Hi Sgt. Grit,
It was the morning of 31 January, 1968. The Tet Offensive had started a few hours before. I was leading a patrol through a hamlet that had some hooches with women that catered to some of the Marines.
In my briefing, I told my Marines that a head count would be taken after emerging from that hamlet, and every Marine had best be present. After leaving the hamlet, true to my word, a head count was taken, and we had GAINED one Marine. When the Tet Offensive started, he was stuck in that hamlet, fearing both Viet Cong/NVA and edgy Marines. Once inside our perimeter wire, he went on his way to face the consequences with his C.O., but not before thanking us for safe passage.
Gary Nash, 0302

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Flags Of Our Fathers

Last Friday night, October 20th, we honored four Iwo Jima Veterans (3 Marines and 1 Sailor) in Oxford, MS at the screening of Flags of Our Fathers. Only 2 of the Iwo Jima Veterans were well enough to attend. One of these Veterans, Baxter Tucker lost his grandson last year as a KIA in Iraq. All together, we had over 140 people attending with over 30 WWII Veterans. Two of these WWII Veterans were from this same area but had not seen each other in almost 60 years. One of the persons attending was a woman who was taken prisoner by the Japanese on one of the Pacific island invasions and she was a POW for over 3 years. Although she had been rescued by British troops, she wanted to come and thank all of the WWII Vets for liberating Europe and the Pacific. At the end of the movie, everyone applauded but more impressively, no one got up to leave as the credits began. Everyone sat in humble awe and silence while watching the actual photos from Iwo Jima until the end of the movie. It was just as well as it gave everyone including our Iwo Jima Vets time to compose themselves before a short presentation in the lobby of the movie theater. Dan Dye, Vice-Commandant for the J.C. Hooker Detachment, Marine Corps League, Pontotoc, MS presented our 2 Marine Iwo Jima Veterans Paul Sharrer Jr. and Baxter Tucker with Certificates of Appreciation. Both Marines are 82 years young. During the presentation in true Marine Corps fashion while posing for newspaper pictures, Paul Sharrer Jr. shook hands with Baxter Tucker and proclaimed loudly to all assembled "This is the guy I hid behind during the entire invasion!"

Semper Fidelis,
Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC Retired

I highly recommend this movie "Flags of Our Father" to all our brothers, epically the old grunts. Having had the honor to talk extensively to "Iwo" survivors and the horrors they faced. They fought and overcame a enemy like these young Marines face today in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although it's mostly about raising money to support the war, it does show the camaraderie that Marines have over the other services and the desire to save there buddy, it also shows how Corpsmen are so important to each Marine unit. All the survivors I have spoken to stated the would have rather been in the buddies place and not have had to live with the nightmares they have had to face over the years. I have meet 4 survivors who fought on "Iwo" and watched the flags go up they had more stories to tell and one landing craft operator who never will forget the trips back with the wounded and the dead. I joined in 1972 at the end of Vietnam and served stateside for my whole tour. I will never forget these men nor their stories and the honor of knowing they where Marines and the pride of being a Marine.
Larry Coston
Cpl 1972 - 1975
MCDEC Quantico, VA

Turn Heads

With great pleasure I read the response from Cpl. Vince Fischelli. I ended up forwarding his comments to several family and friends that I knew would understand. I am glad to know that there are "others" out there who act and do these strange things as I do. Have you ever let out your "War Cry" in a public place just because you felt the unction? Oh yes, it will turn heads. At work I will put on Marine Corps Band music and you know what that does, don't you? Parade rest and the position of attention just comes natural. As does several "War Cries"! Thank you Cpl. Fischelli for your comments and for staying motivated.
Cpl. Russell 1981-1985 U.S.M.C.

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Everyday At 0500

I get up everyday at 0500. I then make sure Our Flags are outside my house. I give myself my trademark high and tight flat top every two weeks. I proudly glance at my U.S.M.C. tattoo's, while I catch myself not getting my cammies on, blousing my boots, checking out my uniform and placing my cover on squarely in the mirror. Ready to step outside the door and do what I do best!

Well, then it hits me, I am not on active duty any longer, but I am still in! We Always will be Marine. Then I remember also that I am 100% disabled now and that is one of the reasons I get up so early so that I may be able to move by 11:00 or 12:00 o clock.

I talk Everyday with active duty Marine's, Ret Marines, disabled Marine's, Marines that served with me during my times in! Marine's that have been to combat and one's that have not. Key word, "Times". To much and many details to go into, but I served Four times in Our Corps Cpl and it doesn't matter whether ya got to the fight Marine! You and All other Marine's are and Always will be a Brotherhood and Sisterhood! Any given second, you can pick up the phone, e-mail, or drive to one of Our warriors homes or locations and Know that they are there for you and in turn you are there for them!

I keep waiting on the phone to ring to give me the word to gear up, but it ain't gonna happen! We all can feel safe and comfortable about the current Marine's in the battle right now and the future!

Most importantly, Us Vets, combat and non must be there for All of Our returning Vets from the current battle! We all know that we can Only relate to each other! Sponsor a Vet, be there for them 24 hrs a day and especially night for them to be able to reach out and call you! That's the Most important job that we can do for our future's and theirs! And Our Country!

I was in six infantry battalions, made over 15 deployments and fly aways, 0311 all the way! Got in on some of the fights from 1978-2003! Highest rank of Sgt. four times, even at 39 years old. The Best rank I believe! And am Very Proud of the state of Our Corps and how it is doing.

My vehicle's have all of their bumper stickers, all my covers that I wear when I get out, my canteen cup that I drink my coffee with, (although I somewhat stopped going out into the yard to use my heat tabs), and the grenade lighter I use to light my smokes. My Dress Blue's are cleaned, pressed and squared away, covered in the closet waiting on my final mission for when I pass away to help guard the gates of Heaven with Our other Brothers and Sisters. And "All Doc's", Thank You! My 782 gear is always packed and will be going me, just in case. Everything will Always be with Us, The Few, The Proud, The Marine's!

"Semper Fi"
Sgt. C-Monster
!978-2003 Broken Time Marine
Plt 2064 PI-2/6-1/6-3/23-1/9-3/9-3/4
1st/2nd/3rd&4th Marine Div.
Thank You also Sgt Grit! Great store and site!

Turns Out

Sgt Grit,
Last Saturday I went to my home town to watch a high school football game. When I walked in I saw an "I Survived Iwo Jima" cover. The old timer saw my "Bulldog" cover so naturally we had to swap "Semper Fi" and talk awhile. While we were talking he said "I wasn't really a Marine" Turns out he was a Corpsman with the landing Marines. I told him he was as much a Marine as any other. I found out later that he has the Purple Heart and several medals from Iwo Jima.

Here's the 'rest of the story'. I've known this man since I was a kid. He was in the hunting camp with my Dad, both Grandpa's, Uncles. cousins, etc and helped teach me to hunt when I was 12 back in 1952. I never knew he was a "Hero". He never talked about it.

Next subject:
Any readers out there from PI Plt 146 graduated 28 Aug 58? (my 18th birthday) Any from Great Lakes ET school Oct 58-Apr 59? What about Comm., H&S 3/6 from Apr 59-Mar 62?
Semper Fi
Jim Martin
Emporium, Pa.

I Stood

Dear Grit;

As a 82 year old I was able to go back and relive a day at boot camp. through the eyes and stories of a young Marine on his graduation day.

It made a old man feel so great to hear and see the way young men leave the Base and start Life as Marines. The pride in the parents and also the pride in us Great uncles to see young men walk tall and have that feeling of pride.

It was 63 years ago that I went through Parris Island, we had no such family day, and I want to thank the US MARINE CORPS for helping a old man relive a time in life. YES I STOOD ON THE YELLOW FOOTPRINTS and felt a tear on my cheek.

May God Bless and Keep all of our Marines and bring them home safe.

Uncle Rusty

Bid Farewell

Sgt Grit,

The city of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio - city and community bid farewell to a fallen Marine who was injured in Iraq on 10/4/06 and passed away on 10/11/06 as a result of injuries from an IED explosion. Justin was with the EOD and was defusing an IED when the situation went sour as he discovered a second near-by to late that was set off.

Our City bid Sgt Walsh god speed as he leaves for Arlington National for his last request that will take place on 10/24/06 in Arlington.

Justin is the fifth service person with ties to our city to have given his all since 9/11/01 in the fight against terrorism.

God Bless our Marines.

Dave Sebastian
Proud Marine Dad

Change In Our MOS

Regarding CPL Haines feelings. I have read the replies of everyone and it seems that we all, myself included, missed the change in our MOS. We went from 0311, 8404 (combat doc), etc to 4313 which as defined by the USMC MOS manual is

1. Introduction. The Public Affairs field gathers, prepares, publishes and disseminates news and feature materials about Marine Corps plans, policies, programs, regulations, operations and exercises. This information is disseminated to military and civilian broadcast and print media outlets. Marines in OccFld 43 conduct community relations programs to promote harmonious relations with civilian communities, produce command newspapers, magazines, and radio and television programs. Public Affairs Marines also act as the Marine Corps' official spokespersons. They arrange interviews for and escort members of the civilian media within the confines of military bases and installations, or in the area of operations during exercises and contingencies. Public Affairs Marines are assigned to all major commands, Marine Expeditionary Units, Recruiting Districts, Recruiting Stations, and many Joint Staffs. Marines entering the 43 OccFld are assigned as Basic Combat Correspondents, MOS 4300, until they complete training in print and broadcast journalism skills.

2. MOS 4313, Broadcast Journalist (MGySgt to Pvt) NMOS (4341) a. Summary. Broadcast journalist electronically gathers news and feature materials for radio and television programming. Duties include producing programming for on-base radio and cable television, and producing broadcast products for civilian media outlets. Only MOS 4341 Marines may hold the 4313 MOS.

As "Once a Marine always a Marine" tells us we never "leave" the Corps we just change jobs. As we do what the 4313 MOS says we should, we promote Our Corps (USMC and Hospital). We are the recruiters of the next generation of Marines. If we keep extolling what we love about our Corps then we are still doing our job and it is one that will never be finished until we report to the final Sgt of the Guard, ST Peter.

Doc Higgins


While at ITR (Infantry Training Regiment) at Camp LeJuene in January 1962, (see right away an old Marine, brown shoes too) the General was presented to our regiment. 3.2 beer did not work well so we were well behaved and was one of my most memorable days to be in "Chesty's" presence.

Semper Fidelis

Fred Trapkin
MAG 32
VMF 333

The Blast From

Sgt Grit.
My name is Cpl. Garrett I'm an 0311 with 3/6 lima co. I've done tours in Afghanistan and Iraq with 3/6. Last year on the Marine Corps birthday my squad was participating in operation steel curtain in husaybah and karibilah Iraq. after the sun had set we were setting up in a house for the night when we were ordered to move to another house. As my squad was walking through an alley we tripped a pressure plate attached to 2 mortar rounds stuck in the alley walls their was a second IED but it failed to go. the blast from the mortar rounds killed lance Corporal daniel swaim and wounded an Iraqi soldier a Corpsman and two other Marines. I thought I'd share this story to you so when it is read everyone will see the Nov 10 a little different and think of swaim and his family.
Cpl. Garrett
0311 3/6 lima

Our Wives

I don't know if this is were I write a short note but I like LtCol Henry Tom Cook I also share his thoughts on our wives I got Married while in the Marine Corps in Jan. 1952 and still married to the greatest women a man would want. She raised our three children most of the time as I was over seas more then in the states. They all have grown up to be the best kids a man will want also.

Robert O. Smith
MSgt. USMC Ret


We have Marines and other military fighting and dying attempting to bring democracy to a foreign country. What will you be doing on November 7? In Iraq, even attempting to vote can get you or a relative assassinated. Through two plus centuries, freedom is one of the things Marines have fought, bled and died for. File your absentee ballot or wear your gear to the polls and vote for the candidate of your choice. Don't like any of the choices? Write in your own name. This nation has been well served by Marines and Marine Family. We need more of those people in Washington.

s/f Dennis Benson
Proud Marine Dad

Halt, Who Goes There

Don't know how funny this is to anyone else, but I get a chuckle every time I think of it. While standing guard late on night at the weapons armory outside the fence and my partner inside the fence at Camp Horno area at Camp Pendleton, I observed a Marine getting kind of close to the armory. In good Marine Corps guard fashion, I yelled "Halt, who goes there? The Marine said 'Officer of the Day.' Being someone who likes to 'rock the boat' sometimes, I decided to play a little game with the obviously a 2nd Lt. I replied, 'Officer of the Day not recognized, Sir, Place your ID on the ground in front of you, take 10 steps back and get into the pushup position, sir.' Officer of the day did as I requested and once in the pushup position, I approached and picked up his ID card and proceeded to question him to verify it was him on the military ID card with the indefinite expiration date. He was able to answer my questions along with looking like the young LT on the ID card. I allowed him to stand up and reported my post as being secure.

Little did I know, he then went to the Sgt of the Guard and gave me an ATTA BOY! Not the response I expected, but as I look back, he was not an officer with a holier than thou attitude as many were and respect him for that. Sir, wherever you are, Thank You.

Cpl Wayne Duprey
Golf 2/1, 1st Mar Div

PS – Love the quote from Albert Einstein, "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who do not do anything about it." OOH RAH!

Personal to Them

I took my son 12 year old son to see Flags Of Our Fathers this last weekend. At first it may look like the movie is trying to tear down the most identifiable icon we as Marines know today. But hang in there, the movie does justice to all generations. My son told me that it was now one of his top two favorite movies of all time (yes out of ALL 12 of his many years). It's called Flags Of Our Fathers, and there were indeed TWO different flags on Iwo. But not only in the historical sense. I think the movie tries to emphasize that the first flag that was raised was for the Marines and Corpsmen that were actually on the island at about 10:20 AM 23 Feb 45. That first flag went up along with the cheers from the men all around that rock. It was for those men that the first flag was raised. They fought and died there UNDER that first flag, and FOR that first flag. The immortalized second flag, and the subsequent Rosenthal photo, was for the rest of us. And has been an icon for every Marine Recruit since the day that photo appeared in papers across the country. In the end it is only fitting that there were two. Because as American Marines we can all look to the Iwo Flag Raising Memorial and see a proud history, and look to a proud future. But the first flag raising, that one is an indelible image only in the minds of those that were there in February 1945. Something that is personal to them, and we cannot share in that. Where we will honor the memory of those men every time we look at that famous picture, or stand next to that Memorial. Those men that were there, will honor their fellow Marines and Sailors with an image that disappears a little more each year, as that generation of warriors pass from this life to their next duty station. Half of the men that raised those flags never left the island. And half of the ones that did come back paid an additional price. It made me and my son all the more thankful and proud of the heritage that has been passed down. Go see the movie. Invest in a Large Drink in case you end up with something wrong with your throat at the end too. And stay seated during the credits and watch the actual stills taken on the island during and after the assault. A special Thanks to Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, John Bradley, Harlon Block, Michael Strank, and Rene Gagnon. And the first flag raisers - 1st LT Lieutenant Harold Schrier, Sergeant Boots Thomas, Sergeant Hank Hansen, Private First Class Louis Charlo, Private First Class Jim Michaels, Corporal Charles W. Lindberg, Raymond Jacobs, and 33 more of their tightest buddies.

Gary Cagle
Sgt, USMC, 79-83


In April 1951, I was a wireman (2511) with H&SCo,5thMar in Korea. Me and my wire team partner Fred Stirdivant were out scrounging for speed reel telephone wire from the Army. We had been recovering our used wire every day when we moved out. In those days it was almost every day or two. When we reran the used wire we were constantly having to troubleshoot the lines because of shorts.

We were in the Rear and drove into the CP of the 2nd Army Div. They had a guard at the gate as usual. We asked for a Capt (fictitious name) with the Comm. Sect. and the guard directed us to the Div Comm. Section. We drove by and noticed a 1 ton trailer full of Comm wire, a donut shaped reel that paid out thru the donut hole. We used it as the wire for land line telephone communications. We cruised the CP for a while and then drove back to the trailer of wire, hooked up to our jeep and just drove out of the Army CP. What a find! We drove back up to front to our CP and as luck would have it our Regt. CO, Col. Dick Hayward saw us. He asked where we got the wire and we told him we found it abandoned on the MSR. He smiled and said, "I d*mn sure don't want to have to explain this to some Army guy".

Never heard about it, ever. Needless to say our job was a whole lot easier until the day I left Korea.

Hugh Shockey
Korea 1950-51
Semper Fi.

It Came As A Surprise

Dear Sgt Grit:

While I was in Greensboro NC Conducting Training for the Company That I work For, my wife and youngest son ordered a T-shirt and sweat shirt. It came as a surprise package 3 days before my 51st birthday. The Weather here in CA is still warm so the sweat shirt has been relegated to a hanger in the closet until cooler weather arrives. I do wear the T-shirt with pride and get questions on where I got. I tell everyone with pride that My wife and son ordered it from Sgt. Grit and then I give them your web Address. By the Way I got your web Address from a former Marine that I met at the county fair in July/August of this year. Until that time I had no idea where to get Marine gear. Keep up the Good work and Semper Fi

Dennis Beach
Former Sgt. of Marines
last Unit VMFP-3 El Toro Ca.

Might Be The Last

My name is Paul Laskodi, Capt (Ret) U.S.M.C. I was wondering if ya could help in any way. I live in a sub-division called Remington Point, in Fort Worth, TX. The sales rep for KHovaininan homes is a young lady who thinks she is a commanding general. All of 24 years old. In the past they would fly our flag outside the sales office 24-7. Prior to her arrival I had the same issue with other reps. I explained the proper etiquette for flying the flag at night. They didn't listen and the flags came down. Yes! I took them. I had quite a collection and gave them to military friends. Two weeks ago they had another lapse and 2 more flags came down. The young lady came to my house and proceeded to give my wife the 3rd degree. I naturally stopped off at the sales office to give the young general a safety lecture as well as an education on how to display the flag.

She asked that in the future, a simple reminder would sure help, if the lights were out. I agreed. Well............Today while going to work at O dark thirty, I notice the lights were out again. While on my way home I stopped off and kindly informed the young lady that the lights were out. She became upset and said that it was impossible. I said I wasn't there to argue. Just to inform as instructed. I was walking out to inform the other builder sales rep that their lights were out as well.......... The young lady followed behind and said "There is nothing that says we have to take that flag down". I stopped, turned around, and said "Don't take it down", and walked away. I had finished with the other builder sales rep, when the young general came walking across the street and in a loud voice said "How dare you disrespect me" (there were now two vehicles with people outside them in ear-shot of all that was being said) I asked her not to shout at me and please get away. She said "I'll have you arrested, and I'll call the police right now. I informed her that I spent 20 years defending MY flag and knew that at some point I might have to lay down my life for it, and if she thought that calling the police would intimidate me.......she was dead wrong

I went home and then attended to some customers (I own a Blinds business) . My wife called to inform me that there were two police cars in front of our house at different times. I drove by the sales office on my way home and notice that the flag was still flying and it was dark.

I intend to take the flag down on my way to work in the AM...so this might be the last bit of correspondence for a while. Take care and God Bless.......Semper Fi

paul_44253 @ yahoo .com

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

She Turned Around

Sgt. Grit,

You were looking for a humorous story. This is something that happened to me a few years ago while I was visiting Parris Island.

I was going through training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center at what was once NAS Glynco, GA. One weekend I drove up to Parris Island. I'm a Hollywood Marine, having gone through training at MCRD San Diego in 1974 and I was curious on what type of sunglasses the recruits at MCRD Parris Island were issued.

I was in the PX stocking up on Marine Corps logo gear. Unlike the days when I was a recruit, the recruits these days are allowed to go to the PX a few days before their graduation. On this day there were several female recruits in the PX. I got into the check out line behind several of the female recruits and was wondering if the line was reserved just for the recruits.

I said to the young lady in front of me, "Excuse me, miss. Is this check out line just for the recruits or can I also be in line?" She turned around and snapped to attention and in a louder than normal voice replied, "Sir. No sir. This line is for anyone, sir." She had so much snap and pop in her reply. I said to her in a very easygoing tone, "Miss, you don't have to address me as sir. I'm just a retired Marine first sergeant" at which time her eyes got bigger, she snapped back to attention, and in a louder voice replied "Sir! Yes, Sir!"

I realized that during her training she might not have even met a first sergeant. The highest ranking enlisted may have been her senior drill instructor, possibly a staff sergeant. I said to her, "You're going to make a good Marine. My best wishes for you." I then decided to find another line. I didn't want to be responsible for undoing weeks of training by her DI's. Besides, her motivation, bearing, and enthusiasm intimidated the heck out of me.

They don't make recruits like they use to. Nope. They make them better.

Semper Fidelis
Henry Miyashita
1stSgt, USMC 1974-1994

Lights Out

While going through Tank mechanic school at Ft. Knox we had one army cpl. in our class (we were fresh out of boot) so he was in charge of us. Needless to say none of us liked him. One night before he come in after lights out some of the guys short sheeted his bunk but the worst part they found some steel wool and tore it up down at the bottom. We all caught h&ll for that. This happened around the middle of 1952. R. Moyers 1260769
Parris Island
Once a Marine - Always a Marine

My Wife

A Col. and a LCpl are sitting in the barber shop both getting a haircut. The Barber finishes the Col hair and asks if the Col would like some after shave lotion. The Col replies "H#ll no, If I came home smelling like that my wife will think I've been hanging out in a French Whorehouse". The second Barber asks the LCpl if he'd like any aftershave lotion. The LCpl replies "Yes please, MY WIFE doesn't know what a French Whorehouse smells like".-God Bless the Lcpl's

Head Call

I appreciate your newsletter so much! I entered the USMC, (or as I liked to call us: Uncle Sam's Misguided Children!) on April 21, 1975, and was discharged on July 2, 1982. Those were seven great years that I would not change for anything. I too have tried to get back in, but like so many, at 52 I'm too old. I have fond and humorous memories of my time in the Corps. One of the strangest was while at Parris Island during boot camp. I was in platoon 342.

I entered the Corps just six months after I was ordained as a Baptist minister. I prayed a lot during boot camp. After a particularly trying day, I had gotten in my rack and was doing some talking to the Lord when I realized I really needed to make a head call....bad! As most of you remember, in order to make a head call, you had to have the DI's permission. I got up, went to the DI's door, slapped the red square with my hand and shouted: "LORD!, private Harrell requests permission to make a head call sir!". For some reason, the DI had a very strange look on his face when the door opened, and then the smile as he saw this red faced private standing there in his skivvies.

Thank you for the service you are doing for our Corps through your newsletter. I read it from my church office religiously.

SSgt R. S. Harrell
Aviation Radio Technician

His Personal Aid

On or about February 1974 I was a short-timer with India 3/9 on Okinawa when the company was sent on a float. I had 30 days or less and was sent to a casual company until I rotated state side. This was at Camp Schwab and the Commanding General of the 3rd Marine Division, Gen. Fred Haynes was coming to visit. Well, being the squared away Corporal that I was, and they needing to find things for those of us in this casual co. to do, I was ordered to be in the morning Guard Mount for the General. Problem was that when I was detached from I, 3/9 I had to turn in all my deuce gear. No problem Corporal, improvise. Go to supply and check out some more gear. As I remember it was a rush rush deal and I got my gear, got on my best starcheys and hurried to the area. Man oh man, boots shined, you could cut yourself on the creases of my starcheys, I was one squared away Marine. In fact, after the General witnesses me and my performance, I will probably be promoted. No wait, promoted and reassigned as his personal aide and bodyguard. Gosh no telling what will become of me after he beholds me in all my splendor, the sky's the limit. Ok get your deuce gear on and squared away, wait why doesn't my helmet fit. Adjust it, but it, improvise come on it's almost time to........ start. They had given me a pot without a liner. I put it on strapped the chin strap as tight as I could, maybe they won't notice, and....... Ah-Ten- Hut. We began to march, there he is, the General and his staff, do they know, can they tell? Well H&ll Yes! With every step, the pot rocked back and forth, to and fro. Halt. Right face. When I made that last move, I thought the pot was going to spin around on my pin head in circles, like the cartoons. There I stood, hard, erect like a statue. What a squared away Marine. As the General and his inspection team approached each man in turn, alls I could see were their feet. I wasn't about to screw up and move, I was at attention. As the General stood directly in front of me alls I could do was hold my breath. He stood there, silently, and then...... he moved on down the line........ as thoughts of me on the USMC recruiting poster faded away. Later on that day the Captain who had been next in line to the General told me he almost reached over and set my helmet square but didn't.

Semper Fi
Cpl. "Cal" Calahan
USMC 72-74 and Forever

Mountain Climbers

Sgt. Grit,

Thank you for the newsletter...I get a boost every time I see it in my inbox.

I was a recruit at Parris Island in 1983. The big thing at 3rd Bn was 'mountain climbers'. As we all know, these things can wear a recruit out quickly, if done correctly.

Our hammer was Sgt. McKnight...Masochist McKnight is what we called him, but I digress. Sgt McKnight was wearing out a recruit on the quarterdeck one afternoon...pushup, sit-up, pushup, sit-up, mountain climb. After a bit, Sgt McKnight walked around a rack to discipline another recruit in the squad bay and apparently forgot about the original recruit on the quarterdeck he left performing mountain climbers. By the time Sgt. McKnight got back to the recruit on the quarterdeck, the recruit had completely stopped and was standing at attention, albeit sweating profusely. Sgt. McKnight charges the recruit, stops, points the infamous index finger in the recruit's face, and at the very top of his lungs, bellows out "I thought I told you to mountain climb?!".

The recruit crisply responds back at the top of his lungs, "Sir, this recruit reached the top of the mountain, Sir."

A sliver of a smirk appeared on Sgt. McKnight's face and then he barked, "Well, go back down and climb it again."

The recruit, "Aye sir."

Sgt. John Couturier
1983-1988, 3rd Marine Air Wing
1988-1990, Drill Instructor 2nd Bn, MCRD San Diego

Go For A Beverage

In your request for some humor I have a story that I laughed my boots off when it happened. Others as told thought yuck. Here goes.

I was attached to HQBN north of DaNang. It was summer of 68 if memory is correct. We were on sandbag detail. Filling bukkoo sandbags and beefing up the bunker around the comm center. There was one guy who always would cop you can of pop (soda) from the fridge in the comm center, always. So this day the big ole boy from Texas decided to spit his chew juice into an open top pop can. About two thirds full, Tex placed this can in the fridge.

We all kept working keeping one eye on ole Dick G. waiting,, just knowing he would eventually go for a beverage. Well about a half hour went by and then there goes Dick G. We all positioned ourselves where we could watch. And then as Dick G. grabbed the can from the fridge, turned to walk out of the comm center, took that ever so large gulp of what he thought was thirst quenching pop and as he hit the door we all scattered to avoid the eruption of what was coming out of Dick's mouth. Well after about 5 minutes of watching Dick G. toss everything he had eaten for two days we went back to work. Ever few minutes though there was a few more out loud chuckles.

Well, after that you could leave your open can of pop anywhere and it was safe from good ole Dick G.

Dick Weber, Veteran Cpl. USMC DaNang RVN
67 Nov - 69 July

In Remembrance of BOB HOPE. Thank You MR. HOPE

World Series

You asked for a humorous – story. How about a "lighter side" story about how inventive we can be.

Early '80s I am assigned to 2nd LAAM Bn, as a maintenance technician. troubleshooting and repairing radar systems and the Battery Control Center, and the primary integrator of all of the components of the battery. As part of our maintenance platoon, we had a disproportionate number of Marines from Michigan. It is October, and we are deploying on a training exercise to the ranges outside Yuma.

For those of you who have had the pleasure to serve at MCAS Yuma, you recall that the ranges are to the east of the Air Station on the other side of the mountain range.

Recall, that it is October. We are on our way out for a two week deployment and the Detroit Tigers are in the NLCS and look to be headed to the world series. I am loading and inventorying the "van" that has all the tool boxes, test equipment, the classified document safe, etc. and getting it ready to seal up for the trip. In walks one of the Gunny's with a Sergeant and two "special" pieces of test equipment, all nicely bubble wrapped and bundled up to be transported.

We get the gear stowed, locked down and head out.

Normal deployment routine, emplace the gear, string the cable, get the generators running, cammo everything, fire everything up, post travel checks, turn the battery over to the operators for the exercise and then provide battery security and support until something breaks.

So a few of us are hanging around waiting to be tapped for various details, and a couple of guys start methodically working their way through the equipment "adjusting" the cammo nets. By the time they are done, the have a small collection of excess support poles.

I have my little office setup on the back of the truck with the equipment van and one of the guys comes through looking for a roll of duct tape. A few minutes later, one of the guys requisitions the lighter piece of the special equipment. Soon, I notice a couple of the engineers running romex from one of the generators over to where my little "shop" is set up.

As the sun is starting set, a group of 2-3 of my show up with one of the cammo poles with a TV antenna duct taped to it. (For all the young Marines out there, TV used to only accessible from transmitted waves, like radio and still are in some places, you don't have to have cable). So two of the guys pull out their cache of cammo poles, and assemble them on to the antenna. The third guy requisitions the last piece of special equipment and unpacks it on the back end of the truck, connects the antenna wire to the antenna, and the power leads to the romex. A flip of the circuit breaker on the generator, some additional height and adjustments to the antenna and you get very snowy reception of the World Series broadcast and a lot of happy Marines watching the Tigers win.

Certainly not High Definition but it does work.

Semper fi,
Mike Fry
USMC 1982-86

Having Been A Cannoncocker

Dear Sgt. Grit,

3/11 Reunion I had the incredible honor of helping in planning the first ever Vietnam-Era Reunion for the 3rd BN, 11th Marines this past September in Arlington, VA. I have enclosed a few pictures from the event for your enjoyment. Many of these men had not seen each other in over 35 years, for some it had been 40. We had our own private hospitality suite and as men and their families started to arrive, I knew right away that we were going to have a very fun, successful and powerful weekend. To be in the company of their brothers again, to tell tales and remember whens with those who truly understood what it meant to be in their Vietnam, was obviously the most significant aspect of their weekend together. I wish there were some way to express in words what was written on their faces as they reunited with old friends, the looks in their eyes, these will be memories forever etched in my mind. I mean no disrespect to any other Marines, past or present when I say that there is no finer group of Marines than the men of the 3/11. Each and every one of them are not just fine men, but fine human beings and I consider myself blessed to have been in their company. Artillery Brings Dignity Bumper Sticker You having been a Cannoncocker yourself, know full well what I mean. It is true what your bumper sticker says, Artillery brings dignity to what would otherwise be just a brawl". Dignity was most definitely what was in the air the entire reunion weekend.

Our weekend was such a success that plans are in the making for next year's event in Las Vegas. Many of those unable to attend due to prior commitments are very excited for another opportunity to be with their brothers. I want to publicly thank Lt. Col. Tom Pace for all of his help in planning the event with me. Although he claims that he didn't do much at all, don't let him fool you, he is a wonderful man, a proud and outstanding Marine and he was an integral part of the weekend's success. Thank you, Colonel!

And finally, I would like to thank one of your sales staff, Kristy, whose efforts with our order for the reunion were nothing short of perfection. She maintained close contact and was proactive when issues arose and I just cannot say enough about her dedication to helping us make this reunion special for these men. Covers off to Kristy! I hope she continues to be our POC for many more reunions to come.

Thank you again!
Mary Ann Reitano
3/11 - Vietnam-Era Administrator
ma_reitano @ msn.com

More Artillery Bumper Stickers:
Artillery Men Have Iron Balls
Artillery Men Have Iron Balls
God Fights on the Side with the Best Artillery
God Fights on the Side with the Best Artillery

Sir, The Private

Sgt Grit

I was a DI, San Diego MCRD, From 1974 thru 1976. I had a recruit that was really slow and did not seem to be all there. No matter what we did he would foul it up. I finally asked him where he was from and why he join my Marine Corps. His response was. Sir, the Private is from Amarillo Texas and the Private thought it was going to be like Gomer Pyle on TV. Needless to say his time in the Marine Corps was short lived and NOT like Gomer Pyle, if you get my drift!

Paul J. DeLaricheliere
USMC 1971 - 1979, SSgt
USMCR 1979 - 1999, CWO3

P.S. Yes they did learn to say and spell my name correctly.

Bolt Of Black Fabric

Devil Dogs,
Here it is you asked for an amusing story, well here is one of mine. Back in the fist Gulf War, I was stationed at the Port of Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia. I was told that the government paid for a cruise ship to be docked at a neighboring country - Bahrain (sp) for some R&R for all the troops. It was in Bahrain because Saudi was a dry country (no alcohol), at least until we got there - that's a totally different story; maybe for another time. Anyway, here we are on this docked cruise ship, just livin' it up. I was there with about 15 other Marines from my Battalion (2nd Supply Bn.), and most wanted to go into this little town near the ship. So here we are, a gaggle of jar heads in some foreign country just wandering about. Idle hands seem to find mischief.... We weren't supposed to bring any alcohol off the ship, but you know how things go. This little town wasn't anything to write home about, but at least we were out of the base for a while, and got to be quasi normal for a few hours. As we were going from little shop to little shop, we walked into a fabric store that had rows of bolts of cloth about 4' tall all standing upright. Well being my wise azz self, I saw a small bolt of black fabric. So I bent down and picked up the corner of this seemingly innocent black fabric. I put it to my face like I was wearing the traditional garment worn by the local women. Just then to my surprise as well as hers, that small black bolt of fabric turned around. It wasn't an innocent bolt of fabric at all, it was actually a short local woman buying fabric to make other garments. She turned to me, her eyes were as big as saucers, and she looked scared. I was pretty well freaked out too. Here I am holding the bottom of this ladies dress to my nose, remembering the stories of how criminals get there hands cut off and crap. For a few seconds we both just froze and stared at each other. I didn't know what to do... I've never been in a situation like that. Then my buddy said, "You might want to give the lady her clothes back!" I promptly apologized and then dropped her dress. Needless to say, we spent the better part of the rest of the trip laughing about that. Even today, I can't go into a fabric store with out a chuckle or two.

Thanks for the Newsletter. Semper Fi Marines - keep up the good work!

Cpl. Ross P. 1988 - 1992


Hey Sgt Grit,
Glad to see a request for some good ol' funny stories. One event in particular comes to mind that I think everyone will be able to relate to a little. This actually happened to a buddy of mine but I get a kick out of it every time I tell it, of course giving him the credit. I'm sure everyone had someone they called "alphabet" as a nickname because the actual name of the person looked like it was spelled from a line in a word hunt puzzle. Well my buddy was acting as scribe marking down discrepancies for the Platoon Sgt during an Alpha's inspection. The Sgt asked the young Marine where he was from, which the Marine answered – Ohio. At the same time the inspecting Sgt asked the question he was looking for the name stamp on the inside of the Marine's cover, which was there and prompted him to say "D*mn, how do you pronounce that?"! The Marine being inspected, completely serious, in exaggerated pronunciation said "O –H –I –O ". My buddy said it took every ounce of concentration he had to keep his bearing. I think the young Marine got a little stronger that day..

Marc Valois
Sgt of Marines 92-00
Semper Fi

Short Rounds

Hey Cpl. Gerard Ruggero
Cpl Henry H. Hight (2533) here----on the rock part of 63, all of 64 and part of 65--Hq Batt, 4th Bn 12th Marines--Camp Sukiran. Remember it well and I still have my stick & loads of great memories.
Semper Fi.

Sgt. Grit A thought on North Korea they should take all of the Chosen vets. We have been there and probably seen more of it than the people that live there
Jim Woods
1948--- 1952

Sgt. Grit, I am a former FMF CORPSMAN, I served with the Marines for 12 years, I wish I could still serve. I miss being with my Marines, and I feel I should be with them now. I regret getting out. I get very angry when any of our Marines get hit, I should be there taking care of them. Sorry just venting.
Hm1 (fmf) DOC C. T. MILLER

PTSD post on Sgt Grit forum.

As I read the stories of these younger Marines, their devotion to duty, their gallantry, and their sacrifices made I think of what Edmund Burke said, 'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.'

Mr. Burke, rest easy knowing that as long as there are Marines there will always be a few good men and to the last breath of the last Marine there will always be some to stand in the gap!".

It makes an old Marine, any Marine, proud!

Hershey S. Gehris
L/Cpl. 59-63

After your last news letter I sent you an email asking you to forward it to a friend that had posted in your news letter. You did forward it and reunited a couple of old guys that were stationed together 50 years ago.
Just wanted to say thanks.

I recall some years ago the Marine Corps had a slogan-might have been on a poster- which I thought was great. "Nobody likes to fight, but somebody has to know how"
Regards, Jeff Castello (former Cpl, USMC)

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

America Home of the Free Because of the Brave
America Home of the Free Because of the Brave

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

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