36 years ago! Remember that year as if it was yesterday. A friend of my brother who was a Marine in Korea told me that I would never make it at Parris Island. Two weeks later I was on my way, long hair and a bad attitude.

Remember the forever trip on the bus from Charlestown Airport to PARRIS ISLAND and going through the gate's thinking what did I do! Then pulling up to the foot prints and having the night mare of my life telling me if I was smoking put it out and if I was chewing swallow it. Then meeting 3 of the most ever nightmares of my life, a senior who just recently came from VC land, and the other 2 who were a bit jealous of him. These 3 men were the beginning of my 13 weeks of h&ll, but the molding of a bright future. They prepared me for my future life. 3 tours in combat, and a great life in the Corps. I always did and always will live my life, by the guidance they showed me. Sgt. Simmion's, Sgt. Hood, and Sgt. Moon. Where ever you are, I will never forget you!
MSGT Boynes USMC Retired

Sgt Grit Newsletter VS AmericanCourage Newsletter:
What's the difference?

In short...the Sgt Grit Newsletter is HARD CORPS Marine! If you 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)

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.

Would you like to know more about the 2 newsletters?

Chaplains Corner

The Black Angel
by Bob Boardman

Do not remain neglectful of hospitality to strangers, for by it some have entertained angels without knowing it. - Hebrews 13.2

He spotted me on the crowded ward of the hospital ship, USS Solace. This black man, clad in his clean, blue Navy dungarees, appeared to be a member of the ship's crew. He made his way through the crowded bunks of wounded Marines and sailors, came up to me with an engaging smile, stuck out his hand and said: "My name's so and so - good to meet you. What's your name and where are you from?"

My right hand was bandaged so I gave him my left. I tried to tell him my name, but no sound came out, not even a light whisper. Every day I tried to make a sound, form a word, but nothing came forth-only the air from labored breathing through the tracheotomy tube inserted into my throat on the battlefield.....
Read More

Khe Sanh University

I was with 1/26 in Khe Sanh in 1967 so when I saw the shirt in your catalog for University of Khe Sanh Athletics I had to order one. One day when I was wearing it some lady in her thirties came up to me and stated that she had never heard of that university. Where is it. I told her that it was in the far far east and was popular in the late 1960s and maybe she was too young to have heard about it. Maybe it was not in her history books when she was in school. With that a guy comes up and said I was in school in the 60s but I never heard of that university either. I told him the same thing I told her and they both walked away totally confused. Guess you had to have been there to understand it.

Ike Jacket

I was in the 4th Bn Plt 27, Jan-Apr-1956. We did live in Quonset Huts.
My DI's were TSgt Phillips, and Cpl F. Maynard. We did have a third DI for a short time, but I can't remember his name, he was the one who like to thump us . Not one recruit ever turned him in. I also remember running into then MSgt Maynard at Beaufort Naval Hospital 1961 or 1962. Not much Pt then, but a lot of Squad Drill. In those days we were issued, the Ike Jacket, Tropical and Khaki uniforms. Those were the days we wore our gold Marine Corps emblems on our shirt collar. For the old timers remember standing on our foot lockers when we put on our khakis for inspection( so we would not get them wrinkled), we stood stiff legged. Our Drill Instructors wearing the 45 Cal Pistols Holders (to carry there cigarettes in.) And the good old swagger stick.

MSgt Bill Dugan Retired

Marine Mom's and Spouses

Mother's Day is May 13th

Marine Spouse Bear

Marine Mom's - you hold a special place in our hearts! Get this design on a t-shirt or long-sleeved t-shirt in time for Mother's Day and show your mom you appreciate her dedication! Available to order only until April 8th!

Military Spouse Day is May 11th!

Marine Spouse Bear

Get your spouse this bulldog keepsake that's dipped in a scented french vanilla wax - a constant reminder of your Marine! Only available to order only until April 8th!

Put The Trash Out

For almost 28 years of my marriage, I have always muttered words and phrases that I learned in the Corps. My Drill instructor, SSGT Floyd Lackey always said: "its hotter than a fresh F#@#@d fox in a forest fire". I have repeated it for all these years. and of course, SSGT Irvin Crain would say: "That's tight b!tch". I unfortunately remember that and often use it too. I remember my service number and when we walk, I sometimes call cadence. This is leading up to a few weeks ago.

I said something, and my demure wife, normally a kind and thoughtful woman lashed out:

"How come you can remember that Stuff and you can't remember that Wednesday is the F'n day to put the trash out!"

SSgt DJ Huntsinger

Fouled Anchor

To. Lt. Col. Name withheld USMC (Ret.) pages 18 and 19 of NEWS Letter dated 3/8/07. Not sure what you mean by "Eagle, Globe and Anchor (and for Officers a rope is included)". If you mean a Fouled Anchor, for Marines of your era you are incorrect. I graduated from Parris Island in 1954 and was indeed issued emblems without a fouled anchor. I have no idea if Officer's emblems had a fouled anchor or not because in those days the CORPS was run by SNCOs and NCOs. If you saw an officer you were in trouble and not interested in their emblems. The first set of emblems I purchased, the anchors were fouled. I was commissioned in 1966 and wore the same emblems on my service uniforms as I did as an SNCO. Emblems for dress blues are all Gold (Brass) and officers are gold and silver. Also, Officer's collar emblems are a little bigger. By the way, I still have my original emblems.

Semper Fi
Lee A. Boise, USMC 54-84
PLT 420 Parris Island 1954
7th WOSC Quantico 1966

Whose Bayonet

Sgt. Grit:

On the question of whether the punching of recruits was tolerated in boot camp, perhaps this event I witnessed in Parris Island will put the controversy in perspective. It should be noted this took place in the summer of 1956, only a few months after McKeon's tragic nighttime march in the swamps.

Our platoon -- 221 -- was on field exercises at Elliots Beach. We were stripped to our t-shirts and clearing the area to set up tents when one of our DIs spotted a bayonet someone had stuck into a tree.

"Whose bayonet is this?!" he growled, withdrawing it from the tree.

"Sir! Mine, sir!" barked the offender, immediately snapping to attention.

Our DI walked up to him. As he explained the proper care and disposition of the bayonet, he began poking the recruit in the abdomen with the business end of the blade. While numerous stunned recruits looked on, our sergeant jabbed him a half-dozen times. Small red splotches stained the boot's shirt.

I'm quite certain the recruit would rather have been punched.

Anyway, no official report was ever filed. And no recruit in Platoon 221 ever again planted his bayonet in a tree.

Joseph Piper
Cpl., USMC

Have Been Noticed

I read from time to time the name Lew Diamond, he made the first of many impressions on me as a grunt in Dec, of 1944, he was one of the first people at PI that got me moving, he sat on a 3legged stool at the end of the showers when we had left our clothes behind and were headed for our fatigues, the wet towel that hit the slow movers made its mark, our DI told us we were honored to have been noticed by him, a great memory.

My boot camp was not a big problem except for the time my girlfriend sent me the cookies, I was called to the DI Quonset and the feeling of relaxation came over me, one of the DI's said the cookies were great and that my girl could make some for him after I left for California, my comment will live in my memory forever, I said, "in your dreams". My trip back to the Quonset was fast...

On my last day at boot camp my DI Sgt. Boone asked me, 'when you get off the greyhound bus in Esterville Iowa step into the jewelry store and tell my mother I am ok'. I had never forgotten that man. I did stop and see his mom and dad, great people...

After the pacific and duty in china I moved to the same town as Sgt, Boone, he was the first person I gave the good news of our first sons birth, also we shared a great many evenings at the roadhouses in the area, after I moved to California I never missed a chance to stop and say hello to him when I got back there.

He passed away at an early age but his memory lives on, also that of GySgt diamond, they made Marines out of farm boys and memories we will never forget,

Semper fi from an Old WW2 China Marine
Rusty Hoeck

Marine Corps Posters and Prints 20% off

Poster and Print Special

Dick Cramer prints - Recruiting posters - Chesty Puller Posters - and a few Historical Photos on sale this week....Check them out

I Said OK

When I was in Parris Island, May 1966, I took all the test I was given. One day I was called into the Sgt. office and advised I had scored enough to be offered a chance to go to Officer Candidate School. With 5 years of college it looked like a good idea. I asked what all it required and when I was told I would have to do an extra year. I was not sure if I wanted to go for another year, so I turned him down.
Yeas later, with much regret for not going, I tell people that I said OK. When I took another physical I was advised that my rectum has slight flat spot on the right side. I had to be a perfect *ss to be an officer in the Marine Corps.

Sgt. John Halpin

Grab My Rifle

I am a disabled Marine Viet Vet and d*mn proud of it... That is what is wrong now with all services even the Corps. Not enough discipline... everyone thinks if someone has it hard they will not learn. My friend was in TET of 68 I remember he sent me a tape one night and all h&ll broke loose so you would have thought that would have scared me off from the Corps I mean I heard it all the screaming the battle the whole nine yards. But when he came home in late 69 where did I go at just 17 the Corps. I have had stuff done to me that only someone that has been through it can know for sure. but when I landed in the Nam and we got rockets and incoming the very I mean the very first thing I grab was my rifle. All those times I wondered why when you dropped your rifle you slept with it or took it to the can well I can tell you now I know why all that was necessary. I can tell you now all the tech. in the world can not make you feel what combat is all about until it happens every emotion in the world runs thru your mind at that time but the bottom line when you see your friend you spent the last six months or year with all of sudden gone or pieces all over you. It all makes sense then. The Corps is still the best training we have and if these idiots do not figure it out soon we will see more body bags come home.
Sincerely always Semper Fi
Sgt Gary Trawick
Little Rock Arkansas
Arty Vet 70 to 71

A Smokey Rolling

Sgt. Grit,

During my stay at Parris Island (Plt. 202, Jan-Apr 1974) I committed one of the most serious f*ck-ups a recruit could do. During one of my many trips to the 'quarterdeck', doing additional physical training for something I did or didn't do, I was 'instructed' to do 'Side-straddle hops', forever. While doing the 'hops' I felt my left hand hit something. I continued on and then noticed a 'Smokey' rolling along the deck. I had hit my Drill Instructor's cover and had sent it flying.

The next thing I know, I'm flying through the air, making full contact with the scales located along the bulkhead of the quarterdeck. Then, the Drill Instructor, Sgt. Gladden, proceeded to 'educate' me with 'instructions' to my chin, chest and belly. It was a rapid fire 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3...chin- chest- belly, chin-chest-belly and so on. I really don't remember how long this lasted or how many 'instructions' I received from him, but, believe me, I WAS taking notes.

About a week or so before we graduated, the platoon was taken into a 'classroom' and told by some officers to fill out a form given to us asking if any of the recruits had ever been hit or beaten by any of the platoon's Drill Instructors. With absolutely no hesitation I answered NO to all questions asking of physical abuse. And, even though some of my fellow recruits received similar 'instructions', the entire platoon answered the same. I considered it part of the 'toughening up' process.

I heard the Sgt. Gladden retired as a Sgt Major some years ago as did my Senior Drill Instructor, SSgt Mikesell. We were blessed with five Drill Instructors for most of our training. Along with Sgt. Gladden and SSgt Mikesell, there was Sgt. Hurley, Sgt. Peterson and Sgt. Cedeno. We didn't get away with much and I feel that we received the best training possible.

My thanks and appreciation to these fine Marines for their training and inspiration. But, to then Pvt. D. Hufstetler, all I can add is, d*mmit, every time you said something to me, or even looked in my general direction, I ended up on the 'quarterdeck' for additional instruction!

Semper Fidelis,

Tony Glass


Here's an old story I remember from years back, that some may have already heard:

An old Gunny was getting ready to finally retire from the Corps after about 30 years and many, many worn out seabags. He had this parrot that he picked up years ago in Subic--received in trade for a carton of American cigarettes. The Gunny and the parrot had been on many billets together. But finally it came time to retire. So the Gunny told the parrot,

"Look, we ain't gotta get out of the rack at Oh-dark-thirty anymore. No more falling out on the Parade Deck. No more reveille. No more tossed trash cans down the aisle of the squad bay. No more Daily Seven to loosen up. No more 5-mile run right after chow so we can puke up our scrambled eggs. And no more swabbing the squad bay decks. We're just gonna get us a little farm, get out of the rack when we feel like, sit out on the porch and sip coffee and take it easy while watching the chickens and the corn growing."

So the very first day of their retirement, sure enough, at 0430 the parrot starts screaming at the still sleeping Gunny.

"Get up! Get up! Get the f--- up! Drop your c---s and grab your socks! Get up!

The Gunny then has to explain again to his d*mn parrot that they ain't gotta do that crap anymore. They ain't gotta get out of the rack no more at Oh-dark-thirty. No more screaming and calisthenics and falling out on the Grinder. No more polishing the brass.

But, sure enough again, every morning for the next week, it was the same d--n thing coming out of that parrot.

"Get up! Get up! Get the f--- out of the rack!"

Finally the Gunny told the parrot that if it was gonna keep doing that crap and waking him up in the dark, he was gonna toss the parrot's green-feathered *ss out into the chicken coop and the parrot could go live with the chickens.

Next morning, same thing.... so the Gunny opens the window in anger and tosses his green-feathered friend out into the chicken coop and the mud. "Go live with the g---dam chickens, you feathered b*stard!"

Next morning... Oh-five-hundred... a tremendous raucous noise wakes up the Gunny... coming from the chicken coop. The Gunny gets up and peers out the bedroom window to see what the h--- is going on. What he sees is all the tan colored chickens lined up in formation and standing at rigid attention... while the white ones are scattered about in the mud and all bloodied and messed up.

Then there's the Green B*stard... strutting in front of them with his chest hung out, shoulders braced and yelling out,

"G--d*mmit! You maggots! When I say fall out in khakis, I mean fall out in khakis!

John Santo
Seattle, WA

I Don't Think So

My Trusty M1 - There are many like it....

I read with great interest Marine marksman stories. I have a funny one to tell today (March 15, 2007)

(I never ever thought, while at PI that I would train my son to target shoot with an M1)

I was taught to shoot the M1 and the M14. I never fired a rifle before that time and to my surprise I actually liked it. My son loves Marine stories and asked me to help him pick out a rifle for him three summers ago. As we were looking at the assortment of rifles he picked up an M1 and said "Dad, you fired one like this when you were in the Marines, right?" I said "you bet". To shorted this story we purchased the old M1 (Korean War Vintage) and a week or so later I field stripped it and cleaned it up. Off to the range we went (100 yd). I did not give him any shooting instructions (except range safety) as I wanted to see how well he would do on his first round.

Round one "Maggie's draws" round two Maggie's draws and a ground ricochet about 5 yds from the target!

Dad he said I can't hit the target, what's wrong with this (&*^%$) rifle? I said are you sure it's the rifle?

He replied the iron sights are off. I want to take it the gun smith for tune up.

I said before you do let me give it a try. He said ok but use the sand bags as a gun rest. I said I don't think so!

I'll shoot off hand and use the canvas sling and adjust for E and W starting at zero. He said how long has it been since you fired a M1 (lhao)? I told him it's been a while, but you never forget. He said in a rather high pitched voice "NO WAY- NO HOW you will ever hit that target with bad sights.

As I prepared to take aim I notice a small crowd of shooters gathering and snickering. Without giving it much thought I assumed the position, aimed and fired. My son headed for the scope and was still laughing.

He said that was just dumb luck you hit the bull dead center after all this time! I said well maybe you're right, I'll try it again. The max load allowed at this range is three rounds slow fire. I loaded the clip with three and again assumed the position and squeezed off three rounds. Again my son went to the scope. Only this time he shouted "you have to teach me how to shoot this thing, Dad"! An onlooker also scoped the target and said

"This guy has gotta be a Marine!" That day I stood tall.

After many trips to the range my son knows how a Marine takes aim. He shoots like a Marine.

My little secret from my son - I removed and cleaned the rear sights and bore sighted the old M1 with one on those new fangled laser beams. I also "snapped in" for a few after I reassembled the old M1.

Oh and for you old timers - I did use linseed oil on the stock after cleaning years of grim off.

Semper Fi
Tom, Cpl
PI plt 302 1959-1963
3rd Mar Div - 2nd Mar Div
Marine barracks NAD

I Can't Get Past

Sgt. Grit:
To this day, some 37 years after I retired, I still feel uncomfortable (just short of embarrassment), about my service.

I initially joined the local USMCR unit, "C" Company, 14th Infantry Battalion, Nashville, TN, on 30 March 1949, promoted to PFC in September, 1949; then activated in August, 1950, when Korea blew up. The Company was sent to Camp Pendleton later in August, and while there in staging one day, an old WWII TechSgt (Jesse), asked if anyone knew how to type. Having just graduated from high school 2 months earlier, I held up my hand (HA!). So, I stayed at Pendleton until October, while the rest of the Company shipped out to Korea; many being killed. NOW, I am really feeling good (miserable) about being a "typist".

I was transferred to Marine Barracks, USNS, San Diego, later in October and then transferred to MCRDep, in April, 1951, for Boot Camp; finished recruit training in June 1951, spent one day at Sea School, then transferred back to the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, to work in the office; promoted to Cpl (E3) within one month of completing recruit training.

The senior DI was Sgt. John Medas, along with Cpl William Ockert, and a PFC Bipes. The DIs used pith helmets to get across "their" point of view, when correcting the platoon. After a while, the hard pith helmet becomes quite soft.

Anyway, October 1953, across the Bay to the Naval Amphibious Base, at Coronado, then February 1956, back to Pendleton and then on the Okinawa, with HqBn, 3rdMarDiv. From Okinawa, right back to MCRDep, San Diego for 2 years; then 3 years with I-I Staff, 35th Rifle Company, Santa Rosa, CA.

Next, down to Santa Ana with Marine Air Control Squadron 4 for a year, and then to MCAS, Iwakuni. Then to MCAS, Yuma, AZ, until March, 1967, and finally to HQMC, until I retired as a GySgt, in 1970.

The ONLY thing I have to show for my service is the Good Conduct Medal with a Silver Star (6 awards), and the National Defense Medal with a bronze star. I keep telling myself that HQMC knew where I was all along, and they should have sent me to combat, at least one time, but I can't get past the fact I never had a "bullet" fired at me in anger.

SEMPER FI, and all that "good" stuff
James R. McMahon
GySgt of Marines (1949-1970)
Hendersonville, TN

Trade A Prisoner

"Platoon 149 Prisoner " Dear Sgt. Grit ,while in boot camp at Parris Island in 1961 we always lined up and folded our soft covers in our back pockets before going into the chow hall. Of coarse you had to be outside and lined up before your drill instructor came out. He would say "ready covers" and all the recruits would reach back and then the drill instructor would say "hats" then everyone would put their covers on all at once. Well you guessed it, mine was gone. Lost on the ground or mess hall. After getting real chewed out, the senior drill instructor made me put my hands on top my head, even when we ran, marched or went outside for anything. Every time another platoon came by, my drill instructor would stop their platoon and ask if they would like to trade a prisoner. This went on for over a week until one day I finally got a new cover. Believe me I never lost the new one. I loved the pain of boot camp and this is only one story of many. Semper Fi - L/Cpl Roy G. Domster 61-65

Thank Him

Sgt. Grit- Airborne all the way !

I was a member of 3rd Bat. Parris Island 90. This was pre-game for the mother of all wars - Turned out to be 104 hours long. Looking back we were the first Platoons to be trained in preparation for war since the last war -Vietnam. I read stories about being hit, beaten, hazed, humiliated, and treated like dog turds. I remember it all - IT all happen, the first time I was ever KO'd in my life came at the hands of our heavy.

And I thank him for it to this day. Everyone in life needs to understand that his actions can and will result in a direct re- action. Today I work in the information security field for the US Government.

I hold myself higher then everyone else that I work with, I'm on time, I complete the mission no matter what the cost or time which is direct result of my training . The Marine Corps for me - was a training ground for the future. If a young man or woman can excel in the Corps they are destined for greatness if they should ever leave. I thank the men who made me - I tell the tales of Boot Camp as if it was the winning touch down in the home coming game, or crossing the line first at the Olympic games. This is a part our lives, and if you look back and say I cant believe they did this or that, you have never walked a mile in their shoes. I feel bad for the people who will miss out on real life training like in PI. It has made men , and it has always made men better.

Semper FI
Sgt Erik Miller

A Birthday Tale

Marine Birthday Marine Birthday Marines out there should see these WWII Marines - especially the Iwo Jima survivors. See what you can organize this year!

Burst All Over His

My name is Lee Spence and I served from July 1967 until July 1976 in the best branch of the armed forces, the United States Marine Corps. I quit high school in the 11th grade to join the Corps and become a man. It was the best thing I could have ever done in my life and I credit that decision for all the good things I have been blessed with and also the self satisfaction of doing something for this great country of ours.

Being 17 and really not mentally prepared for what was awaiting in Parris Island was a real eye opener the night I arrived in Parris Island, South Carolina. I remember well being a short 5' 5" young man with a serious acne condition on my face. We were standing in front of those long tables emptying out everything we had on us, when a SSgt Thomas who was to become my Senior Drill Instructor was standing in front of me asking what was that ugly growth on the tip of my nose. Of course is was a serious pimple that was on the verge of bursting with a little pressure. He told me to have it gone by the time he walked down the length of the tables and returned or I was going to be in hot water. Scared and not knowing what to do, I just remained standing at attention until he returned. When in front of me, he grabbed my nose and the pimple burst all over his sharply pressed blouse. Well, you can imagine, he had my name and was going to remember it until I left PI. I became his house mouse and had my share of personal house visits with him and many other discipline ordeals that will never leave my mind. However, at that time Marines were being trained and processed in a short period of time so they could go over to the battle in Viet Nam. I did well on the Rifle Range not ever having shot a rifle before in my life. I had no bad habits to break and only knew what I was told. I shot high shooter. But today I still credit the valuable lessons learned in boot camp as to making me a more disciplined and better man. I served two tours in Viet Nam with the 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment. My first few days in Viet Nam I was sent to join my outfit in the Tet Offense that was going on in Phu Bai (sp?} We almost got over-run several time by NVA trying to get to our howitzers, but we always seemed to be able to take care of them before too may of us was taken care of by them. My fallen Marines and those wounded always will be on my mind forever. Eventually the Marine Corps taught me the value of an education and I earned not only my GED while in the Corps but also attended Kubasaki High School in Okinawa prior to being discharged to receive a regular high school diploma. I got out after nine years and received a AA Degree and later a BA. I worked for the Boy Scouts of America since graduating from college. I have told many young men and parents how much serving in the Corps did for my becoming a man. Some I have influenced and others just gave it a thought. I also served in the Marine Corps as a Scoutmaster for Scouting and that is what lead me to becoming a full time Professional Scouter with the BSA. Some of the young men who were my scouts and several who are Eagle Scouts, served in the Marine Corps or are still serving. One is a Colonel stationed at Camp Lejeune and will be retiring after serving 29 years this coming spring 2007. I have received letters from many of these fine young men thanking me for helping them to become better persons in their lives. This was the real payback for working with kids. My wife's Father, MGYSGT Vance served almost 30 years in the Corps when he died of a heart attach just months prior to his retirement of 30 years on Memorial Day in 1975. So I married into a Marine Corps family besides my relationship with the Corps. Now I am not doing too well. The agent orange I was exposed to in Viet Nam has caught up with me. I am not working anymore and at the age of 58 I suffer from Diabetes, Neuropathy, Skin Cancer and Parkinson's Disease and now PTSD due to the situation and media of the Iraqi War bringing back some bad memories. (The Parkinson's is still not recognized by the VA as a result of Agent Orange, but I am sure it will hopefully sooner then later). I have NO REGRETS for what I have because of serving in Viet Nam with Marine Corps. It is something we did not know about until it was too late and that is the price of war. Fortunately, the VA is helping me and also many other Viet Vets who live in my area to get the benefits I earned. If there are any others who may recognize my name or served in 2/11 that may want to make contact, I would welcome hearing from them or their next of kin. I am an active advocate of the Marine Corps and display proudly the EGA on clothing, bumper stickers, decals and other stuff I have purchased from Sgt Grit. Almost every day I get a thank you from folks who express their thanks for what we did in Viet Nam. It is a nice thing to hear it finally since when we came home back in those days we were greeted by protesters and other means of harassment.

There were no yellow ribbons on the trees or parades when we came back. To close I want to tell one last brief story. Last week I was in the parking lot at a grocery store getting ready to depart. A knock came on my window and it was a young man about 30+ years old. He said that he noticed the stickers on my vehicle stating I was a Marine and Viet Vet.

He said his Dad was one of those guys back then that went to Canada to not serve in Viet Nam. He said his Dad has never been able to deal with that and has to this day regretted that decision but cannot find it in himself to get help. The young man said, Thank you sir for not only me, but for my Dad and what you did over there. I got emotionally upset and told the man to tell his Dad that he had a good son and that he needs to find peace and put this behind him. It is because of what we did that folks like his Dad were able to express themselves and live in this free country. He cried and said goodbye and thanked me for those words. I got pretty emotionally upset but at the same time it gave me some peace of mind and forgiveness the ones who greeted us in returning.

Semper Fi to all Marines Everywhere,
Lee in Simpsonville, SC

USMC Motor Transport Association Reunion

USMC Motor Transport Association 11th reunion in Baltimore, Maryland September 16-19, 2007.
POC: Terry Hightower, email: usmcmta@charterinternet.com; Phone: (910) 450-1841.
For Membership info:
POC: William Lee, email publicrelations@usmcmta.org

Semper Be Fidelis and Keep on trucking
William Lee PR/RCTNG

Sling Across Their Bodies

Sgt. Grit:

I'm an inactive Viet Nam era Marine vet over here in Iraq with my Marine brothers and sisters and below and attached are some pictures of just how bad it is over here. I've been here for two years now (Baghdad area) and I just wish I could be in the fight with my Marines. From my observation the Marines are the only ones in the fight over here. If you could only see the Army over here - it's like a club med or something and most never step outside the wire and yet we have 150,000 plus over here and adding to it.

I love interacting with my Marines when I see them and I always give them a good ole Semper Fi and tell them to keep up the tradition. You can see how proud all of them are. Something about the Marines, they just stand taller, walk straighter and are always first to fight and proud of it. It's amazing how many people come up to me and say the same ole thing "oh how I wish I would have gone into the Marine Corps", easier said than done of course and most of these people we wouldn't take anyway - they're just not squared away. One other thing I notice out here in all the camps I've been in during the last two years that really stands out, when we go to the DFAC for chow and if you ever see a Marine you will never see him lay his weapon on floor - Never. You should see these Army guys - weapons laying all over the floor and clanging as they hit the ground - just gets you sick and the officers are just as bad as the enlisted - maybe worse since they should be setting an example. The Marines keep there weapons in the sling across their bodies - ALWAYS AT THE READY! Just makes you want to join up again and I'm 60 years old and I still get goose bumps because of how gung ho I am. The will continue to make us proud.

I am a Viet Nam vet cover 1963 (Feb) to 1969 with Nam 65 - 66 as a 0341 - 81's - god I love it. Semper Fi to all my brother and sister Marines everywhere.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Out The Bus Window

Sgt. Grit!
June 9, 1970, my life was turned around as I entered Parris Island, M.C.R.D. & has never been the same since! Yes, the DI's were very tough, but, they had a job to do which was to turn a bunch of "Hippies" into Marines! Not an easy task to say the least. Yes, we got hit occasionally, myself, a few times! I was petrified from the time I jumped out the bus window & hit those Yellow foot prints til the time I graduated 13 very long weeks later!
At the same time, I was never more proud of anything as I was to "EARN" the title of "Marine" ! I thought I was never going to make it, but 3 DI's made sure that I did, one way or another. When I wear my medals, people always say, Wow, you were in the Marines? And I proudly say, "Yes Mam/Sir! Like I tell them, it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog! I say that considering I am 5' 10" & weigh a staggering 160 lbs! They tell me they thought all Marines were like 6' or more & weighed 250 lbs!
Oh well, live & learn........
Semper Fi
L/Cpl Weddel USMC 70-72
God Bless the Corps!
Thanks for being there Sgt. Grit!


Sgt Grit,

I am a Cpl serving over seas. I was just informed that tattoos are no longer welcome in the Corps. I was just writing you to see if you could put this in your news letter to see how many people agree with this. I always thought that tattoos were a tradition to the Corps, I said this around my CO and he said I was just using that so people wouldn't say anything about my tats. They also told us that it would destroy our promotion status, which means that a lot of good Marines are going to get kicked out cause we live up to the vision that most people have of a Marine. We work hard and play hard. There are many things that Marines are proud of but I would have to say that the ones of us that have the EGA tattoo, are proud to carry it to our grave. So if you don't mind I would like to see how many people agree that tattoos shouldn't be allowed in the Marine Corps.

*Send your opinion to info@grunt.com

See our large collection of Marine Corps tattoo pictures.

Featured Desert

Sgt. Grit,

We had a really nice opportunity to make a nice thing happen last week when we went to dinner.

Friday evening to be correct, my wife and I went to one of our favorite local restaurants for dinner. About half way into the meal my wife says, looking over my shoulder, why would someone wear their "Dress Blues" to dinner? I said is there a Marine behind us in the booth, and she said yes. I said he's probably on a hot date and wanted to impress his girl. Glancing over I thought it might be a Marine just returned from deployment with his family but a closer look told me that it was two Marines with a couple of lovely young ladies on a date. As we finished our meal, our waitress came over with the desert menu asking if we wanted any? I said, what was the featured desert that was displayed on the menu when we first ordered? And she pointed it out.

I said we would like that desert but deliver it to the table with the Marines and their ladies (we asked for two orders since there were more people than we first thought). She was somewhat taken aback and I told her to just deliver it and tell them Semper Fi. She couldn't get over it--that some one would do that. I mentioned to her that Marines take care of their own and if these guys were good enough to put their butts on the line for us, the least we could do would be to buy them desert.

I had planned to just leave but the waitress pointed us out to them and they caught up to us before we could get to the door and said thanks. They were from Camp Pendleton, 1st Battalion 11th Marines. My wife and I met when I was on active duty at Camp Pendleton and she fondly remembered when she was one of those lovely young ladies impressed with a Marine in dress blues. As we were leaving the Manager came over and thanked us also and volunteered that he was a Korean War Marine vet.

Any way it caused more of a stir in the restaurant than I wanted but it was worth it to be able to show our appreciation.

And a few civilians, though somewhat confused by what was happening, now know that Marines take care of their own. Maybe someone else will be inspired to step up and say thanks by that example. And at least two Marines know they have our support.

Semper Fi
LCpl. William G. Fortune, 1874161

Can't Expect Anything Else

Just a short note to say how proud I was to be part of the contingent coming out of the Marine Corps League on Staten Island going to Washington 17 March to stand guard over The Wall. It was my extreme honor to stand side by side with a WWII Marine for six hours and to say he did not waiver for one minute. He asked nothing during that time and refused an offer of a seat despite the fact he was far from in the best of health. Of course it goes without saying that you can't expect anything else from a Marine.

Semper Fi
Dennis McKeon
Staten Island NY

Never Give Up

Sgt. Grit and all other fellow Marines and family members,

My wife and I purchased this awhile back at an estate auction. I got into a bidding war with one person when it came down to it. Guess he didn't know he was dealing with two former U.S. Marines that never give up when they want something. Especially something like this. It is the heavy gauge metal and is in ask a Marine poster really good shape considering. Maybe someone out there will recognize the Marine in the picture and the two other men with dreams of becoming one of us.

Semper Fidelis
Robert R. Barnes 1981-1995
0311, 3533, 8511, 8921
Tricia D. Cogburn 1992-1995

Give Credit

Dear Sgt. Grit,
I'm writing about the scout sniper poster in your November 2006 newsletter #135. In that poster is the photo of two Marines. I have seen that photo on the cover of several books and magazines articles about Marine snipers, or fifth Marine snipers. Yet, I have never seen any author give credit to the two Marines in that photo! The sniper in the photo is L/CPL Dalton Gunderson and the radio operator is L/CPL Jerry Dunomes both of these Marines were assigned to Kilo Company 3/7 in Vietnam 1965-66. I know this to be true because I was Gunderson's squad leader both at Camp Pendleton and then in Vietnam.

Dalton Gunderson and I remained friends after Vietnam. Sadly Dalton Gunderson passed away in 2000. I feel both of these fine Marines should be recognized. I wonder about these Marines who write about themselves using this photo yet never bothered to researched the true identity of the two Marines in the photo.

I would like to thank you and your staff for your support of our association KILO 3/7 Vietnam 65-70. Our web site is www.kilo37.com

Semper Fi

Bill Soda
Sgt 60-67 K-3/7 VN 65-66


ask a Marine poster Hope you can post this pic of my newest Marine Corps tattoo. I wanted to get something original and personal to me, so I decided to have my ribbon display done. Had it done on the inside of my left arm (Unfortunately I could not have it done on my chest as I already have a tattoo there) Thanks to Rick Johnson (also a Marine) of Best Tattoos in Orlando for the work. SEMPER FI!

We Marched Some More

Sgt Grit,

I want to share a humorous experience from boot camp. Due to the sensitive matter of this story, I will just refer to my fellow boot as Private "D". I was tested as a Marine in Platoon 3084, San Diego in 1971. We were nearing our Close Order Drill Review, and Gunnery Sgt Padilla was pushing us to be better. Anyway, on this particular day, we were on the "Grinder", and had messed up while marching. Gunny Padilla barked..."Platoon Halt"...."Left Face"...."At ease". He then began explaining what we had done wrong, and asked if we had any questions. Private "D" asked..."Sir, Pvt. D. requests to speak to the Drill Instructor"..."Speak Pvt. D"...."Sir Pvt. D. requests to make an emergency head call"...."NO D....Platoon ...Ten-Hut...Right Face...Forward March". We marched some more, and again we messed up, and Gunny Padilla barked, "Platoon Halt", " Left Face", "At Ease". Gunny Padilla again explained what a bunch of turds we were, corrected us, and asked if we had any questions. Once again, Pvt D spoke up..."Sir, Pvt. D requests to speak to the Drill Instructor"...."SPEAK D"...."Sir, Pvt D requests to make an emergency head call"...."NO D"...."Platoon Ten- Hut"...."Right Face" ...."Forward March!" We were moving along pretty well, when Pvt D screamed from formation at the position of attention, "Sir, Pvt D requests to speak to the Drill Instructor"...Gunny Padilla was going crazy! ..."Pvt D YOU know we don't speak from the position of attention"....before Gunny Padilla could even halt the platoon or finish his butt chewing, Pvt. D replied, "Sir, Pvt D requests to make an emergency head call....the Pvt has s**t his britches!" Gunny Padilla screams back...."GET OUTTA HERE D!"....The platoon was completely out of control at that point with laughter, and Gunny Padilla showed us that he was the controller as he moved us to "The Pit". So, Pvt. D...where ever you are, you are still remembered. Keep your identity to yourself. We all had embarrassing moments... I'm keeping mine to myself!

Semper Fidelis,

Freddy G. Richardson

Imagine My Chagrin

After reading your excellent letter I thought I must write to add my two cents about my time on the 'rock'. I thoroughly enjoyed Okinawa and have 2 stories to relate about my boots on the ground in 1963-1964.

Not knowing Japanese and seeking relief from the oppressive summer heat, I used to purchase what I thought was a milk shake to slake my thirst at a mom & pop general store at the local bus station in Ishikawa. Imagine my chagrin when a Japanese speaking friend told me I had been drinking baby formula all this time.

My second story relates to the civilian job I had before enlisting in the Corps in the early 60's. I had worked in the Public Relations office at Jones Beach State Park on Long Island in New York and returned to visit my friends during summer leave. One of them showed me a wallet that had been lost in the sand and the owner's address was listed as the BOQ in Okinawa. I decided to do the impossible. I brought the wallet back to Okinawa, located the Marine Lt. at the BOQ, and handed him the wallet he had lost some 8,000 miles away.

Bill Ober 1961-1967
Commandant Huntington Detachment #792
Marine Corps league

Bob Hope

Sgt. Grit - Enjoy reading your newsletter. I spent two years in Vietnam from 1968-1970. I was stationed in DaNang my whole time. In 1969 during the Bob Hope Christmas show at freedom hill, I was setting next to the cameras and Connie Stevens came on stage and asked for four guys named bill. I was the first one on stage and we did the twist together and then she kissed me. I have never been able to find any pictures or video of the show. I went into the Marines in December of 1966 the day Walt Disney died. Spent time in El Toro before going to Vietnam. I remember flying into DaNang and the base was under rocket attack and we couldn't land until it was all clear. Also remember tracer rounds being shot at our plane while we were flying in and waiting to land. I enjoy reading your newsletters - thanks and keep up the good work.
Sgt. Bill Schaard, 66-70.

Rolled Her Eyes

I'm a US Forest Ranger in Colorado and have constant contact with the public. The other day a couple of middle age came into the office with hiking/camping questions. While I giving them some suggestions and information I noticed the gentleman was wearing a Marine Corps ring. I pointed to it and gave him the "Semper Fi" greeting. His wife rolled her eyes and exclaimed, "You guys are everywhere." I replied, "Yes Ma'am, every clime and place!" She shook her head and he smiled from ear to ear.

Sgt. Todd Hess
Denver Colorado

Made Us Tougher

I went threw Parris Island in early 1956. At that time there was a lot of physical punishment "thump calls". The DI's would challenge us to take them on. After Ribbon Creek things changed a lot. The training got softer. We were tough street wise kids going in and they made us tougher. I loved it. Today I see recruits crying at graduation. Never would happen in our day. I was in Plt. 67. The DI's were T/Sgt Jones S/Sgt Neff and Sgt Guthrie.
Sgt Carmen Perry 1956-1958

What A Deal

ATTN: CHARM SCHOOL What a deal. I went thru MCRD PLT 243 JUL 1961. We must have been right next to you on the Grinder. PT area right behind us. S/Sgt Duff Sgt. Reith Sgt. Kennedy. What a time. WE were hit once in awhile, with good reason. Sgt. Reith & Kennedy gave us their Service Numbers and the permission to turn them in anytime we wanted too. No one did. We wanted to be Marines and Marines are not RATS. They use to run us thru other platoon areas. Wonder if we ran thru 244 ? This would cause some interesting results. They called it a sneak attack. Think the series commander put an end to it. One of the things I remember most about the Corps was the black NCOs. I never saw a group of men that treated everyone the same. You were a Marine not a color a clique or any other BS thing. I was part of a TEXAS Platoon, which was very interesting since they threw about 8 of us from Minneapolis, MN in with them. Never met a Redneck before then. Guess the point being that when we graduated we were Marines not individuals. A real life lesson. So want to thank all the D.I.s ever for what they do. They take kids and make them men, men that are Marines and that is a good thing.

Cpl. J.D. Gwiazdon 1927106 61/67

Voice My Displeasure

Today I went to the local post office to send a certified letter. While waiting in the long line, I noticed some beautiful plaques on the wall for sale. The Army, The Navy, The Air Force, The Coast Guard. WHAT, no MARINES? I was p!ssed! How can that be? SO, I fumed waiting in that line so I could voice my displeasure to the clerk. Well, when I reached the front and told the clerk what was festering in my mind, she looked at me and said, OH, I'm sorry they're sold out. We can't keep them in stock! They are on back order, I can't tell you when we'll get more in! It's unbelievable how popular they are! So I said to her proudly, I am a MARINE! It's not unbelievable to me! OohRah!
Bill Durnell LCPL, RVN, 66-67

Tachens, China

Sgt. Grit,
Just read some of the messages you print on your site, and was wondering if any of the Marines that served at the Tachens, (China) have ever come forward with their adventures. We Shore Party, 3rd Mar. Div. located at Camp McGill, outside of Yokosuka went down to the Chinese Islands in Feb.1955 and back loaded approx., 35,000 troops and civilians and sent them to Formosa. It is recorded in the history of the Corps., but never written about. We were awarded the China Service Medal, the first since WW2. I also read about the thumping of recruits. I was at MCRD in 53, and our DI's didn't have to thump us, we did it to ourselves. You screw up and with your head next to the duty hut ceiling did double time and you thumped your own head. Also hold your rifle over your head and run around the platoon, or hold your bayonet by your finger tips with arms extended out that works out too. Keep up the good work, I just received another order from you, my office looks like Sgt. Grits warehouse.
Sgt. Peter Wojciechowski 53/56.

Short Rounds

Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.
Thomas Jefferson

Hmmm....Jefferson obviously was not a Marine.
"This is my rifle, this is my gun, this one is for.....'

Never, not once did I hear anyone ask whether you were a Reserve or Regular, when the shooting started, not the folks you were with, OR the ones shooting at you.
The lead had NO preference. So if anyone made that statement to you, forget it, as they could possibly have NOT been in the above position.
C-1-1, Korea, '51-'52

Thanks to Bob for the info on Sgt McKeon. How he paid his dues and worked his way back up to MSGT - and that he sincerely regretted the incident with the recruits. I'd follow MSGT McKeon to h&ll and back - he certainly knows the way! I hope he's alive to read this - and forgiven himself.

Wm. Ryerson
Doc ; RVN ~ 1st Mar. Div. 66-67

As per 1st Sgt Levi Jason James Leverette statement about boot camp. I was in the third Bn. about the same time. You are as right as rain, and it filled the floor of those Quonset huts. The duck walks still give me cramps.
Jack Emr Sgt. 1554585
Plt 187 Nov. 55

Hey Sgt Grit,
Every now and then, I see people sign off a "former Marine", "prior Marine", etc....
Please let them know, the "only" former, ex, prior, etc.... Marine, is a DISHONORABLY discharged Marine. They no longer hold the title, nor deserve to hold it.
The rest of us are still a "Marine" till the day we die, then we can go guard the gates with St Peter @ our sides.

David Smith
"Corporal of Marines"
VMA-131 Diamondbacks

I do not want to take away from those words penned by those 2 Marines in Saipan in Nov 1944. However, the majority of the text is verbatim of the Commandant of the Marine Corps Order No.47 published November 1, 192