I have tried to stand down. My watch has been relieved, but, I still have trouble with the issue of not finishing the job that I volunteered to do. I have been told by my buddy that over time that feeling does wane some, but does not ever go away entirely. This has become apparent to me, since he completely understands my dilemma, and hence our on-going conversations on the subject.

But, I still want to fight the "apparent" enemy. I want to stop terrorism in its tracks. I want my family, and my neighbors, and fellow Americans to BE safe and to let them all live a worry free, unabated lifestyle, guaranteed by our Constitution. The same Constitution that I gave my personal oath to defend, and at times, I feel that I haven't done enough for.

In essence, I still want to "get some!" My fighting spirit is still there.

Recently there were news stories of the U. S. Marine Corps activating the IRR. This announcement has resurfaced, with a vengeance, my feeling of not completing my assigned task. Is this my chance to get my old body, slightly busted up, back into the fight? Or am I fooling myself due to my position in life now, and am I being selfish (foolish) to think that I could put on the uniform again, and perform at the level expected of today's' Marines? Could I leave behind my beautiful wife (of 17 years; loyally staying stateside through my "Hitch"), and our two fabulous sons (13 & 10) who have grown up with Dads' stories, their "war" stories. Now they hear daily of IED's, car bombers, snipers, these "new" combatants our troops (and future Dads) are facing.

I want to find out if I am eligible to go back on active duty, and I don't. I find myself at a crossroad. This is a dilemma that hurts so much inside. I am apprehensive to find out the answers: Am I physically washed up? Should I leave my secure and lucrative job? Should, in fact, could I leave my family behind to chase a dream? Or, am I just pining for those glory days gone past and should I just suck it up and carry on?

I know that I am probably not eligible (again) as I was discharged because of my knees. I "rehabbed" the h&ll out them but still they were not good enough and I was discharged Honorably with a "settlement". My knees uphold their daunting task of reminding me daily of the "old days". And I gratefully, thankfully, live on to raise my sons and to love my wife. But I still wonder, "What if?" Should I call the recruiter and try to volunteer one more time? Am I fit to do the job, again? Is there a place in today's Corps for this old salt?

I know the answer to most, if not all the questions, as does my buddy. But we are curious if there are others that feel the same way we do.

We want to know what others are doing to satiate their feelings.

I want to add that I am extremely proud and grateful of our current Active Duty and Reserve Marines, of their personal sacrifices and that they are genuinely appreciated, and I will always wish that I were with them, still doing my part, defending our national freedoms. My family and I pray for their safety and I am personally hurt and angered anytime I hear news a fallen Marine.

Finally, Capt. Paul Blanc, USMC, a truer friend, comrade and mentor could not be found.

Semper Fi
Dale Haines, CPL
USMC '88-'92
MarDet USS Wisconsin

"The virtue of men are of more consequence to society than their abilities; and for this reason, the heart should be cultivated with more assiduity than the head."
—Noah Webster

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In American Courage Newsletter #129 of 17 August, Sam Jones of MN stated his intent to join the Marines and become an MP, then an officer and finally a cop.

Sam, I can understand your mom wanting to give you a bit more time to think about this, but your letter brought tears to my eyes. I sincerely hope that you show her what you wrote. I am so proud and relieved to know that there are still young people of your caliber out there. You have so much more sense of direction than I did when I was 17, it's not funny. I had a goal, but no idea how to achieve it.

That you have given so much thought and sensible planning about your future and the path you want to take to get there at such a young age is highly commendable. It shows that your mom has raised you to be a responsible, forward-thinking individual of great character. I hope she recognizes this and is a proud as she has every right to be of your intelligence, direction and commitment. I hope you have introduced her to the Sgt. Grit newsletters. If you have not, try printing out the one your letter appeared in and show it to her.

I have no doubt that you will make a fine Marine. Welcome to the Family.

Semper Fi
Allison McKowen

Dear Sgt Grit
I was in the Marines from 1968-1971 got out about 4 months early due to injury. We were not received well back then I remember having stones and bottles hurled at us in a parade in Chicago, their we were in our dress blues being yelled at among other things. I was proud to be a Marine back then as my Dad was in 1948.
I still display the Marine Corps flag along with the American flag proudly. I want to say God Bless to all Americans serving in the service today. All elected officials should support our men and women to the max and let the do their job and win this battle against these sick bastards. The Government need to stay behind it troops when the return and not turn their backs on them as they did us and to the men of the Golf war. I have a lot more to say but no one will really want to here so I will end this now.
Thanks Art

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I am having such a hard time trying to understand some of these Americana's who can't find it in the hearts to Support our Troops. These young men and women are fighting for YOU, Your FAMILY, FRIENDS and ALL AMERICA N'S. They are following orders. THEY have made the decision to put their lives on the line for US. Come on American wake up and see the light. These servicemen need ALL THE SUPPORT THEY CAN GET. I wonder what this country would have been like if we did not have these Brave men and women. Some might not like the war or why we're there, but they are and until every soldier is home, do the right thing and support them. God Bless them All I am so Proud of them!

"For too long, the world was paralyzed by the argument that terrorism could not be stopped until the grievances of terrorists were addressed. The complicated and heartrending issues that perplex mankind are no excuse for violent, inhumane attacks, nor do they excuse not taking aggressive action against those who deliberately slaughter innocent people... Effective antiterrorist action has also been thwarted by the claim that... 'One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.' That's a catchy phrase, but also misleading. Freedom fighters do not need to terrorize a population into submission. Freedom fighters target the military forces and the organized instruments of repression keeping dictatorial regimes in power. Freedom fighters struggle to liberate their citizens from oppression and to establish a form of government that reflects the will of the people... [O]ne has to be blind, ignorant, or simply unwilling to see the truth if he or she is unable to distinguish between those I just described and terrorists. Terrorists intentionally kill or maim unarmed civilians, often women and children, often third parties who are not in any way part of a dictatorial regime. Terrorists are always the enemies of democracy."
—Ronald Reagan

Good Day Sgt. Grit,
Just wanted to pass on my thoughts of a letter printed in the # 131 Newsletter from Doc Byars.

I could only ass/u/me (we know the breakdown of that one) that the Doc was a Corpsman, serving along side Marines. I say to the Doc, "Don't be sad and don't be jealous." You served in the U.S. Military and there is nothing to be sad about in that fact. Don't be jealous, because looking at your time of service, you probably served hand-in-hand with the U.S. Marines. The title I will always carry and be proud to have obtained. The fact that I served this great Country makes me proud. God, Country, Corps. Semper Fi Doc.

Marine Sergeant for Life

Sgt Grit,

As proud father of a soon to be deployed Recon Marine, my "red, white, and blue" skin crawls whenever I see news about the Hamdaniya trials (OUR seven Marines and one 'doc' on trial for alleged murder of an Iraqi man, who was "allegedly" planting an IED). Are we at a point in this nation where Marines, sailors, soldiers, airmen, or Coastguardsmen have to buy "malpractice" insurance before they participate in OUR wars? If so, then maybe the senior military and civilian leadership need to buy their own policies, lest they fall prey to CNN's version of an "improvised explosive device", too.

My advice to the defense attorneys is to file a hostile workplace complaint with the Labor Department, based on Iraq being a hostile workplace for OUR service men and women.

God bless all of OUR Marines, sailors, soldiers, airmen, and Coastguardsmen for their sacrifice past, present, and future.

Proud to say I am a Marine dad,
Kansas City

I would like to take a few lines to tell you about the greatest man I ever knew. He was born on September 29, 1933 in Pensacola, Florida and raised on Weeks Bay in Magnolia Springs. He was in the USMC for 28 years and recieved the purple heart and bronze star. I am proud of him for fighting for our country and our rights. He did 3 tours in Vietnam and where he got sprayed with Agent Orange which gave him all his illiness to which he died from on June 10, 2006. So it's hard for me because it is my 1st: Bonalt

-Father's Day
-His Birthday
-New Year's Eve and New Year's Day

He retired as a Sgt. Maj. Arthur M. Bonal and my mother is still having problems on his military benefits.

So I miss him alot and wish he was still here. I have a room in memory of my father and I got this first DRESS BLUES.

Thank You for your time.
Michele Bonal

Hi Sgt. Grit -
My son graduated from his MOS school 13 months ago. So I made the trip to Camp Pendleton to see him graduate. I was there by myself and not very familiar with the area. After stopping to ask for directions several times, at different points on the base, I finally found the building where the graduation was going to take place. I went in there to find the exact room, then when I was leaving (because I got there REALLY early, just in case), I saw my son. He didn't have any time, but I wanted to take a quick picture of him. So, I backed up and promptly tripped over this metal flag stand with a big base that it stands on. I cut the back of my leg pretty good. Immediately, several Marines came over and offered their help. I didn't want to go to the clinic, for fear of missing my son's graduation. So, I just sat there with a wet paper towel clamped to the back of my leg the entire time. It was SO worth it! Not only did he graduate, but he was in the top 3% of his class and one of two graduates who received a meritorious promotion! The entire time, there was a Marine that did not leave my side! After the ceremony, another Marine drove me over to the clinic, stayed right there with me the entire time and drove me back to my car. When I got back to my car, I discovered that I had locked my keys in my car! Luckily, another couple of Marines saw what happened and came over to help me get into my car without breaking a window. Of course, it wasn't as easy as it looks in the movies, but several Marines took turns, until FINALLY they got in the car by popping the latch to the trunk, using a straightened wire hanger to pull the latch up. They pushed the back seat down and we were in! Through all of this, every single Marine I encountered was eager to help me, and didn't make me feel like I was imposing (or that I was an IDIOT!). I was so impressed with every Marine that I was lucky enough to meet that day that I did the only thing I could think to do. I got all their names, and the name of their commanding officer, and sent thank you notes to each Marine, as well as a letter to the CO, telling him all about my experiences that day. So, even though I have a scar that will remind me of the not-so-great parts of that day, I also have many memories of why I am so proud of my son for becoming part of such an amazing organization.

Sincerely -
Leslie Burkett,
Very Proud Marine Mom of Cpl Adam

Just a note to say to the young lady that get's no support from her family for her military choice. . Being a Marine is not a right, but an honor and privilege . I served with the Corps. My two sons served with the Corps, and my grandson is with the Corps on his 2nd deployment to Iraq. Hang in young Marine. Life does not get any better than this.
Ooooo Rah, and Semper Fi.

Wesley C. Burns
GySgt. U.S.M.C. 1949-1962

Sgt Grit,

I'm a regular reader of your newsletter, and have written you several times over recent years. You and your readers may, or may not, remember me...I'm the relocated Aussie who became a US citizen a year ago and who is an extremely proud step-dad of Jason is a career Marine of 10 years. He graduated 2nd Lt June from TBS, Quantico this year and is now in at Camp Lejeune completing his induction to 1st Mar Div, then onto Pendleton in Oct to take up his billet with the 1st LAR as Logistics Officer.

His mum and I are as proud as any Marine parents can be of their kid being in The Corps, and NOT FOR ONE SECOND would we even contemplate his deploying to Iraq next March without our support, love and prayers. How a family could do that to one of their own is beyond my comprehension. To the young woman Marine experiencing this situation, I guess I need not say that she already knows she's in a bigger family with a bigger heart & soul than the one she left behind, and that proverbial "band of brothers" who will look out for her no matter what.

I shout my "Hoorah!" to all you serving in the Corps.......Keep up the GOOD FIGHT, Mates!

Greg Smith
Hayden Idaho

Corps Values Corps Values by Zell Miller- This one is such an outstanding read that I have made it required reading for my own boy. My oldest son is reading it right now and constantly comments on the Corps Values that he is learning. What makes this book a must read is sitting around the dinner table with your son and him talking to you about the value of integrity. This is not only a must read, but a must pass on to your kids.
Gunny Davis

"I pronounce it as certain that there was never yet a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous."
-- Benjamin Franklin

Hi, we would like to submit out thoughts and observations from a parents perspective on "The Grinder".

On Aug. 31 2006 for family day and Sept. 1 for graduation day, we were at MCRD for our son's graduation from Marine Corps boot camp. On both days we were instructed repeatedly at every part of each event on 2 things- #1 DO NOT WALK ON THE PARADE DECK, WALK AROUND. #2 Stay off the grass.

Being raised to follow rules and respect others property we had no problem with this, even though we did not at that time have full understanding of why it was important that we stay off. At the conclusion of the Eagle Globe and Anchor ceremony when I went flying out of the stands to hug my son for the 1st time in 13 weeks I was (only for an instant) a little hurt when he held up his hand and told me, "Not until we're of the Parade Deck, Mom." Once off the parade deck I hugged the living day lights out of him. Over the 5 hours of base liberty and countless stories from our son of hours spent drilling and PTing on the Parade Deck and being told many times to honor and respect not only the Parade Deck but the many Marines that have come before and to be an example of the Marines to come, we began to understand the "Sacred Ground" mentality of The Parade Deck. We had not earned the right to be on the Parade Deck. With that understanding came the whole hearted belief that the rule and wish of the Corps be respected by any and all that step foot on "The Depot".

Close on the heels of understanding came disappointment and disgust at those that walked on or across the Parade Deck, when we know full well that they had heard the same instructions that everyone else had about staying off, and walking around. They not only, in our opinion, showed disrespect for the rule and the Corps, but for their own family member graduating that day and what they had been through and accomplished on "The Grinder". Imagine how those young men felt to have such a simple request for respect of them and their Beloved Corps ignored.

So to any and all that go to MCRD for a graduation, or just to visit a beautiful base, please, for all Marines past, present and future...Respect the Parade Deck and unless or until you have earned the right to step foot on it, STAY OFF! WALK AROUND!

Proud Parents of PFC Brody R. Cates currently at SOI, Camp Pendleton CA

"It's time to face a hard cold fact: Militant Islam wants to kill us just because we're alive and don't believe as they do... Now, this threat is not just going to go away because we choose to ignore it... But some Americans, sadly, are not interested in victory. And yet they want us to believe that their behavior is Patriotic. Well, it's not."
—Rush Limbaugh

When I was a member of the Arlington County, Virginia Police Dept. (1966-87) I was a Polygraph Examiner and a background investigator for police applicants. During the recruiting process we received a significant number of former military applicants from different branches of service. The MARINE applicants always "stood out" among all of the other applicants based on their demeanor, character, and professionalism. Their attire was always "squared away'', spit-shined shoes, creases in clothing, etc. Because of their leadership abilities they advanced rapidly within the police dept.

I think there is a lot to be said about MARINES discipline and regimentation.

Semper Fi,
Kenny Adams
USMC 1955-59

"All Americans should reflect upon the precious heritage of liberty under law passed on to us by our Founding Fathers. This heritage finds its most comprehensive expression in our Constitution. The framing of the Constitution was an arduous task accomplished in the spirit of cooperation and with dedication to the ideals of republican self-government and unalienable God-given human rights that gave transcendent meaning and inspiration to the American Revolution... The wisdom and foresight of the architects of the Constitution are manifest in the fact that it remains a powerful governing tool to the present day. Indeed, a great British statesman has called it 'the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.' For 200 years, people from other lands have come to the United States to participate in the great adventure in self-government begun in Philadelphia in 1787. It is no surprise that knowledge of the Constitution is one of the primary requirements for new citizens... All citizens should reread and study this great document and rededicate themselves to the ideals it enshrines."
—Ronald Reagan

Sgt. Grit,

I have been dating a Marine off and on for almost 15 months. And I just want to say how proud I am of him for doing what he does for this country. I have supported him in his decision and have stood beside him while he has done his training in the Marine Corps. It has been really hard on our relationship, but what don't kill you only makes you stronger, right? But I love him with all my heart and I will always be beside him where ever the Corps takes him.

Semper Fi,
Tara -- Kentucky

What Is An American?

You probably missed it in the rush of news recently, but there was a report that a Pakistani newspaper had published someone's offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.

So I just thought I would write to let them know what an American is, so they will know when they find one.

An American is English…or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani, or Afghan.

An American is Christian, or Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as they choose.

An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for God or the government.

An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God-given right of each man and woman to the pursuit of happiness.

An American is generous. Americans have helped friend and foe in their time of need. When Afghanistan was overrun by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September 11, Americans were giving more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.

An American does not have to obey the mad ravings of ignorant, ungodly, cruel, old men. American men will not be fooled into giving their lives to kill innocent people, so that foolish old men may stay in power. American women are free to show their beautiful faces to the world or not, as they choose.

An American is free to criticize his government's officials when they are wrong. Then he is free to replace them, by majority vote.

Americans welcome people from all lands, all cultures, all religions, because they are not afraid. They are not afraid that their history, their religion, their beliefs, will be overrun, or forgotten. That is because they know that in this country they will always be free to embrace their religion, their beliefs, their history, as they choose.

And just as Americans welcome all, they enjoy the best that everyone has to bring from all over the world. The best science, the best technology, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best athletes.

Americans welcome the best, but they also welcome the least. The national symbol of America welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, the tempest tossed.

These in fact are the people who built America. Many of them were working in the twin towers in New York on the morning of September 11, trying to provide a better life for their families.

So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo and Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung.

But in doing so you will just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

So look around you. You will find more Americans in your land than you thought were there. And you can expect that one day they will rise up and overthrow the old, ignorant, tired tyrants that have troubled too many lands. Then those lands too will join the community of free and prosperous nations.

And America will welcome them.

Written by Peter Ferrara, Associate professor of law at the George Mason University School of Law and a member of the Board of Scholars of the Virginia Institute for Public Policy



My son had subscribe to this magazine along with some others. My son was KIA in Iraq in 2004. I keep the subscriptions going in his honor. I enjoy reading all the stories and sometimes I cry. Thank you.

Yolanda Valdez-Perez
Gold Star Mom, Proud Marine Parents of an American Hero (LCpl. Nicholas S. Perez – KIA 9-3-04 – Al Anbar Province, Iraq)

"There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness."
—George Washington

Enjoyed Cpl Stouts story in this weeks newsletter, how ever if he were in San Diego instead of Parris Island he would have chosen his words more naturally. ie, pants..Trousers.. fatigues..Utilities stairs..Ladder..door..Hatch lunch...Chow and last of all underwear..Skivies Sorry, I just could not let it go...Okel plt 141 1957

"We know the Race is not to the swift nor the Battle to the Strong. Do you not think an Angel rides in the Whirlwind and directs this Storm?"
-- John Page

Regarding Bill de Kryger's question about a Marine "Wave". My wife and I recently returned from a trip from here in Ohio to the Smokies and back and encountered many vehicles identified and driven by Marines. Hearkening back to my years in the MAW, I threw a "Thumbs-up" to them and several times was answered in- kind. I realize we may have to share the gesture with Naval Aviation, but I feel it fits the bill.

Along these lines, I would say that we noted at least twenty vehicles with USMC related stickers or plates and I remember only two or three with other services. Proportionally lop-sided or what?

Semper Fi,
Tom Harp
Sgt of Marines, 1953-1959

Dear Sgt. Grit (and readers),

I am the 30-yr old daughter of a Marine looking for a way to honor my father who is a Vietnam Veteran. Although dad doesn't discuss details about Vietnam, there has never been a doubt in my mind that his proudest days were spent in the Corps. I decided last year to run the Marine Corps Marathon, however, due to an knee injury had to postpone the run until this year. A couple of weeks ago, my dad asked me to wear his ID tags and the ribbons he earned while I run the marathon. I am deeply honored to do this, especially since he is the one who turned me on to running. However, I am looking for something that I can do to honor my dad as I cross the finish line (or shortly thereafter) on Oct. 29th. I'm just curious if anyone from the brotherhood has any ideas of what might be meaningful.

Thanks in advance!
Most Sincerely,
Daphne E. Odishoo

P.S. Ever since I found Sgt. Grit my dad hasn't had to return a single Christmas or Birthday present! Thanks!

"Islamic protests against the slightest Western criticism of or doubt about the religion of Mohammed ring hollow... [S]o long as their religion is noted for its willingness to persecute and employ violence around the globe, they have little credibility to complain of offenses by others."
—Doug Bandow

If apologies are what they want, I suggest we nuke their a$ses and then issue a very sincere, flowery apology.

Sgt Grit, During the weekend of 9-15 to 9-17-06 the State of South Dakota welcomed home Vietnam Combat and Era Veterans at the Capital Bldg in Pierre, SD. It was a very honored time for me. I can't believe that I almost didn't go. You see even though I served my country proudly and honorably I have a hard time taking credit for my service in Vietnam. I am a retired Marine (68-89) Gunny, and most of my Marine friends call me Gunny. I was have problems excepting the fact that I am a Gunny, still, they say I act like one. At the Honoring Service every Marine I ran into, we talked about our time in the Corps. I have this to say about my time served between 1973 and 1989 was some of the hardest times to be a Marine in America. We practice to go to war with the Russians and the other Communist Countries. It appeared that Very few people liked us, but now people stop me on the street when I wearing my Marine Corps ball cap and say thank you for serving our country. But of course I get upset when some of our leaders talk bad about our services men and woman. Our son did his six years in the Army (I forgave him) and our daughter just started her 11th year in the United States Coast Guard and is a Boatswain Mate First Class and served in Iraq in 1999. I am very proud of my children, I know the fears of having a child in harms way, but I have learned to turn the care of them over to God. Some of her shipmate call her the Gunny's Kid. When I travel to Hawaii or Camp Pendleton and visit with Marines I let them know that the South Dakota Marines pray and support them. My vow is that those who serve our country will not be treated as were those of us when we came home from Vietnam.

Danny Petersen
South Dakota

Dear Sgt. Grit,
After reading the posting from Joseph F. Brown I tried to just pass it off, but something inside me will just not let it go unanswered. "Doc" Brown , I too served as a Marine "Doc", but in Vietnam. After each combat action I asked myself, did I do enough? And did I do it right? In each case one side of my brain said NO to both questions. But the other side said, 'You did the best YOU could do.' I too would have been shocked by the Doctors calloused statement. He of course had every right, and duty, to advise you of how you could have done your job better, but he had no right to criticize your actions. He was not there. You were.

It makes no difference if the Marine was clothed in layers of winter clothing or was naked. If he lived it was your training and God's will that saved him. And that is the Corpsman's bottom line, to save lives, Marine lives.

As is evidenced in the Pride and Love that spews from these postings on Sgt. Grit, every life is precious and meaningful to Family, Friends and Brothers in Arms at home and on any duty stations where they may be serving. At any rate you did your duty and you " Did the best YOU could do." That was all that was expected of you by your peers.

Barry "Doc" Stevens
1/26 Vietnam

P.S. I notice that you did not state that any of your Marines condemned your actions. I'm sure they were very happy that their "Doc" was there for them when he was needed.

Hi Sgt Grit,

I thought I'd tell you about something my grandson did just the other day. He has been out to visit for 4 weeks and he's only 3 1/2 yrs old. He has been getting great discipline from his daddy, currently stationed at New River. He dropped, did 10 pushups, got up, and asked if he could have a bowl of cocoa puffs. And this was with out being asked. I thought I was going to die laughing. And yes, he got his cereal!

Mom-in-Law of a Marine

Dear Sgt Grit:

I love your newsletter and I read the new one every week. I have to wait until I am at home to read it because it always makes me cry.

I have two sons in boot camp right now, Jeff & Scott. They both dep'ed in during high school so they could pick their MOS - one is going to be an MP and the other Aviation Support. Jeff graduates this coming Friday, Sept 22nd and we (my husband and I) are so proud of him. Scott doesn't graduate until December but we are proud of him too.

I just wanted to let you know that reading your newsletter always gives me a little lift in my step and a little courage in my heart for my two boys. My mother loves to preach the anti- war message in front of me and I love to send your newsletter right back at her. I love my sons and am so thankful for their bravery and the bravery of our other soldiers out there fighting the good fight. I am proud to think that I had something to do with them becoming the men they are. I am glad to know that they love this country as much as I do and as much as my husband does. We have a new little boy, only 9 months old, and I hope that he grows up to have as much love, courage and strength as his big brothers.

I also wanted to pass on that I had made the poor decision to order a graduation ring for Jeff through another company and even contacted them directly to emphasize my need to have it before we left for San Diego.

Well, it never came. So two days ago I ordered a ring from Sgt Grit and guess what? My doorbell rang this AM and there it was, just in time for us to leave in the morning for graduation! Way to go and thank you.

Even though I am a faithful reader and cry along with the other mother's letters I am sure nothing can prepare me for watching my boy do his moto run, get his eagle, globe and anchor and graduate.

My love, best wishes, and thanks to all the Marines, here and abroad - you are the few and you should be proud!

Semper Fi,

Rachel Whitmore
Mother of Two Marines

Whose son is fighting in place of yours?
Whose son is fighting in place of yours?

American By Birth, Marine By Choice
American By Birth, Marine By Choice

Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done!
Semper fi
Sgt Grit

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Marine Corps Collage Frame
Marine Corps Collage Frame

Marines Retired Belt Buckle
Marines Retired Belt Buckle

Camo Cooldanna - Neck and Head Cooler
Camo Cooldanna - Neck and Head Cooler

Women's Woodland Capri Pants
Women's Woodland Capri Pants

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"Thank you, I received the replacement figure on Saturday. I thought it was going to take an act of congress to get it replaced. It's nice to know I am dealing with a company that is easy to do business with. Expect more orders from me shortly. Your loyal customer and greatest fan. Semper Fi!"
George S.

New Items

72 Virg!ns Sweatshirt
72 Virg!ns Sweatshirt

Digital Camo Christmas Stockings
Digital Camo Christmas Stockings

Desert Tan KA-Bar Tanto Serrated Knife
Desert Tan KA-Bar Tanto Serrated Knife

OD Green KA-Bar Tanto Serrated Knife
OD Green KA-Bar Tanto Serrated Knife

USMC Rugged Hat
USMC Rugged Hat

USMC Cell Phone Charm
USMC Cell Phone Charm

Marines Girl's Jersey Dress
Marines Girl's Jersey Dress

Mini Marine Infant Romper
Mini Marine Infant Romper

Marine Corps Swords Sweatshirt
Marine Corps Swords Sweatshirt

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