Sgt Grit,

Here is a true story. This just happened to me recently. I was staying at a Marriott earlier this month outside San Jose, CA when I decided to go to the bar for a beer. When I walked in there were 4 Marines in their Dress Blues, all E-6 or better, walking out to attend a function. I stopped the First Sergeant and extended my hand, looked him in the eye and said "Marine, thank you for defending our country". He responded "Thank you very much, no problem". (Spoken like a true Marine, defending the United States of America was no problem for him).

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I proudly pulled back my jacket to show him my shirt collar pin - 1st Mar Div Life Member -I always wear it- and said "I, too, am a combat Marine, Viet Nam era". Then the other 3 Marines came to me, shook my hand, and each one thanked me for my service said to me "Semper Fi". You can't know how proud I felt. They recognized me in front of everybody as one of their own, a member of the Brotherhood, and adding truth to the motto that all Marines know, "Once A Marine, Always A Marine".

After they left I sat at the bar and the lady across said to me "thank you for serving, my Dad was in Viet Nam". The bartender said he had 2 sons, one in the Navy and the other in The Marine Corps. Another lady remarked how sharp those Marines looked, adding she felt safe when they were around. Then a guy at the end of the bar raised his mug and said "To America's finest!" All in all, it was a good night at that bar.

Semper Fi,
Jim Zalpis
E 2/7 1966/67 VietNam

What A Picture I'm sending you a picture of PFC Terry Sanders who is presently in Aberdeen Maryland at MOS training. Looking over his should is his Grandpa who passed away in 1999 but was also a Marine. My brother put this pic together and it just almost brings me to tears when I see it. I thought I would share it with you.

Thanks Gary Sanders
Proud Father of a US Marine.

"War is about doing, not thinking."

Dear Sgt Grit
My Dad just turned 86. He is the finest example of a Marine I have ever known. As a young man I was taught respect and I would wish my childhood on any man alive. Dad walks every day and exercises every night for at least one hour. He wears his Marine pin with honor on his clean white.

His posture is perfect and his eyes and mind are as sharp as boot camp. Recently he stuck a Marine Corps emblem on the back of my van. I did not notice for a few weeks until another Marine ask me when I served.

I started telling him about my dad and his welled up when he told me he just lost his 2 years ago. His dad was also a Marine. As I left him I thanked him serving our fine country and he hugged me and said give that to your Dad. So I did. I read the letters people have written to you and often print them for my Dad. He looks forward to anything about the Corps.

I never served in the Marine Corps, but I can tell you I have the RESPECT driven into me but the greatest man I will ever know Sgt James R Kelley USMC retired
Thank God for the United States Marines
Brian Kelley

PFC1 Joshua Garcia This is a pic of my special Marine. PFC1 Joshua J. Garcia. He graduated on Sept. 14, 2007, he then went to North Carolina for 21/2 months, now he is stationed at Camp Pendleton, San Diego, Ca. We are truly proud of him. And I his mama think that he is particularly handsome. Marine Mom Jessie Stuart

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
Thomas Jefferson

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How perplexing to hear Marines banter about one MOS being better than another.
It takes about 30 seconds of TV to understand the Paris Hilton's, 20-something year-old sports "heroes" are way different from anyone in uniform. Although the self-absorbed, never-served, insulated private citizens have changed with each new conflict, the military has not changed much. Anyone who has earned the right to wear a US military uniform is a breed apart from the rest of us. Especially the tip of the spear warrior Marine Corps.

Proud Marine Mom
Excessive Sgt. Grit customer
Registered Nurse
Daughter WWII Bronze-star combatant

"Tyranny, like h&ll, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
Thomas Paine

Once again we have had reports of the American military killing civilians in Iraq. Within the month American forces captured video tapes demonstrating the training of Iraqi boys learning the techniques to pull occupants from vehicles to beat and execute them. We may feel what we feel about this issue, but what we must not do is pass judgment upon our men and women who face hair trigger decisions. Remind those who are enraged with the killing of civilians about a simple fact: the terrorists dress as civilians; they live among the civilians; they hide behind the civilians and they expend the civilians as they choose. The renowned mythologist, Joseph Campbell, clarified this issue in one of his seminal books: he stated that when you join the army or put on a uniform,

"You're giving up your personal life and accepting a socially determined manner of life in the service of the society of which you are a member. That is why I think it is obscene to judge people in terms of civil law for performances they render in the time of war. They were acting not as individuals, they were acting as agents of something above them and to which they had by dedication given themselves. To judge them as though they were individual human beings is totally improper."

Joseph Campbell,
The Power of Myth

Semper Fi,
R.A. Wulff,
Guns, Lima Co.
Third Marines,
RVN, 68-69

Stoney North's Truck Submitted By Stoney North

Peace Time Marine

I to have felt the guilt of not having served during a hostile conflict. When the subject of when I served comes up and I get an attitude from a civilian, I just chalk it up for what it is, stupidity. The Attitude that hurts is the one that I get from fellow servicemen. I grew up across the street from my town's American Legion. Literally less than fifty years. My grandfather who served in WW 2 and my uncle a Viet Nam vet were both members, and I looked forward to joining when I got home. I thought it would be cool to have three generations of the same family as members. I am not eligible to be a member, didn't serve during wartime. I wrote the Head of the American Legion not once but twice inquiring, how could this be? To this day I never received even the decency of a reply. The guy in charge at my home town legion, says "you can be a associate member". What a slap in the face that is! Someone did come up with the term Cold War Vet. What the He** does that mean. To me that's almost like another slap in the face. "You didn't serve in a real war, but we'll call you a Cold War vet" give be a break!

I can and did join the VFW, I can join because I have a Marine Corps Expedition Medal. But them guys don't want to hear about P. I. both of them, floats, sea duty and such. With no War stories to tell, I felt out of place and realized I needed to find a home. Which I did, The Marine Corps League, Not once has my combat duty brothers made me feel like I am less of a Marine. To all my brothers out there that feel the same way, I say go home, go home were you fell welcomed, go home to see your brothers, join the Marine Corps League. If your town doesn't have one, go to the Marine Corps League web site and find out how to form one. That's what we did, put a add in the paper about a meeting to form a detachment, and you'll be surprise at the turn out. It goes without saying that if the American Legion across the street caught on fire, I wouldn't walk out the front door and across the street to pis* on the fire. Semper Fi J. T. Marvel
Cpl. USMC 78-82

"Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow."
Elias Boudinot

Sgt. Grit,
To: Proud MOM at H&R Block. You showed more restraint than I would have. I would have told her I didn't want her to do my taxes anymore for disrespecting my son. I also would have said to the office manager to get me a different tax person or I'll go somewhere else with my business.

Bob R. Cpl of Marines 1960-1963
Semper Fi Proud MOM & OOHRAA

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing."
Albert Einstein

I would like to share this cute story. I have a 4 year old granddaughter who was visiting from Southern California her father is a Marine and is stationed at Camp Pendleton. I told her she needed to take a bath, she said she didn't want to take a bath! So I told her that the dirty monster was going to come and her hand on hip and she says "Grandma monster are afraid of Marines". Good Job Marines... Even are children feel safe.
Rebecca Chavez

Sgt, Grit,
I have been reading your news letters for a few years and look forward to each and every one, so it is with great pride that I share with you and all my Marine family this news. Our oldest son Richard is at this moment 02/07/08 on training day 8 at a lovely place some of us will remember called Parris Island earning his Eagle, Globe & Anchor. He made this decision when he was 12 and started working towards it from there. He said that "dad did his duty so now it's my turn". The last thing he said to us before he left was that he was going to make the island look easy. Well I don't think he took into account that he had 3 very personal "tour guides" who were going to make life,,,, interesting is one way of saying it. After several letters I think the island corrected his views and he has learned a GREAT respect for our island, the land that God forgot, not to mention the D.I.s. He say's that his seniors scares the he!l out of him. Good to know that some things never change. Semper Fi to all Marines past present and future and thank you to the parents who raised them.

Woodrow L.
U.S.M.C. 8541

"Be not too hasty to trust or admire the teachers of morality; they discourse like angels but they live like men." Dr. Samuel Johnson

Unfortunately, I believe a lot of our fellow citizens forget that brave men and women are presently engaged in a vicious conflict on the other side of the world. I personally remember those guys and gals on almost a daily basis, especially the Marines. I left active service in the Corps in 1964 but still value my membership in the Corps.

In honor of the service that our brothers and sisters are performing, I try to wear some sought of Marine gear (hat, T shirt or sweat shirt) regularly. Some folks ask me about my service, and on occasion I get a "Semper Fi" from someone. I don't do this to show off or grandstand. I do this to hopefully jog some people's awareness that the Marines are fighting, and dying, at that very moment. Perhaps it will encourage some folks to remember them in their prayers, offer their gratitude for their service when they encounter a Marine and encourage their elected officials to act on behalf of both active members and veterans. Semper Fi

Wm. Joseph
Marine Barracks/Guantanamo Bay
HMX-1/Quantico, VA

My high school seniors said it all (after seeing a Marine movie) "The Marines are The Bomb."

I am a Vietnam veteran, and live in New Orleans, so Mardi Gras is a yearly part of my family's life. A few days before Fat Tuesday, my two sons and daughter in law went to a local pub for some food and spirits. After we got our drinks and menus, comes two versions of the story.

I noticed a young man at the bar who was wearing a tee shirt with very large letters "VIETNAM VETERAN" with a row of VN ribbons below. I thought for a moment, and went up to him, placed my arm across his shoulders and calmly asked "How old are you, son?" He said "25." "You know, some people would not appreciate you wearing that shirt, and one of them would be me." At that, the bartender, who knew me, noticed the commotion, and asked if there was any problem. I said no, that I just expressed my thoughts to the young man. And then I went back to our table.

My sons tell a slightly different story.

After we had sat down, I said that there was someone with a tee shirt he shouldn't be wearing. My eyes had gotten a hard look and I got up and walked to the bar. They thought, oh, no, we're going to have a bar fight, and Dad's going to jail (During MG, when the police take you in, you don't get out until days after the party is over). When I returned, I told them what I had done and said. They asked did I want to leave? OK. One son went to the bar to pay and overheard some of the conversation the young man was having with his friends. "Who does that old man think he is? He can't do anything to all of us" and other similar BS. The end result, however, was the group had their food put in go boxes and left the bar without looking at us.

I realized afterwards that I had unconsciously thought about the possible outcomes, the 'what if's', and it was as if I could see myself reacting to all of them. Sobering thoughts, that boot camp training 40 years ago had not left me.

My prayers are for all Marines who face difficult situations, deciding their actions on a moments notice, guided by their training as well.

Jack Woynowski
Corporal, Captain
RVN 68-69
Active 1966-1971
Reserve 1971-1976

Sgt Grit;
My grand-daughter Danna Gaines, graduated from boot camp on Nov. 9, 2007. Myself and her father, mother and cousin flew down from Wyandotte MI for her graduation. At 12:30 pm she was released to us and we had to drive to Myrtle Beach and catch a plane at 7:30 pm to fly back to metro airport. There was a 2 1/2 hr. delay and we did not get in until 2:30 a.m. on the 10th.

I belong to the Marine Corps League, Downriver Detachment, and we have a big party on our birthday. Needless to se we were worried about time, whoever we go to bed at about 3:30 a.m. got a few winks and I had to be at the Club by 8:30 to set up the ships store. All went well and she just happen to be the youngest Marine in attendance and got the second piece of the birthday cake. I was the 3rd oldest at 74 so didn't get the 1st piece which would have been one great event if I had. A couple of the guys heard about by not being the oldest and they went out and bought a small cake, put a candle on it and hade my grand-daughter and I share the 1st and 2nd piece of cake.

Just goes to show ya, we do take care of our own no matter what it takes.

By the way, PFC Danna Gaines is now stationed at Cherry Point. I served there also so it looks like she is following in my foot steps. What a h&ll-of-a felling and since of pride I am having.

"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

My son is a Poolee - going to PI in June. My dad's been a Marine since he was 18 & served active duty for 24 years, is a Vietnam Vet and was spit on when he came home. I have grown up with great respect and love for those who serve our country. I read the article about the city of Berkeley, CA in your last newsletter concerning their lack of 'hospitality' towards the Corps recruiting center. I sent the following response to the mayor (who happens to be retired army). I put a little spin on one of your bumper stickers that is my personal favorite. Interestingly enough, the email came back to me as undeliverable to the email address listed on the town's web site. I'm still trying to find town official to send it to. So far, they've ALL come back undeliverable...

I appreciate that you personally respect the choice of those who are serving our country. The day these resolutions passed, however, your city MADE this issue all about the men and women serving this country. A lot of communities strongly oppose the war and the current administration. If those Marines were not working in those recruiting offices, you would not have the right to say you're community is against the war because there would be no one around to defend those rights. To call those serving in the those recruiting offices "uninvited and unwelcome INTRUDERS in the city" is a slap in the face to every Marine who has died so you can have the right to say it. Unbelievable. I suppose you would prefer to have your intruders from Iraq with bombs strapped around their chests...

MY son is willing to DIE so
Your kid can go to Berkeley and party.
Your welcome.

Identity Crisis...

As an avid reader of all the "Newsletters" I am always so entertained with the breadth of subjects discussed as they range from a "first person" account or a Mothers lament they all ring out with the pride we all feel and have for our beloved Corps.

Each individual submission chronicles the impact our Marine Corps has had on each of us as individuals and all of us as a whole. We all "wax poetic" our personal recollections during our sole Marine Corps experience.

The "where" and "when" of your Marine Corps experience are the end result of your becoming a Marine which began the day you stepped on the foot prints, not the day you separated from military service.

Who served where and when are important facets that validate the slogan "Once a Marine, always a Marine," neither of those facts are the hinge pins of what makes any of us "Marines."

The above personal beliefs gives purpose to this contribution as it relates to the most recent "Newsletter" (14Feb08) which was replete with replies to the short sighted comments of a contributor who attempted to define who was a "Marine." All rebuttal points made were extremely well considered and expressed extremely well.

What was particularly notable, and I don't know who said it but what it came down to (and I am sure we've all heard it before) in so many words: "The Marine Corps doesn't practice democracy, it defends it."

All of us who have stood on "The Footprints" know well and good what it took each and everyone of us to earn the title. Where our Marine Corps experience took us "job wise" matters not. There hundreds and hundreds of individual jobs (MOS's) that make the Marine Corps what it is.

Stated another way, were it not for the myriad of occupational specialties holding the Marine Corps together, it wouldn't be the Marine Corps, because as a military entity it would not be able to function absent all the authorized support functions, i.e., MOS's other than "0311."

The fact that one Marine totted a rifle and another wielded a socket wrench and still another pounded away on a keyboard doesn't make him or her any less a Marine. I don't doubt that even CMC considers himself a Marine FIRST and Commandant second, as being Commandant just happens to be his job.

The Commandant got his job because the powers that be felt he was the best person for the job, it wasn't his decision. The Marine out in the Fleet got his job because the Marine Corps felt he or she had the best skill sets necessary and needed to fill a specific occupational necessity.

Every one of us that takes so much pride in the title of US Marine would do well to recognize that it was the Marine Corps that made us "Marines," a titled we earned and will carry until it is our time to go and "guard Heavens Gate."

Semper Fi,
T.P. Sheehan
Syracuse, NY

"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than [you make]. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."

William J. H. Boetcker

I would compare the vermin on the Berkeley city council to a hemorrhoid on a maggot, but that would be disrespectful to the hemorrhoid. Those non-Americans are clueless about the history of our country and the battles that our military services have fought to preserve our way of life. It is absolutely disgusting that those sub-humans have no knowledge of what it means to be Americans and to serve out great country in the defense of freedom.

May the Great Almighty keep our Marines and members of the other Services safe in every duty station and theater.

Semper Fi

Bill Cates 1699531 Cpl E-4
3rd Bn, PLT 322 The Wyatt Earp PLT
MCRD 1958 - 1962

"Experience having long taught me the reasonableness of mutual sacrifices of opinion among those who are to act together for any common object, and the expediency of doing what good we can; when we cannot do all we would wish."
Thomas Jefferson

Outnumbered Marines and supporters stand their ground and fend off anti-American attack by traitors!

Melanie Morgan reporting in from Bezerkley:

Pro-troop demonstration still going strong -but here is my after action report after 15 hours on the frontlines. If I were a headline writer I would describe the situation as CHAOS and ANARCHY in BERKELEY today. Not by our side -by the Marine haters and American traitors.

The cops were openly hostile toward the people who showed up at 5:00 a.m., never stepping in to protect the patriots from the assaults that took place against elderly folks, Gold Star parents, Blue Star families and Joe and Jane Citizen who were waving the flags and showing their pride in the Marines.

The police allowed hundreds of Berkeley High School kids (accompanied by their teachers) to gather with CodePink, receive their mandatory face masks and F---k Bush t-shirts, and allowed them to mill around our PA where they tried to cut the power cords to the system. Berkeley police repeatedly allowed CodePink to violate our permits, and never lifted a finger to stop their crowd from interfering with our activities until the very end, after we screamed blue bloody h&ll.

When Catherine Moy, the Executive Director of MAF called the police to tell them a riot was erupting in the early hours -THEY HUNG UP on HER.

Cat called the Highway Patrol, who referred her back to the Berkeley police
It was positively shameful.

Move America Forward's attorney Jim Sweeney took depositions from ten people who were assaulted by CodePink, International A.N.S.W.E.R. and socialists who showed up en masse.

The City Council has been notified by fax that we are filing a federal lawsuit for deprivation of our civil rights. We didn't start this fight, but we are d*mn sure gonna finish it.

The pro-troops demonstration is still going strong at 7:30 p.m. PST, with all streets around the Berkeley City Council closed off as the CodePinkos continue to receive preferential treatment by the Berkeley PD.

Move America Forward's sound permit was turned off at 5:00 in the afternoon, while the Pinkos were allowed to use their system to sing Kumbaya and other 60's peace chants. Berkeley, the birthplace of free speech, is now officially the center of intolerant hatred for anyone who sticks up for the men and women who are fighting and dying to protect THEIR rights.

Before our sound system was nearly sabotaged, a young man posing as a pro-troop supporter asked to speak to the crowd. I allowed him to talk (about his family's 'service', when he started spewing obscenities about the 'illegal, immoral, unjust war'. I grabbed the microphone back, and he tried to clobber me with it. Gold Star Dad Mark Crowley knocked him to the ground, where he found a faceful of dirt to keep him company.

Our side sang God Bless America, America the beautiful and other stirring songs that seemed to enrage the elderly commies. 25,000 petitions were collected by Move America Forward with the help of other pro-troops groups like Gathering of Eagles, EaglesUp, Vets for Freedom and others.

There were Eagles EVERYWHERE today.
And Patriot Guard Riders.
And American Legion vets.
And members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
5,000 petition signatures were also collected by an organization in Washington headed by Nicholas Provenzano, who flew out to Berkeley on the red-eye to deliver to the City Council announcing an economic boycott of Berkeley until it reverses it shameful treatment of our Marines.

Red, White and Blue Americans rushed to our side from Atlanta, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado, San Diego, and other parts of the United States. Our crowds numbered into the thousands throughout the day. So gratifying. So humbling.

People of all ages, races, and political backgrounds honored our active duty service members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in other parts around the world. We spoke of the sacrifice and the nobility of the military families who support their sons and daughters, husbands and wives. And we gave a HOOO-AWW especially to our Marines, who find themselves prevented from speaking while under assault, not from a evil enemy abroad, but from the insurgents here at home.

We should be proud and exhilarated by the turn-out and passion of so many people who set aside their lives, showed up, and spoke out.

I don't know what will happen with the Berkeley City Council, but I would be you that dollars to donuts, they'll issue some mealy-mouthed WE SUPPORT the TROOPS, JUST NOT their MISSION crap, and then keep in place all the restrictions that make recruiting on Shattuck avenue all but impossible.

I have no idea how the media will portray this historic event -I can only tell you that 3 TV helicopters were overhead almost all day long, every major media outlet in the Bay Area, as well as national TV and print reporters-but OUR people spoke eloquently, passionately, and with conviction about the hateful attitude that the City of Berkeley has displayed toward the USMC.


Submitted By:
Chris Pangalos

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not."
Thomas Jefferson

When I first met Donald Gary he was the driver for Vice Admiral Andrews, commandant of the Eastern Sea Frontier, and Gary held the rank of Chief Water Tender. He had been Adm. Andrews driver for fifteen years. One evening in the fall of 1942 he drove up to the admiral's quarters in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and a lone elderly gentleman got out of the car and went to have dinner with the admiral. He was not accompanied by a flock of secret service men. He was alone. After dinner the admiral summoned me and told me to call for the president's car and to stay with him until he was safely in the car. While we waited for Gary to bring the car around, I stood on the porch with former President Herbert Hoover and he asked me questions about what he could see from the porch.

A couple of years later I was home for a weekend in Wadsworth, Ohio and visiting with the employees of the real estate office where I worked prior to enlisting in the Marine Corps. I looked up to see a Lieutenant of the USN walk in to see if he could find a nearby rental. Dumbfounded I asked, "Gary, what are you doing here and how did you become a full lieutenant?" He told me he had been transferred as an inspector to a nearby factory which was making boilers for the navy and that the admiral had been called to Washington, D.C. and no longer was qualified to have a driver. The admiral had Gary promoted. to his new rank. I helped him find a house to rent.

I heard no more about Lt. Gary until my sister mailed me a story published in Colliers magazine about a lieutenant who had saved the lives of hundreds of sailors trapped in the mess deck of the carrier Franklin by leading them through the ventilating system of the ship to the flight deck and safety. I believe he received both the Navy Cross and the Medal of Honor.

As a private only six months out of boot camp I proudly say, "I knew him when!"

Gaston, Robert O.
384564, SSgt (PM)

Molly Marine Chapter Celebrates 65 Years of Women in the Corps
Submitted by: Marine Forces Reserve
Story by: Lance Cpl. Mary A. Staes

MARINE FORCES RESERVE, New Orleans (Feb. 14, 2008) -- The bright shining sun and the cool breeze joined Marines and government representatives in celebrating the 65th anniversary of women in the Marine Corps.

The local Molly Marine Chapter of the Women Marines Association spearhead the event, whose guests included Marine retiree Marian Landry, a World War II veteran, the Marine Forces Reserve color guard and band and Brig. Gen. Tracy Garrett, Headquarters Marine Corps inspector general.

"I'm glad to be celebrating this event here in New Orleans," said Garrett. "Molly embodies a spirit I'd love to emulate."

The Molly Marine statue, where the ceremony was held, was erected in 1943 during the Second World War in an effort to recruit more women into the service.

Molly is the first statue ever erected of a United States female service member in uniform.

Today the Molly Marine Award is given to one member of each recruit platoon by her peers for exemplifying esprit de corps.
Another speaker at the event was Paula Sarlls, the president of the Women Marines Association. Sarlls felt that Molly wasn't just a representation of a Marine in her Alpha Uniform.

"Molly is in all of us. "It doesn't matter what age you are or what background you come from," said Sarlls. She is here standing tall and proud and carrying out a purpose."

For more information on the LA-1 Molly Marine Chapter, contact Melanie Young at (985) 285-7007 or via e-mail at
melanieleayoung @ yahoo .com.

Ms. Sharde' Jennings also contributed to this story.

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
H.L. Mencken

Sgt Grit,
I read here where Semper Fi was at one time always answered with, "Do or die.." In my house, growing up, I was the one who always yelled back the, "Love It Love It Love It !" It was a daily "Shout out" when your house was over run with brothers all in the Corps.

Anne Mlynar Whitlow

I was in Marines. Vietnam era, I twice had orders for west-Pac. First was canceled out of tank school(1811). Then volunteer for Vietnam 2nd time went to staging. Cancel again. Ended up on Okinawa(Camp Hansen). Finished my time on Okinawa. Brought all tanks back. Even try to go as a 0311. I fled I didn't get to do what I was trained to do. It bother me at first. But I know I tried. Do I feel no more than a Marine them the next Marine that was there? NO! We are all Marines were a brotherhood that no other service can be. Were all Marines Peace time or War. were their for each other. SEMPER-FI. and I have 2 NEPHEWS in the Marines today one in Iraq for 3rd time and other 2 tours.

"Man--every man-- is an end in himself, not a means of others."
Ayn Rand

hi my son is in the Marines, he was stationed in Iraq, he was seriously injured but doing well now with a lot of prayers. I just want to say as a parent, people need realize what these men and women do for us and our country I don't think they get enough credit I am very proud of my son, I also pray for the other soldiers cause don't have anybody but I think about them too thank you for all the soldiers and their families, I just wanted to give a big thanks for your news letter Sgt Grit. my son is a lance corporal joseph sherrod
God bless you all connie sherrod

Semper Fidelis Marines! I am a Marine, ever since I toed those yellow footprints Jan 6, 1970.

I was at the Berzerkeley rally Feb. 12 with my new friend and brother Marine, SgtMaj Doug Lyvere -- we both serve in the Patriot Guard and Doug in the "Eagles-UP" patriotic organization. I only spent 4 hours at the rally--enough to see that the "commie pinkos' where struggling to enjoy themselves with the onlookers. The local school kids got out early to add their woes upon the police--standing and/or walking around looking overwhelmed.

The kids tried to hassle a veteran carrying a US flag--the got hauled off to the can. The Local cops seemed to be on the right side for a change, I know a few were vets too. The only ones that were taken to the jail was the anti-war protestors---as a molotov fire and other idiotic instances occurred.

Only one Marine supported was jailed as he was accosted by pinkos, wrapped in one of their banners, and he used his Ka-Bar to free himself, apparently he said some things about the pinkos lineage with his Ka-bar out and he was arrested. I was on the outside as my fuze is still a bit short (I have the bad habit of using my elbows--feet, fists around peaceniks) Standing at one corner--saluting any and all that drove by giving thumbs up-- friendly waves--positive re-enforcement to the Marines and our JUST cause. I would like to call attention to "MOVE AMERICA FORWARD" for organizing and giving vast amounts of patriotic support to the rally! through their actions and the Marines--we had twice the rally attendees as the children and mentally disturbed had. We did win a few concessions from the city council--and there will be future rallies.

I am disappointed as I have recently viewed that TOLEDO, OHIO mayor has put himself and his city in support of the mentally disturbed again. Don't the Marines have enough to worry about without politicians screwing around?

GUNG HO Gordon Eggers

"I pronounce it as certain that there was never yet a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous."
Benjamin Franklin

To me, all of our service men and women are HEROES. I don't care what your job description is or what you did or didn't do - you are still a HERO in my heart. Each of you is special and doing a vital job keeping our country safe. Each and every one of you deserve the very best this country and its citizens has to offer in support, love and honor.

I am the proud mother of a Marine who was wounded in action, Fallujah, Nov. 14, 2004. If it had not been for his fellow Marine brothers and all the other service people involved (whatever branch or job description), my son would not be here today and planning on re-enlisting (Once a Marine, Always a Marine!).

My God bless and keep you safe, and returned home to your loved ones very soon.


Nancy Landgrebe Keyes,
Proud mom of Cpl. David J. Landgrebe, USMC Ret.

Today is Valentines Day and I felt more like reading Sgt Grits newsletter more than ever. Today, in two years since my fiancé and I have been together, is our very first Valentines Day actually Together. I was reading an article which I believe everyone should read, it is concerning a statement John Glenn approached. I am a Very Proud Marine Fiancé and I hold that honor very dear to my heart. Every time I see ANY woman/man in uniform I approach with great appreciation and love in my heart. My Marine once told me "Baby I'm not a hero, I didn't save anyone's life while I was there(Iraq)" but what some military men and women don't know is that.. you did save lives. You saved Americas Life. You have once again put your life on the line to allow us to have opinions, vote, to have equal opportunity in the workplace and so much more. You don't realize just how much you all have given us. Your job while in the service may not seem important or as dangerous as you might like to think or perhaps as cut-throat as you might like, cause its not how dangerous or "important" your job may be.. Its how you do it and believe me you all do your job well. But I assure you and I know many MANY people will stand behind me. You are all hero's! You are your sons or daughters, your mothers, or fathers, your neighbors or communities, you are a Hero. I wish like so many others that I could do so much more, yes I send treats to Iraq to men/women I don't know but I assure you that box is filled with love, hope, faith and compassion. I thank every military personnel for doing what you do. OOHRAH!

Angela W.
~Semper Fi~

"Here sir, the people govern."
Alexander Hamilton

Sgt. Grit:

World War II--George Company, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines will be holding their 2008 Reunion 14-19 May 2008 in Washington DC. Among other events, we will be touring the Pentagon, Marine Corps Base Quantico and The Evening Parade at 8th and I. Anyone interested should contact Carolyn Hutchings Carino at grrcp @ juno .com. We are welcoming people who are related to the Marines in G 2/5. Anyone who can give us assistance should also contact me. We need help with bus transportation to and from the Pentagon. Any other assistance will also be very much appreciated.

We are holding an auction at their Reunion Banquet at the Army and Navy Club to benefit the First Marine Division's Scholarship Fund. We are also looking for donations of quality items to auction off.

I am proud of all the Marines, active and retired, who have jumped to assist me in planning this reunion for these fine and humble men. G 2/5 fought at Tulagi, Guadalcanal, New Britain, Peleliu and Okinawa. Among the attendees are at least four Navy Cross awardees, many Silver and Bronze Star awardees and almost to the last man, holders of the Purple Heart.

Thank you for your assistance in posting this message.

Carolyn Hutchings Carino
Proud daughter of Lt. Charles A. Hutchings, USMC

There was a counter-protest by supporters of the Marine recruiters in Berkeley, CA and the predictable happened, although I was a little surprised by the reaction of the police. 6 U.S. Senators have taken the step of introducing Semper Fi Act of 2008, cutting off all federal aid to Berkeley because of the actions of the City council. Now is the time to write, call, email, whatever your senators and congress people to support the actions of these 6 U.S. Senators and this Act.

Berkeley has always been a den of traitors and idiots. They were there to greet me home from Vietnam and they weren't handing out thank-you cards, either.

Get involved on this one.


"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there'd be a shortage of sand."
Milton Freidman

I just wanted to tell the WORLD that 24hrs ago, my oldest step- son, Ben Medrano, stepped off that O.D. Green bus and put his feet on those yellow footprints at MCRD San Diego, while at the same time crossing over that threshold from kid to man-hood. He did so only two days shy of his Step-father's 23rd anniversary of that same cross-over. I now know the anxiety my father faced 23 years ago when having to deal with a proud (but grief stricken) mother. Lemme tell you now, that while I already know what he will face in the next 13-weeks, I'm sooo very proud of that kid (more than his own mama can comprehend even now)! I love this boy as if he were my own and it strikes a chord in me that I haven't heard reverberating in me since graduating from Plt. 2023 on May 5th, 1985. If there is one thing that makes a Marine more proud, it is seeing one of his one take that same irreversible step into the fraternity that also makes him a "brother."

My father urged me to go "Army" as he had done, but being the kind of man-in-the making that I was, I wanted it ALL, the Few and The Proud!...Ben's father too urged him to go Army as he had done, but this kid wants more from life than the current "lemme throw the stress card 'cause I can't take anymore rough talk today" Army. Last night at 22:00 Central Texas time, we received the 10 second phone call that he had arrived safely, where 23 years ago my own mother received that call from an unknown stranger in town who had been listening to the message transmitted by Ham Radio from the Red Cross.

Maybe his mother is right, maybe I am a bit sadistic in my chuckles and grins in knowing what lies ahead of him, but as I assured his mother...this man will be fully equipped with all the tools (mental and physical) that he will need to survive in the harshest of environments OUR Corps is assigned. For that I am more proud than I can express. Neither she or Ben will ever regret the decision he has made!

I'm looking forward to that trip to San Diego this May, to see the man the Corps has created in our "boy." My prayers and thanks go out to all those drill instructors that equip our kids to face the realities of this modern day world...thank you all, and you have my "permission" to be as hard on my kid as you can possibly be! Equip him, that he may make you as proud as I am of him!

He actually pointed out your website to me, its one of my favorites. I love the letters I receive in my email and come May, I look forward to presenting his mother with the bumper sticker "Proud Parent of a U.S. Marine." But like I told her, when her son graduates in does she!

Thanks for everything you do!

Darrell Gibson
1985 - 1989

"The most fundamental freedom for all people is the right to govern themselves."
Roy Innis

America LOVES ALL of YOU! You are our HEROES! NEVER Forget That
Mrs. Lori Ann Macaulay

Dear Sgt. Grit,

We all see the news about the protestors in Berkley and other places. What we don't see is the fact that the MAJORITY of the US population supports our military and the things they do to show their support. I wrote to you just before the holidays to tell you about the wonderful people I worked with. What started as a hope to send each soldier in my sons unit a "little something" ended with 65 boxes jammed packed full of goodies-- food, toiletries and TOYS!- which we called Semper Fi stockings, being sent to Iraq. People couldn't do enough to help. Then the owner of the company gave a personal check to buy $100 PX gift certificates for each of them. Yes, $6500, not tax deductible- just to say thanks.

To bring all of you up to date, the stockings had barely made it to our "Boys" and people began asking what are WE going to do next. We came up with "Cookies for Cuties", the goal being 1 box of Girl Scout Cookies for each of the 65 soldiers. Saturday I am mailing each soldier 2 boxes of cookies, a box of conversation hearts, a heart shaped lollipop and 3 valentines. Even though we had a huge layoff the end of the year (almost 25% of the workforce), everyone is so appreciative of our soldiers we still exceeded our goal AND now they are already asking if we can do a "Springtime for Soldiers" in March to send them Easter Candy!

PLEASE tell every serviceman and woman you know, and ask them to tell everyone they know, that the crazies in the news do NOT reflect the feeling of the majority of the US. We keep them in our prayers and hearts and know, without them, we wouldn't be able to enjoy the freedoms this wonderful country is famous for.

Peggy Cadwallader
Proud USMC Daughter of Sgt Armin Vaihinger
Proud USMC Mom of Cpl Joseph Cadwallader
Proud Employee of URL/Mutual

"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
Thomas Jefferson

Hey Sgt. Grit Bunch:

I am a Marine Corps Mom and very proud of that status...over the past couple of years my active duty Gunny Sgt. son has served very proudly on foreign soil quite frequently...when he has not been deployed it has seemed that he was in pre-deployment training or restricted to a limited set of miles for visitation--all the while racing from East Coast to West Coast through reassignment and/or training. Unfortunately, I live in Texas and he (now) in North Carolina...therefore, between the in-laws and out-laws, work and the usual family crises we haven't spent very much time together since his 1999 (?) deployment with his MEU through East Timor which resulted in response to the USS Cole disaster. So, I have not had much time to gather interesting tales of battle and experience. Over the years I have grown a little bit greyer...and bit more educated in the Marine Corps experience and prouder through every step.

Due to fate, I traveled to North Carolina last Mother's Day to assist with family matters in and around the Camp Lejeune area in my son's absence [in Iraq but one more time--number three-- currently preparing for trip number four]. I secured a job at a Camp Lejeune Teen-Youth Pavilion while there and enjoyed everyday interaction with such brave little Marines and Sailor dependents left in our care each day. They were quite an inspiration and tribute to our Marine Corps and youthful tenacity.

While there, when the time came close to my son's unit's return from Iraq, his girl purchased a large bar-b-q grill for his birthday, which was succinct with his return. I offered to pick it up at the Lowe's Building and they moved it out...loaded it on the truck and I strapped it down with some rope I found in the back seat. For several days, I drove around in the truck with the grill aboard. As the day grew closer, I began to worry that I would have to pick him up with the grill attached to present it...and have returning Marines unload it to enjoy the surprise?

Finally, the day before he returned I siphoned off $20 from my budget for labor compensation and drove down the road in Jacksonville looking for a healthy lad or lass that might assist by following me to the house and doing the off-loading deed. Just a couple of blocks from the house, I passed a able lad toting a load of PCV pipe to his truck. I stopped and requested his assistance, offering my small bit of compensation as incentive. He asked that I wait until he got off work, I gave him the address and he advised that he and his father-in-law would come help. [I had scheduled to detail the truck, prior to my son's Sgt's return in honor of him allowing me to use the truck in his absence for that evening.] As the time flew past...all the liquor, beer and sodas were bought & iced down, the hamburger fixin's prepared for the festivities, WELCOME HOME sheets painted and hung on the front of the house & the fence outside Lejeune ... I even ironed my jeans to accompany my homemade "WELCOME HOME--JOB WELL DONE-SEMPER FI" t-shirt for the next day. Still no help had arrived.

Just as I was about to give up and lay down in the front yard in tears...up drove the young man to assist. As he exited his truck with his father-in-law I noticed his leg tattooed with USMC and his father-in-law's bicep revealed a familiar bull-dawg mark...they made short work of the pit (quite heavy) from the truck to back concrete area...shook my hand...called me Ma'am...told me thank you and requested that I thank my son for his service and proceeded to get in their truck to leave. I raced after them and pleaded for them to please accept my token funds.

The kiddo said...nope I served until last year and my father-in- law was in Vietnam...this was my duty. He thanked me for the honor. I invited them to the festivities the next day...but never saw them again...never got his name or unit...but he acted like it was a thing you do for a brother and a very helpless MOM. It is a family...and Marines do look after each other.

I share this story...simple as it is...not only to share the generosity of fellow Marines, but in hopes that he or a friend might read it and let him know...that he, with my son and his fellow Marines...are my heroes and fine folk. Thank You Marines so for my freedom, through your courage, resolve, sacrifices and valor.

Simon the Philosopher I have attached a picture to share of my son from his Marine Corps Ball 2007...I am very, very proud of him.

As Always, cathy l. holm, (now back home) in Huntsville, Texas

"The government solution to any problem is usually at least as bad as the problem."
Milton Friedman

United States Flag Retirement Plaza My name is John Kovach from Allegheny County, Pa. I was a United States Marine from June 1971 to July 1974 with 24 months overseas service nine of them in GTMO. I was also in the USMCR from June 1975 to December 1977 and the creator of the below mentioned site.

On June 14, 2006 Allegheny County, Pa. dedicated a new United States Flag Retirement Plaza located in one of the county parks. An essay contest was held and the site was officially named "By The Dawn's Early Light" United States Flag Retirement Plaza. This is a site specifically dedicated for the purpose of conducting dignified ceremonies for the retirement of worn or faded United States Flags. This site is designed for use by any citizen, civic, scouting, veteran or other public or private organization. Its use is free of charge and is any anyone desires to use it for a flag ceremony they simply go to the park office and reserved it for their selected date.

Each June 14th is set aside by Allegheny County, Pa. for the specific purpose of conducting a county United States Flag Retirement Ceremony.

Don Dade of The Dade Forum of The AVN has donated setting up a web page for this site. To view this page the address is:

This was always designed to be a work in progress. Attached is a photograph of the site.

I was wondering if you could help me in two ways.

1) This years ceremony to be held on June 14, 2008 I would like to make a truly "National" United States Flag Retirement Ceremony. It is our intention to try to acquire a worn , faded or unserviceable United States Flag from every state in The United States, Iraq and Afghanistan and place them in the retirement area in the order of admittance to the union to show all America and the world that we are indeed "The United States of America". This is a public ceremony and anyone is invited to attend. We are looking for flags 5x8 or smaller that may have flown over a military base or historic site in that particular state accompanied by information on the site. I am hoping you can through your publication pass this information to any contacts you may have in the various military installations or other subscribers so that we may accomplish our mission to represent each state.

2) This site was also designed to be a work in progress and we are trying to collect donations to have a mosaic mural placed in the wall on each side of the American Flag Pole. One side will be dedicated to our military and those men and women who have given their live to protect our nation and the other side dedicated to America's Citizens as our flag represents all. The cost of this mosaic will be about $10,000.00. We would like to have culvert pipe placed in the ground by each branch or service flagpole (including Merchant Marines for WWII service) so that the ashes retired may be shown total respect and placed in this area. We would like to construct a pedestal above this area and place the branch of service medallion on it. The top will be hinged so the ashes may be placed inside. We also would like to have two Revolutionary War soldiers on bases stand guard on each side of the wall near the state and county flagpoles.

I will stop here and if you or anyone you share this with would like more information on the site or wish to donate my email address is:
Jlk1953 @ verizon .net

Thank You,
"Semper Fi"
John L. Kovach Jr.

"The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men."
Samuel Adams

Dear Sgt. Grit,
l just finished reading a letter written by John B titled To The Point. For some reason this made me think of my son who is currently active duty USMC. He is a Cpl, age 22, stationed at Quantico with HMX-1, AVI. When he went through boot camp, 9/2003 - 12/2003 he had a rough time physically...2 weeks into b.c. he had his impacted wisdom teeth pulled (cut out), had a pulled thigh muscle, bronchitis and a broken ankle for the last 8 weeks of b.c. My point is he just kept going...didn't give up. He wanted to come home but he was determined to come home as a United States Marine...and he did it. When I start to think...I'm just so tired, or uncomfortable, or any other number of excuses I can come up I remember what he endured and I think I have no reason to complain and whine about discomfort. Marines are a true encouragement to those who know them...their tenacity and commitment. My son is a great example to me and you know I am so very proud of him.


I will never be 1st lady
Nor grace a movie screen
I'll never be world famous
Nor will I be a queen
But I would never change my lot
With any that I've seen
For you see I am the mother of a


"The house we hope to build is not for my generation but for yours. It is your future that matters. And I hope that when you are my age, you will be able to say as I have been able to say: We lived in freedom. We lived lives that were a statement, not an apology."
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)

What Have You Done Bumper Sticker
What Have You Done For Your Country Today? Bumper Sticker

Got Freedom? Compliments of the United States Marine Corps Bumper Sticker
Got Freedom? Compliments of the United States Marine Corps Bumper Sticker

God Bless America!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit