Hey Gunny, were in Hit got here yesterday. To day we found uxo and got to watch EOD blow the sh!t up that was cool......... Iraq is a sh!t hole .... put that in the newsletter haha..... any ways Camp Hit isn't great but its not that bad ... neways later
Sent to Gunny D from Iraq.

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Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Go Home

In a recent newsletter Cpl Haines expressed his desire to complete some unfinished business. I feel the same way but the business is not ours; it is the Corps' business and it IS being done.

I served from 86-90. When Desert Shield caused discharges to be frozen I had 42 days left. The freeze was for those with 45 or more days left so I made it (or missed it) by 3 days. I was considering re-enlisting in order to go to the Gulf.

Then a Gunny, CWO2 and CWO3 each got a hold of me. Their message was very clear. "GO HOME! You have a new wife. Plans are made. We would go home in your place if we could." Then the Gunny added this, "If the Corps needed one more Sergeant they would keep you, so get lost."

So Corporal Haines, I think you put it best when you said our watch has been relieved. As far as what I do to deal with feeling that I didn't complete my mission; well I drink a lot of beer, watch Sands of Iwo Jima, and read Chesty's biography a lot. And I miss the Corps every day.

Semper Fi,

End of Summer Sale

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30% off select Marine Corps Summer Items for a short time - including the USMC football, shorts, t-shirts, sandals, and more.

A Marine Lost A Sailor

After Guam, we sailed for Bouganville, and the little island of Purita, where A Co 4th Base Depot was to set up an equipment storage dump for the troops.

Purita Island is just about 1/2 half mile off Bouganville. This place received more enemy action than the main island, probably because of the closeness of the Storage Depot which contained rations, ammo, fuel, etc. The enemy missed so often that WE got their payload.

After just a few days there, I saw this young sailor and I asked..."is there anything I can do for you?" His answer was: "Yes, I jumped ship, and I want to be with you Marines, that's where the action is!

Besides, I'm sixteen & 1/2 and the Navy's sending me home, can I stay, please!" I remembered that at 16 and 1/2 I wanted to enlist, but my mother said very clearly, "NOli" My Dad talked her into it by my seventeenth birthday.

So, I told the young sailor that he would have to get permission from our C.O. After getting "temporary permission", he became my responsibility, as ordered by the CO, for my information! So, he became one of us, and slept next to me, later becoming drunk. We had an air raid that night with plenty of "personal bombs." With help, I was able to get him to our shelter. After it was over, he stared at me, and I angrily demanded of him, "What the --are you--staring at?" With a dopey expression on his face, he said" I see an Angel on your shoulder." During the night, I felt a thud on my chest...1 thought that it was him in a drunken stupor. But, it was a Vampire bat with a broken wing!

Looking right into its eyes, I knocked it off, and yelled for my buddies and rifles. We killed it with the rifle butts, and unrolled it. It had a wing spread of about 3 ft. on each side, with gripping claws. Right then and there, we nailed it to a board on top of our shelter.

The next morning, there was no cot, and no sailor! I checked with the troops-no sailor! I then checked with the CO-no sailor! Though, this was a very profound experience for me, it was not so to the others. But it is still with me today!

The next day brought another air raid, and another hit on the Supply Depot. It looked like all the fireworks I'd ever seen all rolled into one. My company got a commendation for our action that day, putting out fires and saving lives, etc. It was awarded by Marine General Roy S. Geiger.


WWII Newsreel, Iwo Jima Footage


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His Immediate Response

Sgt Grit:
I truly enjoy your newsletters. Thanx for doing them. I write today to tell you of two things that have happened to me recently. I have encountered two brother Marines under different circumstances but both responded to me in ways that continue to give me continued pride in who we are – Marines. My wife and I were at our neighbor's home for a little dinner party at which she was introducing her aging parents to all of us after her parent's move from Oklahoma. Later in the evening our neighbor approached me asking if I had been a Marine. I acknowledge that experience had been in my past and she said that her father (the party guest of honor) was a WWII Marine. My response to her was "I knew there was something I liked about him." She called her father over to our little-standing-around group and introduced me as having been a Marine. His immediate response to our delight was "I knew there was something I liked about him". I could only smile at the surprised look on her face. Her dad and I talked for a long time. What a wonderful evening that was later sitting with this man – this Marine - and swapping stories. He was at Iwo Jima and with artillery. The second encounter with a fellow Marine came in late afternoon rush hour traffic. Kansas City has an interstate highway that circles the city to facilitate vehicular movement. In the four lane flow, I noticed an EGA sticker on the back window and one of Grit's license plate frames on the vehicle that came past me on my starboard side. He became stuck behind some slower vehicles which impeded his continued advance in that lane. I slowed my speed to allow him space to change into my lane. I caught his eye by waving him over in front of me which he appreciated. He gave a friendly wave in thanks to which I responded with one of the snappiest Marine hand salutes I could muster. He returned a properly executed Marine hand salute of his own. I know not his name but we are brothers who take care of our own even in rush hour traffic. That sticker in his window rated a courtesy that I do not normally afford vehicles operated by slimy civilians gaggling about without purpose.

William Ferreter
Marine 1971-20??
PLC '71, '72
TBS '73-74
Active '74-84

The Rest Of Life

I would like to thank the Marine who had suffered a stroke, and wrote in describing the motivation that the Corps had instilled in him to succeed in his rehab. I have had a stroke 4 weeks ago ands I sure got motivated in reading his letter.. Thank you brother I am busting my hump to get my left hand working, so I can ply pipes (bag, that is)for our birthday celebration I vaguely recall being told that there are three things Marines cannot do-1, put toothpaste back in the tube,2, rebuild a bar of soap cannot recall the 3rd thing coming back from a stroke is not exactly a piece of cake. But, I survived P. I. ..The rest of life is a skate. Remember Marines, support your Marine piper, We only want to be a positive addition to any ceremony, In reflecting on Bills" letter of the Oct 4th edition Thanks to the recruiters , Who treat us old guys with respect whenever we rumble in to the office and ask to re up. Thanks for a place to vent, Grit! Well, back to my play dough ...
Semper Fi and Semper Pipious Mic Doley

This Past Wednesday

This past Wednesday, the 4th Oct, I had the privilege of attending a luncheon at the Old Albuquerque Hotel with General Pace as the guest speaker. What a superb gentleman. He spoke for a few minutes and then opened the floor for questions. I was at the back of the room and some of the people asking questions didn't really speak up very loud so I missed some of the questions. One of the questioners said the was a Force Recon and had been in Afghanistan and that's all I could understand. After a couple of minutes, General Pace came down off of the stage and shook the Marines hand and put his arm around his shoulder. I think he brushed a tear from his eye on the way back to the stage. I didn't understand what was said but it certainly touched General Pace.

There were many in attendance that made me feel like a feather merchant. Two Medal of Honor recipients, several just back from Iraq and many retirees, not only USMC, but Air Force, Navy and Army and several congressmen/congresswomen. It was $23 and two hours well spent.

Jim Wallace, Sgt. 1950-1953

Squared Away Outfit

I would like to contribute my two cents worth regarding meeting your former Drill Instructor after many years. I graduated from Parris Island September 24, 1955 with High Depot Honor Platoon #74. We were one squared away outfit thanks to our drill instructors who really have a thankless job teaching a bunch of recruits to do everything including shine their shoes and tie their tie. Most of us probably never wore a tie in our life more than once and it was questionable whether some of us wore shoes let alone polished them. Our Senior DI was S/Sgt. Donald Campbell assisted by S/Sgt. R. L. Gable and Sgt. R. F. Hatchell, Jr.

A few of us I don't know the exact number made a career of the Marine Corps and one of those during his career made contact with S/Sgt. Campbell, who by the time he retired had earned the rank of Major. It is not hard to understand how this could happen because Major Campbell was one proud and squared away Marine. Anything he demonstrated for us at Parris Island was picture perfect. Manual of arms was always with a snap and perfect. His uniform was always immaculate and poster perfect.

There are about ten of us from Platoon 74 who through the magic of the Internet have managed to contact each other. We email back and forth and the one that had made contact with Major Campbell during his career put us all in contact with the Major who had retired to California. I have a daughter living not far from the Major and had the privilege of meeting with him after 50 years and introducing my wife of 45 years to him. I was proud to be able to thank him after all these years for his contribution in making me the man I am today. He was a gracious host at our meeting and made both my wife and I feel like family. I know he scared the h&ll out of me at Parris Island but that changed after our meeting. My wife even remarked what a nice man he is and to get a comment like that from her is saying something. She is old school Italian and not prone to compliment lightly.

We have not made contact with either S/Sgt. Gable or Sgt. Hatchell. Sgt Hatchell being the junior DI probably spent the most time with us and had to be the disciplinarian more so than the other two. It shows in the way he is spoken of in the emails of today. I realize he had the hardest job and made a lasting impression on everyone. I don't think he made any Xmas Card lists.

The three DI's were all veterans of Korea and did wonders with the raw recruits they were handed who wanted to become members of "their" Marine Corps. They did not make it easy on us but I think one of the proudest moments in my life was when they called us "Marines" and S/Sgt--- Major Campbell proclaimed he would be happy to have anyone of us in a foxhole with him.

A better man for having known "My" DI's
Sgt. James J. Connor 1555617
Proud member of Platoon 74 July -Sept 1955

Do The Same

Sgt. Grit;
I just read the note one of your subscribers wrote about trying to get back in the Corps after being out for awhile and reminded me of trying to get back in during Viet Nam but to no avail. Now at 76 years old if they called I would go back in a minute and I know others of my age would do the same. Marines are a prouder bunch than most people will ever know. I'm proud to have served and sorry that I can't do it again but I have my Marine Corps League to fall back on and am with men that I love as brothers and would do anything for just as they would do the same for me.
Semper Fi Grit
C.F.Brockman 1947-1951
1954-1958 MCR

Never Goes Away

Sgt. Grit:
It seems as if Cpl. Haines, and everyone who has replied to his initial e-mail, has hit the proverbial "nail" on the head.

How frustrating it is to feel, as if you could go back and do it over again, you could and would do something different.

After being retired for over 36 years, I still find myself talking with my wife from time to time and saying to her, "I wish that I could have done something else."

The feeling just never goes away.

Semper Fi Marines!
James R. McMahon
Hendersonville, TN
GySgt of Marines (1949-1970)

Universally Greet

Sgt Grit:

They now call it the Marine Corps Drill and Ceremonies Manual and Interior Guard Manual. Those of us that have been around a while used to know it as the LPM. Recently, there has been a little communication about how Marines (ancient and current) might be able to universally greet each other in times of chance meetings usually initiated by observing one of the numerous Sgt Grit paraphernalia – a sticker, license plate frame, a hat, a pin, etc. I hereby propose the following change to the LPM as the proper precision movements in extending greetings to and answering greetings from other Marines. (note: using my best Gunny Ermey imitation just to get your attention) (Now LISTEN UP, MAGGOTS! I'm only going to say this ONCE, THIS IS A PRECISION MOVEMENT !)

Upon positive recognition of another individual (FMF Doc's included) as being a Marine, you will make eye contact and with your arm extended in their direction; index finger pointed to ensure their attention is being held by you; your palm down, you will;

Curl the index finger back into the palm and at the same time extend the thumb to the greatest extent physically possible, the palm remaining parallel to the deck. You will then; Slowly rotate the thumb up to a vertical position timing this movement at a rate comparable to the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima, and you then;

Break out in your best sh**-eating grin vocalizing (mouthing if at great distance) our eternal greeting - "SEMPER FI".

The recipient of this greeting will immediately follow this greeting by a (best performed) guttural "oh-Rahhh"


William Ferreter
Marine 1971-20??
PLC '71, '72
TBS '73-'74
Active '74-'84

Don't Bunch Up

Often Wondered

Sgt. Grit,

Next year will be the 50th anniversary of my first Marine Corps experience, attending boot camp at MCRD San Diego. What a life changing experience. The three DI's of Platoon 347 were Tech. Sgt. Dye, and Sgts. Householder and Honda. I've often wondered how they have done in life and if they know how much they influenced my life in a very positive way.

Bill Van Zanten
Capt. USMC
Author of the book "Don't Bunch Up. One Marine's Story."

I Too

I too have been putting this off for to long. This is in response to Cpl Dale Haines personal dilemma. I feel the same as you as I am sure any good Marine will. Anytime there is any type of conflict, I want to "Get Some" also. It may wane, but to some of us, it will never go away. That is just who we are and that is why we are Marines.

I served from 1977 to 1981. When I joined, I wanted to be a grunt. After graduation from MCRD, my wish came true and I was sent to Pendleton where I served as a grenadier man, radio man, fire team leader, squad leader, and eventually a platoon guide.

PFC Allen Kakuk, a second cousin of mine gave the ultimate sacrifice in 1967 or 1968 as an 18 year old Marine. Cpl Dennis Duprey, an uncle served proudly as a Marine and was decorated in Vietnam. He passed away at the early age of 41 while cutting the grass. I am now 47 and want to do my part. After 9/11, I really wanted to reenlist but was pretty sure I would not be taken back. Because I served during peacetime, I feel I did not do my job completely and do not feel whole because of it. I know I had no control of peacetime, but I still feel like I should do more.

I now know that I have my family to provide for and that I did serve my time honorably.

I am now a law enforcement officer where I hope I can provide a safe area for people to live and play. As a law enforcement officer, I receive newsletters regarding law enforcement issues. Recently there was an article regarding there are three types of people. They are Wolves, sheepdogs and sheep. Everyday people were sheep, the wolves were the bad guys and law enforcement officers/military are the sheepdogs. It is in their "Blood" to want to look over and protect all others. I don't think we as Marines can get rid of this. It is our job to protect those that cannot protect themselves and it will never go away. If we cannot reenlist, we have to accept it as it is and realize our duty is over. It is time for someone else to stand guard.

My seven year old son now plays Marine as I did when I was a boy and it makes me proud. I do not want anything to happen to him but if he wants to be a Marine, no one will be able to talk him out of it. I know several people who say they wanted to be a Marine but were talked out of it. They either enlisted in another branch or stayed out of the military altogether. Not the quality of a good Marine.

So, Cpl Haines, add another Marine to the way you feel and know you did your duty and you can be proud.

"Most people go through their life wondering if they made a difference. Marines don't have that problem." RONALD REAGAN

Semper Fi and Happy Birthday Marine Corps.
Wayne Duprey, CPL
USMC 77-81
Golf Co, 2nd Bn, 1st Marines, 1st Mar Div

Hayes From Al Asad Iraq

Hayes in Iraq Hayes in Iraq

Hey everyone....coming from Al Asad Iraq in the sunny friendly Al Anbar Province.... just a note to say I'm okay (as of 10pm Thursday night, 21 Sept 2006). I'm sure I've sent a few of you these pics..but, I thought I'd send a few out, just in case.

South Pacific Islands

Love and War Beneath the Southern Cross: By Edward Andrusko, Nonfiction.

The chronicle of a young man's journey in the South Pacific Islands and Australia during World War II. The reader experiences "being there" with U.S. Servicemen who when off to war.

Mr. Andrusko can be contact to purchase his book directly at: 303-939-8313 or email at andruskoeg@cs.com

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

Not Enough

Rest assured Cpl, you are not alone.

We are Marines! We are the hardest charging group of women and men our country has to offer. We are drawn to the Corps because we are at heart, warriors. Those of us who did not see combat will probably ALWAYS feel as if we did not do our job, are slacking, unsat etc etc. We are trained and socialized by or time in to look down upon those %10 'ers who are not pulling their weight. I will always feel as if I SHOULD be there with "my" Marines, fighting the good fight ( which means any fight we are told to go to, regardless of politics ).

This feeling is, I guess, pretty common.

After reading another book on Iwo Jima, I noted that a Marine Lt. mentioned in the book lived not too far away from my home town. I googled him, found a retired Dr. and by every measure a very successful and balanced individual. When I mentioned my feelings of inadequacy, of being a slacker, he said he understood. This Marine, who spent some three weeks of combat on Iwo, attacking EVERY day ALL day, said he had the exact same feelings of inadequacy because he spent ONLY three weeks fighting. Imagine that. He lost about %70 of his platoon, led Marines incredibly well, was a hero to his men and he felt as if he did not do enough. NOT ENOUGH!

I realized then, that I will ALWAYS feel this way. I am trained to feel this way. If this hero still feels this way, I should honor my own service, be proud of being a Marine who did not see combat (it was not my fault the winds of war were not blowing at the time) and get on with life with all the gusto and warrior spirit I have. I may be a peacetime Marine, but I am still one hard charging, fired up, willing to give all to my country, individual. Such is my lot in life.

I now live as a Marine in this civilian world. I did more for this country than most did. I was WILLING to fight, WANTING to fight. Sometimes that has to be enough.

Semper Fidelis
Scott E. Gray
Sgt. Lima 3/1 84'-87'

I Had No Idea

Sgt. Grit, Sir,

Yesterday, as a cashier checked me out at a Sam's Club, an employee walked up to me and asked, "So, how are Uncle Sam's Misguided Children today?" At first, I had no idea what he meant as I have never heard that remark in my life.

Then, I realized he was referring to the USMC on the cover I was wearing that I got from Sgt Grit. "We're still the best there is," I said, "and no one is close enough for there to be a second place."

Issue closed.

Frank H. Hamby, Sgt.

Yellow Foot Prints

Yellow foot prints, where the journey began, where the rest of your life will be changed forever.

Yellow footprint is a historical data resource center with information that starts with boot camp, and ends with a Marines final duty station. WHY this web site when there are so many Marine sites on the Internet today. Although there are many great Marine Corps webs sites on the net, there are none like this site and the content it provides.

Yellow Foot Prints is about historical information, information not found within the Marine Corps archives, and certainly information not found on the Internet in a searchable database.

Although Yellow Foot Prints has many databases, none are as important as our Boot Camp graduation database, or the Obituaries database.

Boot Camp Database:

The boot camp database is the only searchable database on the Internet today! It starts from the late 1930's and continues through the present day graduation. It covers both Parris Island and San Diego with listings of location, platoon numbers, recruit names, and rank at graduation where available. When available, graduation books are scanned and copied into the database that include Drill Instructor page as well as recruit photos.

In many cases graduation books have been purchased and scanned into the database as well.

One very unique entry is platoon 2060 that graduated in 1956, this platoon included Lee Harvey Oswald. This section within the database has scanned pictures of the platoon as it trained to be Marines.

Obituaries database:

The Obituaries database is also searchable, and contains entries that include but are not limited to Arlington National Cemetery, The Wall, KIA from Iraq that includes Desert Storm, and past wars as Korea, and Viet Nam.

So if you're in the area, please stop in.

Cpl Miller USMC 1964 – 1970 Veteran


Thought you might find this funny. Hurst, Texas this morning my wife, former Sgt, was driving her RX-8 with the EGA front plate. Stopped by Hurst PD and told to take it off and put the license plate on, "It's the law!" On her 3 mile trip home she counted 21 vehicles with no front license plate or a different type of plate other than the state issued. I drive a Tundra with a Retired USMC plate in the front and have been doing so for the last 10 years. Never stopped or harassed. My feeling: The local police office must have been EX Army.... Jealousy will get you know where! Appreciate the last order and your fantastic staff!
MSgt Whipple

Notice Details

In the beautiful Northwest the days are warm, but the vine maples have begun to turn red and the bracken ferns have begun to die. The weather is still sunny and warm, but the living things know that summer is gone. With the sun lower in the sky, it is possible to see the profusion of spider webs in the morning sun. On certain days, when the west wind blows and the light is just right, I can see the long strands of spiders' webs blowing in silence through the fir trees. The spiders are busy, hunting and setting traps for the coming winter. Hunters know the realities.

On October 7th, The Oregonian newspaper, of Portland, Oregon ran the following column on the far left of the front page: 'Marines killed Iraqi civilian, medic says'. I tend to notice details in life. The Marine Corps taught me that and Vietnam gave me the field experience. The title is incorrect on two counts. First, the Marines don't have medics: the army has medics. Second, to say that a civilian was killed is an irrelevant point because terrorists dress as civilians, live among the civilians, pose as civilians and hide behind civilians. Therefore, to ask a Marine engaged in combat to make a split second decision as to who is a terrorist or who is the innocent civilian is moot. When we send our men and women to war, we should not burden and encumber them with the niceties of civilized society. If the political piece of society had worked, there would not need to be a war. War is a testament to the failure of the body politic: it is the admission that governments did not reach a peaceful resolution. The moral breakdown begins when governments send individuals to fight in a war and demand that they conduct themselves as a civilized being in the most uncivilized human activity.

In his seminal work, The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell states that when individuals join the military, the rules of existence change. "You're giving up your personal life and accepting a socially determined manner of life in the service of society of which you are a member. That is why I think it is obscene to judge people in terms of civil law for performances that they rendered in time of war. They were acting not as individuals, they were acting as agents of something above them and to which they had by dedication given themselves. To judge them as though they were individual human beings is totally improper."

I believe little that I read in the media these days. But I do remember an old grizzled gunnery sergeant outside of Con Thien who once said to our platoon: "Marines there are three rules of war: Rule number one is that the good and innocent will die. Rule number two is that rule number one never changes. Rule number three is that there will always be another war and Marines will be there to fight it."

Semper Fi,
R. A. Wulff,
Guns, Lima Co,
Third Marines
RVN, '68

Semper Fi, Marine

Sgt. Grit
I watched the 2nd plane go in on 9/11 on TV, heard about the one at the Pentagon and the other one going down, then went to work enraged. On 9/12 I told my wonderful wife of over 30 years that I had to do something. She said "I'm with you wherever and whenever".
On 9/13, I called the reserve station at Ft Worth and a very professional Master Sergeant took my call.
"What was your MOS, sir?"
"What was your rank at discharge, sir?"
"When did your first enlistment end, sir?"
There was a slight pause and he said "I think we pretty much have it covered, sir, and I really appreciate your call". When I told people at work what he said, some laughed, but another Marine shook my hand and said "Semper Fi, Marine". He felt the same way I did but we both realized that our time was past and our younger brothers had to carry on.
Lin Barker
Sgt USMC 1966-1970

As An Old Marine

This for that "young Marine" that has that feeling of "not completing his mission". Don't feel alone. That is part of being a Marine! As an old Marine, I offered my services back to the Corps in 1990, but was told that I was too old. When we went into Iraq , I again offered, but again I was told--too old. When I heard that The Marines had landed in Lebanon to protect the Americans, during this last thing with Israel and the hesbolah,I again offered and again was too old. That is what being a Marine is about-THE FEW THE PROUD THE MARINES. To me, even after Cuba in 62, 2 tours in Nam, Taiwan, 22 months as a Drill Instructor at Parris Island, my tour was not over yet. I will always be with you. We, your Drill Instructors, made you a Marine, just like mine did me.
Sgt C.D. Crutchfield B Co. 1st Bn Parris Island 67-68

The Rock


Awhile back I had inquired about whether any Marines were familiar with a piece of nostalgia from [The ROCK = Okinawa 60' 61'. 3rd Marines.

When it was time to rotate back to the world = CONUS, we'd go into town and have a shortimers stick made up, description = polished tapered wood approx. 12" with a chrome 50 cal. brass at one end and a 30 cal. shell on the other. The wood would have all of the ports of call during your time aboard ship. The 50 cal. brass had a USMC emblem and rank insignia attached.

All this was put into a red felt sleeve which you stuck in the back pocket of your dungarees to show all the new guys that you were one salty sob going home.

Just want to know if of my fellow Marines remember this part of a great time on the ROCK.

This was before Cinderella liberty. God, what a great time with the best people I have ever met.

Anybody out there???.

Cpl. Gerard Ruggero Ret. 1959-63

Movie Review

Roger Friedman's review of the movie has a snotty tone, especially in his comments it is inaccurate since it doesn't have "any Black soldiers[sic]." I 1945 the USMC had no Black soldiers in front line combat units, only in support. He makes a big stink about the supposed inaccuracy & also fact white Icelanders were used as extras. I wonder what he expected since they used Iceland as Iwo due to the black volcanic sand beaches & Iceland is a fur piece from Hollywood. Maybe Mr. Friedman needs a lesson that MARINES, not soldiers, took IWO & other matters.

Old School

I thank you for this newsletter and the camaraderie you promote among the Corps.

I am an Old School 69-73 Marine who has never forgotten for one minute the pride of having been a member of the World's largest fraternity. The United States Marine Corps.

I try to explain to my 18 and 20 year old when they ask why I still feel like I do and why on vacation to Top Sail Island why do I have to run over to New River or Lejeune. Once a Marine always a Marine and that pride I'll take to the grave with me and I tell them you have to have been there and done that and then there would be no question why.

Semper Fi to all my Brothers

1st Marine Aircraft Wing

Agent Orange

Dear Sgt. Grit,
I write this in reference to the letter submitted by Gunny Bill Wilson in the newsletter dated October 05, 2006. Gunny brought up a very important topic, AGENT ORANGE.

Agent Orange is a topic that we hear less and less about as the days go by. This is something that everyone wants to just go away. Well, it will not "just go away", we veterans are stuck with it as long as we live which we hope and pray for will be many more years to come.

I have a condition called Pheripheral Nuropathy which is numbness and tingling sensation in the arms and legs accompanied by muscle weakness. I have been disabled for over 14 years, no work, no income.

This condition is listed as being caused by Agent Orange. However I receive no compensation from the V.A. because I can not show a "paper trail" that this all started within two years of leaving Vietnam.

I now have prostate cancer, which is also a condition listed as to be caused by the exposure to Agent Orange. I now have to submit more paper work to the V.A. for my case to be reopened. There is NO time limit with the onset of prostate cancer as the same with many other conditions/diseases that Agent Orange can cause, NO TIME LIMIT! We are all a walking time bomb just waiting to get ill and sick.

I have both V.A. doctors and private doctors. The amazing, or should I say the most upsetting thing is that most doctors today have no idea or even heard of Agent Orange, what it is, what it did, etc. They look at me like I have two heads when I say anything about Agent Orange. I am beginning to wonder if they even know anything about Vietnam or where it is located on the map! This is not their fault, they never learned about this back in their early school teachings. The time has come that we all are getting older and we are now relaying on doctors that are a full generation younger then us. Lots of these doctors were not even born as of yet when we were in the mountains and/or rice paddies of Vietnam. I was an FMF Corpsman and served in the I Corps area of VN where the highest saturation of Agent Orange was applied. Hey, time moves on and waits for no one. Don't be left behind, your life is at risk even 35 plus, plus years later !

Agent Orange was used and applied in Vietnam from 1962 until 1971. Agent Orange was also used in Korea, yes, veterans that served in Korea in the late 1960's were exposed to Agent Orange. These veterans are also at risk.

Please, all you that were in service to our country way back in those "ole days", here is very important information for you.

Please go to: www.va.gov/agentorange When that home page comes up, click on "Agent Orange Review". Many news letters will come up. Go to November 2004, and click on that. Needless to say, read the entire letter. However, pay special attention to the last few paragraphs on page #3 and the first part of page #4. There are many conditions, cancers, etc. that the V. A. has realized that Agent Orange has caused. Please read all the other news letters. I have printed out the entire news letter of November 2004 and take it with me when ever I see a new doctor and leave it for them to read. Now they realize that I do not have two heads, I'm only a person that served my country and now have problems. Also look at the last page #8, very important phone #'s to assist you with questions and paperwork to be filled out.

Thank you Gunny Bill Wilson for you letter that woke me up to pass along this information to all. Lets hope you are the life saver for many of our brothers and sisters that are alive today.

What else can I say, just please you men and women, my fellow comrades, check out the above information. You made it home from Vietnam, now it is time to enjoy your grandchildren, don't be cut short of that enjoyment. You deserve it and earned it.


Good health to all, Bless you all,
"doc" Mort Lottman, HM 3, USNR
Mike Co. 3/26
Vietnam '69

Pingtung, Formosa

During my tour, 17Feb57 to 17Feb60, I was stationed at Atsugi NAS, Japan when we (MAG-11?) were called to support the Chinese Nationalist and flown to Pingtung, Formosa in 1958. The reason I am so vague about the MAG is because I can find no recollection in my DD214 about the time or place, except it does state that I had 15 months of foreign service. Not only am I in the dark about that unrecognized part of Marine Corps lore, but it seems everybody else is also. I realize that was a "hot potato" as Red China was shelling Quemoy and Matsu, in preparation to invade the island. As it turned out, we gave the Nationalist flyboys (who were flying F-86 Sabre Jets) some of our brand new Sidewinders and they blew a bunch of MIGS out of the sky---end of conflict. From what I can recall, this all took place in a 5 day period. We stayed on, 2 squadrons of Skyrays and I-3-9 from Okinawa for 6 or 7 months and then came back to Atsugi. Is there any source of information I can log onto for "the rest of the story", and also get a copy of the written commendation from Chaing Kai Shek (sp?), as I plan to visit Formosa, now Taiwan of course, in the near future. Was this so insignificant that it is just overlooked? Maybe I'm just making a mountain out of a mole hill, but I can remember being given my field of fire and going to the armory to withdraw a "grease gun", I was an M.P., in addition to my M-1 and .45 cal. 1911A1. Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

I really enjoy your Newsletter and knowing that Marines still care so much for the Corps and their Country. Once A Marine Always A Marine, has never had more meaning since reading these letters.


Iwo Jima Cemetery

Iwo Jima Cemetery


Don't forget Friday night, October 20th will be the opening of "Flags of Our Fathers" at a theater near you. For those of you in Oxford, MS I don't know for sure if it will be at the MALCO Cinema or the new ScreenWorks Cinema. I will send another email after I find out Monday. In Oxford we will have 2 Iwo Jima Veterans, Mr.. Paul Sharrer from Oxford for sure and one possible from Pontotoc. I don't want to give out his name until I am sure he is going to participate. You should see a couple of announcements in the Oxford Eagle about this event later in the week. We will honor these heroes along with the rest of our World War II heroes prior to the movie beginning. The attached picture was provided by Paul Sharrer and it shows the cemetery at Iwo Jima prior to it's completion. Marines of the 4th MarDiv are buried on the left and Marines of the 3rd MarDiv are buried on the right. It is a sober reminder of the sacrifice our fellow Marines made for all of us. I hope you will plan on attending this movie wherever you are. It would be outstanding if Marines and veterans from across our country would plan on attending this monumental event. This motion picture will be a blockbuster event at a time when our enemies perceive us to be weak. If you and all of our veterans can make a show of force in attending this movie, wearing your hats, uniforms and pins, we can show everyone around the world that we support our Corps, Country and fellow Veterans. Please pass this email to as many as you can and I hope to read a headline the next week that reads something like this: "Veterans from across the United States attend the opening of Flags of Our Fathers in a show of support for our troops, veterans and Country."

Semper Fidelis
Gene Hays
Oxford, MS

Sgt Grit to host private screening of "Flags of Our Fathers"

Flag of our Fathers Movie

Saturday, October 28, 2006 at 2:00pm
Tinseltown Theaters
6001 N Martin Luther King Blvd., Oklahoma City
Price is $6.00, includes ticket, small drink, Bag of popcorn & bag of candy.
Must call 1-888-NOV-1775 (888-668-1775) to purchase tickets in advance. Limited to 260 people.
Sgt Grit staff will be at theater 1 hour prior to movie to pass out tickets.
Must have confirmation # available when you arrive.

Get Involved

This is for LCpl Crouch who is torn about returning to active duty or remaining with his wife and children. LCpl Crouch you served your time and I feel certain that you did a good job. However, your time for active duty has passed. You have a new responsibility now, just look at your children. Going back in after nine years is really too much. Just the new technology is daunting enough. That coupled with the fact that 9 years represents almost half the time required for retirement you have just lost too much. You can help in so many other ways, support the Blue Star Mothers, join your local Marine Corps League Detachment and GET INVOLVED! March in the Veterans Day Parade, help your local school's Veterans Day Program by addressing the classes. The kids love it and you will get a warm fuzzy for doing it.

I hope this helps you decide.

Semper Fi,
Emmett L. Haney, PhD
Captain, USMC-Ret

Always Looking

Hey Sgt Grit, if these Marines can't reenlist what are they waiting for join the Marine Corps League, I am a life member and we have a very active detachment, We are always looking for a few good men, women, young or old, They keep us young at heart, and keep our minds sharp. I served from Nov 1953 to Nov 1956 (1440381, will never forget my service number, or my rifle number 3827640 sir, Please pass this on to everyone.

Thanks Sgt Frederick E.Bruynell,Semper Fi Detachment, Marine Corps League,Wenonah.New Jersey

Want To Be

I got this business card from our Battalion SgtMaj ( 2nd Batt 8th Mar) when I got to the unit back in 1996 and still carry with me at all times.

I was that which others could only want to be. I went were others have feared to go, and did what others failed to do. I asked nothing from those who gave nothing, and reluctantly accepted the thought of eternal loneliness....should I fail. I have seen the face of terror, felt the stinging cold of fear and enjoyed the sweet taste of a moments love. I have cried, pained hope ..but most of all I have lived times that others say were best forgotten. At least someday I will be able to say that I was proud of what I am............A U.S. MARINE

2nd batt 8th Marines 2nd MarDiv
J.R. Samora

Natural Evolution


In response to your question: "You are not alone, and you are not crazy!" I stole that from a semi-famous Vietnam Vet.

You seem to have lost track of the natural evolution of things. You did your training. You did your Active Duty. You are now doing your Inactive Duty. Raising two fine young men. Supporting your loving wife. Caring about your fellow man, your country and your fellow Marines. You are paying taxes to support the Active Duty Marines. You are contributing to the general economy to support the system of democracy you believe in. You are supporting today's Marines in thought and in action. Be proud of that. You ARE doing your duty. It may not be glamorous. You don't get to play with the cool toys that go bang. You don't have to listen to the Sgt. B!tch.

I think we all miss the comradeship. The bonding. The intense caring about and for each other. But, we still have that. In our hearts. In our souls. In our very being.

I'll be getting my super-dose at our 2/1 reunion in November. Maybe you can find a reunion where you can get a bit of a superdose as well. Or help Capt. Blanc get to his reunion. We never see enough of the officers at the reunions. Find some Active Duty Marine or unit and help support them with letters, "care packages", telephone cards, meeting them at the airport. Anything like that. You are, obviously, still a Marine. Nothing wrong with that!

Doc Byars
E 2/1 '65- Vietnam

Counting the Days Till Next Year

I would like to thank you and everyone at Sgt Grit for making part of our week-end special. My wife on Friday went out and hunted down the UPS man and got the box from him and we were on our way to Ohio. The trip is around 6 1/2 hours, about 420 miles. As we arrived at the hotel I was on my cell phone letting my Brothers know we had made it. Our first night we spend togther eating steaks and drinking beer at the MCL, the wives get to catch up with whats been going on over the past year, and they get to welcome other wives (or girlfriends) and warn them it going to be a wild week-end.

Beirut Vets On Sat. is the service, it only lasts about an hour and the day couldn't have been better, the sun was out and it was warm. After the service we go back to the MCL for a light lunch, and more beer. After lunch we head back to the hotel for a little down time ( ok, a nap). The rest of the day we just spend together, Joe, one of our Brothers, just bought a new house and we all went out to see it, and drink more beer. Later we went to the VFW and had dinner, more steaks, shrimp, and yes you know it, more beer. After dinner I brought out the box of goodies. This was the week-end for gifts, Jon, the commander of the VFW and also a Beirut vet had given us Beirut Veterans hat, patchs, and a coin, he had picked up the tab at the MCL and the drinks were on him at the VFW. Now it was my turn, I had a speech that I had worked on all week and I thought it would go smooth, well, as I looked out at the group I saw Joe, he had a tear it his eye all ready, that choked me up so I cut my speech short. Joe had started the memorial 4 years ago, and each year he and Jon work every hard on it to make it the best. I gave Joe the jacket, Jon got the beer mug and the planer, Shorty, a Navy Beirut vet, I gave the freedom figurine to. Shorty job in the Navy he worked very close with Marines, he calls them "My Marines" they guarded him, I told him now he will have a Marine watching over him once again. Shorty has placed his Marine on his desk at home. I told everyone else to come up and pick something out as I was pulling it all out of the box. Jeff asked me what I wanted, I told him "I have all of you, thats my gift" well Jeff said he would not take anything till I did, so I have a new hat.

The rest of the week-end we spent together, come Sunday we have breakfast at the MCL and said our good-bys. I am counting the days till next year. Thank you for make our week-end.

Semper Fi,
Beirut Veteran 1983

Straightforward Account

Friday, Oct. 06, 2006
A Letter From Iraq
A Marine's letter home, with its frank description of life in "Dante's inferno," has been circulating through generals' in- boxes. We publish it here with the author's approval

Written last month, this straightforward account of life in Iraq by a Marine officer was initially sent just to a small group of family and friends. His honest but wry narration and unusually frank dissection of the mission contrasts sharply with the story presented by both sides of the Iraq war debate, the Pentagon spin masters and fierce critics. Perhaps inevitably, the 'Letter from Iraq' moved quickly beyond the small group of acquaintances and hit the inboxes of retired generals, officers in the Pentagon, and staffers on Capitol Hill. TIME's Sally B. Donnelly first received a copy three weeks ago but only this week was able to track down the author and verify the document's authenticity. The author wishes to remain anonymous but has allowed us to publish it here — with a few judicious omissions.

All: I haven't written very much from Iraq. There's really not much to write about. More exactly, there's not much I can write about because practically everything I do, read or hear is classified military information or is depressing to the point that I'd rather just forget about it, never mind write about it. The gaps in between all of that are filled with the pure tedium of daily life in an armed camp. So it's a bit of a struggle to think of anything to put into a letter that's worth reading. Worse, this place just consumes you. I work 18-20-hour days, every day. The quest to draw a clear picture of what the insurgents are up to never ends. Problems and frictions crop up faster than solutions. Every challenge demands a response. It's like this every day. Before I know it, I can't see straight, because it's 0400 and I've been at work for 20 hours straight, somehow missing dinner again in the process. And once again I haven't written to anyone. It starts all over again four hours later. It's not really like Ground Hog Day, it's more like a level from Dante's Inferno.

Rather than attempting to sum up the last seven months, I figured I'd just hit the record setting highlights of 2006 in Iraq. These are among the events and experiences I'll remember best.

Worst Case of Dj Vu — I thought I was familiar with the feeling of deja vu until I arrived back here in Fallujah in February. The moment I stepped off of the helicopter, just as dawn broke, and saw the camp just as I had left it ten months before — that was deja vu. Kind of unnerving. It was as if I had never left. Same work area, same busted desk, same chair, same computer, same room, same creaky rack, same . . . everything. Same everything for the next year. It was like entering a parallel universe. Home wasn't 10,000 miles away, it was a different lifetime. This is exactly how I felt coming back to the same camp this year!

Most Surreal Moment — Watching Marines arrive at my detention facility and unload a truck load of flex-cuffed midgets. 26 to be exact. We had put the word out earlier in the day to the Marines in Fallujah that we were looking for Bad Guy X, who was described as a midget. Little did I know that Fallujah was home to a small community of midgets, who banded together for support since they were considered as social outcasts. The Marines were anxious to get back to the midget colony to bring in the rest of the midget suspects, but I called off the search, figuring Bad Guy X was long gone on his short legs after seeing his companions rounded up by the giant infidels.

Most Profound Man in Iraq — an unidentified farmer in a fairly remote area who, after being asked by Reconnaissance Marines if he had seen any foreign fighters in the area replied "Yes, you."

Worst City in al-Anbar Province — Ramadi, hands down. The provincial capital of 400,000 people. Lots and lots of insurgents killed in there since we arrived in February. Every day is a nasty gun battle. They blast us with giant bombs in the road, snipers, mortars and small arms. We blast them with tanks, attack helicopters, artillery, our snipers (much better than theirs), and every weapon that an infantryman can carry. Every day. Incredibly, I rarely see Ramadi in the news. We have as many attacks out here in the west as Baghdad. Yet, Baghdad has 7 million people, we have just 1.2 million. Per capita, al-Anbar province is the most violent place in Iraq by several orders of magnitude. I suppose it was no accident that the Marines were assigned this area in 2003.

Bravest Guy in al-Anbar Province — Any Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EOD Tech). How'd you like a job that required you to defuse bombs in a hole in the middle of the road that very likely are booby-trapped or connected by wire to a bad guy who's just waiting for you to get close to the bomb before he clicks the detonator? Every day. Sanitation workers in New York City get paid more than these guys. Talk about courage and commitment.

Second Bravest Guy in al-Anbar Province — It's a 20,000 way tie among all these Marines and Soldiers who venture out on the highways and through the towns of al-Anbar every day, not knowing if it will be their last — and for a couple of them, it will be.

Worst E-Mail Message — "The Walking Blood Bank is Activated. We need blood type A+ stat." I always head down to the surgical unit as soon as I get these messages, but I never give blood — there's always about 80 Marines in line, night or day.

Biggest Surprise — Iraqi Police. All local guys. I never figured that we'd get a police force established in the cities in al- Anbar. I estimated that insurgents would kill the first few, scaring off the rest. Well, insurgents did kill the first few, but the cops kept on coming. The insurgents continue to target the police, killing them in their homes and on the streets, but the cops won't give up. Absolutely incredible tenacity. The insurgents know that the police are far better at finding them than we are — and they are finding them. Now, if we could just get them out of the habit of beating prisoners to a pulp . . .

Greatest Vindication — Stocking up on outrageous quantities of Diet Coke from the chow hall in spite of the derision from my men on such hoarding, then having a 122mm rocket blast apart the giant shipping container that held all of the soda for the chow hall. Yep, you can't buy experience.

Biggest Mystery — How some people can gain weight out here. I'm down to 165 lbs. Who has time to eat?

Second Biggest Mystery — if there's no atheists in foxholes, then why aren't there more people at Mass every Sunday?

Favorite Iraqi TV Show — Oprah. I have no idea. They all have satellite TV.

Coolest Insurgent Act — Stealing almost $7 million from the main bank in Ramadi in broad daylight, then, upon exiting, waving to the Marines in the combat outpost right next to the bank, who had no clue of what was going on. The Marines waved back. Too cool.

Most Memorable Scene — In the middle of the night, on a dusty airfield, watching the better part of a battalion of Marines packed up and ready to go home after over six months in al- Anbar, the relief etched in their young faces even in the moonlight. Then watching these same Marines exchange glances with a similar number of grunts loaded down with gear file past — their replacements. Nothing was said. Nothing needed to be said.

Highest Unit Re-enlistment Rate — Any outfit that has been in Iraq recently. All the danger, all the hardship, all the time away from home, all the horror, all the frustrations with the fight here — all are outweighed by the desire for young men to be part of a band of brothers who will die for one another. They found what they were looking for when they enlisted out of high school. Man for man, they now have more combat experience than any Marines in the history of our Corps.

Most Surprising Thing I Don't Miss — Beer. Perhaps being half- stunned by lack of sleep makes up for it.

Worst Smell — Porta-johns in 120 degree heat — and that's 120 degrees outside of the porta-john.

Highest Temperature — I don't know exactly, but it was in the porta-johns. Needed to re-hydrate after each trip to the loo.

Biggest Hassle — High-ranking visitors. More disruptive to work than a rocket attack. VIPs demand briefs and "battlefield" tours (we take them to quiet sections of Fallujah, which is plenty scary for them). Our briefs and commentary seem to have no affect on their preconceived notions of what's going on in Iraq. Their trips allow them to say that they've been to Fallujah