Sgt Grit,
Last night some sandbaggin', no good rotten yahoo broke into my home while I was gone and stole my Sgt Grit Catalog! Although my money clip with over $200 and my 10 carat diamond ring was in plain view on the dresser, the SOB only took my Sgt Grit Catalog! Please replace as soon as possible.
Semper fi
Doug M. USMC Ret.
Military Order of the Purple Heart


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D*mno my son is in the Marines he signed 8 years ...he does 4 active and 4 inactive.. he just got stationed at camp Tenderloin ..his job title is engineering and he leaves for Iraq in February of 2007 ..I'm really scared but I know he will be safe ..One day him and some other Marines were in a Chinese restaurant and their meal ticket totaled $ 50.00. so the waitress handed them a meal ticket paid in full ...So they said it was wrong and the waitress told them you know the older couple that is sitting 3 tables down and the said yes and she told them well they paid for all of you Marines meal ..So they went over to the table and said thanks and the couple said', no thank you for ya's courage to protect our country...I just wanted to share this we need a lot of support for our men and women.

thanks, mom of a Marine
Shirley ray

USMC Thanksgiving Send in your "Thanksgiving Stories"
Where you were...who you were with...what you did...
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

The increased violence in Baghdad has not interrupted the economic boom that has been taking place throughout Iraq. Economic growth has been steadily rising to a rare of about 85% a year, while inflation has fallen slightly from 30-33% to about 20-25%. Unemployment, however, still runs high at about 15-20%, but most of the unemployment is concentrated in Sunni Arab areas where religious and secular terrorist groups make economic activity difficult.
Military Magazine, November 2006


We have a greeting for you....

View 231st Birthday Message.

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Sgt. Grit,
Last week while driving our Marine back to the Atlanta airport to return to Camp Pendleton we were hailed by a young lady in the next lane. Thinking she needed to change into our lane during rush hour traffic, my son waved her over. She continued to point to the back of our car and indicated that she wanted to speak with us. My son rolled down the window and heard the young woman ask where we had gotten our EGA yellow ribbon magnet. We were quick to hollar across the lane "" I think you'll have a new customer any day now.

Semper Fi!
Marine Mom Karen from Suwanee, GA

The other day, my Marine son's little daughter was out playing with their dog. They were having a race and the dog was winning. She shouted after him, "Hey, no fair! You've got FOUR legs!" Proud Marine Mom of SSgt. Mike

God bless all who serve our country. May He keep them all in the safety net of His love.

I look forward to receiving the Sgt Grit Newsletters and reading about how the Marine Corps has impacted the many Marines and their families who write in. My son is a Lance Corporal serving with the 3/5 LIMA who returned from Iraq this past August. He arrived back in the United States in August and was able to attend his cousins wedding at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

It was particularly emotional for my wife and I to attend a Wedding at the Naval Academy with our son in his dress blues. As we were walking toward the Academy my son was walking ahead and a little boy standing with his mother pointed at my son and asked his mother "Is that Super Man?"

Well in my mind the answer is yes and so is every Marine serving our country...past, present and future. I am not a Marine myself but have only the highest regard for my son and his fellow Marines.

A proud Marine Dad

Pre-Christmas Sale - 20% off

20% off special

BE PREPARED this year...20% off select Christmas ornaments and other USMC Christmas items for a short time!

"Tyranny, like h&ll, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
-- Thomas Paine

Dear Sgt Grit

I have been reading your newsletter for quite some time now. Your last two really hit home for me. In the 19 Oct 06 a straight forward account the author wrote the second bravest men the guys who patrol the streets and highways and also the worst city as being Ramadi. My son was one of those men patrolling the streets of Ramadi. Glad to say he returned safely. Also the newsletter #134 in which Terisa PMM/ NV welcomed her son home to his new life as a civilian. I too have the pleasure of doing the same as he became a civilian on 20 Oct 06. As proud as I am of his service to the country and Corp I'm glad to have him home. Keep the letters coming and thanks for all the great products available yet to be disappointed.


SGT GRIT - A deep thank you to Lt. Col. Henry T. (Tom) Cook, USMC (Ret.) who acknowledged his wife in the recent newsletter. Congratulations on your anniversary Lt. Col. Cook! and a great big THANK YOU for acknowledging the struggles that Marine wives endure, especially during a deployment. We (wives) are often forgotten during the deployment, but it is always so nice to see a Marine acknowledge our strength, courage and dedication. Semper Fi! to all those Marine Corps Wives!

Nora B. Manz
Wife to SGT. P. Manz, currently defending our freedom in Iraq!

Thank you SGT GRIT

In Marine terms, improvise, adapt and overcome!
"Bloom where you are planted"

E.R.HI just read the newsletter & wanted to share. My son Tom just finished boot camp this week (what a great ceremony) Once home we, well I wanted to give him all the foods that he's been missing so being of Spanish decent we went to a luncheonette that caters to the food we love (but I cant make).He was happy! Upon getting in the car a police officer knocked on our window & spoke to my son. Congratulating him & giving him some sound advice for his future it was so nice (especially since I thought we parked wrong or something). Then just a block down the road there's this famous bakery chain outlet so once inside an older man shook his hand, a young woman thanked him & then later gave him money to get some items "here she said get your self something it's not much but thank you for your service" & still an elderly woman ran up to him at the door to shake his hand & wish him well. It was so touching. I'd also like to mention that the first Sunday that he was home we went to church, He looked so handsome! I had lost it at one time & he held me. I didn't think anyone saw but upon leaving she touched my arm & said "I was crying along with you, God Bless him & you" All I could do was whimper a thank you. She then said "my daughter asked me" "why are you crying mom" & she told her he's fighting for our country & I feel for him & his mom". Even the priest said "thank you for serving our country". It makes me feel bad that I never said that aloud. I'm saying it now thank you for all who have & are & will serve my country. Bless you & yours Peace!

"One man with courage makes a majority."
Andrew Jackson

Each time I settle down with my cup of coffee to read my latest Sgt. Grit newsletter, I feel the warm kinship with those in the family we call the Marine Corps. I read each entry with joy and wonderment at the bravery and sacrifice performed by Marines and their families - across the years and across the miles.

Today, however, I was finally moved to write a note myself. When I read the tribute of Lt. Col. Henry (Tom) Cook, USMC (Ret.) to his wife, I felt the strongest thread of all. My father, Capt. Herman Vanderwart (USMC Reserve), served aboard the USS Wharton during WWII, and later, as a Reservist, called up for the Korean Conflict. He spent that time at Camp LeJeune as a tank instructor, and it was during that time that this Devil Pup was born. My Dad passed away in 1998, but seeing Lt. Col. Cook's note made me feel connected to Dad in an even stronger way. So thank you, sir, from the deepest part of my heart.

Dad's only brother, David, my mother's brother, my own brother and my son are all Marines. The family heritage is long and strong because of the Marine Corps, for which I will be ever grateful. I have had advantages - too many to mention and some I cannot even name - that so many others have missed because I am the daughter, niece, sister, and mother of Marines.

I know that when my brother and I attend the dedication of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and Museum and the Birthday Ball next month, it will be as though we're meeting family members for the first time - what a thrill !

Semper Fidelis,
Karen Vanderwart Potter, Devil Pup

"The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience."
—Albert Camus

Dear Sgt. Grit & Staff,

It seems amazing that in the face of video beheadings of innocent laborers and journalists, kidnappings resulting in overcrowded morgues and the river, and wailing "Peace/Salaam" as the true message only to stutter "Allah Hu Ahkbar" repeatedly as the cell phone buttons detonate an improvised ordinance to decimate voters or their Islamic brothers and sisters lining up for a job interview...that members of our government can seriously feel the need to NEGOTIATE with these perpetrators. Jihad means a "spiritual journey". Perhaps the correct term referred to in the Quran would be someone committing an act defined as "heraaba", actions so violent and merciless resulting in the killing of innocents that the punishment is "burning in the flames of H&ll". These "heraabas" refer to violent antisocial acts of a criminal nature such as murder and maiming. But one of our more level headed founding fathers mentioned his thoughts about peace and negotiations with violent offenders when religious folks were critical of military actions.

His...and MY response to the honorable members of our representative government claiming negotiations and peaceful results may bear fruit... from the modern-day copycats of the old "Al Assassins" who were stateless, obeyed no recognized Islamic government, drove even Sa'Allahdin crazy, and were finally "obliterated to the last" by the Mongols... is to remember the words spoken by a very wise and well traveled gentleman familiar with the piracy and brigands tormenting Europe in his day.

"They who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing the fields for those who did not."
----Benjamin Franklin----

Semper Fi!
Philip L. Boddy Jr.
1967-1971 Third & First MAWs &
USMCR Phoenix later on for a little while

Sgt. Grit,

I recently had the pleasure of a private screening of "Flags of Our Fathers" with the motivators of The Marine Corp League as well as active and reserve Marines in Greensboro, NC.

I was with the MP's at Henderson Hall at Arlington, VA in 1996 and had the honor of raising and lowering the flag on the Iwo Jima memorial in the Arlington Cemetery. At that time, I did not know the back story of the monument...but was none-the-less honored to have the assignment. It was always challenging to get up on the monument as the base was some eight feet high and it was hard to complete the precise movements of colors when you have to stop and jump up there. We would go out for colors every sunrise and sunset, and usually had a crowd to watch. Late at night we would run up sometimes fifteen or more flags to present to distinguished retirees or those retiring. The power of that monument/ scene still persists to this day.

One evening the wind was blowing hard, but a crowd of a few hundred was eye balling my three man detail as we were lowering the flag. One Marine lowering slowly, I was catching the outer edge of the flag as it came down and another Marine saluting. Everything was going fine, until the hauliers broke. Now this was a very large flag, and I quickly began to pull it in as fast as I could but it was immediately evident that it would not be fast enough and the flag was partially going to hit the deck. The Marine, (sadly, I have forgotten his name), who was lowering the flag actually dove off of the monument and caught the flag before it hit. He landed on his side, broke his arm but kept his good arm with the flag in his hand held up over his head. It reminded me of an outfielder at a baseball game holding the ball above his head proving he got it after a diving catch.

The crowd was silent for about 3 seconds, then went wild! People were screaming, I was leaning over the side of the monument, (not knowing he was hurt), yelling "OOH-RAH! It was an intense moment. That Marine later got a commendation for that incident, which was well deserved. I will never forget that night, and is a shining example of dedication to our country and our Corps. I tell this story to all those I run into who think that flag burning is no big deal. The flag is more than JUST a flag. Our dedication & motivation is more than just being sentimental. Being a Marine and having patriotism is what makes our country great. Whatever the circumstances that brought that image to the American attention, it is now a symbol of the Marine spirit...and frankly I don't care if it was a replacement flag initially. It has become something much bigger than those men who pushed it up on that war torn mountain...much like we were all civilian pukes molded into something greater than many can understand.

Semper Fi!
LCpl Crouch (MP 94-97)

"Failure is only postponed success as long as courage 'coaches' ambition. The habit of persistence is the habit of victory."
Herbert Kaufman

Sgt. Grit, Every time I have read your newsletters in the past, I read them with chills on my arms and half-way in tears. I felt so much for the Marines and families of the Marines who were writing in expressing their gratitude for something or someone they felt compelled to thank. I couldn't imagine what it would be like having their Marines over in Iraq. Well, I now know. My husband just left in September for Iraq and it is a very difficult. Although we are tough girls, words cannot express what it feels like when you open the mail and get pictures with them in full gear or when you receive an email with the words "Nothing much going on here ... I love you.", or that wonderful phone call so difficult to maneuver with the delay in conversation. Despite how hard it is to go through, I am very proud of my Marine. Although we can't wait for him to get back, we will and with such proud appreciation for him, we will wrap our arms around him hoping that he can stay a while. In the mean time, 2d LAR, kick butt and we will be waiting for you! Thankfully, a proud wife of an awesome Marine, father and husband! We love you! Be safe

"On this day, let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage and freedom."

Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower/ Veterans Day Proclamation, Oct. 1954

Some weeks back while I was at work a gentleman came into the OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware) store that I work at. I asked if he needed help and took him to the items he was looking for. I couldn't help but notice that he was wearing a Globe and Anchor. Before I finished helping him I asked him when he had served and he looked at me sorta strange, so I pointed to his pin. He was in Viet Nam from 67 through 69 if I remember correctly. He asked how I knew so I explained my affiliation (which isn't as a Marine but as having dated one after he returned from Viet Nam). I also mentioned that I receive Sgt. Grit each week. He got the biggest grin on his face and shook my hand. We chatted about how they were welcomed home from that war. It really is a shame that our vets from that era were treated the way they were and some still are. Each person that I have talked to has told me that it was something they never talked about with anyone and some still bear the scars that the war left on them and especially that they really had no help nor appreciation for serving their country afterwards. We, as Americans, should be ashamed. All of you deserve to be appreciated for everything that you have done.

He told me a story about his Mom and a certain sweatshirt that he had gotten while in the Marines and that she wore that sweatshirt out ...... some odd years later he was perusing the Sgt. Grit catalog and found the same sweatshirt. He bought a new one for her. And she just loved it.

Certainly, our quick chat didn't last as long as it has taken me to type this, but I do hope that he does read this and knows that meeting him was one of the highlights of my day and that having served our great country as a Marine, no matter where, how, or when is certainly an honor that only the best of the best can do. There is no such thing as second best, when you are a Marine, you are the best!

For all you guys and gals currently serving for our great country, keep your head down and come home safe. A great big Thank you too.

From a very grateful lady in Novato, CA.

I respect ALL service men. My husband was Marine and I was a Marine's Wife. I know how hard and how important that role was in showing my love and support always, But recently my son joined the Marines and graduated boot camp on his 21st birthday. We were there a Parris Island 21 years ago where his father proposed to me. Never thought I'd be there again for my son. A Marine wife is a very hard job. But let me remind people that sometimes forget, that it is the Mother who was with the Marine all if his life and has to let go. It's no easy so Please when we talk about a Marine wives job being the hardest in the Corps. Let's not forget the Mother who raised, and loved and was there all his life for everything. I believe the mother's job is the hardest. But ALL family members feel it. We Love Our Marine, Support and respect All the Military for all they do for us and our country. Thanks to all who serve and the families that support the. A Loving Mother and her sons Biggest Fan and Supporter. Oorahh

"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves in all cases to which they think themselves competent, or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press."
- Thomas Jefferson

Sgt Grit,

Story one. I'm a volunteer with the Marine Corps Family Support Community in Ohio ( I'm on TV and in the papers telling our Marines' story with some frequency. Out of the blue one day I get a package from a local nursing home with handmade cards to send to our Marines. Dang grit keeps getting into my eyes. I had to respond, so I set up our president and vice president who tapped our recruiter for a Marine in dress blues to visit the nursing home and personally thank the residents. When we walked into the filled dining hall, one female resident who is 96 years old, struck up the Marine Hymn on her harmonica. OOOrah. At least two things come with being Marine family -- tears and pride, and both came out at that moment. I personally kissed the hand and hugged every lady present which included a WWII SSgt lady Marine. I have received another 53 cards from that nursing home this month to send to our Marines. And I am still smiling and cannot relate this story without a tear emerging.

Story two. My wife is in a shopping center about to get in her car and leave when a car arrives and parks next to her and the dude rudely opens his door into the side of her car. She says "Excuse me?" and is responded to with an unmentionable set of words. Use your imagination here. Obviously, there is Marine stuff all over her vehicle. Bad move on the dude's part. Despite the instant white fury, my petite sexagenarian wife calmly walks to the rear of the dude's car and kicks in his license plate. She returns to her vehicle and calmly exits the parking lot leaving the dude wondering what the h*ll just happened. He was lucky. Moral is never mess (you may substitute a word beginning with "F" for "mess") with a Marine Mom. Fortunately our son was not present or I would have been dealing with a roadkill situation. Marine Mom Sandy used exceptional restraint. Good money says that dude still doesn't know what hit him and I'm still smiling about that one.

God Bless our Marines and the Family that stand beside them.

s/f Dennis Benson
Proud Father of a United States Marine

"Sometimes it seems [the news media] are less interested in legitimate news than they are in proving their knowledge and wisdom is superior to ours. The most frustrating thing is when I have the facts to prove them wrong but cannot reveal those facts without endangering security or wrecking some plan we're engaged in."
—Ronald Reagan


It's the same bullsh!t as they (the anti war types) said and did when you and I were in Nam. They can't help being the a$$holes that they are.

I remember when I came home and attended the University of Maryland reading an article in the University newspaper "The Diamond Back" saying that those that opposed the war were clearly intellectually superior in their thinking to those that supported the war.

Smart people go to college and not so smart people go to places like Viet Nam and now Iraq.

Semper Fi
11th Marine, Vietnam 69-70

"People unfit for freedom—who cannot do much with it—are hungry for power."
-Eric Hoffer


This is my first time writing. I just found your website. Thank you. Also I just ordered some Marine Corps items for my family and of course myself. I feel the need to show off my support for our military and of course to let everyone know that I have three sons who are Marines and my husband is a former Marine. One just came home from Iraq in September and my youngest son (20 yrs old) left for Iraq in September and my third son will be leaving sometime next year. I am so proud of my boys and I am not afraid to tell anyone that I am proud of their service and that they have the courage to fight for this nations freedom as well as others. I also get very angry at those that publicly criticize our Marines and other military personnel for defending our right to freedom. I will have to admit that even though I act strong on the outside my insides are turning upside down with worry.

That is all for now. Thank you for this website and my freedom to write and share my thoughts.

Sandra Jones
Proud Mother and Wife of
Cpl. Bryan D. Matney
Cpl. Kyle A. Matney
Cpl. Christopher Moore
Sgt. Curtis Jones (Former Marine) (Active National Guard)

Here are some of the accomplishments in Iraq that occurred during the month of October, just in-case you missed them... And judging from the media reports you did.

  1. BASRAH, Iraq, Oct. 2, 2006 — One of the greatest threats to the security of Iraq, and a common tactic of terrorists and insurgents, is the use of improvised explosive devices and mines.
  2. BAGHDAD, Oct. 2, 2006 — The Iraqi Air Force is working to gain complete control of support operations from Coalition forces to add to the maintenance operations already under its charge.
  3. AL ASAD, Iraq, Oct. 2, 2006 — Even though he's officially retired after four decades of government service, 72- year-old Jim Ruyak is at work every day serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  4. FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU, Iraq, Oct. 3, 2006 — Iraqi officials and Multi-National Division – Baghdad leaders transferred responsibility of Forward Operating Base Duke to Iraqi Security Forces during a press conference Oct. 1.
  5. CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq, Oct. 4, 2006 — Only months away from completion, the pump tanks at "RT3" are still empty as Iraqi workers put the finishing touches on the high-tech water treatment facility that will distribute clean, fresh water to millions of Baghdad area residents at the astonishing pace of 30 million gallons per day.
  6. CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq, Oct. 5, 2006 —The classroom is not sterile or high-tech, but what is taught there will help enable Iraqi engineers to bring their army's communication systems into the 21st century.
  7. BAGHDAD, Oct. 5, 2006— Senior U.S. officials in Iraq are calling a four-point plan released Oct. 3 by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to halt sectarian violence "a significant step in the right direction."
  8. CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq, Oct. 11, 2006 —Billy Blanks, fitness guru, martial artist, actor and creator of Tae Bo, a fitness program that combines Tae Kwon Do moves and boxing with dance music, made a stop at the 4th Infantry Division Field House, Oct. 5.
  9. BAGHDAD, Oct. 11, 2006 — Iraqi army soldiers, working in conjunction with Multi-National Division – Baghdad (MND-B) soldiers, executed Operation Half Nelson Oct. 4, which was designed to build trust between Iraqi civilians and MND-B forces and eliminate terrorist threats in Baghdad's Hurriyah neighborhood.
  10. HAMRIN, Iraq, Oct. 11, 2006 — Water can be a scarce resource in many regions of Iraq. However, there are some areas, namely along the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys, that thrive because of the direct access to water.
  11. BAGHDAD, Oct. 12, 2006 — "There is no such thing as a perfect crime, as there are always clues left behind" is a phrase that is often echoed in police circles all around the world. Detectives and analysts say a good forensics investigation will always lead to the perpetrator.
  12. KIRKUK, Iraq, Oct. 13, 2006 —Two schools re-opened here Oct. 12 after being renovated as part of a program in which they will serve as models for other schools in the area.
  13. FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU, Iraq, Oct. 16, 2006— Multi-National Division – Baghdad soldiers delivered an assortment of equipment and goods to the Muehla Agricultural Union, Oct. 9.
  14. CAMP TAJI, Iraq, Oct. 17, 2006— On a typical day at the Tarmiya Medical Clinic, patients and clinic workers witnessed a not-so-typical grand opening of a new surgical and pregnancy wing, Oct. 10. Ministry of Health personnel, local council members and soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division hosted the event.
  15. CAMP TAJI, Iraq, Oct. 23, 2006 — After a remarkable year of retaining more than 560 soldiers while serving in Iraq, the 4th Infantry Division Combat Aviation Brigade Retention office is at it again.
  16. BAGHDAD, Oct. 23, 2006— Multi-National Division – Baghdad soldiers conducted a humanitarian aid mission Oct. 13 in Baghdad's Karkh district.
  17. BAGHDAD, Oct. 23, 2006 — Everybody knows the bad news: In September, the lights were on in Baghdad for around four hours a day. One study has October's levels so far at 2.4, the lowest since the invasion.
  18. BAGHDAD, Oct. 24, 2006— Three representatives from police and fire departments in Austin, Texas, met with Iraqi emergency services officials, Oct. 18, to discuss ways to better improve existing Iraqi emergency medical systems. The meeting was held at the Adnan Palace in central Baghdad.
  19. RUSHDI MULLA, Iraq, Oct. 25, 2006—The first few were hesitant, coming in by ones and twos, but soon the floodgates opened and the citizens of Rushdi Mullah came from all over town to receive medical care Oct. 19 at a Multi-National Division – Baghdad medical operation.
  20. FORWARD OPERATING BASE BRASSFIELD-MORA, Iraq, Oct. 27, 2006— Iraqi Army soldiers discovered multiple weapons caches during joint patrols with paratroopers from Company D, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Oct. 21-22, in a village north of Samarra, Iraq.
  21. CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq, Oct. 30, 2006 — The arrival of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, to the Multi- National Division – Baghdad area of operation during the second and third week of October marked the beginning of a deployment for a brigade – and the end for another.
  22. CAMP TAJI, Iraq, Oct. 31, 2006 — As international headlines report sectarian violence across Baghdad and the cities in the surrounding region, Iraqi Security Forces and Multi-National Division – Baghdad soldiers at Camp Taji, north of Baghdad, are working together to re-establish a level of security that will allow local residents to return safely to Saab al Bour.
  23. BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 31, 2006 — It was a terrible scenario. A suicide bomber attack in Fallujah, Iraq, had injured a 21-year-old Marine. He suffered multiple burns to his face and hands, and blast injuries to his right arm with shrapnel embedded in his leg. But the worst part was shrapnel in his right eye, causing bleeding and a chance of retinal detachment, which would mean loss of sight.

Gunnery Sergeant
Michael W. Davis USMCR
Public Relations
Sgt Grit
Marine Specialties

"The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure."
-Albert Einstein

To Sen. John Kerry.

Apology NOT accepted.

Thomas Gallo
Father of Sgt. Adam T. Gallo USMC India 3/12, somewhere in Iraq.

Sgt. Grit
Last Friday I took a my neighbor and Iwo Jima Veteran to see the movie and he was blowed away by the combat scenes .He told me they were very real and brought back a lot of memories .Me I serviced with Hotel Co. 2/9 66-67-Lima 3/5 - 68 and was wounded for the third time and was shipped backed to the world.
Bob Stocker

I read your story in Sgt. Grit - Might Be The Last. While I might not have gone the route that you chose to go, I admire your determination.

I've just sent off an email to K. Hovanian Homes, specifically to Remington Point in Fort Worth, TX expressing my belief that they are unaware of the flag code and giving them the 'official' wording (i.e. It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness. )

Good luck!
Wife of a Marine near Pittsburgh, PA,
Tracy McBride

"We were told our campaign wasn't sufficiently slick. We regard that as a compliment."
—Margaret Thatcher


I can't thank you enough. The flag issue with K. Hovnanian is some what settled. The local news and morning talk show couldn't cause enough of a stir, as did your news letter.

One of your readers apparently lived down the road from the CEO of K. Hovnanian Homes (that's right, THE man himself). They took my e-mail from your news letter and within 18 hrs, both flag poles outside the model home were taken down.

The rude and disrespectful female sales rep has not found the courage yet, to knock on my door, and apologize for her behavior. I chalk it up to poor parenting or when that topic was being taught in her household.........she was out to lunch and has never come back!

I want to thank all my Marine brother's and sister's who responded with enthusiasm and kind words of encouragement. I would like to extend my heart felt appreciation to all the BRAVE men and women who defend our nation at this time and hope that they ALL come home safely. Have a Happy 231st Birthday Marines. Semper Fi.

Paul S. Laskodi
U.S.M.C. Retired
Semper Fi

Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is not survival.
-Winston Churchill

Today I woke up and decided it was best to make my weekly trip, especially after I got the call from Marine Mom Kay that Marine Mom from Austin, would like some one to greet her Marine with a Marine Mom hug at the DFW Airport.

I sent out the email invitation, and made a call to Marine Veteran Jim, since he does not have a computer. He can be ready in five minutes, he claimed. Marine Jim served in Korea and two tours in Vietnam. His grandson, Top, is at MCRD boot camp at this time and scheduled to graduate Sept. 1st. We have tried on numerous occasions for him to make this trip, and finally we are on our way. He brought his cane just in case, but from the way he was walking afterwards, he felt no pain.

We get there a little early and I introduce him to Joan, a Marine from back in the fifties wearing her Marine lanyard around her neck. Then he sees some other Veterans he knew from our VFW District group. I take a step back as he socializes with all the other Veterans there. They are happy to see him, wearing his VFW cap proudly, showing him where to stand at the opening doors when it is the appropriate time. A chair is brought over for my Marine Jim as it takes a while for the first ones to walk through.

And then I make my way to my spot in line, with the other volunteers, which today happen to be "Bank of America".

Right after the last soldier has come through, I see Marine Jim is being interviewed by a talk radio station (KRLD) and I back away to give him more time.

When it was time I walked up to him to ask if he was ready to go and he wanted to know when would we be coming back. I smiled as I remembered my first time and knew the emotions he was feeling. He was asked by KRLD if this homecoming was anything he had experienced when he came home and "No" was his reply. "On my second tour home I was actually spit in the face from a young girl." "Why?" the interviewer asked. "I guess she didn't like us being over in Vietnam", he said with a shrug of his shoulders. "So what do you think of this greeting of the troops?"

Semper Fi,
Karen Marks

Sgt Grit:

I am the father of a new Marine and could not be prouder. My wife and I had the honor of attending his graduation at Parris Island in September and it brought tears of pride and joy to our eyes. To see the young man we sent off 13 weeks before come and hug us for the first time after receiving his eagle, globe, and anchor pin as a US Marine and see the change in his eyes was an experience I will never forget.

What an honor it is to be his father and know he is one of that special Marine "family" now.

After his leave following graduation, we were waiting with him in the Jackson, MS, airport at 0500 the morning he left for MOS training and while we were standing there talking an elderly gentleman whom we did not know came up to our son and tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Soldier". My son turned and answered, "Yes Sir". He older man said, "I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate what you are doing for our country", then turned and walked away. At that point it really hit my son and my wife and I what an honor it was to be his parents and that he had chosen the hard and narrow road of becoming a Marine.

Tommy Miller - father to PVT Jack Wesley Miller Vicksburg, MS

Sgt Grit,

I hate you guys. Reason, I just got the new catalog and it has so many things in it that I want to get it makes it hard to see which ones to get first. Keep up the excellent work.

doc Higgins

Sgt Grit,

I am proud to say that after an incredible, recent encounter, I have no doubt in my mind that there are angels among us.

My parents and I were on our way to Annapolis, Maryland during the weekend of the Navy-Notre Dame game, and we decided to stop at a McDonald's on the road for breakfast. I was waiting at the table for my parents to return, when I noticed an elderly man in a red baseball cap at the counter. As he was checking out, he turned, and from the angle I saw that the yellow lettering across the front of the cap read "Marine Corps - SEMPER FI."

Now, I had never before seen this man in my life, and it was likely that I would never see him again. However, there was one thing we had in common... the Marine Corps. I'm 17 years old, and I've just recently enlisted, and I have also applied for the United States Naval Academy. The short time that I've spent in the Delayed Entry Program and completing my application for the Academy has made me realize that I've not only made the right choice, but that I'll be answering my calling - to serve my country.

I had to talk to this man. I didn't know why, or how I would go about striking up a conversation, or if the man would even give me the time of day, but I was determined. So I waited until the man left the counter, and walked over to get napkins. I approached him and greeted him with a "Semper Fi!" He was quite surprised at this, and in response asked me if I was a relative or a friend of a Marine. I told him that I wasn't, and in fact would be the only Marine and the first female in my family to be in the military.

We spoke for a good fifteen minutes, and my parents returned and saw me speaking to him. They joined in the conversation, and we learned that he was a former drill instructor in San Diego and a veteran. He told me of some of his experiences, and that his time in the Corps was the best time of his life. Then I told him about myself, and as the conversation progressed we both had tears in our eyes. We never exchanged names. I knew nothing else about him. We were perfect strangers, brought together by a bond incomprehensible by many, but shared by the few and the proud. The man's words to me as we were departing will stay with me forever -- "Don't ever give up... You will succeed no matter what with that motivation. I've never met you and I might never see you again, but I'm proud of you." After we left, my mother questioned why I decided to talk to the man, and that it was very unlike me to start conversation with complete strangers. I told her I honestly did not know the reason, but I would find out. She came to the conclusion, half-jokingly, that he was an angel.

It has been exactly a week since my conversation with the former Marine, and to my complete astonishment, I have just received in the mail my certificate of acceptance to the United States Naval Academy.

Stefanie Shaw
Proud Future Marine

"Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint."
Alexander Hamilton

In 1972 I was in "Devil Pups" We had a larger experience then in many ways than when I went through recruit training three years later. I was a freshmen in High School. I guess they had a bigger budget than Marines training to go to Viet Nam. Anyway, the whole "platoon" went to the Camp Horno pool for a Recon demonstration. Click forward three years. I guess that stuff follows you. Sgt. Wolfenbarger was one of my Drill Instructors. He seemed to know. I began paying for being a "Devil Pup" about three days into Recruit Training. Turns out Sgt. Wolfenbarger was a member of the demonstration team a few years earlier. Hats off to you Sgt. Wolfenbarger where ever you are. My remaining time in Boot Camp was defined by your influence. He bend and thrusted me almost more than I could stand. Thank You, I am always a little more than I think I can be because of you. Even though you left us during third phase. Ha, now I said it.
Plt. 1012 Graduated 4/11/1975


Iwo Jima-Movie

My husband Jim and I went to see Flags of Our Fathers this afternoon. I was impressed with the way Clint did it. If anyone goes thinking it's going to be ALL about the battle of Iwo, they will be mistaken, but hopefully NOT disappointed. It was about the men who raised that Flag (both the first one and the second one) and that's what the book was about. So, he kept to the true nature of the book. I was a little disappointed not to see any tanks, because that's what Jim was assigned to and they played a very large part in the taking of the island. But, he seemed to understand it once we realized the movie was based on the book about those men. He did take exception to the last scene. LOL When the men went into the ocean to swim ~~~~Jim said, "we did not have white underwear, Marines wore green underwear".

He was excited when the bomber flew over and was "limping" into the airfield on other side of island........and whispered "I remember seeing the first bomber come into Iwo, on it's way back from Japan...and that was when I knew, why it was so important to take this piece-of-sh!t island". Amazing what I learn from him when he least suspects he's telling me something that is historically important.

One other thing I love to hear him tell about when he was on Iwo and they were ducking all the bullets that were flying all around them was when one of the guys said....."d*mn, will you look at that?" and Jim looked through the binoculars and there on one of the ships was a bunch of sailors playing volley ball. He couldn't believe they were watching such a normal occasion going on in the middle of h&ll.

Marion Rogers
Spouse of Sgt. Darwin E. (Jim) Rogers
November 3, 2006

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people."
—Proverbs 14:34

Book Review

, S.F. TOMAJCZYK Pg. 159 (General)

C- Superb full-color action photos- Behind the scenes look at the training and structure of the United States Marine Corps

W-Comprised of smart, highly adaptable men and women, the Marine Corps serves as the aggressive tip of the U.S. military spear. Theirs is a smaller, more dynamic force than any other in the American arsenal, and the only forward-deployed force designed for expeditionary operations by air, land, or sea. It is their size and expertise that allow them to move faster. Working to overcome disadvantage and turn conflict into victory, they accomplish great things, and they do so together. In the Marine Corps, there is a motto that describes their commitment to each other, their organization, and their country. It is Semper Fidelis or "Semper Fi." Translated from Latin, it means "Always Faithful."- Superb full-color action photos- Behind the scenes look at the training and structure- Next book in the colorful and successful series covering America's military forces- Still one of America's most combat efficient forces Features: Chronological photographic displays, with personal stories, of a Be a US Marine class of recruits as they progress through Marine recruit training. Steve Tomajczyk gains unprecedented access to the men in training around the country, including California, North Carolina, Virginia, and Okinawa. Superb full-color action photos. Author Steve Tomajczyk takes you through Marine recruit training - "Boot Camp" - the 13-week process that transforms a young person with the courage to succeed into a mature, highly disciplined, and fully capable Marine. During this time drill instructors teach individuals how to care for themselves and others, function as a member of a team and to achieve success together. Training includes first aid, water survival skills, marksmanship, tactics and other related topics. Training also focuses on customs, traditions and history that have made the Marine Corps respected around the world.

"If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you will do will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you will yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift to the coming human h&ll."
—C. Wright Mills

Do you have a great idea for a Bumper Sticker Slogan? Send it to
Here's a couple good examples...

A Dead Enemy is a Peaceful Enemy, Blessed Be the Peacemakers
A Dead Enemy is a Peaceful Enemy, Blessed Be the Peacemakers

I Fight What You Fear
I Fight What You Fear

Happy Birthday Marine.
God Bless America!
Semper fi
Sgt Grit

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Semper Fi
Sgt Grit