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Veteran Ribbon Shirt Special

To Mr. Tom Shepherd, Father of Marines:

Excellent advice about going to graduation, bringing friends, and especially Kleenex. At the risk of ruining "The Image," I spent 3 years as a Jr/Sr Drill Instructor in 3RD RTB, Parris Island, SC.
The worst day of each platoon was the day AFTER graduation - when they got on the buses and left. The longest walk, while trying to swallow the giant S**t Can in my throat and not shed tears, was to walk through that squad bay - with nobody in it.

Pete Formaz
From awhile ago

LCPL Bradford and his mother Dear Sgt Grit, I would like to thank KB for his help that day on the tour. My son is the young Marine from 2/3 and his name is LCpl Matthew Bradford. He is a very courageous young man and I am very proud of him. He has overcome some tremendous obstacles and is still going strong. He is a true Marine and is very proud of his brothers. He is hoping to stay in the Corp and work with the wounded Marines and their families at the hospitals. He also wants to do some public speaking. He has a lot of heart and soul. As you can see, he has his legs and is walking whenever he can. He is currently at the Hines VA Hospital at the Center for the Blind. He has learned so many things so that he can be independent once again. I know that he will achieve whatever goals he sets for himself. I know that Matt can help others with whatever injury they have because he is such an inspiration. He has helped me thru all of this just by not giving up on himself. This is just a sidestep for Matt to take and then he will be able to go forward for the rest of his life.

Thank You
Debbie Bradford
PMM Mom LCPL Bradford

I am a volunteer at the USO at Palm Springs International Airport. We are here primarily to serve the Marines en transit to and from the world's largest Marine Base at Twentynine Palms California. Since opening almost two years we have had about 20,000 mostly Marines come to us for services. Most are from 17 - 20 years old guys barely old enough to vote but dedicated to serve their country. Many are coming to 29 Palms for their final desert training with Mojave Viper prior to deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan. Some attend the Communications School.

One Saturday morning a couple weeks ago, I was at Wal*Mart buying bananas and apples to take to the USO. I received a phone call from Pat a volunteer. She told me we had a young Marine stranded at the Greyhound Bus drop off point. It is seven miles from Palm Springs in the desert near I-10 freeway at Amtrak. When I arrived he was leaning against his 150# of gear, the wind and sand blowing at 30 miles per hour. He had been there since 3 a.m. with no food, no water and no sleep. He was en route to the USO to find transportation to his new duty station at 29 Palms. We dusted him off, gave him food and water and got him a ride to the Base. He needed help and our USO answered the call.

We have a full range of services. Five of the best hotels in Palm Springs give us free hotel rooms for 'stranded' military due to missed flights or canceled flights or other emergency situations. Four to five nights a week military persons sleep overnight at our Center. We don't want them on the streets or flaked out in the airport -- they deserve better. One night recently it was wall- to-wall Marines, 50 of them sleeping on the floor. One slept under the pool table. We know how to take care of our Marines and Navy Corpsmen. Its all done by one hundred volunteers and all funds provided by the local community.
Richard Stelk, one of the hundred volunteers!

"Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capacity, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence."

Joseph Story

Marine Tattoo Marine Tattoo Hi there I just wanted to share my new tattoo... this tattoo is for my husband who was recalled in May and on Monday Nov 3rd will check into Camp Lejeune! He will be in for one more year with a deployment planned. Leaving behind myself and our 18 month old son! It will be hard but I know we can make it thru!Thank you all for all you do! I have also added a picture of my husbands tattoo!

Thanks again
Proud Marine Corps Wife!

Stephen in his vehicle getting ready for a transport convoy in Iraq. My son Stephen has been in the Marine Corp for just over 1 year. He is now deployed in Iraq at Camp Al Asad. Better known as Camp Cupcake. Our whole family is so very proud of him. He is in motor transport and goes on convoys most everyday. He will be returning home to Camp Lejeune the first part of March of 2009 where his family will be waiting for him. He signed up to serve his country at the age of 17 before his senior year at high school. He was proud to become a US Marine. He did his boot camp training at Parris Island, South Carolina where we all went to see him for his graduation on November 30, 2007. That will be a day we will never forget. Here is a picture of my son in his vehicle getting ready for a transport convoy in Iraq.

A Proud Mother of a US Marine
Tracy Vincent
Pleasantville, PA.

Landon as a future Marine As a former Marine and my husband an Active duty Marine, we wanted to send a picture of our 3 month old son, Landon as a future Marine. Happy Birthday Marines! Semper Fidelis!

Denise P.

"We’ve gone astray from first principles. We’ve lost sight of the rule that individual freedom and ingenuity are at the very core of everything that we’ve accomplished. Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives."

Ronald Reagan

My story is not different from many that chose the Marine Corps over the other fine branches. I made the decision late in 69 when it was not very popular to be in uniform but I was only in the 9th grade when within two weeks the Army and the Marine Corps brought home to rest 2 of my neighbors, you know the ones that would take the time to play ball with us young ones and really acted as a role model. It was a sad affair but my Father being a Korean Veteran in the Army ensured our family was present at both services. The Army did a fine job bringing home their own but when our next door neighbor came home with his escort from the Marines it shed a whole different light on taking care of your own. It was that day that I told my Father that I want to be a Marine. The pride he showed made me know my decision was complete. I graduated and was on delay entry, still remember going over the bridge in the dark to the island to this day. Graduation came and my parents made the long trek to the Island. My DI was the first to shake my hand and call me a Marine, the second was my Father. A handshake first followed by a hug I still can remember! He made it a point while still on the Island that he was aware that I had gained a whole new language which he did not mind hearing but asked it try to keep my hard language away from my mother! It was on the third day at home at breakfast that I slipped, I was reaching over for more eggs and my glass of milk caught my sleeve and spilled with great flare, out of my mouth came a normal reaction from a young Marine a word I wish to this day I could take back because my Mother just sat there with her head bowed due to the offensive word only you fellow Marines can fill in. The funny thing is my Father lowered and shook his head as he said in a low voice It was only a matter of time! I went on to serve 21 years in our beloved Corps and miss it every day. To those that are about to serve, I rate being a Marine on life’s accomplishments second only to my sons birth and my wife of 32 years understands she is third. It can never be taken from you and you will wear it proudly and defend it when necessary. Your country needs you more than ever and the professionalism displayed by today’s Marine exceeds our past and makes the Old Corps proud! I solute you all in uniform but a special heartfelt, Semper Fi to all Marines past and present!

Greg Field Gysgt Ret(73-94)
Avionics, C-130 , Av-8B, Ch-46, Ch-53

Marine Stepping Stone picture SSgt Moreno's grandson next to Marine Stepping Stone SGT GRIT,
Just to let you know that I received the USMC Garden Stepping Stone yesterday. As you will see by the pictures attached, I put it in a proper place, right at the base of my new flag pole with old glory! (I have it attached to the flag pole with a secure clamp).

I could not see putting it on the ground and then have someone step on it.

My neighbors and passer byes have complimented me on the display of my flags and now the "stepping stone".

Thank you so much for the great products you have for us Marines.

Happy Birthday to you and all your staff.

God bless all our Marines and servicemen and God bless the United States of America!

Semper Fi
SSgt Mario Moreno

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it."

Thomas Paine

My son joined the Corps. in Feb. 2008, the Marine Corps. emblem pumpkin brought tears to my eyes. I'm so proud to be an American with a son serving this great country.

Judy Curtin
Mother of PFC Curtin

Just wanted to say great newsletter, and great merchandise. Please keep up the great work. Reading your newsletter brings to mind, the pride and esprit de corps all us Marines, (former, active and beyond) have been so honored to uphold. Being a Marine was my life's dream as a kid. Which in my particular case was not the thing a kid growing up in the streets of Compton, Ca. rarely ever considered. I'm proud to say that the Marines became the family that I never really had as a child. After six foster homes and dropping out of school in the 10th grade and living on the streets at 17. There was no doubt in my mind where I was headed. Someway, somehow the Marines took me in, I got my High School Diploma and first two years of college while stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. and MCRD, San Diego. I am a former Drill Instructor and a proud member of Ist Air Delivery, Camp Pendleton, Ca., Plt.Sgt.for 3rd Air Delivery Okinawa, Japan etc. etc. All I'm trying to say I guess is that the Marines took this kid off the streets and returned to it a Marine. That was over thirty years ago that I got out, but still proud to say "maybe not as lean, or as mean, but d*mmit still a Marine". Thank You Sgt.Grit for reminding me of some of the scariest moments I've ever had, some of the best of times I will ever live to have, and most of all to the only family I truly ever had, the U.S. Marines, Semper Fi and God Bless You All. Former Gysgt.A.D.Williams, USMC

"It's a funny thing, but, as years go by, I think you appreciate more and more what a great thing it was to be a United States Marine... I am a U.S. Marine and I'll be one till I die."

Ted Williams, Baseball Hall of Famer

As a member of the 1st Marine Detachment, USS Enterprise from 1961-1963, it was my honor to serve as Orderly to ship's Captain Vincent P.DePoix and for two shorter periods, Orderly to the Father of The Nuclear Navy, the late Admiral Hyman E. Rickover. I was basically a ceremonial bodyguard and stand-up administrative assistant, but to have endless lines of Navy Commanders kissing my butt all day to get in to see Captain DePoix or the Admiral was interesting, unusual, and helped prepare me for my career as an Advertising Creative Director and President. Besides getting an up-close education on how large organizations are run, how some of the world's best executives think and act, I got to know the people who make everything go. About 5,000 of them; the officers and crew of Enterprise were my own adopted small town. In my off- duty time, I would hike all over the ship (then the world's largest), sometimes for hours. On numerous occasions I'd encounter a particularly cool young Navy Lt. and, if covered, would pop him a smart Sea-Going Marine salute. if the passageway was empty, he'd smile, wave off my salute and just say: how're doin'? If you said that I knew John McCain was one very special individual before most Americans did, you'd be right.

Still High On Semper Fi,
Andrew S. Mensing USMC

"I learned everything important about gun control on the rifle range." -- Marine Rifleman.

Boy, if this doesn’t bring goose bumps or tears or both, then you can’t be moved by anything.

Sgt. Grit:

I am a Marine Mom. My son just shipped out to Iraq on the 17th of October. I have heard from him and know that he arrived safely. I have been reading your newsletter and it really makes me feel better hearing from other family members and Marines about their experiences.

My son Harry Clark II, is the first Marine I have personally known and I am so proud of him. I went to his boot camp graduation at Parris Island and just seeing all of the support these men received from their families was awesome. I enjoyed being the Marine Mom, I bought all kinds of merchandise stating so. I will continue to read your newsletter and when I have something to say, I will write.

I also wanted to say that I have now met several Marines that are no longer in active duty, but they have all treated my son like a family member.

Dedicated Mom

"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776

First of all, Happy Birthday to all Marines wherever you are. And then in response to "David" regarding the Veterans Hand Salute. Personally I think this honor was long over due. In fact I coined my own predecessor with the "Combat veterans salute". I ride with the Patriot Guard Riders and found myself feeling inadequate with the 'hand over the heart' salute for a young man who had given all. I'm a combat vet from Nam(CAR) and felt that the young man we were standing to honor had earned entrance into an elite band of brothers. And so I would wear my Nam Boonie hat and as the casket passed or the hearse or taps were blown I would offer the hand salute just as if I were in uniform. I recognized that it wasn't official but no one ever called me on it- and there were always active duty personnel at these funerals. When Congress finally followed my lead the rest was easy- except no I don't even need the boonie hat. Marines lead- proudly. At my son's graduation I was standing in the theater box right over the stage and offered the hand salute at the playing of the National Anthem. It's a privilege I fought and served for. I'm proud of it. Join me.

Jack Albright Sgt.
Nam '67-'69

K G Smith Greetings from one of a 5 children who is very proud of our dad and the many Marines that have come before him and after. Many years ago a young man talked his very best friend into joining the Marine corp. The United States was in at war with North Korea. Although many say it wasn't one; just a little old police action. His friends mother had wanted him to be a priest and Eddie had other ideas one was the Air Force. My dad convinced him the Corp was the right choice. They left and each went to different boot camps and then onto different outfits. But they kept in touch each describing what they experienced through out their training. Eddie was sent over seas first. He was CPL Edward Trautwein 7th Mar Reg. F Co 2 BN He ended on a place called Out-Post Vegas , where he died along with many others defending one of many hills in Korea 03-28-'53. He was a radio operator. My dad over the last few years has started to talk to us kids about this and his time over in Korea. He just carries this guilt around with him. Although he has found some peace through talking it out with our minister. There is a part of him that wonders what happened that day. He wishes he could talk to someone anyone who might recall that day.

I don't know if there is anyone who might remember or want to share. I respect that because I have a son who came back from Iraq after serving 18 months. He doesn't talk to me or his step- dad to much about his time over there. He gives us vague information and we won't push. If ever he wants he knows he can share with me. I know though that he talks to my dad sometimes but stops when someone comes near. So Sgt Grit if any of your readers can help a man who I respect and love dearly I would greatly appreciate it. It would mean the world to him too.

Sincerely K G Smith

"We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times."

George Washington

Picture of Amanda's husband and daughter at his homecoming I would like to say welcome home to 1/9. We missed them all I'm glad that everyone came back safe and sound. I just want to tell my husband that I love him and I'm so glad that he came back safe. I want to say thank you to all the other people that risk there lives and their families. I know its not the easiest thing to do. This is a pic of my husband and our daughter at his homecoming.

Thank you
Amanda Westfall
Camp Lejeune, NC

good morning sgt. grit, well. i finally made it. i am now private fingulin of the United States Marine Corps. three months of the island and all the hell that was involved with it turned out to be the best decision i ever made. for once in my life im proud of who i am and what ive accomplished. ive got the title marine and a beautiful fiancé. there's nothing else in life that ill ever need. goin off to SOI tomorrow so ill let yall know how that goes. esprit de corps goes deep. semper fidelis, private Fingulin born on 081017. ooh rah!

My brothers and sisters.. To think we started out 233 years ago, as young men, some very young, protecting those that protected our shores, armed with a single shot, a sword and only a leather neck strap as protection. Fighting to free a country, and even though they were out numbered they adapted, improvised, and overcame.

Not only freeing a country, but also creating the greatest nation in the world.

Through out history many presidents have honored them with their words.

Many Nations have honored and respected them, France honored a few with a gift. The Germans through fear honored them with a new name "Devil Dog"

It stuck! We kept it

And even though history passes and times change one thing last forever, never unchanging. Those young men, now joined by young women, and a bit more armor, better weapons, they still adapt, improvise and overcome. Now not only protecting those that protect our shores, but also paving the way through unthinkable odds to free others from terror.

True to the words they speak, honor, courage, commitment and most of all always faithful.

Never yielding...Never faltering...Always faithful....OooRah

Happy Birthday my brothers and sisters far and near, some no longer here..

‘til Final Roll Call Devil Dogs

Semper Fi! LCpl Perez, Cesar I. 3rd Bn 6th Marines ’85 Camp Schwab Panthers 82 . 86

The story about the invasion of Grenada when 1st Lt Jeb Seagle was killed, written by Matt McGrath, 1st Lt, USMCR, Commo, Mag-29. The Marines in Lincolnton, North Carolina have started a Marine Corps League Detachment in honor of Jeb Seagle, named Capt. Jeb F Seagle Detachment #1265 and Lincolnton also has a street named in honor of Capt. Jeb Seagle. The Commandant of the Capt. Jeb F. Seagle Detachment is Hank Kaczmarek and his EMail address is kaczmarek [at] if you care to get in touch with him and maybe Capt. Seagle's brother who still lives in Lincolnton, NC. John W, Grindel, Sr. Vice Commandant, Department of North Carolina, Marine Corps League

Unsubscribe Reason: Even as an active duty Marine, I get sick and tired of all the hatred for the mostly blind idiocy masquerading as patriotism in your publications. I could quote you a little Twain on patriotism, that it's the last refuge of scoundrels, but instead, let this be my parting word to you: To create man was a quaint and original idea, but to add the sheep was tautology. - Mark Twain's Notebook Thanks. Salutation: First Name: Liane Last Name: P......

Note: I stand convicted. I will continue to hang out here with my fellow idiot, scoundrel patriots. I do have one correction to the above. I believe we as patriots are not sheep, but the wolves.
Semper Fi Sgt Grit

"In the beginning of a change, the PATRIOT is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it cost nothing to be a PATRIOT."

Mark Twain

Sgt. Grit, Thanks for helping me to keep up. My Dad was a fifth Div. Marine in W.W. II, myself in RVN. Son and Son-in Law in Iraq (2 tours), daughter in admin at MCB Camp Pen. Look forward to always hearing from you.

USMC Bike with custom paint job USMC Bike with custom paint job that thought you would like to see the new marine corps transportation system. marine designation "bmxt". stands for bicycle motorcross transport. just kidding. my son who is 15 and an expert bmx racer in oklahoma city got me a bicycle and wanted me to start racing in my age group (which will remain open but i got out when we liberated kuwait). wanted to throw a little of my own style on it so here it is. stickers were all courtesy of sgt grits. a little hard to tell but the camo was a custom paint job by my self and my son. turned out really special and i hope when we take it to some of the national events that the marine corps gets some of the respect they earn everyday.

rick sills - sgt usmc reserve 1984-1993

Marines know how to use their bayonets. Army bayonets may as well be paper-weights."

[Navy Times; November 1994]

November 1968. 40 years ago. The place could be anywhere "stateside" Marines are stationed. I had the honor to be the Thanksgiving guest (along with a few other enlisted men) at the table of 1st Lt Baldwin USMC on Thanksgiving day. His family was absolutely delightful. This was my first Thanksgiving away from my family (I'm a Marine- of course it wasn't the last). I was feeling real sorry for myself when the Lieutenant put out "the word" that we could come to his home. He even provided the transportation. As I was thoroughly enjoying the dinner, it occurred to me that the Lt had probably spent his share of Thanksgivings in the Corps away from home. Many other Marines were even then away from home for the first or many times- and my self-pity turned to admiration for all those who serve. That day, while on my long road to maturity, Lt Baldwin and his lovely wife taught me that Marines and their families are all part of one large family. And I have thought about their kindness that Thanksgiving and every one since.

Semper Fi!

J Stuart Newberry
Sgt of Marines
MCRD 6/68-08/69
RVN 09/69-04/70
NNMC (Bethesda) 04/70-06/69

The United States Marine Corps, with it fiercely proud tradition of excellence in combat, its hallowed rituals, and its unbending code of honor, is part of the fabric of American myth."

[Thomas E. Ricks; Making the Corps, 1997]

Sgt Grit Newsletter,

Sgt Grit, I just recently was introduced to your website by my daughter (also a former Marine) when she e-mailed that she had found my name mentioned in your newsletter. Reference: Sgt grit Newsletter of March 17, 2005 and March 31, 2005. On March 17, 2005 Bob Rickabaugh inquired whether anyone had the words to a song about the Marines, written to the tune of Sgt Barry Sadler's Ballad of the Breen Beret, which was circulating around Camp Pendleton in 1968. It was like the Marine's answer to the Green Beret. On March 31, 2005, William Pippin Provided a response and referred to me by name SSgt Bob Lay, and the song I had wrote and recorded, "The Marine's Ballad and the flip side, "Make a Marine. I was very surprised and of course pleased that someone still remembers.

Thank you, William Pippin, you were right on the money. Let me provide a little background: I served in the Corps from 1953 to 1975, when I retired as a 1stSgt. I first went to Viet Nam in April 1964, on operation Shufly. As many of you may know, the unit operated from the old French compound across the street from Dogpatch. DaNang was a pretty open town at that time, and the liberty bus (cattle car) made evening runs nearly every evening. I had been a half-assed guitar player and entertainer since I was a teenager. So, I teamed up with three Air Force dudes who had a ragtag country band. They brought me in as a lead guitar player and singer. We played mostly at a joint-services club, the "Take Ten" club in DaNang and in several Viet bars, as well as the Grand Hotel I mention this because Sgt Barry Sadler's name was quite well known then as he had also played at the "Take Ten" club before I came along. When I returned stateside in early March 1965, my new duty station was with the I&I staff at Fort Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska. The country music scene in Omaha was thriving and wide open to anyone who had a little talent and moxy On the I&I Staff, I was a instructor in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning , and also the unit's Public Affairs Rep. In my spare time I again got involved with country music. At this time "The Ballad of the Green Beret" was on the top of the charts. I was Jealous. I thought the Marine Corps needed a song also. So, I got my thoughts together and sat down and wrote, "The Marine's Ballad" and Make a Marine". The "Marine's Ballad" was indeed written to the music of "Sink the Bismark". Of course, I had to obtain permission from the publisher of "Sink the Bismark" which required that I share authorship with the writers of that tune. So, as a result the official authorship of "The Marine"s Ballad" is, SSgt Bob Lay, Johnnie Horton and Tilman Franks. I hired some musicians, went to a recording studio in Omaha and recorded the two songs, and began to promote them.

There was a lot involved in all this, but to make long story as short as possible, a record company and promoter in Hollywood, California contracted with me to distribute the record. The record was sold in a number of record stores on both coasts and in PX's on several Marine Corps bases. It also received quite a bit of radio play, mostly on stations near large Marine bases. The record was also on a lot of jute boxes around the country. The largest country radio station in Omaha played it a lot. In 1968, I again received orders to WesPac. I left Omaha in January 1968, headed for Pendleton and a month of humpin'the hills there as a refresher course before going on to Nam. So, I was indeed at Camp Pendleton during February and early March 1968.

I was assigned a Acting First Sgt of a 165 man training unit. Needless to say I was a busy man, as anyone who went through training at that time can testify to. During that time, I was only able to go into Oceanside one time for a little liberty call. A couple other staff and I went into Oceanside to have a few cool ones. My record was on the jukebox in all the bars we went to, and was also on sale at Ponsi's record store. But, there wasn't any time for having fun and trying to be a big shot. We had to get back to the unit, as a lot of more important things were going on. Well, I shortly found myself in the Nam for a second tour. I was with the wing, in MWSG-17 as the Utilities Chief. When I went through Okinawa, I found my record was on the jukebox at the Staff Club and the E-club at Camp Hansen. By the time I returned stateside, and was assigned to El Toro in March 1969, most of the activity on the record had died down.

But, over the years the record and the songs have seen spurts of interest and activity. When I was in Tennessee in 1973 on Recruiting duty, I went to a studio and recorded a new sound track on both songs, which was much improved from the initial recording. The final mastering was done at Columbia Recording studio's in Nashville. The recorded was released again in 1973 and again in 1983 under another label. It was sold mail-order through the Leatherneck magazine in the late 70's Over the years I have done both songs on TV a couple times and numerous times live at various public functions. Presently, I'm working on a project to release the songs on a CD format and perhaps on some of the online music sites.

Semper Fi. Bob Lay, 1stSgt Retired. 1953-1975

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."

Winston Churchill

Dear Sgt. Grit,

A special Thank You to Ms. Lindsay O'Hair of your staff. I missed receiving your Newsletter a couple of weeks ago. She checked it out and I'm back on-line. Hope you give her a terrific Christmas Bonus because she's terrific!

A couple of items: At age 71, after a 10-year lapse, I've returned to running. In September, I ran a 5K race on the campus of a local university here in northwest Georgia. While warming up, I noticed a young fellow approaching me. I was wearing my USMC cover I got from SgtGrit. He shook my hand, and said, "From one Marine to another, how ya doin?" He kept on walking. I told my Beautiful Wife that the guy was not a Marine, and she asked me how I knew. I said because of his greeting; it was not a Marine brother greeting another Marine.

Then two weeks ago, I entered a local 5K race. When I finished, two fellows approached me, shook my hand, and said, "Semper Fi, brother." Yep, they are Marines. One of the guys asked me if I'd ever served in a war, and I told him I had served eight years during the war no one ever talks or thinks about, even though our Country was protected and prospered in safety. He asked me what war, and I told him THE COLD WAR!

When my name was called for winning first place in my age division, the Race Director placed the ribbon/medal around my neck, shook my hand, and said, "Thank you for serving our country and protecting it." His words touched me more than receiving the medal -- but I kept it anyway!

May God bless all of our military men and women, especially our Marines. And, may God bless America.

Frank H. Hamby Sgt. 1955-1963

In response to New England Marine Mom:

I am also the mom of a US Marine and very proud of it. My son enlisted in the USMC in his junior year of high school. That was 1996. I understand your struggle to know if your son is safe. Mine has been deployed now twice to Iraq and once on a Med float. It was super hard for me the first time because I had a brother in the USAF shot down in 1972 in Vietnam and has been listed at MIA/POW for 36 years.. (This year we got a couple teeth and a ring of his). So we laid them to rest for a bit of closure. So when my son told me he was leaving for Iraq I cried my heart out( not in front of my son) and my mom was beside herself in thinking that he would go and not return to us. I had many talks with my son before he left and the one thing he said to me that got me thru it all and still does to this day..

He said Mom I need you there beside me every step of the way. I know this is hard for you but I need your support and love to help me get thru each day and to know your walking it with me. This is my job this is what I do and what I choose to do with my life, I am a US Marine. With that being said then I could be strong and know that no matter what happened he is where he wanted to be and if he didn't make it home to me then he left me being the person I raised him to be. Himself!The Marines were the best thing that ever happened to him. He went to boot camp a boy and 13 weeks later when he walked across the Parade deck as a US Marine a totally different man stood before me. A man of honor and pride. He said to me then that there is no feeling of accomplishment greater than the minute he was finally called a US Marine. So please know that all of us moms are there with you and to support you and your son because he is in the best fighting force in the world. The United States Marines. My son is now on his 13th year and is a Gunny Sgt and still just as proud as the day he went in. I couldn't be more proud of him and all he has accomplished as a US Marine or the family he has joined.. if you ever feel the need to chat just email and we can call each other for support . diamondstodiamonds at yahoo dot com

Thanks to all who have served and all who are serving and to those that paid the Ultimate sacrifice for me and mine.. I know the price it costs to lose someone you love.

Cherie Stevens

Proud Mom of a US Marine

Chief Justice John Marshall said it all in one sentence: "The power to tax is the power to destroy."

On Friday October 24, 2008 6 honorably discharged Marines and their wives went down to the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California, to see a friend graduate from boot camp. So many memories came back to us, and a good time was had by all, as 607 proud, young men assumed the coveted title of "U.S. MARINE" that day, and 6 proud veteran Marines reminisced in pride along with them.

Later, while shopping in one of the base stores, I came out with my son and proudly shook hands with 2 new Marines. I asked them how old they were, and they replied 18 &19.

While one of them was asking me questions, the other Marine whose name is Will asked, "Excuse me sir, do you know where I could catch a bus to Los Angeles?"

I replied "No I do not, but where in LA do you need to go, Marine?", and he says "San Fernando Valley, sir".

I asked him if his parents had come down to witness his graduation, and he had replied no, unfortunately.

Wow! I could not believe that someone would miss such a significant milestone in their son’s life, and I felt bad that whatever unfortunate circumstance had prevented their attending this time honored ceremony, they had indeed missed a memorable one!

I tell Will that I live in a neighboring city, and that I WILL NOT let him take a bus home, I will take him home!

The look on his face said it all. He says to me "Thank you sir, you don’t know how much it means to me".

With a little bit of proud irony in my voice, I say "Um... yes I do know what it means, because I have been in the very same shoes that you two are in now... I graduated October 13, 1989, and the first place I wanted to go was home".

So, after spending some time walking around the base and buying some stuff, I present Wil with his first challenge coin and then later take him home to his parents, to what I'm sure was an emotional and heartfelt reunion...a Marine had come home!

... As they say, "Marines take care of their own... right?

Semper Fi! Michael Alvarado USMC 89-92 Chaplain San Fernando Valley #1277 Marine Corps League


Dad at the Mall

I took my dad to the mall the other day to buy some new shoes. We decided to grab a bite at the food court. I noticed he was watching a teenager sitting next to him. The teenager had spiked hair in all different colors: green, red, orange, and blue. My dad kept staring at him. The teenager would look and find him staring every time. When the teenager had had enough, he sarcastically asked, 'What's the matter old man, never done anything wild in your life?' Knowing my Dad (a Marine), I quickly swallowed my food so that I would not choke on his response, knowing he would have a good one, and in classic Marine style he did not bat an eye in his response. 'Got drunk once in DaNang, and had sex with a peacock. I was just wondering if you were my son.'

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes...your destiny.

Why in hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can. They are the same kind of men; why can't they be like Marines!?

Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, US Army; 12 February 1918

USMC Bumper Sticker
USMC Bumper Sticker

Patriotic Marines T-Shirt
Patriotic Marines T-Shirt

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

Christmas Items

Shipping to APO/FPO address? Must order by
Nov. 14th to ensure delivery by Christmas.

5 inch Nutcracker Christmas Ornament
5" Nutcracker Christmas Ornament

Marine Corps 14in Nutcracker
Marine Corps 14" Nutcracker

2008 Limited Time Christmas Shirt
Hooded Sweatshirt
Long Sleeve T-Shirt

2008 Christmas Magnet
2008 Christmas Magnet

2008 Christmas Special Shirt
Hooded Sweatshirt
Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Adopt a Marine

Support a Marine this Christmas with one of our Adopt A Marine packages.

Adopt a Marine

$25 Adopt a Marine Package
$35 Adopt a Marine Package
$45 Adopt a Marine Package

New Moto Gear

United States Marine Corps Decal
United States Marine Corps Decal

I Want to be a Marine Bib
I Want to be a Marine Bib

The Few, The Proud Youth Hoodie
The Few, The Proud Youth Hoodie
The Few, The Proud Hoodie

Four Star Service Flag
Four Star Service Flag

Kid's Camo Jacket
Kid's Camo Jacket

CChoose Your Family Member- Marine Family Wooden Tile
Marine Family Member Wooden Tile

Marine Family Member T-shirt
Marine Family Member T-shirt

Women's Marine Family Member Shirt
Women's Marine Family Member Shirt

In-Law License Plate
In-Law License Plate

All Our New Items

Custom Items

Custom Name Bumper Sticker
Custom Name Bumper Sticker

Semper Fi Saloon Plaque
Semper Fi Saloon Plaque

Marine's Prayer Plaque
Marine's Prayer Plaque

Keep My Marine Safe Cross
Keep My Marine Safe Cross

Marine Mom Cross
Marine Mom Cross

Custom Service Flag Decal- 2 Blue Stars
Custom Service Flag Decal- 2 Blue Stars

Sgt Grit Newsletter VS AmericanCourage Newsletter:
You receive both (alternating weeks) what's the difference?

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

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