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AmericanCourage #198     16 APR 2009

As I get older I find it hard not to shed tears on memorial day. But I do shed tears of pride to have fought with my brother in arms. I share with them the anguish the pain and the memories. As a P.F.C. in Viet Nam and a MGySgt in Desert Storm I realize the spectrum of emotions a person can take. So God Bless those Families of Son's & Daughter's that gave the Ultimate Price and to those Families that have Missing in Action "Prisoners of War", they will never be forgotten.
Semper Fi,
MAC'S An Old but still motivated Master Gunny Contreras

Father's Day Shirt

My oldest Marine is getting ready for his second deployment. This time he will be leaving his wife and 2 year old son. We wanted to have pictures of Ricky and daddy taken and they turned out so cute I had to share.

2 year old Ricky posing with his father 2 year old Ricky

Thank you,
Debbie Bailey
VPMMO CPL Rick and CPL Mike

photo of Paul's son, Patrick Carr (back row second from right) and friends wearing the spring break t-shirts This is a photo of my son Patrick Carr (back row second from right) wearing the spring break t-shirts I ordered for him and his hooch mates. He is just outside Ramadi. Coming home soon I hope, can't wait to see him.

Paul Carr
66-69, USMC

I Survived Shirts

Scant attention is being paid to the Afghanistan War. Our sons, daughters, friends, neighbors who are fighting this war deserve better and more attention for their efforts.

Sgt Grit

Dear SgtGrunt,

I love reading your newsletter and I wanted to write you about my two Marine Corps Heroes. My father.

Peter Gasiewicz pointing to bricks enscribed with names of Marines First and foremost, I wanted to begin with how very lucky I am to be the daughter of a United States Marine. I know because my father is a Marine, he is one of the main reasons that I am who I am today. From an early age, I was taught to respect people and not to do wrong to others. I was also taught that if there is ever anyone who is need, to help them to the best of my ability, because that is what my dad would do. Especially if that person is a United States Marine.

But I have to say the best lessons I earned from my Marine father were those of love and sacrifice. He taught me that family is the most important thing in the world, and the love for your family is like no other. Just like his love for the Corps, and his Marine brothers.

To this day, my father has sacrificed everything for me and my brother to ensure that we have happy, fulfilling lives and never have to worry about anything. He also sacrificed his life for my freedom, when he served in the Vietnam War.

I don't think I fully understood my father's love for his country or the Corps until September 11th, 2001. I also didn't fully understand why freedom is not free, until that day as well. Being born in NY, and growing up in northern NJ, when the World Trade Centers were attacked, it really hit my entire family close to home. Literally. A close cousin of the family perished in the attacks as well. 3 days later, there I was. Standing and staring at the mangled, twisted, smoldering mess of the World Trade Centers with my father. It was the quietest moment I think I will ever experience, especially in Manhattan.

We were watching the firefighters going into and coming out of the wreckage and the only word that I could think of was "sad." I couldn't comprehend how many people had died right there, where were standing. And I couldn't comprehend how almost every single one of those firefighters had men they were searching for, or how many men they had lost. Their friends, their fathers, their brothers. Each other. And then, it hit me. I looked over at my father, and he was crying. I knew then, that single moment took him back to his time and his suffering in Vietnam.

And then, he said something I will never forget as long as I live. He looked over at me, hugged me, looked back at the wreckage, the dirty and weeping fireman, and the space in the sky where the towers once stood and said "Look at what this horrible man did to our country. Just look at what he has done! If I could go back into the Marines right now and hunt him down, I would." And I knew that he would have if he could. That moment was when I knew what it meant to be a Marine was. That he would run into the fire to protect me and my family, and the entire country AGAIN if he had to.

So for all of those who are lucky enough to know and love a United States Marine, I ask you to think about that defining moment when you understood what it means to be a Marine. And I ask that you say thank you to that Marine, every and any chance you get. Without their love and sacrifices, which they still make today, our lives could be much different.

Remember, Freedom is not free. And the people who run into the fire first, to defend that freedom, are our beloved Marines.

-Christa Gasiewicz

Proud Daughter of Peter Gasiewicz USMC
1st Bat 9th Marines

Sgt Grit,
My son and I are almost done with his 1953 GMC motto truck. We've worked on it for about a year now. He's only 8, so I still have some time to finish it up before he can drive. I thought I'd share our pic's with you and your staff. Thanks for serving and providing us with great gear. Please feel free to use these pic's in anyway you see fit.
Semper Fi,
Sgt Sparks/USMC ret

Sgt Sparks's son driving 1953 GMC motto truck Sgt Sparks's son sitting on fender of 1953 GMC motto truck Sgt Sparks son sitting on 1953 GMC motto truck 1953 GMC motto truck interior of 1953 GMC motto truck

And I Quote...

Were we directed from washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread." -- Thomas Jefferson

Son chose to leave Marines for a girl who refused to be a military wife after 6 years of service. He Disappointed me SEVERELY!

Note: Hard Corps takes many forms. Outstanding MOM.
Sgt Grit

i just want to say Semper Fi to every Marine that reads this newsletter i am a sailor but my father whom passed away this year in january was a Marine i dont know much about his time in the service because he didn't like to talk about it all i know was that he served in Vietnam but like i said i am a sailor but every Marine out there has my utmost respect that i can give i pray for you all every day enlisted, officer, and retired once a Marine always a Marine...when i was home last before my dad passed away i was able to show him this website and he spent an hour in front of the computer just reading all the stories that people had put up and he started to cry because of the memories from when he was in but anyways i just want to say Semper Fi to every Marine that reads this and to say thank you for doing what you do

AOAN Little Carl
USS Boxer lhd-4

Riley reading the Sgt. Grit catalog We have been long time customers of Sgt. Grit. My daughter's father SSgt "Rooster" served from 1993-2002. Our daughter, Riley loves to hear her Daddy tell stories and always points out the Eagle, Globe and Anchor on the various Marine posters, items, and on t-shirts at both of our houses. She always reads your newsletter along with me and loves the decorated motorcycles, bull dogs and Marines who she says "looks like Daddy." I told her to pick out a book to read before bed. She ran in the other room and grabbed my Sgt. Grit catalog off my desk. I think she may be a bigger fan than some of your older members. We get asked all the time where we find all the great Marine items and t-shirts we have so I've started having to keep one of your catalogs handy. :)

Thanks for all the effort and as always Thank you to every Marine that honored the uniform.
Semper Fi.
Erica Cosminsky

And I Quote...

"If you are unwilling to defend your right to your own lives, then you are merely like mice trying to argue with owls. You think their ways are wrong. They think you are dinner." -- Terry Goodkind in "Naked Empire

And I Quote...

"Observe, my son, with what little wisdom the world is run." -- Baron von Oxenstiern

I, too, was a WM from 1980 to 1982. Platoon 8A, L Company, at Parris Island. Radio School at Twenty-nine Palms, then Radio Plt, CommCo, H&S Battalion, 2dFSSG, Camp Lejeune. The building was actually one of the old wooden barracks, and if I remember correctly, we were one of the last platoons to 'live' in that barracks before it was condemned! We did not do the obstacle course or go to the rifle range during boot camp. I joined the Marines at the urging of my best friends older sister, who was a Marine at the time I was trying to decide what to do with my life. Much to my horror, one day at mail call, one of my ADI's, Sgt. V. Tovar, called my name & quite frankly, was more than a little aggravated that I was getting mail from SSgt Sarah Degraff, HER boot camp 'bunkie', and wanted to know why! As I stumbled through an explanation, I could only imagine the horrors Sgt. Tovar was planning for me. Needless to say I wrote a letter to Sarah, ASAP, and told her not to ever write to me again!

Ruth Chippich-Murphy with Heather and Amanda

To this day, nothing short of the births of my three sons, makes me prouder than the fact that I have earned the right to call myself a United States Marine. My two oldest sons also joined the Marines. My middle son has done a tour in Afghanistan and two tours (one extended) in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The photo I've attached is of myself, and two of the boys friends, Heather and Amanda....the three of us call ourselves 'The Marineaholics', beside my Jeep. Unfortunately, the Jeep didn't survive a crazy, hydroplaning driver on I95, but nothing changes my love for the Marine Corps. Semper Fi to all of those who have served, in the past and the present. As a former Marine, and a Marine Mom, I can guarantee you that being a Marine Mom is absolutely the toughest job in the Corps!

Ruth Chippich-Murphy
VP Marine - even prouder Marine Mom!

Jerome's son wearing woodland camo hat. Sgt Grit,

I have 5 sons, oldest is 12 and the youngest is 1yrs old. The picture is my middle son who is 6yrs old. Funny thing is, I didn't even have him pose for this picture. I just asked him to give me the 1000 yard stare. He grabbed my cover, correctly placed it two fingers from the bridge of his nose, popped in to the POA and looked right through the camera and I into my soul. Scarlet and gold running through his veins.

Jerome R. Roseborough

I am writing to pay tribute to some of the Marines I served with more than fifty years ago. I am sure they are all gone now, but I have always considered them my hero's. I was a young Marine assigned to the office of a small detachment at Camp Pendleton. As a result I became close to the officers and NCO's who were near retirement. My Commanding Officers included 1st Lieutenant G. G. Sweet and Captain Erastus W. Roberts. Both were natural leaders and my friends. Both served in World War Two and received battle field commissions; and both were recipients of the Silver Star. They were the kindest men I have ever met. Another friend was Sergeant Major John M. Moran. He was a China Marine who served at Guadalcanal and took me under his wing, somewhat as a father. He retired after thirty years of service. I also served with two Technical Sergeants and unfortunately do not remember their names. One was captured at Corregidor and spent the war in a Japanese prison camp. The other received the Navy Cross while serving on Saipan. I now regret that I didn't get to know them better. At the time I didn't realize the extent of the company I was keeping, but I am sure they are currently in good hands.
Edward Spence
Sergeant USMC
1954 -1958

And I Quote...

"Nothing else can poison our culture, corrupt our society or ruin the character of our people like unearned money or unearned opportunity." -- James R. Cook

I am sorry that I missed the Memorial page for Beirut Hero's of Oct. 1983.
Our Son, Lt. Jeffrey R. Scharver, USMC was one of 3 Marines that was killed 2 days after the Beirut bombing. I belong to the Azalea Chapter of Gold Star Mothers in Wilmington, NC. We support other Moms who have lost a child while serving in the military, as well as veterans and those brave men now serving. On my GSM business card, I have a picture of Jeff and at the bottom; I have the words "Remember Grenada". 19 young men sacrificed their lives to help Grenada over through communism and I am so proud of them also. I know everyone says' we will never forget', but Urgent Fury - Grenada is overlooked a lot because of the few men that lost their lives. They did not die in vain, if we lose one soldier serving his country, it is one too many. I attend the Beirut- Grenada Memorial each year in Jacksonville and my heart aches for each and every parent that has ever lost a love one. I proudly display my Marine emblem on the back of my car and love to get the thumbs up from other drivers. Love reading all the articles in the newsletter! Keep up the good work.

To Sgt. Couturier:
Thanks for letting us know about Sgt. Romans who gave his life in the line of duty as a Oakland P.D. SWAT Sgt. my step father worked for the O.P.D. also after returning from his stint in the rice paddies of Vietnam hired in 69' retired in 85' succumbed to cancer in 94'.
I started my law enforcement career in 82'.
A good friend of mine Officer Larry Lassiter of Pittsburg P.D. who was killed in the line of duty in 05' by a 18 year old punk. Larry loved the Corps he was a Capt. a tank commander in Iraq in Dessert Storm and got out to start a family as he told me the Corps was not a place he wanted to raise his family. At the time of his murder his wife was pregnant with his son who he never saw. I am sure Romans and Lassiter are guarding the gates of heaven waiting to greet us when it is out times to ascend to Gods presence. Why is it always the good who must leave us. I am sure all of hearts go out the officers in Oakland and in our Military in Iraq and Afghanistan who have lost their lives fighting for our freedoms and our protection/
God bless our troops Semper Fidelis
Capt. Mac

Kind of in response to Wayne Stafford's letter. I was in DaNang and Dong Ha from January '66 to February '67 in the 1st Marine Division. The only welcome home I got was by my wife and 3 sons who met me in Memphis. My parents and my wife's parents met us when we got home. And, really, they were all I needed to see! My youngest son was 5 weeks old when I left for Viet Nam. My wife had a large photo of me in uniform that she showed him while I was gone so he knew who I was when I got home. But like Stafford, I'm happy to see that the Marines coming home now are being met and recognized for their service.

Bill McFarland
USMC/Sgt/February '60-November '69

And I Quote...

"I want an American character, that the powers of Europe may be convinced we act for ourselves and not for others; this, in my judgment, is the only way to be respected abroad and happy at home." -- George Washington

Visit "Award From Marine Corps Headquarters" / Baghdad Iraq

Gunny Sizemore's visit and award from Marine Corps HQ Baghdad Gunny Sizemore's visit and award from Marine Corps HQ Baghdad Gunny Sizemore's visit and award from Marine Corps HQ Baghdad Gunny Sizemore's visit and award from Marine Corps HQ Baghdad Gunny Sizemore's visit and award from Marine Corps HQ Baghdad Gunny Sizemore's visit and award from Marine Corps HQ Baghdad Gunny Sizemore's visit and award from Marine Corps HQ Baghdad

Semper Fidelis

Larry "Gunny" Sizemore
Billeting / Transit Supervisor
KBR, Inc
West BIAP, Baghdad, Iraq

Sgt. Grit.

I want to thank you and all of your staff for such an outstanding publication. I served from 1980-1985 and I still work with and have contact with several GREAT Men and Women I had the honor to serve with.

On 19 November, 2008 We all lost an outstanding Marine and Friend. Sgt. Donald W. Mc Kay. Don was on the Far East Rifle and Pistol team from Okinawa in 1982. He was awarded the Shivley trophy and to the day he died we always toasted the " Best Pistol Shot in the Marine Corps". At his memorial service we again toasted him and sent him to guard the streets of heaven. I know there are a lot of great marksmen in the Corps. (that is our bread and butter) but it was always a topic of conversation. I miss talking to Don and he left behind two fine daughters. They are still very proud of their dad as am I. Thanks again for all that you do.

Sgt. Jeff Wolven USMC

And I Quote...

"[O]f those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants." -- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 1

As one once amongst those in "cammies" at camp Pendleton (many years and too many pounds ago) I read the following from this mornings Sgt. Grit newsletter both with pride and a deep understanding. To Gary, a salute for your families sacrifice and to your son a hearty Semper Fi!

Know ye young Marine that some things will never change, I still come to attention when our national anthem comes on TV. and I always give a little salute if they speak of the passing of any Marine.

Once a Marine Always a Marine
Tyler Therrien
Ashland, MO.

I'm not sure if I'm suppose to be writing this to you'll since I'm not a Marine past or present but will be in the future. I have a son and soon to be wife and I'm a jr. in high school. I'll be 17 on april 16th 2009 and i plan on dep. in to the Marine Corps that day. My m.o.s is going to be combat engineer hopefully. my grandfather served in the Marine Corps and fought in the Korean conflict but that all i know he was killed by a drunk driver when my dad was a kid so i never gat to meet him. But i love reading your articles about your kids your parents and your journeys through the Corps and i cant wait to join the proudest and greatest branch of the military.

And I Quote...

"Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done, if we are always doing." -- Thomas Jefferson

i was moved by the Marine dad who's son came back from Iraq...i just wish we would have had the same welcome when we came back from Vietnam...instead all we had was hippies demonstrating, at the gate of travis air force base... as the bus we were on passed the group of hippies a PFC turned to me and said "sarge why these people act like that?" all i could tell him is patriots like you and all the others that didn't come back are true patriots.....

Semper Fi


Sunday night at the Country Music Awards aired on the CBS TV network, Trace Adkins performed with the West Point Glee Club. They were introduced by a Marine who spoke about the Wounded Warrior Project. That young man was LT Andrew Kinard, USMC, USNA Class of 2005.

It is a very moving tribute (YouTube), worth watching and sharing.

i was recently hospitalized in are home town of manatee fl. after a long and just exhausting ordeal. the support that my family and i have gotten has been my will power to grab hold of that Marine i was and will be forever has just made me that much more of a Marine. Marines go out of there way to be there for there brothers. i have been blest to have been a part it. love you all Marines.
m.e saber USMC Mark and Robin

And I Quote...

"I am commonly opposed to those who modestly assume the rank of champions of liberty, and make a very patriotic noise about the people. It is the stale artifice which has duped the world a thousand times, and yet, though detected, it is still successful." -- Fisher Ames, 23 June 1789

Hello Marines; As a mom of a Marine who recently finished boot camp, an old incident hit me that i have to share. Back in the spring of 1983, My mother and i were traveling home from a short vacation from Hawaii. The plane we were in was pretty full for the long ride back to California. On board with us was a group of Navy men sitting toward the rear and in the center of the plane. All were in uniform, and unfortunately it was soon apparent they were heavily intoxicated. For the most part, the passengers were all fairly quiet. Everyone settling in for a long ride. The peaceful setting didn't last long though. In the group of sailors was a single young female in uniform. I first took notice when stifled laughter and giggling came from the Navy men. They began a merciless teasing of the girl.

It was mild at first, but soon got worse with hail pulling from behind, and ear flicking. I was close enough to hear snippets of vulgar language. I got pretty angry at this, but i was pretty young and a little scared. I didn't want to do anything that would focus their attention on me. I looked around at the other passengers. Everyone seemed to be ignoring this situation, even the stewardess's seemed to avoid the area. The poor lady was trying very hard not to cry and maintain her dignity as this went on and on. Suddenly a young man stood up. A military man to be sure but not in uniform. He turned around and approached the group. Leaning over one of the drunk men to whisper something in her ear. Without a word, she took off like a lighting bolt to his vacated seat. He then proceeded to sit in her seat amidst that pack of wolves. My mother, as if to read my mind said, "that man is a Marine". How do you know that i said. I just know, she said.

I was really sure a brawl would develop now, so i was discreetly watching with interest. A strange thing happened. That man never said a word to the sailors, nor even acknowledge their presence. He just sat right in the middle of them as if to say, "go ahead, flick MY ear: It was if all the air went out of them. Within a minute, everyone quieted down and stayed that way for the rest of the trip. It was when I saw my son the first time after training. As he approached me, It hit me like a ton of bricks. That's the man from the plane! Mom knew and now i knew and I bet the sailors knew too:
sara M pittsburgh

One of my personal favorites comes from Thomas Jefferson:

"Those who beat their swords into plowshares shall do the plowing for those who do not"

John Bader
1966 - 1969

A few weeks ago, I was traveling alone to visit my sister in Florida. Along the way, I stopped at a rest area. Upon exiting the building, I saw two young men (I use the term lightly-they were young and they were male) approaching my parked car. I couldn't tell what they said to each other from that distance, but they gestured to my car which bore a United States Marine Corps decal strip across the back window and a Marine Corps Eagle, Globe, & Anchor spare tire cover (page 30 in the Sgt Grit catalog). When they got close enough, one of them threw his slushie drink at my EGA tire cover. I was still about 75 yards away, but I yelled at them to stop. They just yelled something vulgar back at me and got into their car and drove away. (Their car also sported a few bumper stickers: "Visualize World Peace", and "Obama '09") As I stood there shaking with outrage, I heard a voice behind me.

"Are you all right, ma'am?"

I turned. There were 2 Marines, dressed in their alphas, striding up to me.

"We were just pulling in and we saw what happened, ma'am." They introduced themselves. One was Captain Mortonberger and the other was Staff Sgt. Hollis. I told them how angry I was that these punks would dare to do such a thing. It was bad enough that they desecrated the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, but for them to do it on my car was more than I could stand. It really isn't my car. It's my son's car. I'm just taking care of it for him. I started driving the car when my son, Sgt. Jonathan Stevens, died in January 2006. I affectionately named the car "Jarhead".

Staff Sgt. Hollis excused himself, and I assumed he was going to use the facilities. Captain Mortonberger stood there and talked to me for a few minutes, I suspect in an effort to calm me down and reassure me. We spoke about my son and I learned that the Captain and Staff Sgt were working out of the same recruiting office near Atlanta that recruited my son. A few minutes later, Staff Sgt. Hollis came jogging down the sidewalk with a huge wad of wet paper towels in his hands. He smiled at me. "With your permission, ma'am." Then he proceeded to lovingly wash the sticky mess off my EGA tire cover.

I lost it. I started to cry right there. God knew I needed a special touch at that moment, and He sent not only two guardian angels, but MARINE guardian angels to watch over me.

While Staff Sgt Hollis took care of Jarhead, Captain Mortonberger asked where I was headed. I told him, and he said they were headed in the same direction but weren't going quite as far as I was. Captain Mortonberger said, "We'd be pleased to escort you as far as our exit, ma'am."

So for the next 150 miles, I had a Marine Corps escort, two Marine guardian angels, following me down Interstate 75. Thank you Captain Mortonberger and Staff Sgt Hollis.

Connie Stevens
"Once a Marine mom, always a Marine mom"

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Thank you for the information on the folding of our flag. I write a newsletter for our agency and have placed the 13 folds on the front page. I, as well as others, had no idea of what was behind every fold. I found it to be informative as well as interesting. It makes me proud to be an American and the next time I'm at a military funeral I will know and understand. God bless you for being in Viet Nam and living to pass on your patriotism. I wore a bracelet for many years of a Sgt. Roe and until this day do not know if he made it back. Though, I did receive a letter from his mother thanking me for wearing the bracelet. I lost several friends over there and remember celebrating when our guys came back. I am so sorry that our troops weren't recognized for serving in that war. My little niece is a Marine and our Chief Deputy here was a Marine. My niece will be deployed soon to Afghanistan and she's only 18 years old. But, Viet Nam had a lot of 18-19 year olds, didn't they? Keep up your good work!

Blessings and Thank you,
Wanda Wypasek

And I Quote...

"You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him." -- James D. Miles

I am looking for 5th Marine Division veterans, 13th Marines who manned Glamour Gal. This was WWII Iwo Jima. Glamour Gal is credited with firing the first shot at Mt. Suribachi. The Glamour Gal has been rebuilt and a dedication ceremony will be held May 8th in Hot Springs Arkansas, with any living veterans of Glamour Gal, or family of the Marines on the crew wanted. Also ANYONE is welcome to attend this ceremony and it is really an honor to the USMC at Iwo Jima - the howitzer will be used in Southern California as a saluting canon at funerals, and basically whenever needed military honor wise. I have turned the USMC - retired upside down in several states looking for family or living Marines from the crew. I found a member of the 5th Division, 26th Marines, 2nd Battalion who at 85 distinctly remembered Glamour Gal and the other howitzers and that Marine said that the crews probably saved his life. Anyway- youtube has the video that names the crew members- If you want to see it type in glamour gal and it will bring up Part I. That is where you see the crew and they are named. My grandfather is named there.

Glamour Girl (YouTube)

The names of the crew as best as I can figure out from the video are: Sgt. Joseph L Pipes, Jr, William Bill Smith, Jr., Norman "Chief" Jefferson, Big Stoopes Emullivich (I cannot spell the name right by any way), Fermin A. Martinez, Thomas Hanby (located family), Thomas Bratcher (mine) Tex Q, Chris Binkey, and Pop Reynolds (Pop died at Iwo and is buried there.)

I am looking for relatives of a possible member of the Choctaw Nation. There is a ceremony planned for May 8, 2009 in Hot Springs, Arkansas for the first firing of a remade howitzer from WWII- Iwo Jima. This Howitzer was called the "Glamour Gal" and an USMC film was made about this crew and the howitzer. One of the men on the crew was listed on the video as "Chief" Jefferson. I believe he died in 1998 or 99. I looked in a book on the 5th Marines, 13th artillery and I found a Norman Jefferson listed. That would have been the battery that fired the howitzer. Youtube has the USMC video on Glamour Gal that shows all 10 members and I have found that the film had some bad information- listed one Marine as from PA when he was actually from Alabama.

I am the granddaughter of one of the crew members on the howitzer. This howitzer was note worthy as she fired the first shot on Iwo Jima at Mt.Suribachi as they Marines set up on D- day. As the ceremony is May 8th in Hot Springs and family members of the Marines are invited to attend and see their loved one who was on the crew honored- I am trying to locate family and any surviving Marines. My father believes that "Chief Jefferson" lived in Broken Bow, Oklahoma and he had thought he was Creek Nation. I contacted the Creek Nation and was told Broken Bow as actually Choctaw and I believe the film lists "Chief" Jefferson as a Choctaw Indian.

This howitzer will be used by a museum in Southern California as a saluting canon for funerals, parades, and basically any time the national anthem is played.

My name is Angelia Bratcher Bess. My cell # is 931-743-3254 and my work # is 423-881-3251 dial 0 for operator. My work email address is Angelia.Bratcher.Bess [at] tn .gov or Angeliab1964 [at] yahoo .com

Fifty Eight Years...PTSD...Korea

And I Quote...

"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself." -- James Madison

Dear Sgt. Grit,
This past Sunday night, April 5, someone came by our house and stole our flag pole with our new Marine flag on it. My two sons, both Marines, one serving now and home on leave and his brother who finished his four years were furious when they found out. They stormed out of the house and searched the neighborhood. They came back with the pole, but the flag was gone. I was heart broken because I had just bought a new flag to honor my youngest son who I knew was coming home. I am pretty sure it wasn't someone who needed a Marine flag for a family member because Marine families are more honorable than that and wouldn't do something that terrible. I will replace it when I can, but I am still quite mad about that and will be for awhile.
Marine Mom Jean in Schenectady, NY

On April 5th, Marine Corps Lt. Colonel Edward Hall (ret.) graciously presented the Honor Quilt I made for USMC WWII pilot Del Carlton of Emily, MN.

Sandy Tuzinski
Bloomington, MN

Lt. Colonel Edward and Del Carlton holding quilt Lt. Colonel Edward and Del Carlton holding quilt Corner of quilt with patch displaying dedication Del Carton USMC WWII Pilot holding corner of quilt

And I Quote...

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry

H.L. Rogers riding with the Patriot Guard Riders, complete with the Marine Corps flag. In this picture is the flag you folks gave me to replace one that did not hold up to well. This flag is doing great and I tell everybody that will listen about Sgt. Grit and what good folks to trade with. I ride with the Patriot Guard Riders, and this was on one of there mission. The Marine Corps flag is shown on my yellow trike. Thanks again for you good service.

H.L. Rogers

I've always been awed by Gen. MacArthur's "Duty, Honor, Country" speech. I think we can interpret his use of the title "soldier" to mean any serviceman, but his sentiments are particularly apt when applied to the Marines:

"The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training: sacrifice. In battle and in the face of danger and death, he disposes those divine attributes which his Maker gave when he created man in His own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of the divine help which alone can sustain him. However hard the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country is the noblest development of mankind."

R.D. Lunceford,

And I Quote...

"To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can have." -- Theodore H. White

The Marines Are Coming!

The Marines are Coming On Sunday April 26, 2009 at approximately 1:30 p.m. the Court House at Mena, Arkansas will be invaded by thirty two Marines. These Marines are members of the Marine Corps Band out of New Orleans, Louisiana.

They will provide musical accompaniment for a Memorial Ceremony honoring Marine PFC Herbert A. Littleton (Polk County's only native son to receive the Medal of Honor.) Each year the musicians of the band travel throughout the entire United States, performing more than 250 concerts, parades, and ceremonies entertaining over 6,000,000.

The band supports all units of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing, Fourth Marine Division, Fourth Force Service Support Group, and Marine Corps Reserve Support Command. Additionally, these Marines are often called upon to provide musical entertainment in support of the Marine Corps Recruiting and community relations programs. The Band has performed at many recognized civilian events including: The Texas State Fair, the Fiesta Days Celebration in San Antonio, Texas, Flag Day Celebration in Troy, New York, The Fourth of July Celebration under the Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, and in 2006 members of the band joined up with the West Coast Composite Marine Band for the 2006 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. The band also performs annually in New Orleans Mardi Gras Balls and Parades.

In addition to providing musical accompaniment for the Herbert A. Littleton Medal of Honor Ceremony the Band will provide a free concert at 4:00 p.m. in the Middle School Auditorium located across the street from the Polk County Courthouse. The public is encouraged to attend both the dedication ceremony and the concert following the dedication.

This will truly be a great opportunity for many to not only see and hear one of Americas great bands but to honor a true American Hero and native son, Herbert A. Littleton.

An Extraordinary Ordinary American

Herbert A. Littleton During trying times like the ones we have today we often look at the negatives that surround us. For example we look at jobs lost, homes lost, lack of resources, and an uncertain future. Perhaps things are so dyer that we worry about simple necessities such as feeding ourselves and our families. In other words we focus on ourselves as victims. During such times we are in need of guidance, hope and leadership. Such leadership often comes from unexpected sources.

One such source arises when an ordinary person does an extraordinary act. This sets an example for us to follow. Such behavior often becomes a strong guiding light leading us in a direction that helps us understand our own as well as our fellow Americans strengths.

We, here in Arkansas are fortunate to have such an example in the form of Private First Class (PFC) Herbert A. Littleton. Herbert was born July 1, 1930 in Mena, Arkansas to Paul N. and Maude Littleton. Times were hard and money scarce (much like today). His family had to move to Port Orchard, Washington to work in the shipyards. Herbert and his family later moved on to South Dakota where he attended school. Like many young men Herbert played football and basketball and was a popular student during his public school days.

Herbert later was employed by the Electric Appliance Company in Rapid City, South Dakota. However he never lost touch with his rural values and country way of life that were instilled in him by his family.

With the advent of the Korean conflict Herbert voluntarily enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. On July 29, 1948 Herbert A. Littleton was sworn into service for his country. He completed recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California. Then he completed his training at Camp Pendleton, California. Once this training was completed he was shipped off to Korea as part of the Third Replacement Draft to fight against enemy forces there. As with many other young men of his time he left behind his family and a girl with whom he planned to someday build a life with, have a family of his own, and live the American Dream.

Herbert A. Littleton fought in the Korean Conflict from December 17, 1950, until April 22, 1951. On April 22, 1951 PFC Littleton's battle ended as did his life. PFC Littleton, U.S Marine Corps Reserve, Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1St Marine Division (Reinforced) was killed by a North Korean grenade at Chungchon, Korea. While this in itself is a tragic event it is not what made PFC Littleton a great example that can be called upon to help lead us through hard times. Like most things it is not the event alone that brings out the best in us but how we choose to deal with those events (Our Lives).

The following Medal of Honor Citation explains how PFC Herbert A. Littleton chose to spend his life in defense of his fellow American and serve our country.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a radio operator with an artillery forward observation team of Company C, in action against enemy aggressor forces. Standing watch when a well-concealed and numerically superior enemy force launched a violent night attack from nearby positions against his company Pfc. Littleton quickly alerted the forward observation team and immediately moved into an advantageous position to assist in calling down artillery fire on the hostile force. When an enemy hand grenade was thrown into his vantage point shortly after the arrival of the remainder of the team, he unhesitatingly hurled himself on the deadly missile, absorbing its full, shattering impact in his body. By his prompt action and heroic spirit of self-sacrifice, he saved the other members of his team from serious injury or death and enabled them to carry on the vital mission which culminated in the repulse of the hostile attack. His indomitable valor in the face of almost certain death reflects the highest credit upon Pfc. Littleton and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

In return for his selfless act PFC Herbert A. Littleton was recognized and honored by the President of the United States in the name of the Congress by being posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Though he was born in Mena, Arkansas, until recently no Memorial or other recognition ha