"In the annals of American history, only a few events are so well-known and so deeply rooted in national remembrance that the mere mention of their date suffices to describe them. Of these occurrences, none could have had more significance for our Nation than December 7, 1941. On that Sunday morning... the Imperial Japanese Navy launched an unprovoked, surprise attack upon units of the Armed Forces of the United States stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This attack claimed the lives of 2,403 Americans, wounded 1,178 more, and damaged our naval capabilities in the Pacific. Such destruction seared the memory of a generation and galvanized the will of the American people in a fight to maintain our right to freedom without fear. Every honor is appropriate for the courageous Americans who made the supreme sacrifice for our Nation at Pearl Harbor and in the many battles that followed in World War II. Their sacrifice was for a cause, not for conquest; for a world that would be safe for future generations. Their devotion must never be forgotten."
—Ronald Reagan

Give the Best Gift of All

Sgt Grit Gift Certificates

Give the gift that no Marine could possibly be disappointed in... Sgt Grit gift certificates are available in small or large amounts and you don't have to wait for shipping!

I made my fiancé take me out to dinner one night, and along came a girlfriend of mine and a Marine buddy of his. They went in uniform (everyone loves a guy in uniform). We went to this upscale Italian restaurant for a nice quite evening. It was perfect. A nice little elderly man came over and tapped me on the shoulder and said "You are sitting with two heroes" It made my night. Then we got the bill. The manager came over, looking all angry, and asked if something was wrong with our meal. We said no, and he said he was just kidding around. He handed us the bill and it said $0. We asked him what was going on, and he said, "You know that nice little old man that was sitting at that table over there. He said he appreciated all of your service, and your heroes in his hearts, so he paid for your meal." Just wanted to share this nice thought with everyone. It is true; the Marines are heroes.

Carol Pedersen
Fiancé stationed at Camp Ashraf

It's time for Christmas stories. Send'em to me.
Semper fi
Sgt Grit's Marine Specialties

"Patriotism is easy to understand in America,
It means looking out for yourself
By looking out for your country."
--President Calvin Coolidge

Sgt. Grit,

Even my great filing system has its limits and I needed to do some file cleaning. That included squaring my many files on the Corps. I know some of your subscribers read on screen, but I print each issue to read when and where I can. Your newsletters are not a quick read. I knew I had flagged a few things I wanted to keep -- quotes, stories, websites -- so I went to quickly review each issue I had back to 2003 -- things that really sustained me during my son's two tours.

A few things? I flagged 1-8 items in 90% of your issues that were to me absolute "keepers." So my "quick" task slowed considerably as I reread stories through the past four years, finding it necessary to stop on many occasions because I couldn't see. I should be done by Thanksgiving, and then I stopped and realized that was precisely what I was doing by reviewing four years of Sgt. Grit -- giving Thanks. I didn't consciously plan that timing, but there is a hand that guides things like this.

The newsletters are impressive to read as they come in, but totally awesome and inspiring when you try to review four years all at once. What an incredible gift you and your wonderful staff have given all of us.

On this Thanksgiving Day 2006, let us truly give thanks for our Brave Marines wherever in the world they are serving, and their courageous and loyal families who are behind them 24/7. I wish they could all hold hands and break bread together on Thursday, but that will happen again. There is a bond among Marines and their Family that no distance will ever diminish.

God Bless and Semper Fi -- Dr. Dennis Benson

All I Want For Christmas!

All I want for Christmas
Thank you to all of the responses to last week's question.
While we would love to give everone the gift they desire, we will be choosing one person to receive their most wanted Marine Corps item later this month...it could be you!

Did you miss this last week? Just answer the question below. We'll be selecting someone to receive the gift you want!
(You must include your name and email address in order to be eligible for the drawing.)
Semper Fi Sgt Grit Can't see the question above? Email your response to news@grunt.com

Greetings Sgt. Grit
I'm the VERY proud mom of my Marine daughter. She joined the Corps a year & 1/2 ago. She is currently serving in Iraq. She is an OPS Clerk on Alafad Airbase. On this day of Thanksgiving I just want her to know how much I miss her & long for her return in Jan.(hopefully) When I have a difficult day or am extremely frustrated over life in general, I think of her , where she is & what she's doing for our country. I realize if she can do that, there's nothing I can't get thru! She is my inspiration ! I was a single parent most of her younger years & her father was not in her life much. He hasn't acknowledged her since before she joined the Corps (although he knows all about it) It really saddens me that he chooses not to be a part of this extraordinary young women's life. He doesn't know what he is missing!
Thank You to all our Marines who are (& have ) defended our country !
Proud Marine Mom
Lisa M Smith
Brockport NY

Sgt Grit,
My son is at Camp Pendleton doing his MCT training. This is his first Thanksgiving away from home and I know there will be more. And I know one of these days he will be over seas at Thanksgiving. They say the first time they are gone on a holiday is the hardest. But anyway I didn't know if he would just be spending the day in his barracks or just what. But he called today and he said they have a program called adopt a Marine. I guess these families come to the base and pick them up and they have been approved ahead of time. So he and three other Marines were invited to spend Thanksgiving with a family from Orange County. I don't know their name but I want to thank them for being so kind to invite my son into their home and he said they had a great dinner. You have no idea how much this meant to me. You made this mother from Illinois' Thanksgiving a much better day knowing there is people like you being a blessing to my son. May God bless all the families that participated in this program.

Semper Fi

This is a dedication to my son LCPL Travis E C Taylor and his buddies currently serving in Iraq. I have so much adoration for our Marines. They are all Heroes in my eyes. Their patriotism, honor and courage is above what many Americans understand or want to acknowledge. LCPL Taylor went from an introverted teenager to an outgoing gung-ho Marine in less than a year. The Corps has instilled so many excellent qualities in him. He has grown into an exceptional man. I am very proud of him and all of his fellow Marines. Ooo Rah!

Kim Taylor
Proud Marine Mom
Medford, OR

Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm-- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.
-- T. S. Eliot

My family has a long and storied war record starting with a cousin on board the USS Maryland BB-46 on that bright and sunny Sunday morning of 7 Dec 1941, he survived. Next an uncle with the 34th Inf Div "Red Bull" US Army at North Africa, Anzio and the Cassino, to an uncle at Shafe HQ with Ike in England and another uncle on the USS Laffey DD742 at Normandy and Okinawa. The cousin later served aboard USS Brinkley Bass DD886 in Korea and 4 of us sons served during Viet Nam. Now on 17 Nov my grandson, Jake Stark is a Marine having finished his Boot Camp training at Parris Island. OOOOOOHHHRRRAAAA and Semper Fi Marines!
Chuck Stark Riviera Beach, FL.
A really "OLD NAVY" Hospital Corpsman 58-64

As an Air Force vet, I am very supportive of all members of the military- past and present. But even more than that I am a very proud Marine mom. My son, Cpl Josh Gramling served his first four years active stateside. He was recalled two and a half years out and deployed to Fallujah in 2005. He is home safe now. However yesterday he was insulted by an older man called him a "coward who didn't earn any of the ribbons he was "given" by the Marine Corps", and that the real heroes were those guys who came home missing body parts.

Fortunately for the person who made the remark, this Marine mom was not present to hear this. And fortunately for him, my Marine only let loose with words. It would be bad enough had a stranger made these comments, but this was part of the family. As of yesterday, our family dynamics have changed and we know who really is family.

So to my son, as well as to all combat and peacetime warriors- I AM PROUD OF YOU!

And Marines----no one gives you anything. If you have it- you earned it!

Vicki Buchanan

Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned and earned by each generation anew; if the transmission should be interrupted for one century, civilization would die, and we should be savages again.
--Will and Ariel Durant

I just recently ordered some items for my 80 year old father who served with the 29th Marines in the Sixth Division Okinawa.
I found, and bought, some items that were hard to find.
I can't begin to tell you how much it made his day ! I just wanted to thank you for having the items available.
He came back from Doctor's today with some discouraging news - but the box of items I had ordered for him was there and he cheered up quite a bit!.
Thanks again for making a Marine's day.
Jim Morgan

SGT Grit: Today (12-1-06) marks one year since SSGT Dan Clay and nine other Marines died in a violent IED explosion in Iraq. A letter Dan had written his wife and parents before his death was read by President Bush during his State of the Union speech and he even introduced Dan's wife and parents. In memory of Dan, I wrote the below message to his wife through her employer, The Nation Military Families Association (NMFA). The letter says it all.

Dear NMFA : If Lisa Clay still works with you, please pass along this message.

My son was stationed with Dan in mid to late 90's (1st BN / 3rd Marines - The "Lava Dogs") and they attended scout swimmers school together on Okinawa where they were room mates. My son also became Dan's squad leader for a while before leaving the Corps.

I first learned about Dan's passing when President Bush introduced Lisa and Dan's parents during his State of the Union speech. As a former Marine myself, needless to say, it brought tears to my eyes. My son didn't watch the speech but the next day he was getting calls and e-mails from his buddies they had been stationed with. My son called me at work to tell me about Dan and I told him I had watched the night before. My son was very upset at Dan's loss as he thought a great deal of Dan and remembered Dan as being such a fine young man.

To honor Dan he had KIA bracelets made for both of us, which we wear to this day. The bracelets say


On this one year anniversary of Dan's combat death, I just wanted you to know there are others out here that pause to remember those who sacrificed for us and our country.

Best regards and Semper Fidelis

Thomas W. Simpson     Thomas A. Simpson
SGT, USMC 67-71    SGT, USMC 95-99

A ruling intelligentsia, whether in Europe, Asia or Africa, treats the masses as raw material to be experimented on, processed, and wasted at will.
--Eric Hoffer

I ordered items from "Sgt Grit" again and as usual I got all items and prompt. I just want to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH .It is always great to do business with a great Co. such as you. Keep up the great work and my son Lance Corporal Zachary Martinage says thanks." Love your stuff."
Sincerely Kerry Martinage

Sgt. Grit,

I would certainly appreciate it if you would put the following in your newsletter. Thanks so much.

I cannot help but well up with pride each time I see a Marine, past or present, in uniform or civies, whether it be in person or on television. I smile with pride and yet, my heart aches for the safety of those actively serving. I say a prayer for each of them. Being married to a Marine and Vietnam Veteran, I have come to share that pride and the bond each Marine feels for the other - it brings tears to my eyes also. I do deeply appreciate the commitment, love for our country, and the sacrifices made on a daily basis. I want to say THANK YOU MARINES, past and present, for your service to our country - and to me! I salute each of you and may God keep you in His care! Semper Fi!

With all Sincerity,

Cathy Alburty
wife of Sgt. J.S. Alburty, USMC, Vietnam
Each day is a gift from God. Enjoy it!

"There was a time when Thanksgiving meant an occasion for counting our blessings. But, now that we have so many blessings that previous generations could hardly have dreamed about, we take them all for granted and are much more likely to count our grievances and the ways in which others have been unfair to us."
—Thomas Sowell

Hey Don,

I was at a local hardware store recently when I noticed a tall, tan figure with a high and tight and a Iraqi Freedom t- shirt. Overcoming my natural shyness, I approached and gave a Semper Fi, Marine. He gave me a healthy handshake and a SF. I said "Vietnam" and he replied "Iraq". I welcomed the young man home and thanked him for his service. He looked me in the eye and said, "I was only doing my job, Sir. " This Marine instantly became my hero. I am glad that he made it home safely. He was with his wife and baby too which made my elation for him greater.

Thanks to all of our troops for their service.

Dan Buchanan


Hope all is well and that you and your family had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving Day. My six month TDY tour with the US Army Corps of Engineers Resident Office in Tikrit Iraq is coming to a close, and I should be home in time for Xmas. Daily I travel on Cob Speicher to the construction site I manage and observe Army Troops in their daily activities. What I notice most, there are no training activities put in place for them. On any given day; starting around 09:00 hours AM, you will see a flux of Army personnel at the Base BX/PX, Burger King, Subway, Green Beans Coffee Shop…etc. These troops do absolutely nothing; I mean nothing here at COB Speicher, but spend a lot of money at AAFES exchange. I told one Soldier that the average troop on Speicher, are incapable of cutting the mustard; being a Marine. You would not have survived the trials and hardships I did going through PI and Camp Lejuene. Segregation in the early sixties was very much alive in Jacksonville, NC. I was not allowed to walk the streets of Jacksonville with my White Marine Corps Buddies while on liberty. When we got off the Bus in Jacksonville, Black and White Marines went separate ways. The Black Marines had to go across the tracks (Georgetown) while the White Marines were allowed to stay in town. Even in the Bus depot, there were separate bathrooms; one for Colored, and one for White. Aboard the bus, we (Black Marines) had to sit to the rear. Yet, we endured all the unbalanced scales in life pointing to us; mainly because we wanted to be a US Marine. The White DI's had a habit of calling Black Recruits "Sunshine". Yes Sarge, I endured and earned the Title "US Marine"

J Kemp Myers
USACE-Ground Region North (GRN)
Tikrit Resident Office
COB Speicher Tikrit, Iraq

"Live each day to the fullest. Live each day with enthusiasm, optimism and hope. If you do, I am convinced that your contribution to this wonderful experiment we call America will be profound."
—Ronald Reagan

back tattoo My daughter's school honored all veterans this past Veteran's Day with a breakfast and school assembly. It's amazing how all us Marines, from young to old; still show our Esprit De Corps! When asked to stand, we all shouted out with a blood curdling bark or Ooooooh Raaaaah! Gave me chills! So after being out for 12 years, I finally decided to honor our fallen brothers by getting some ink. First I decided to get the EGA from my high school buddy, Brian Berky, who is a great artist. A week later, Brian called and said he had a new idea of a piece for my back I might like. So, here it is.

Semper Fi Marines,
Mike Korczykowski
Fmr. Sgt. USMC 89-94
6017 VMFA (AW) 242 3rd MAW

Why in h&ll can't the Army do it if the Marines can. They are the same kind of men; why can't they be like Marines.
--Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, USA; 12 February 1918

Oorah Sgt Grit:

I have been meaning to write for awhile, but as soon as I saw what "A proud Marine Dad from Lancaster, NH" said about John Kerry's wayward comment about education and the military in # 136, I just had to write.

I was flabbergasted when I heard Kerry's comment, but I know that it does not apply to the Marine Corps. You may have read about "proud Marine Dad's" children in #136. They achieved quite a bit. I will discuss myself as a case-in-point. I served in the infantry, with 1st Bn 4th Marines 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, CA. I separated from active duty with the intention of attending New Mexico State University, and the long-term goal of becoming an FBI special agent. Well, not only did I graduate with a Bachelor of Accountancy and a minor in Law & Society (basically criminal justice studies), I did it in three calendar years, and with a 4.0 GPA. And when I did graduate, it was with Highest Honors (#1 graduate from the College of Business). I also attained a number of academic awards and scholarships. On top of that, I will be graduating with my Master of Accountancy in December, and I have been named the Outstanding Graduate Student by the NMSU Alumni Association.

So, for all of you grunts out there who have been called "dumb grunt," just remember that this "dumb grunt" and others have achieved quite a bit in the higher education arena and you can do it, too!

Also, for all you readers out there who are into marathons, I just ran my first marathon on October 29, 2006. It was the 31st Annual Marine Corps Marathon in the Virginia/D.C. area. I found it to be a very positive experience, so for all those looking for a marathon to run in or looking for their next marathon, I would recommend the Marine Corps Marathon. Registration for the 32nd Marine Corps Marathon will begin in May.

Best Regards,
Daniel J. Robertson
Sergeant of Marines

Sgt Grit,

Our son is a Sergeant in the Marine Corps stationed at Camp Lejeune. He will be deployed to Iraq sometime in Jan 2007. His father and I are so proud of him and we would ask everyone back home to say a prayer for all our service members whether here in the states or serving overseas. God bless each ad every one of you for what you are doing. We pray for a safe return for all our troops.

Darla Hasbrouck PROUD MARINE MOM
Marion NY

"All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity."
"And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God governs in the affairs of men."
"And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?"
-- Benjamin Franklin

Eagle Globe and Anchor Tattoo I can't believe I made it through my years in the Corps without getting a tattoo, so I am 8 years later with my first one (of many since I'm hooked now). Thanks to Vanessa at Holy Oak tattoo in Holyoke, MA for the awesome job she did. A special thanks to all the Marines out there serving our country, wherever they may be. Be safe and Semper Fi.

S. Matusko
1992 - 1998

See more tattoos, Vol. 1-16.

"[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt."
Samuel Adams

Dear Sgt. Grit,
Thank you so much for the opportunity to purchase Marine Corps items.
My son,Cpl. Scott R. Little, is a Marine reservist out of Willow Grove, PA.
My wife's father(scott's step mother) served at Iwo Jima during WWII as a Sgt. in the Marine Corps.
These men have a bond Only Marine veterans will ever know. I'm so proud to be a father of a U.S. Marine.
GOD BLESS AMERICA AND OUR SERVICE MEMBERS across the world trying their very best to keep peace and bring freedom to all people.
Best Wishes,
Richard F. Little, Jr.

"Gratitude is the sign of noble souls."

Dear Sgt. Grit:

My name is Courtney Miller, I am 26 and from St. Clair Shores, Michigan. I have a big heart for the military-especially the Marines! I have some friends serving in the Corps. My sister and I subscribe to your catalog and frequent your website.

Marine Cake I am a dancer from Casali School of Dance located in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. We have a group of 20 girls who perform for the community-nursing homes and other events during the holiday season.

For the past 3 years we have performed for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots fundraiser hosted by Angie D'Aleo Morelli. It is said to be the single largest, one night fundraiser in the country with nearly 1,000 people in attendance. Each year I make a cake to dedicate to the Marines for their work with the TFT organization and all they do to serve our nation. I took a firefighter cake pan and with some planning and icing turned it into a Marine!

Marine Cake with Group I noticed the cake for the Marine Corps Birthday on the cover of your fall/winter catalog and thought you might appreciate what I created. Perhaps you could find a spot in your catalog and/or on your website to show it? My cake is made with much love and gratitude for the entire United States Marine Corps! OOHRAH!

Thank you very much for your time.
Courtney M. Miller

"If we want our grandchildren to be able to give thanks for being Americans, we'll need to... start steering a course away from government control of our lives—and start moving back toward greater personal responsibility."
-Ed Feulner

"The consciousness of having discharged that duty which we owe to our country is superior to all other considerations."
—George Washington

What do you feel when you kill a terrorist?  RECOIL
What do you feel when you kill a terrorist? RECOIL

I May Look Harmless, But I Raised a U.S. Marine
I May Look Harmless, But I Raised a U.S. Marine

God Bless America!
Semper fi
Sgt Grit

Feature Item

NCO sword
NCO Sword

Every Marine would love to be in possession of one of the oldest U.S. weapons still in use today. Only MARINES (no other branch) have the distinction of carrying the NCO Sword. This is a gift that will hold a special place of honor for any Marine, and it will last a lifetime.

Authorized for use, this NCO sword is handcrafted in Toledo, Spain and can be customized.
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New Items

Extra Stout Marines T-Shirt
Extra Stout Marines T-Shirt

USMC Crossed KA-Bars Shirt
USMC Crossed KA-Bars Shirt

Semper Fi Cologne
Semper Fi Cologne

Glass Eagle Globe and Anchor Sculpture
Glass Eagle Globe and Anchor Sculpture

Deluxe Glass Eagle Globe and Anchor Sculpture
Deluxe Glass Eagle Globe and Anchor Sculpture

Neon Eagle Globe and Anchor Sign
Neon Eagle Globe and Anchor Sign

Brass Marine Corps Ring with Red Austrian Crystal
Brass Marine Corps Ring with Red Austrian Crystal

Brass Marine Corps Ring with Cubic Zirconia
Brass Marine Corps Ring with Cubic Zirconia

Red and Black Marine Nightpants
Red and Black Marine Nightpants

American Legend KA-Bar
American Legend KA-Bar

Not as Lean Sweatshirt
Not as Lean Sweatshirt

USMC Zip Up Embroidered Hooded Sweatshirt
USMC Zip Up Embroidered Hooded Sweatshirt

Hooded USMC Sweat Shirt
Hooded USMC Sweat Shirt

Football Jersey
Football Jersey

Small USMC Seal with St. Michael Necklace
Small USMC Seal with St. Michael Necklace

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I love this site and the magazine and the email letters. I love it all. I always find something to give to my Marine and a little something for me too!...
Sgt Grit Website Customer

Family Gift Ideas

Marine DAD Coin
Marine DAD Coin

Marine MOM Coin
Marine MOM Coin

Ladies Pink Nightpants
Ladies Pink Nightpants

Marine Wife Gold Necklace
Marine Wife Gold Necklace

Marine Wife Silver Necklace
Marine Wife Silver Necklace

Marine Girlfriend T-Shirt
Marine Girlfriend T-Shirt

Youth USMC Hooded Sweatshirt
Youth USMC Hooded Sweatshirt

Combat Ready Kid's Stocking Hat
Combat Ready Kid's Stocking Hat

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Gift Ideas

It's time for Christmas stories. Send'em to me.
Semper fi
Sgt Grit's Marine Specialties