On July 29 1987 I was born into the brotherhood. I served for 9 and a half years. I would have stayed until they made me leave, if it wasn't for injuries that would not let me carry out my duties. I have walked heavy on the ground in Panama, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Africa. My family always told me that they were worried about me when I was in harms way, but I always reassured them that I was a Marine and that Marines never walk alone. They would always ask if it was hard to cope with the things that we saw or had done, and I would say no it's part of the job. There are things that you witness that always stay with you, but thankfully, for me it's not always the bad things. I have been out for eleven years and I still get a lump in my throat, a tear in my eye, and the hair stands up on the back of my neck when I hear the National Anthem or a Sousa march.

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Sometimes the "Feeling" will hit me even when I don't expect it. The other day I was at the zoo with my son and we were watching the bird show, they had an American bald eagle and for some reason, as I was standing there about three feet from this majestic symbol of all that I hold dear, he and I just stared at each other. My son noticed this and said "I think he knows you dad". My wife, the typical multi-tasking Marine wife, never missed a beat as she handed me a tissue to wipe the tear that I didn't even know was there, and place a loving hand on my son's head and said "He does Bubba, he does."

I now work for the government and I help the members of the services with all of the parts that they need to fix the vehicles that they have to have in order to accomplish their mission. Every day I thank God for the chance to help my Bothers and Sisters in the only capacity that I can now. God bless them and keep them. God bless Sgt. Grit. God bless the Marine Corps.



"An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens....There has never been a moment of my life in which I should have relinquished for it the enjoyments of my family, my farm, my friends and books."
Thomas Jefferson

Sand Display Sgt Grit,
I just wanted to show you what I did with the Iwo Jima sand I received. My husband won the sand from your contest, then gave it to me for my birthday, he's such a romantic *big smile*. So being a proud Marine and diehard scrap booker I did this with the sand. Naturally the sand is in the container with a picture of the flag raising behind it.
Semper Fi,
Anna Grabill

Posted on 07/30/2007, Freerepublic.com


How is everyone doing? It's been awhile since I wrote and wanted to catch you up on the glorious nation of Iraq. The unit that is replacing us is starting to arrive and so the end is in sight. We are more than happy to see them here. We are now starting to do some turnover actions and will be doing so for the next few weeks.

It has been typical July weather for the Middle East, that is to say hot. Although hot doesn't quite describe it, it's pretty close to southern CA or Arizona so I'm sure most of you can relate. When going out on a patrol it's pretty easy to get rid of a couple pounds in sweat. Kind of makes one want to live in Alaska, but I don't think it's as bad as hot and humid, I'll take just hot any day. We've got access to pretty good food and a gym so I managed not to get rid of 20 lbs like last deployment.

The most interesting thing we've seen while we've been here has been the creation of local watch groups. They go by many names, but basically they are locals who are conducting security in their own areas. This is in addition to Iraqi army and police.

Local watch doesn't seem like a big deal? Well, in fact, it is quite possibly the turning of the tide, a monumental force multiplier. Why is it a big deal? Basically Iraqis are finally starting to stand up for themselves and make a choice. See, for the last 4 years we've been fighting not only al Qaeda foreign fighters, but also pretty much any Iraqi who was bored and needed to make a few extra bucks. A large portion of them were not "terrorists" but just local punks that thought we were the great invader here to do them harm. It has taken awhile, but for the first time, and in large numbers, Iraqis in the most violent province (Al Anbar) have been collectively making a choice to fight against al Qaeda.

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You see, there are two choices for Iraqis: 1. Help the Americans - this means money, security, and assistance, or 2. Help al Qaeda - this means a life of imposed harsh religious doctrine (that very few Iraqis want), murder of Iraqi women and children as punishment, intimidation campaigns that make the Sopranos look like the Bradys, and a future bright with subjugation and oppression. Seems like a no brainer, and you have to wonder why it took most Iraqis so long to figure this one out, but they are finally seeing that al Qaeda has nothing to offer and that we have done nothing but help them. It's a bit hard to understand but try to imagine that they have been taught mistrust of outsiders for generations, indoctrinated with a steady diet of fiery anti-American rhetoric from their local sheikhs, and been held under control by a tyrannical dictator for 30 years, followed by mafia-style rule for the last 4. This seems like slow progress, yes, but it is indeed progress on a scale not seen before. This is the path toward victory and the only way we can win a counter-insurgency. These locals are amazing to watch. An area that Marines had operated in for months had been like the Wild West, engagements every day, and always something going on. Once the locals took over it has been completely quiet. It's not quite Mayberry yet, but to see these guys pull some weight is an awesome thing, and they are pretty dang good. And they should be, because through evolution we weeded out all the bad ones.

An interesting side note: upon talking to a leader in the local security forces, I discovered that he was part of a crew that would attack an outpost we had last deployment. We'd get shot at least a few times a week. Well, apparently this guy was one of the ones doing that shooting at us last deployment. Yeah, a little unnerving. We shared an awkward stare down and I kept my safety off. Although I did have the urge to slam the guy's head in a HMMWV door, I realized there's a much bigger picture. He wants me gone just as much as I want to leave, but he realizes that we can work together for a common goal. Plus fighting Marines must be hard - Allah d*mn those smart bombs. It's indicative of a counterinsurgency however; enemies become friends and vice versa. The point is we're seeing a turning of the tide, that most of you will not hear about on the news.

Interested in knowing what servicemen think of world events? The media and anti-war movement disgusts us and couldn't be further from supporting us - we see it for what it is - just political jockeying for votes. Whether you agree with the war or not, supporting us doesn't mean taking away funding, cutting us off at the knees. Ask anybody here, they say finish what we started. We are seeing serious success now - why would you set unrealistic deadlines and not give us the chance to meet them?

I should be coming back sometime next month. I'm getting orders to XXXXXXXX once I return so I'll be moving from the desert to the beach. Time for less 18 hr workdays and more 9-12s, followed by beach volleyball (appropriately shirtless and with top gun '80s music in the background.) I hope to talk to you all soon when I get back and get a new phone and number. Hope everything is going well with all of you, feel free to let me know what's going on with you.

Love, xxxxxxxx

"Broad-minded is just another way of saying a fellow's too lazy to form an opinion."
Will Rogers

Sgt Grit –

I wanted to thank you for the contest, and let you know what I will do with the packet of Iwo Jima sand that I won.

I'm a Navy veteran who enjoys military history as a hobby, and fortunately knew where to find the answers, including the fact that Gunnery Sgt. "Manila John" Basilone was the (previous) Medal of Honor recipient who was killed on Iwo.

I entered the contest early enough, I hoped, to be a winner. I wanted this special Iwo Jima sand for a friend of mine who is 82, a combat USMC veteran, and who recently was injured in a bad accident, which has caused some depression, as well as the physical damage.

Bob was a member of the 3rd Bn, 25th Reg, 4th MARDIV who landed on Iwo Jima in the first wave on February 19, 1945.

He was a radioman, and was on Iwo until relieved on March 26, 1945. He survived that lengthy horrendous ordeal without any serious injury.

I'll be sending the packet of sand to Bob with a note, again thanking him for his sacrifices during World War II, in the hope that it will rekindle that positive EGA spirit, and help him quicken his steps on the road to recovery.

Not as Lean Sweatshirt (He also proudly wears one of your "Not as Lean......" sweat shirts.)

Best regards,

Tom Smith
(U. S. Navy 1953 – 1957)

"The recent capture of the leading Iraqi in al-Qaeda's Iraq affiliate is no accident... You capture such people only when you have good intelligence, and you have good intelligence only when the locals have turned against the terrorists."
Charles Krauthammer

Sgt. Grit,
I was directed to your website by a 2/3 Marine mom from the wonderful OKC. She was in Hawaii welcoming home her son coming home from deployment. I happen to be working at the hotel where she was staying. Thinking of my mother-in-law. Since then, I have given your website to pretty much any Marine wife that I have come across.

I am new to the Marine (especially the spouse side) way of life, but not to the military. I was not aware that sites like yours existed. I am grateful for your website. I absolutely love it.

I received your magazine just a couple weeks ago and finally had the time to show my husband your inventory. He loves the inspirational posters that you have. I love your coins that you have.

If I had known you were in OKC when my father was stationed at Tinker, man I would have been surprised. I am still green in the ways of the military, but I keep my head held high and up hold the Marine Corps code: Honor, Courage and Commitment.

Semper Fi,
Kara Usselman
wife of
LCpl Joshua Usselman
3/3 Lima Co

"That [state] which separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting by fools."
Thucydides, 'The Peloponnesian Wars'

Sgt. Grit:
Thanks for the contest giving small packets of Iwo Jima (not Iwo To) sand. I was lucky enough to answer all four questions correctly and be one of the winners.
When it came in the mail the other day I couldn't help but remember my Dad's service on that cruel piece of valuable real estate during February and March of 1945.
Dad was a Corporal in the 2nd Battalion, 12th Marines, part of the 3rd Marine Division, at the time...he was a radio man in a 75 mm pack-howitzer outfit. The 2/12 provided artillery support for the 21st Marine Infantry Regiment. Having already participated in the invasions and occupations of Bougainville and Guam, his was a battle-hardened crew. The 3rd Division came ashore D+5 and was assigned to drive up the middle of the island with the 5th Division to the left of them and the 4th Division to the right. History and his personal recollections tell the story of the next month of battle much better than I can. Pop is still with us, thank God, and at 85 years young his mind is as sharp as a tack. He'll be thrilled when he sees this pack of sand.
Thanks again.
- Gary W. Engler

Dear Sgt Grit,

I am an avid reader of your newsletter and thought the readers would be interested to know about this story that has me floored and really ****ed off! I have served 8 years in the Marine Corps and was a Sergeant upon leaving w/ two tours under my belt and am currently awaiting orders to join the Marine Reserves and am extremely proud of the Corps. I work as an Investigator in the Child Protective Services profession in the state of Texas. In my office I have many Marine Corps items from a flag, stickers, pictures and recruiting posters from the early 20th century. I was told by my supervisor that someone came to him and said that one sticker I had (Winning Battles One Kill At A Time) was offensive and he told me that he didn't see anything wrong with it because it was my office, not displayed outside or on my door and it was my 1st amendment right to have that, but to keep the peace I moved it from plain view from my office door.

Tell That To The Marines Poster A couple of weeks later my supervisor came in again and this time said that the Program Director said that my vintage reproduced recruiting poster that says "Tell That To The Marines" is racist and offensive because of the word HUN. I was livid to say the least. We are too busy of an agency to waste on debating issues that others are simply too ignorant to figure out on their own but I had to address this issue. My supervisor agreed with me that he didn't see a problem in it however the program director stated that since someone had complained about it being offensive and racist that I had to take it down. To make a long story short, I talked to the program director and informed her that this was not a racist poster and that if people would do their history search and look before speaking then this would not be an issue. She obviously doesn't know what a HUN is nor did the person who complained. Then the program director changed her stance and said that the word KILL in the poster was not proper for this type of work environment because it promoted a sense of concern for clients. I guess our shaking babies, drinking and driving and doing drugs KILL posters don't fit in that same category. I don't buy it. I informed her that if it was a racist poster then no one would be reproducing this in this day in age of political correctness and law suits however she would not change her decision. Anyhow, I find this disrespectful and very prejudiced as well as Un- American. What is this world coming to when something as awesome and patriotic as this historical and vintage poster is considered racist and offensive without the slightest thought of respect for one's own property and country? Any thoughts? Suggestions on what I can do?
"I Have Not Yet Begun To Fight" - JOHN PAUL JONES

Sergeant from Texas

"Amplification is the vice of modern oratory."
Thomas Jefferson

At the ball Mom's Three Sons My son is stationed at Djbouti, Africa. He is LCpl Colt Summers, and who would have known with the name Colt and he is an armoror. My husband is on his second deployment to Al Taqaddam. He is GySgt Dave Melka.

Enclosed is a photo of them (my son is his stepson) when they were taking classes at 29 Palms, along with my youngest son. the other photo is us at the 2006 ball.

Marine Wife and Mom!
Toughest jobs in the CORPS.

"Not only the history of the UN, but the history of the League of Nations before it, demonstrates again and again that going to such places [as the UN] is a way for weak-kneed leaders of democracies to look like they are doing something when in fact they are doing nothing. The Iranian leaders are not going to stop unless they get stopped. And, like Hitler, they don't think we have the guts to stop them."
Thomas Sowell

Sgt. Grit I am a retired Gunnery Sergeant (1977-1998). I have been serving with U. S. Customs and Border Protection (formerly USINS) for nine years on the Mexican border at Tijuana. There are many of us, Marines working here and we take pride in keeping the borders of our country safe.

Semper fi, God bless our troops and keep them out of harm's way.
Jose C. Rosillo

To Those Who Help Me Believe

I am currently an NJROTC cadet in high school, and plan on joining the Marine Corps. My aunt is currently serving as a Marine and has been to Iraq twice already. She may not know it, but I'm proud of her every single day and its people like her who make me want to join the Marines. I recently attended a Leadership Sailing Academy through the JROTC program and two of our instructors, two Marine 1stSgts, made my experience amazing. Most people were, to say the least, intimidated by them. But when it comes down to it they were just Marines. Two of the nicest, funniest guys you could ever meet. And it was them who made me think about the brotherhood of the Corps.

They made me realize that every single Marine I know through my aunt, they are the best people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. They are the type of people I want to grow up to be. They help me believe that there is hope for me, and that I can make a difference. It chokes me up just thinking about them, and I know one day I will make them all proud by continuing the tradition they fought so hard to keep alive. I want to thank them all; my aunt, the two 1stSgts, and every other Marine that I know, and those who I haven't had the pleasure of meeting. You all are a special breed, and it makes me proud to know one day I just might have the opportunity to serve alongside you.

C/PO1 A.S.
Semper Fi

"A vote is like a rifle its usefulness depends upon the character of the user."
Teddy Roosevelt

I am a more modern day Marine (79-85) and love hearing the stories from the "Ole Salts". The stories from WWII, Korea (the Frozen Chosin) and Nam, are all good history lessons also. My 1st Sgt. (Mike Mata) {I know he wouldn't mind} was Col. Chesty Puller's driver, so you can imagine some of the stories we got to hear. My generation of Marines were trained and learned from many of the "Ole Salts" and they're lessons that molded my life in so many ways.

I want to say to all my Marine Brothers before me, "Thank you", thank you for carrying on a tradition for 204 years, so that I and many others could continue that tradition. Thank you for teaching us that followed in your footsteps and giving us the opportunity to lead others behind us in those same traditions. I thank my Brothers who followed behind me and serve to this day. The Marine Corps is and always has been the largest military family, because many other branches just don't understand.

As for all the hype about who can wear and display the EGA, any family member of a Marine is a part of the Marine Corps Family. Wives (Spouses, {21st Century}) live it, Children feel it, Parents support it, they earn the right by the mere virtue that they stand behind and beside their Marines. Claiming the title is one thing, supporting it is another.

As for Marines who dishonor our beloved Corps, (I'm in Law Enforcement), you lose bragging rights when you discredit the Corps! Marines who find them selves in the pokee should never breathe the words, "United States Marine Corps" while incarcerated. That is not what the Corps value system is about. I learned traits like honor, integrity, pride, dignity and honesty, and would never dishonor the Corps by bragging about being a Marine if I was to ever get myself in that situation. I wear my EGA pinned proudly to the uniform that I now wear and from time to time. will have someone who is incarcerated come up to me and talk about them being a Marine. Frankly it kind of disgusts me.

Anyway, Thanks again Sarge for the newsletters, I sit for hours and indulge myself in reading. To our troops currently serving, God Bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and be graceful to you.

Semper Fi (Do or Die) Ooh-Rah,
J.D. Bennett, former Sgt. of Marines

A BIG SEMPER FI to all who enter this website and prayers to all wounded Marines now serving! Thanks to all now as you keep us free, protect us from terrorists and from those who would destroy us from within. Also, an OUTSTANDING to VietNam Marine Robert Duke for correcting that foolish, simple-minded person in the restaurant. I too endured the same nonsense from people and I was in '74-78.

J. Davenport, Sgt., 1st Mar.Div.

"There will be no peace until they love their children more than they hate us."
Golda Meir

Thank you, Thank you, Thank You! As you can see, I'm at a loss for words to show my gratitude for being one of those to receive the sacred sand from Iwo Jima. My son is an active Marine, and has already served a year long tour in Iraq, I can't think of a better Christmas gift for him. Until the Marines, he never enjoyed reading, now he can't get enough of the history of the Marine Corps and like many others, he stands in awe of those who fought before him and especially those at Iwo Jima. I so appreciate you sharing this part of history with so many, it will be a cherished bit of history to stay in the family for generations.

Cathelyn Jones
PMM of CPL Joshua

"This war happened because men and women with honor and faith and liberty refused to give in to whims of terrorists. They refuse to give up those things that make us all uniquely Americans."
Jerone A Bowers

"You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."
Abraham Lincoln

Sgt. Larry Bourland - USMC around 1954-1958 (Not Sure).
Semper Fi - Larry Bourland - Sgt of Marines.
Sgt Larry Bourland was also in the reserves 2 different times for a couple of years each time.
Sgt Larry Bourland's D.I. was a Sgt Bradley (spelling). Sgt Larry was born in 1935, he was 72, he passed on June 11, 2007 and was buried June 18, 2007.
I met Larry in a hospital; we were both in for a minor procedure. We found out that we were both Marines and that the guy that took care of both of us was a Corpsman. Larry and I talked for about 20-30 minutes about the Corps and other things. Larry was there was there with a friend, who brought him to the hospital, I got his phone number from her. I later called Larry and we decided to meet for lunch some time. I also called Larry a few times more to set something up. But, because of one thing or another we never did. I talked to Florence, his wife of 37 years and she gave me most of this information. She said she and Larry had adopted several children. They both had children from previous marriages and some of their own. Larry's son is currently in the Army, and when he found out that his father had passed he called the Marine Corps and they were represented at his funeral. Larry's wife said Larry had a grand funeral and that he really loved the Corps. She also the Corps gave him the proper gun salute and presented her with the FLAG. I only met Larry once and talked to him 2-3 times on the phone, but I thought more people should know about this MARINE.

Semper Fi
Once a Marine - Always a Marine
Bob Reiseck - Cpl of Marines 1960-1963

Sgt. Grit,
I just read the American Courage Newsletter and I wanted to respond to the letter sent in by former Marine and 60 something Robert Duke. I know how he feels and I don't think he has anything to be ashamed of. This also pertains to a letter sent in about a year ago by another Marine. I think his name was Dale Haines. It's about wanting to serve again. As a 42 yr. old former Marine (82-86), I have received support from my family and now my employer and I am joining the National Guard as an 11B (our 0311). To all Marines who are within the Army's new age limits, I wish I could reenlist in the Corps but, since I can't, I am going to do my part the best way I can. If you wish to do the same, all you have to do is pass the physical, PFT and maybe take the ASVAB again depending on how long you have been out. I have a very good paying job and a wife and 3 great kids, but I still feel compelled to do my duty as a citizen for this country whether it is in war or to rescue hurricane victims. There are no excuses for me not to do my best for America. All of the things that actually kept me from doing this when I first wanted to in 2000, a whole year before 9/11 are taken care of, so now it is time.
Brian Porter

"All of us denounce war - -
All of us consider it man's greatest stupidity.
And yet wars happen
And they involve the most passionate lovers of peace because there are still barbarians in the world who will set the price for peace at death or enslavement and the price is too high."
Ronald Reagan

Sgt. Grit,
I just want to take a minute to say "thank you" for what your site means to me. I was a P.I. Marine, 1973 - 1979, and went through boot camp with Plt. 363. I'll never forget SDI S/Sgt. Laursen, or ADI's Jim Hay and Paul Tammen, who are all heroes to me, to this very day. I'm relearning the fact that I am, and will forever be, a part of the greatest brotherhood that has ever existed. I am very proud of the fact that I'm a Marine, and I always will be.
Semper Fi
Ron Hall
Sgt. of Marines '73 - '79

Kind of interesting. Thought provoking.
Maybe a little over the top.

Terrorism Awareness

"[A] wise and frugal government... shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned."
Thomas Jefferson

Interesting rewrite of Gen. George Patton's speech.

"What we still don't understand is why you Americans stopped the bombing of Hanoi. You had us on the ropes. If you had pressed us a little harder, just for another day or two, we were ready to surrender! It was the same at the battles of TET. You defeated us! We knew it, and we thought you knew it. But we were elated to notice your media were definitely helping us. They were causing more disruption in America than we could in the battlefields. We were ready to surrender. You had won!"
- General Giap, North Vietnam (memoirs)

A sudden thought struck me with the quickness and force of the Chi-Com Grenade tearing thru my leg years ago in Vietnam.

Where has the time gone? So quickly Yesterday's, Today's and Tomorrow's have become one. And I have only succeeded in living my Today's and Tomorrow's in Yesterday.

My heart and soul was ripped from my body by those who told me that I had served my country for nothing! My friends had died in vain! And we had lost our countries first war!

This being told to me by my peers, the Media, our nation's leaders. And I believed them as I had been taught to do.

The sudden thought screams thru my brain. They were wrong! D*mmit. They were wrong!

The events of the past years have proven again and again that the price of Freedom must be paid for in the blood and lives of those willing to fight and die for it ,for there can be no other price great enough to merit as great a reward as Freedom.

Thank you God for sparing me so I can tell our children that Freedom and Liberty have been bought for them by Brave Americans willing to pay that price and make the ultimate sacrifice. Our Children are all our Yesterday's, Today's and Tomorrow's. There is no need for Freedom, if there is no one to enjoy it.

Barry (Doc) Stevens, Vietnam 1968

"I want to remind you that success in life is based on hard slogging. There will be periods when discouragement is great and upsetting, and the antidote for this is calmness and fortitude and a modest yet firm belief in your competence. Be sure that your priorities are in order so that you can proceed in a logical manner, and be ever mindful that nothing will take the place of persistence."
Walter Annenberg

"I support the troops, but not the war."

I tried this logic on my wife.

"I support you dear, but not marriage."

Fortunately we just bought a new couch.


In light of the of the talk about the Sand of Iwo Jima, I had the pleasure and HONOR of witnessing a truly awesome event. On July 14 a group of Marines got together to honor the memory of a Medal of Honor recipient from Iwo Jima (Pvt George Phillips). This date is Pvt Phillips birthday. I knew that a Medal of Honor recipient was buried in Labadie Mo., but I didn't know exactly where. I read in the local paper that the MCL was going to have a ceremony at the grave of Pvt Phillips so I decided to attend. I'm glad I did. Not only did I witness the time honor TRADITIONS of our Corps but I witness the Corps is the same no matter what generation you served. Most of the men assembled fought in WWII some on Iwo and others on the other Islands that are so embedded in Marine Corps History. At the grave site a small amount of sand from Iwo Jima is sprinkled over the grave of Pvt Phillips. As I watched this event take place I could not help but to be in AWE of the gentleman standing around me. Some whom fought with Pvt Phillips and others that fought in other campaigns of WWII and Korea.
After the ceremony was over I knew the Corps has not changed at all. When the grave site serve was over, the Rifle detail was returning to the parking lot. I heard one gentleman state "Move the Rifle around your head, not your Head around the rifle". I had to stop and laugh to myself as these Honored "Heroes" who established the Marine lore / traditions that my generation learned about: say and do the same things that we did when we I was on active duty in the 80's.
I know time changes some things, but the Marine Corps remain the same.

Philipp Petersen, Cpl '83-'88
MP Co HQ BN 1st MarDiv

PS When a Corpsman is killed in combat with Marines, is his / her escort the Navy or Marine Corps?

"...whatever the cost may be we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."
Winston Churchill

We are The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation of New Jersey. We will hold our annual golf tournament on October 11th, 2007 at Deal Country Club, Deal, NJ. To receive an invitation call 732-264-9275.

Chairman, Former Sgt. of Marines Peter J. Morley

...And Ooo-Rah!

"I just want to spend my whole live thanking God for being in America. That's all, just for being in America."
Ben Stein

Dear Sgt. Grit,
Yes, boys, I am a Marine Mom and d*mned proud of it. I have two of four sons in the Corps at this time. My oldest Marine just started his 11th year and leaves for Iraq in September. My youngest son just started in November of last year. Lordy, I thought having a son that was a fireman, and one a cop was going to give me all the gray (covered red) hair on my head, but these two Marines of mine are really contributing to the cause.

With my oldest Marine I missed so much, being in the middle of a divorce and still raising his younger brothers. I have always been very proud of him, and at different times was Mom to a whole bunch of Marines I'd never met, but until my youngest enlisted I'd never really knew.

Because of a very generous man and one of the loves of my life, I got to go to my youngest Marines graduation at MCRD in San Diego this past February for my birthday present. My future husband (a retired Air Force Major) went too and we stayed on base in officers quarters. I learned so much while there for 4 days. The "yellow footprints", Corps history, and to "stay off the commandants parade deck, and if anyone needed to smoke do so in designated areas and clean up your messes or our sons would.

Of course, the first sighting of my Marine at the beginning of his final run was overwhelming to say the least, but nothing compared to the young man that greeted me that day after receiving his globe, eagle and anchor pin. With the yes mam's, opening doors, offering me his arm and true concern he showed to me that day, I wondered what the Corps had done with my sometimes surly and irritating son. I was told by his buddies and his Senior Drill Instructor over the course of our stay and saw it for myself too. His Senior Drill Instructor was the first to welcome me as a Mother of the Corps, and thanked me for raising a good Marine. Graduation was fantastic, but I'll never forget that moment of recognition of what a truly wonderful man and Marine he had become.

I worry about all four of my sons more than anyone other than another mother can imagine, but I find comfort and friendship with the Corps as part of their family and mine. I love reading the stories in you newsletters and visit several other sights as well. My oldest son called not too long ago and I said to him "It's true isn't it once a Marine, always a Marine"? He replied (after 11yrs in the Corps), "Yes Mam, and once a Marine Mom, always a Marine Mom!"

I also wanted to thank you for your wonderful catalog and merchandise. For my oldest son we used to send him money and told him to buy what he needed or wanted. This was in part for lack of knowledge of places to get Marine merchandise. I recently ordered a Ka-bar from you for my youngest sons birthday, and had you engrave and ship it to him. I must tell you how thrilled he was when he received it. He said it meant the world to him that it came from his own "Mom of the Corps" I also have several shirts from you that I wear with pride, and I am always getting an "ooh rah" from old and new Marines no matter where I go.

Thank you for all you do and keep it up. I pray for my sons every night and I give thanks for all the Marines past and present for the jobs they do to keep us all safe and free here in the USA.

Sincerely, Linda Hutchison, Marine Corps Mom (currently on active duty).

"Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others."
Alexander Hamilton

Hey Sgt Grit.

Just got to tell everyone that the love of the Corps and America is not Dead.

My wife and I have a friend and for the past 3 years her son has been bombarding me with questions about the Marine Corps, what it stands for, customs we have and just general questions. It's made me rethink and relive my days in the Corps. Think about what I gave up when I got out after 11 years of service. He made me think about old buddies, good times and some bad but always remember able. I never thought much about it until yesterday. My wife came home from work and told me that he had just joined the Marine Corps. He turned 18 a few weeks ago. He never told me, his mother or anyone of his intentions. Today I talked to him and asked him why he joined. He said that after talking with lots of people, Army, Navy, some Air Force and lots of Marines, the Marines were the only real possible choice.

He wanted to be part of something bigger than himself. This young man has scholarships to several collages and chose to join the Corps. He said the phrase "Once a Marine, Always a Marine" was what really sold him. He said that he saw all the pride that former Marines display and didn't see that with of the others services and he had to be part of that. He also said that he didn't tell anyone because he wanted this to be his choice and didn't want anyone to influence him in anyway.

Semper fi!
Mike England SSGT, USMC
0369 / 74-85

Hey Sgt!
I've been receiving your letters since my boyfriend got out of basic training. When he came home from MCT his sister and him got tattoos. Ironically enough, Saddam Hussein was hung that night!

Tattoo Anyways this past Monday, after coming home from Twenty- nine Palms, Ca, he flew to Okinawa where he'll be stationed for two years. Both our families and I support him very much. After he's out of the service and I'm done with schooling we plan to get married. Wish us luck! By the way, I love your store and I'll probably still be buying from you guys long after he gets out.

A very Proud Girl, Chelsea

"National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman."
John Adams

Hi Sarge;

I love your newsletter! It is so great to hear about the experiences of my Brother Marines. I would like to use your forum to ask a favor. I am contemplating writing a book about the Montford Port Marines and would like to hear from any who served at this camp in any capacity. Please email RevGeneHill@aol.com. Thank you and Semper Fi to all who served and all those who love Marines.

Gene Hill
Cpl. of Marines
1957 - 1961

Hi Sarge!

I was reading your AmericanCourage #153 which was sent to me via a friend. I noticed in the first page that a RC Bailey, JR was asking about a noon day prayer. I wanted to share what I found. Maybe you can get it to him.

Meal Graces

Morning Grace

Gracious giver of all good. Thee we thank for rest and food. Grant that all we do or say, in thy service be, this day

Noon Day Grace

Father, for this noonday meal we would speak the praise we feel. Health and strength we have from thee; help us, Lord to faithful be.

Evening Grace

Tireless guardian on our way, thou hast kept us well this day. While we thank Thee, we request Care continued, pardon, rest.

Priscilla R. Baalhorn

"In political life today, you are considered compassionate if you demand that government impose your preferences on others."
John Stossel

Lest we forget...General Washington, at no time commanded more than 17,000 men. No more Americans, fought for our liberty and established our nation than attend a major sporting event today. July 1-3, 1863, more Americans died at the battle of Gettysburg, than in the entire Vietnam War. General Pickett's entire Division lost on day three.
June 6, 1944, 6000 Americans gave the supreme sacrifice at Normandy.
For the Battle of Tinian in WWII, 2875 Marines, 1824 soldiers and 50 sailors names now are on granite markers. Military geniuses predicted a three day battle, an "easy time," on Iwo Jima. Some of the nicest boys America would ever produce slogged on for thirty six days in what would be the worst battle in the history of the US Marine Corps.
In Korea (conflict?) we lost 62,000 + counting MIA's. In Vietnam, we lost 58,209 of our country's finest.
We have lost over 3500 of the youth and pride of our nation in IRAQ.
For each of us that started our journey at Parris Island or San Diego, and earned the title of United States Marines, let us never forget the sacrifice of our brother Marines in battles, whether they served with John Paul Jones, served at our side, or serve our Corps today. Let us have the greatest respect for any American that has or will ever raise their hand to protect our nation, against all enemies, foreign and domestic, to include law enforcement, firemen and others that are our front line defense against all that wish to end our existence.
It takes a special kind of person to be one of us. Even today, at 60, I would take up arms if I could, as would most of the old Corps that fills this newsletter. Our bodies are not in shape, but our minds and our hearts have never lost the resolve. I never understood or believed in the war in Vietnam, but I never dishonored myself, my Corps or my Country. Semper Fidelis.
Potter, a Marine in Utter's Bn 2/7
RVN 65-66 69-70 73

"The firm basis of government is justice, not pity."
Woodrow Wilson

Today is the 62nd anniversary of the dropping of the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Thursday, April 9th will be the anniversary of the Nagasaki bomb. Each year, I am reminded of what President Harry Truman said when a reporter asked him if he had any second thoughts about his decision to drop the A-bombs on Japan. Harry replied, "I'm still waiting for the S.O.B. to apologize for Pearl Harbor."

Sgt. Grit,

Some short, unrelated comments:

A quotation--
In your 1 August newsletter, I read a quote attributed to a Philippine general: "It is better to die standing on your feet, like a Man Than on your knees in disgrace". That sounds very much like "Prefiero morir de pie que vivir siempre arrodillado!," which closely translated is: "I prefer to die standing than to live forever on my knees," but which has been more widely quoted as "[Men of the South,] it is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata (one of the leaders of the Mexican Revolution of 1910)

A "VIP"--
On our first day as PLC's (Platoon Leaders Class officer candidates) at Camp Upshur aboard MCB Quantico in July 1963, our platoon sergeant asked if anyone was related to a VIP. One young man raised hand.
SSgt Sevene asked him who the VIP was.
"My father is a Marine master sergeant, Sir!" came the proud reply.

A special father/son moment--
When my son flew home on leave after boot camp at MCRD San Diego, he phoned and told his mother when his flight was scheduled to arrive at the local airport. On our drive over to pick him up, my wife told me, "Sean wants you to wait for us outside, if you don't mind. I'll go in alone."
A little confused, I did as requested.
As they exited the terminal building Sean, in his dress blues, put on his cover, stopped in front of me, snapped to attention, and rendered a sharp salute.
I wanted a big hug; the salute was "icing on the cake".

Semper Fi!
Tom Downey
Once a captain, USMCR; always a Marine 1963-'76 (Vietnam 66-67, including 6 months as I Btry. 3/11's FO for L Co. 3/7)

"Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash."
Gen. George S. Patton

This link below is a pretty neat troop support program I thought you might want to know about. Pretty neat way for your company to support the troops if you so desire.

Troop Support Program

Maj Salkeld

To JJ Haight, (Dance judge wearing LCpl chevrons)

I would have called or emailed anyway. They need to hear from us. If they don't like it....F#**-them! (Note to Sgt, Grit, edit that anyway you need to)

You were right, they were wrong. Clear and simple. You don't need to be over the top about it, but you have YOUR 1st Amendment Rights too! You are well within your right to express your displeasure at what they do.

Remember they are in the entertainment business. Making me mad is not entertaining me, and I can write lots of letters.

Semper Fi,

Angelo Lema Jr.
MSgt, USMCR, ret

"It is not the function of the government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."
Justice Robert H. Jackson

My Dad Put The FI In Semper Fi Bumper Sticker
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Marine Wife Colored Coin
Marine Wife Colored Coin

God Bless America!
Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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