Dear Sgt. Grit,
I want to thank the readers for the nice comments and support shown after I wrote you about the principal who didn't support the troops (and my son). I have an update for you.
A wonderful friend of mine found a classroom willing and able to send a few notes and pictures to my son. His birthday was a success. When I mentioned to my son what had happened he told me that he would like to visit that principal in his dress blues when he returns from Iraq and show her what a Marine looks like - in case she wasn't sure. Once again, thanks to all for the wonderful things said in response - it's nice to know that we belong to such a large, impressive family tree that I couldn't be more proud of. Being a daughter and a mother of a United States Marine has been and will always be a pleasure.
Semper Fidelis!
Connie Lindsey
Extremely Proud Mom of a U.S. Marine!

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A Place Called Vietnam

I don't care who you are or how old you HAVE to see this.
If you didn't live through this era, then it is your duty to learn about it and to remember it and to honor those men and women who valiantly fought for our country. Sons and daughter...never forget what your parents went through....People who lived through this horror, remember that these were our brothers, our husbands and wives, our cousins, our close friends, our school mates....these are all the people we knew and loved and we should never, never, never stop honoring them as the heroes they are/were.

See this, hear this, and won't be able to stop yourself as you think of the people, both living and dead, that fought in Vietnam.

No one was left untouched by this time in our history...I sit here and think of the boy I walked beside at high school graduation...he was so smart - at the top of our class - and so sweet and innocent and all I have left of him is the memory of his precious face because his name is now on the Wall in Washington....I think of my brother, and my other classmates who came home but whose lives will never be the same because of this event.

I think of my college mates who went to Vietnam...and some of them never returned. I honor them all here and now. May God bless all of your hearts and souls and know that we will never forget any of you or ever be able repay you for your sacrifice...

A good presentation from the Children of Vietnam Veterans

A Place Called Vietnam
Some gave a little;
Some gave a lot;
Some gave everything;
We all gave something.

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"Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country."
Noah Webster

So I'm sitting here, back at my desk, soaked in sweat. ick... he he he

I just tried to walk to 8th and I on lunch hour. yeah, right.

I made it to 4th and C southwest by the half hour mark, and had to turn around and come back to be here on time. And it's getting hot out there.

As I walked in the front door of the building, the security guards, with whom I'm quite friendly anyways, looked at my poor sorry self, all tuckered out, and dripping, and asked "What the?"...

I told 'em where I'd walked to, and they looked at me all confused.
From 6th and E streets Northwest to 4th and C streets Southeast is no short strut.
Opposite sides of the Capitol Building.. sigh.

When they asked "Why?", I responded about this kid I'd seen one day on the Metro.
He was in a wheel chair, but not just a wheelchair, but one with "Life Support" built into it.
Obviously back from either Iraq or Afghanistan. Wounded and Bad. His wife with him, she looked pretty p!ssed, and he was repeatedly on the verge of tears.
I guess that must be pretty hard on one of our country's finest. Y'think?

That was almost two years ago. And I've been walking harder than I did previous to that day ever since. "Because I can"... Thank God.

My reason for going in that direction is that the Commandant lives over there.

8th and I is "Headquarters Marine Corps"... yeah yeah yeah. I'm going to make it there real soon.

Anywho, Happy Wednesday, Y'all

This is written in response the to the American Courage #148 newsletter. I read the various responses both for and against a wife getting an EGA tattoo. I am married to a Marine and I feel that I sacrifice just as much as he does. We've been married for less than 2 years, we're on our 2nd deployment and are looking at a third before our 3rd anniversary. I don't feel like I've earned the EGA though. My husband busted his @$$ over the course of 13 weeks to earn the right to wear the emblem, I did not (even though we've been together since before he went to boot). However, I wanted to show my pride in being a married to one of the few and the proud. I custom made my own tattoo. Semper Fidelis with roses, a symbol of the strength and beauty of Marine Corps wives.

I will always be faithful to my husband, my children and my country. I am here backing up my husband at home so he can do the job he proudly signed up for. He's a grunt and I couldn't be prouder of him.

Do what you think is right, but I agree with most of the people who said that you have to "earn" the right to wear the EGA. It's more than just 13 weeks of boot camp, 1 mo of SOI, 7 mos of combat duty in Iraq. It's blood, sweat, tears, being in a fire fight and watching your brother die beside you. It's fighting for your life. We go through our hardships at home, but nothing will ever compare to what our Marines go through.


Amy Baker, proud wife of Cpl. James Baker Jr.

"If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed."
David Viscott

Melodie, For whatever it is worth:

My computer defines POG or POGS as an acronym standing for "People Other than Grunts" (among many other things.) POGUE, on the other hand, is defined as: [not an acronym] Derogatory military slang used by front line troops to describe staff and other rear echelon or support units/troops

Doc Byars

All those that have Loved ones over There, I retired in 93, and my wife now teaches for the US Military here in Germany. WE still serve in our own way.

When we were station here, from the Azores, We were very happy as our youngest daughter, of our six kids was stationed here. I served 24 years in the Corps, and my daughter the only one of my six the Courage to put on a Uniform. (Even if it was the Army).

We never got to see her, two weeks before we arrived her unit went Down Range as they say here, meaning to Iraq. We spent the next 16 months, as the only ones of the Unit here that had a child there instead of a Spouse. I saw my fair share of places and things during my time, BUT I was never as afraid as when my youngest was in harms way.

GySgt Tom Hill

I picked up the 2007 Memorial Day T-shirts this year, one for me and one for my boyfriend, Gysgt Robert Chenault. They are so beautiful and mean so much to both of us. Thank you for the great merchandise and the newsletters. They help me as I learn to live with the Corps.

A great fan of Sgt Grit and the Marine Corps, Gwendolyn Presley

(Sunday, Memorial weekend. I just came from my husband's grave. Here is the letter I wrote to him.)

5:55 am. The sun is a big round orange ball. My dearest Captain, I come to cry at your grave. I come to tell you Semper Fi - Good by my Captain. I love you. I grieve that I must leave you here while I move to Texas to be close to family.

The flags are flying; big ones on the lane and small individual ones on each grave. I don't want to leave you, Captain. I'm so glad you loved me so much and how you showed that love especially the last couple years when your cancer and dementia were slowly taking the life and confidence of my strong Captain.

I leave you beneath the giant oak tree, just where you would have chosen - at the head of the line from both ways--No. AA 189. The AA division marker is to your left, a fellow Marine from California is to your right. A world War I Mess Sgt Co K from Tennessee is just behind you. You can look out over the vast awesome pristine military cemetery at all your comrades from the Civil War to Iraq.

I grieve for what is not, and what might have been. I grieve for what is --an empty spot in my heart. Memories of your last breath comes crashing over my soul. I was there along with your son, family, close friends attended to by a precious Hospice nurse. I was there by your side, holding your hand, praying and loving you through it. I hope you heard me!

Taps have long ago faded.

Until reveille, my precious Captain. Rest softly until that golden daybreak!

Your dear heart, Jodi

From Jodi E. Dodson, a memorial to my husband Melvin Corroll Dodson, retired (deceased) Marine Captain. Thank you for the privilege of sharing this with the world.

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."
John Adams

My son and I had a solution to our tattoo problem. I was not a Marine and did not want represent myself to Marine's (or anyone else) that I was, but somehow I wanted to honor my son for his accomplishment.

Prior to his deployment earlier this year, while visiting my son at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, AZ we went to Desert Ink Tattoo (across from the main gate) and picked out an American Flag tattoo, we both got the flag on our right shoulders, under his "USMC" under mine "Proud Marine Dad"

I'm not sure who's prouder him or me!

VPMD of PFC Shane / Deployed

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined."
Patrick Henry

The best way to serve our great nation is by joining the MARINES but, ... What happened when the Marine got retired or medically discharge? All you have left is your hearth and motivation to serve our country and your dreams and pride to stay Marine (That's a lot). I am a medical retired Corporal with 40% service connected

That's not the point.... the message to my fellow Marines is that we have to make America a better place to live, every day of our life, doesn't matter if we are active, reserve or retired Marines. When I got retired in 1996, I started to work for the Boy Scouts of America as a District Executive in Kings Bay, Georgia and today I am the Program Director for the same organization in San Juan Puerto Rico. That is my way to serve America and that's all I can do right now but,,,, to dream about Boot Camp this is what I do ( funny,,, but it works!) Every morning when I shave I use Gillette Foaming Cream. The same brand the recruits have to buy at the PX. When I put the foam in my face I close my eyes and that alone will transport me back to the head, at the barracks, at 2nd Battalion, at Parris Island, the summer of 1991 without having the Drill Instructor yelling at me. (Funny and a little bit crazy,,,but it works)

CPL. Daniel "Dan " Muñoz
1991-1996 USMC Retired

In response to Kimberly Harvis, Newsletter #147

Unfortunately I don't agree with the masses on this one, although I understand the intent. We few who do battle our way through the 13 weeks of h&ll, ITR and so on, do so with the pride of having lived through the rigorous days and nights. I certainly understand that being the wife of a Marine is undoubtedly tough. Let me switch this up and see if you follow where I'm coming from.

If my father was in the Marine Corps, Fought is countless battles, Khe Sanh, Iwo, Chosin, Vietnam. I think we'd all agree that being the son or daughter of a Marine would give you the right to wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. But the Eagle, Globe and Anchor has never been given away simply by birth rite or Marriage rite for that matter. That kind of takes away the luster of EARNING, the way everyone else does. Enlisting and going through the process.

I know I'll catch some flack from this, but understand my intent. My wife is NOT a Marine because she did not earn that title as I have done. Her being my wife does not extend her the right to claim that title or its advantages simply because she married me. Because what happens if we divorce, then the whole "Right by Marriage" is gone. I know too many Divorced Marines. Anyone feel the same way? I would not have a problem with someone married, related to a Marine getting a tattoo that says something like: My brother, husband, etc is a Marine with the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. That distinguishes the difference between them and the Marine. But if you just had an Eagle, Globe and Anchor everyone and their mother is going to assume you're the Marine.

Anyways...that's my 2cents on that issue.

Semper Fidelis

Corporal of Marines
Jerome R. Roseborough
94'-00 - Communications

"The only choice we have is up or down-up, to the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the deadly dullness of totalitarianism."
Ronald Reagan

Sgt. Grit, I would like to address all those boneheads who claim a wife does not deserve the EGA. Who washed and ironed all those utilities, who cooked your meals when you didn't eat in the mess hall, who bore your children and raised them while you were not there, who dealt with the bill collectors so you didn't have to, who cried night after night for her man in harm's way, who held your head while you were having nightmares about incoming or gooks in the wire (no I am not P.C.) ???? I only wish I could say this to my wife who passed away in December after 40 years of marriage to a lunk like me. I cry at having lost my life's partner and the thought of never seeing her again. Listen up you apes. She earned it as much as any who wore the uniform. Quit being so petty and look at the big picture and be glad she still see's fit to put up with you.
SSgt. Moore, J.C. 2389599 1967-1977
Semper Fidelis

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I wanted to tell you our Marine story. Our son is a United States Marine Reservist, soon to be deployed. Our daughter lives in Chicago. We recently went to visit her for Easter so that we could all be together before Gabe's deployment. We went out to eat dinner the night before Easter. My husband and Marine son were chatting with the bartender. The bartender is a retired Marine, but...once a Marine...always a Marine. We were seated for dinner. Our waiter also found out that our son is a Marine. When half way finished with our meals...we heard the clanging of 2 glasses. The bartender announced, "I would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter, no matter what God you believe in. I hope everyone is enjoying their meals tonight. While you sit here enjoying your dinner, we have a young man who will be eating sand in about 60 days. I would like all of you to put your hands together & raise your glasses for this young man. STAND UP MARINE!" Everyone in the restaurant started clapping, while Gabriel stood proudly. Needless to say, my daughter & I were crying. What a very proud moment for all of us.

Thank you so very much for "listening".

Proud Family of a U S Marine...The Maines, Canfield, Ohio

"Born in other countries, yet believing you could be happy in this, our laws acknowledge, as they should do, your right to join us in society, conforming... to our established rules. That these rules shall be as equal as prudential considerations will admit, will certainly be the aim of our legislatures, general and particular."
Thomas Jefferson

There are a lot of responses here that are negative about this lady getting a tat of our EGA because as some say " she didn't earn it". That should be between herself and her husband. Maybe he doesn't like that on a woman.

As far as her "not earning it". by not going into or thru bootcamp or walking in their boots as someone mentioned, let me clear something up here. Our " President's Own Marine Corps Band" members wear the EGA on their uniforms, can have the EGA tat if they choose to do so and most are Sgt's and up in rank. Some come into the band a SSgt. with pay and rank grade and if your a L/Cpl or Cpl while at the barracks and some SSgt playing coronet player tells you to do something and you refuse to, then your disobeying a lawful order by a higher ranking Marine. A "higher ranking Marine" who has never earned the title Marine by going thru boot camp because it is NOT a requirement for them to attend boot camp or go thru any training.

Quote from a 8th & I email I received yesterday.

("The Marine Band's mission is "to provide music and perform such other functions as are directed by the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps." Unlike other Marine Corps musical units, the Marine Band has no assigned secondary combat role, and its members Are exempt from all such training. Marine Band musicians report to Washington fully trained to perform their primary duties in the accomplishment of The band's unique musical mission. Therefore, there is no requirement for Band members to undergo recruit training").

If they never earned it but can wear it then why can't Kim?

Mike Redfern

Dear Sgt Grit,

I am the mother of a Marine who was in "Task Force Tarawa" leaving Camp Lejeune in 2003 to help rid the world of a dangerous man in Iraq. I am very PROUD of my son and of all the servicemen and women who are trying to keep our great country free. I had tears in my eyes when I read what happened to Sgt James Ross and his wife's car. I try to feel sorry for the kind of people who are so ignorant of respect. What really scares me is just how many people are ignorant of respect. My son and every other serviceman and woman should not be subjected to this kind of ignorance. I pray to God that these people never have to fight the terrorists on our mighty shores because I am afraid that they are all cowards and would RUN like scared rabbits. Who else would steel and deface --- no one but a COWARD!

Linda, Mother of Josh
Semper Fi

Leah Ross,

You can always count on Sgt Grit and the many thousands of former Marines who read Sgt Grit news letter to always support those who are in the Marine Corps today. That's our policy. We never forget anyone who served in the Marine Corps and you may occasionally hear the words Semper Fi when two people pass.

Semper Fi to a US Marine is a lot like a bible to a priest, your son has millions of friends who once put on a Marine Corps uniform. We are the very best America has to offer and the most feared in the world in combat.

Your son is in the best of hands.

MButler 69-71

"The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is insincerity."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

To the teacher whose principal wouldn't allow her students to send pictures to her son in Iraq....don't ask, don't tell. My students have "adopted" Marines for the past three years. The first year they adopted my son who was serving in Ramadi. After I was fortunate to get my son home, we "adopted" sons of Marine Moms I had met and connected with on-line. We would send letters, make holiday cards, provide Halloween candy, Valentine goodies and "Welcome Home" boxes for their arrivals back in the states. Some of my former students still ask about "our Marines". It truly made an impact on them knowing they were doing something good for someone else. Keeping inspiring your students in spite of your principal. I've already lined up my "adoptees" for next year.

Karen in Georgia
Proud Marine Mom

Mrs. Harvis,

Go for the ink. I have a Globe and Anchor on my Jeep, my house, my bulldog, my briefcase, my key ring, a photo album, and I even got a pair of those boots branded with it. So if I wanted to have a Globe and Anchor inked onto my wife, kids, or parents, why not?
My jeep and dog weren't in the Marines either.

Sgt. Hudson

Gettysburg Address        272 words
Bad of Lay's Potato Chips     401 words
Dress Blues Girl IRS Form 1040EZ          418 words
Average USA Today cover Story     1200 words

I got this tattoo to honor my husband, Sgt. Nunez, while he was in Iraq. I love old school pin-ups so I decided to give my pin- up girl a modified dress blues outfit to give her that "Semper Fi" look. She covers my left thigh and will be finished up with a Marine Corps inspired collage in the background at a later date.

You know I have been giving Iraq a lot of thought. Perhaps we are going about it the wrong way. Instead of appeasing every faction in Iraq we do it like a baseball tourney. They all fight it out until there is only one faction left then they get to play us in the final.

Sgt Jerone A. Bowers

Dear Grit,

Wanted to get a shout out from Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq and let you know Toby Keith played a concert for all the people Toby Keith Concert on base two days ago, even after the bad guys had lobbed something onto the base, he went on. It was a great show. I am in a "Joint" billet (read: army command with a few Marines to keep things interesting!), and it was nice to hang out with other Marines to watch the show. Keep up the great news letters!


Jim Chambers Jr
MSgt of Marines
Camp Victory, Iraq

"He knows not his own strength that hath not met adversity."
Ben Johnson

This is not on jokes or anything of the sort. It is just a message about a families understanding of God, Country, Duty, Honor, Courage and Corps.

In World War II a young man joined the Marine Corps to serve his Country. He was willing to do whatever it would take to stop the Germans or Japanese from destroying our way of life and to free the rest of the world from their nasty grip. He fought in several campaigns during the war.

After it was over he came home and like so many others was discharged, found a civilian job, got married and got busy raising a family. He had three sons and then later in life had another son 20 1/2 years younger than the youngest of the first three sons.

Another time of war had come called VietNam and of the three older sons one saw the way he had to go and joined the Marines. He was the youngest of the three. The oldest also served in the Army. Both brothers went to the Nam at different times mostly because of the age difference. Both did their duty and fought in campaigns and served the time requested of them in the Nam.

As time goes on all three sons where married and had started a life outside the military. The young Marine did not want to get out but because of injuries he had suffered while on active duty he was discharged. He had served nearly seven years and had his lifer hook all developed and was set for a 20 or more year hitch. He finished up as a D.I. at MCRD San Diego. A Hollywood Marine. Boot camp and a D.I. at Diego.

The young Marine got busy and started a family while he was in the Corps. He was disabled but working as hard as he could in the civilian world. As things go the world once again had problems called the Middle East. He had five kids 3 sons and two daughters. The youngest son felt it was his duty to serve his Country and joined the Corps.

He has gone to the land of the Iraq to serve his Country at the same time as his fathers younger brother (the one 20 1/2 years his jr.,) The uncle is in the Army as his oldest brother was and the son is in the Corps as his father and Grandfather were.

Just one family who understands God, Country, Corps, Duty, Honor and Courage. Our name is not necessary so I would just as soon you not print it because you can insert the name of a number of families in America and find the same story. A story of love of Country, love of God, love of Corps (some of the Army but that's o.k.), knowing what Duty, Honor and Honor are and living up to what the words mean.

Thanks for your letting me say this. To all the families of those serving in our Nations military my God bless and watch over you and yours, to those who have lost a loved one my God bless you to know and understand your loved ones sacrifice. May we remember all who have given some and all who have given their all on this special day.

S/SGT. U.S.M.C. (forever)

I want to start out saying Thanks to all those that served, past, present and especially to those that lost their lives protecting this country in all branches of the service.

All my life I knew my dad served as a Marine in the Korean War. He never did really talk to me about his time in the service. Well my Dad lost his live to glioblastoma (brain cancer) Dec 10, 2006. In his honor and my love of him I started tracking down his records. My mother had his discharge certificates. He did serve 2 tours. 1948-1950 and then he reenlisted 1950-1953. He was a Cannoner in Korea. When he was discharged from his 2nd tour his rank was Corporal. I have been getting his medals and ribbons to put in a nice shadow box with a picture. Well this year being the first memorial day with out him has really caused me to appreciate the time he served and always cared about others. This is a testament to all those that put on that uniform no mater what branch of the service Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines.

I have never been able to serve because of medical reasons but have always had a strong military background in my family. My grandfather served in the Army in World War I. And my moms brother was killed in Okinawa, Japan when he served as a Marine in World War II. But Losing dad this year has really made me appreciate all the branches again.

On behave of my father Cpl Kirby S. Baird SEMPER FI.

Thomas Baird.

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell


I am "currently unassigned" and 61 years old. I do have an ID number and it's not my SSN, so I guess that makes me "Old Corps". Let me put it to you this way....PI 1963, Vietnam Vet three tours, 0311 and "D*MM PROUD", of my Corps and my service.

I guess I don't fit into the accepted description of us " MILITARY TYPES". I acquired a MS Degree after leaving the Corps, and then "perish the thought" an MBA. Boy did I do something wrong ? I guess Hollywood and many of our politicians missed that fact.

I don't assume that this gives me any great knowledge or insight to pass along, so just take this as the thoughts {maybe flawed} of an old Grunt that's "been there and done that!"

To too many people, this day is just a three day weekend of some "Sales" or something, but to many, many of us your sacrifice and I mean that with all sincerity, is what makes this country great and keeps it great.

I wish all of you the best on this Memorial Day, both in and out of uniform in these trying times. You men and women of all of our services deserve more than the outright lies and left handed complements perpetrated by the media, Hollywood and some/many of our elected officials.

If you read this and know someone in the military, a vet, or the family of a vet that might have pass on, say something to them, I know they'll appreciate it. So few people of authority ever recognize them (unless it's for votes).

I have never written to Sgt. Grits before, not really my style, but if I leave you with anything it's one favor I ask, when, in the near future, you find yourself in the "Voting Booth" or with an "absentee ballot", remember the "WORDS" of the people that dishonor and degrade your service, abilities and accomplishments. Call you Nazi's, Gestapo, and Terrorists. Also remember the Hollywood types that align themselves with the politicians that promote this garbage. That's where the $$ is, Hollywood!

We, the military did not start any war, politicians do, and lately when they need to separate themselves from their rivals, {to get votes) they use us "The Military" as the scapegoat. Our deaths are just poker chips in the game they play.

WE ALL, PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE military, should demand more from them and you can, read, listen and then with the power of your vote, you will let them know. To use a line from a Hollywood movie, "were sick and tired of it all and were not going to take it anymore." Apathy is what they want. Don't give it to them! Stand up for yourself, we are a brotherhood, it's time we started acting like it.

I will now fold up my soap box.

To all

Thank you for your sacrifice and (remember I'm a Marine, and don't know what they say in the other services)......sooooooooo!

SEMPER FI (to all)

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

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Sgt Grit Newsletter VS AmericanCourage Newsletter:

You receive both (alternating weeks) what's the difference?

In short...The AmericanCourage Newsletter has MORE family member stories, "support the Corps" stories from Marines, and patriotic quotes. It started after the events of Sept. 11, 2001 to give supporters of the Marine Corps and American patriots a voice.

The Sgt Grit Newsletter is HARD CORPS Marine! If you are interested in topics that delve into Marine Corps history, Corps Stories, Boot Camp and other things that "only a Marine might understand" - then be sure to read the Sgt Grit Newsletter (every other week) - More about the newsletter