American Courage logo
American Courage logo Online Catalog Request a Catalog
Sgt Grit Logo AmericanCourage

Family Member        Recreation        Flags        Men's        Custom Shop       

What's New?

Military Wife Prayer Throw
Military Wife Prayer Throw

In Memory Sign
In Memory Sign

Support Our Troops T-shirt
Support Our Troops T-shirt

Marine Corps Playing Cards
Marine Corps Playing Cards

Military Wife Prayer Pillow
Military Wife Prayer Pillow

Marine Corps Waterbottle
Marine Corps Waterbottle

Half My Heart is in Afghanistan Women's T-shirt
Half My Heart is in Afghanistan Women's T-shirt

Women's Digital USMC T-shirt
Women's Digital USMC T-shirt

Silver USA and USMC Flag Hatpin
Silver USA and USMC Flag Hatpin

KA-BAR Pink Dozier Folding Hunter
KA-BAR Pink Dozier Folding Hunter

I was Green Bag
I was Green Bag

All Our New Items


Custom Shop

Pick your design in our custom shop and get it on a an item of your choice. Custom text is also available...

Here's an example:

Marine Crossed Swords

Get this design on a:



License Plate

Picture Frame


Hitch Cover




All Marine Custom Shop Designs

AmericanCourage #210     01 OCT 2009

Hi Sgt Grit,
This is to honor my son, a Staff Sgt. In the Marines. He died this August of a heart attack at the age of 34. The Medical Examiner said his heart was either damaged by the ambush or he picked up a virus that settled in his heart and the V.A. Dropped the ball, in treating him. He left a family, Wife and 3 boys ages 3. 5, and 8. The following story is true, and all he got for the action was a Purple Heart. I just read a story in the Jacksonville newspaper of a Navy Submarine Officer that got a bronze star for doing a good job running electronics that blocked remote detonations of IED's. He didn't get blown up, shot at, or pull injured from the line of fire, but he got a medal. (story continues below...)

Veterans Day Special

SSgt A.W. Breen Ambushed

SSgt Breen was stationed in Afghanistan during 2007, at an outpost with 2 other Marines and in charge of training about 50 Afghan troops and collecting intelligence.

During the spring of 07, they received information on a small Taliban training camp. They set out to attack this training camp in a convoy of 2 Humvees and several trucks. They had to travel up into the mountains on some very rough and narrow roads. As they got into the mountains, the road wound its way up the side of a canyon. The road was way up a cliff, with a sheer drop off on the left, and the cliff extended up and actually overhung the road on the right side.

As they came to this one section of the road it made a big turn to the left, making an open 'U' that they were on , and the mountain across from them was a steep, sloping, bolder strewn hill across from the road. S.Sgt. Breen radioed to the other vehicles in his convoy that this was the perfect place for an ambush, and if an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade ) came in, to hit the gas, and don't stop for at least a mile. SSgt Breen was in the turret of the 4th vehicle, a Humvee. He was manning an M-60 Machine Gun.

Once they were all in the 'U' , the Taliban ambush opened up on them. An RPG hit the first truck, and two or three hit the last vehicle, another Humvee. The Afghan troops all stopped and got out of the trucks, and most of them just ran back down the road.

It turns out that they had been set-up by an Afghan member of the Taliban, that had joined the Afghan army and was an officer. He got sick the morning of their raid, and just couldn't make the trip. He was later found out, and killed by the Afghan Army.

The ambush was one of the worst fights that year in Afghanistan. There were over 200 Taliban fighters ambushing about 50 of SSgt Breen's Afghan troops.

SSgt Breen started firing the M-60 Machine Gun, and was doing so for a couple of minutes, suddenly it stopped working. Looking down at it SSgt Breen saw that it had taken an armor piercing round right in the action, making it useless. He tossed it aside and reached down into the Humvee, and grabbed his SAW (A Hand held Machine Gun) and started firing it. During this time period, his Humvee was hit by at least three RPG's, and his turret was taking lots of hits from the Taliban.

SSgt Breen was firing the SAW, when an armor piercing round hit him in the chest, slamming him back against the turret of the Humvee. His body armor ceramic plate stopped the bullet. SSgt Breen kept firing his SAW, until it suddenly quit. It had taken an armor piercing round directly in the bolt, making it useless. SSgt Breen tossed it down, and drew his 9 MM service pistol and was shooting it at the Taliban, when he was hit in the hand, destroying the pistol, and knocking it out of his hand. The armor piercing round had gone through his right hand.

Again, during this time, his Humvee was hit by another three or four RPG's, wounding SSgt Breen in the face, neck, and arms with shrapnel.

SSgt Breen jumped out into the line of fire and picked up one of the Afghan troops big H&K machine gun, and was firing it single handed with his left hand. He then, with his wounded right hand, grabbed a wounded Afghan soldier, and dragged him back behind the Humvee. SSgt Breen then went back out into the line of fire and grabbed another wounded troop, and SSgt Breen was again hit in the chest with another armor piercing round, and almost knocked down, but again his body armor stopped the bullet.

SSgt Breen dragged three or four more wounded troops behind the Humvee, and being a combat EMT, he administered first aid to all of them, saving their lives.

At some point during this, SSgt Breen also got on the radio and called in the Marine Cobra Helicopters that came in and saved them.

We know of SSgt Breen's actions because a short time later they captured a video tape from the Taliban. The Taliban Snipers get paid for each enemy they kill, and a big bonus for killing a U.S. Marine. The Sniper that was targeting SSgt Breen had a video being shot for him during this battle. The person running the video said something to the affect "He cannot be killed, he must be a God. Turn your gun on the others, and don't waste your bullets on him."

S.Sgt. Breen was medivacked to a field hospital, and then on back to the USA.

S.Sgt. Breen's Captain later called him and told him that they stopped counting at 70 entry holes where armor piercing rounds had gone into the Turret, and that there were at least another 30 or 40 entry holes in the Turret alone. The Humvee was hit at least 5 or 7 times by RPG's, and totally destroyed.

An Army Major who later saw the Taliban video said that "That Marine should have been put in for a Silver Star Medal. H&ll, that is the stuff they make movies about!"

A proud father

to Sgt grit, my name is reese cushman i come from a long line of MARINE and other military family both male and female. i have two kids my daughter being the oldest, my son is two yrs younger.

when he was 11 he asked me if i would be happy if he joined the MARINES, this took place shortly after 9/11, his question didn't stop there he then asked if i would be mad if he died in a war i was 0311 in the 80s and a platoon ro. i like to think im a tough guy but that day my son made me shed a few tears.

since then ive had two nephews enlist one is army the other is air force I'm proud of both the one in the air force passed on shortly after getting out. my grandfather tells me we have more than a dozen and a half family in the MARINES starting before 9/11 and several after.

your newsletter really makes my week. im disabled and spend much of my time in bed, i love the Corps old and new. the last thing i got to say is let's not forget those men and women who tried but didn't make it past boot camp or all the tests prior at least they tried which is more than some do. sorry this letter is not perfect im still learning to use a computer.

respectfully submitted,
CPL.Cushman KILO,CO 3/2.2nd MARDIV 1985 to 1989 Semper Fi

Thanksgiving Day Special

And I Quote...

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. ... Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives."
-John Adams

Yes, I am a contestant in the contest, but I must say that as I looked at every single entry, each and every Mom looked as proud of their Marine as I am. It's going to be extremely hard to have just one winner. I believe all of us Marine Moms are winners!

Semper Fi.

DJ Kuehn
VPM of Cpl. Rick Kuehn
currently deployed to Afghanistan 5/09 to ??
Deployed to Iraq 2/08 thru 9/08


Photo Contest Well said Marine Mom Kuehn...
now on to the winners!

1st Place (winner of $50 gift certificate)
Linda Price

2nd Place (winner of $25 gift certificate)
Kim Yamuni

3rd Place (winner of $15 gift certificate)
Rich Mather

See the winning and honorable mention photos

Wedding Contest New Contest: Marine Corps Wedding Photos
We know there are some great pics out there, so send them in!

Photos MUST contain Marine Corps content (examples: a Marine "theme" cake, the Bride and/or Groom in Uniform, USMC decorations)

Send entries to by October 11, 2009
More Details

Sgt Glenn Russ at the NMMC Sgt. Grit,

My name is Glenn Russ. I'm a former active duty Marine. My wife and I visited the National Museum of the Marine Corps September 11th. First, I must say the museum was outstanding! It is a must go and see for all Marines! We went to Washington, D.C. the following morning and approached the World War II memorial.

World War II hero in front of World War II Memorial Apparently there had been a reunion of WWII veterans and they were all around and inside the memorial. I walked up to a few of them and shook their hand and thanked them for their service and sacrifice. One in particular was in a wheel chair. After thanking him the gentleman pushing his chair told me the veteran was 100-years-old! I asked him where he served and he said he was dropped into Normandy.

World War II hero in front of World War II Memorial I gave him a hug and thanked him again. This time I noticed his eyes were welling with tears. The man pushing his chair told me thanks and that it meant so much to the vet for approaching him. I began to feel myself get a little misty eyed and needed to egress from the immediate area.

I have to say being surrounded by heroes everywhere was euphoric! We cannot thank these brave men enough and sadly they are leaving us at a cyclic rate these days. World War II heroes at the World War II Memorial I encourage everyone that meets a vet, from any engagement, to give them a handshake and a thanks. Judging by the look in their eyes it truly means the world to them.

Semper Fi,
Sergeant Glenn Russ
USMC 94-98 World War II heroes at the World War II Memorial

P.S. Attached are photos of some of the heroes at the WWII memorial and one of myself at the NMMC (wearing a shirt I purchased from your outfit a while back).

Dear Veterans,

I have been thinking for some time now as how to best honor your service, and I have finally come to the conclusion that this letter, through this forum may be the best way how. I know that through the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. and through such celebrated movies as Saving Private Ryan, The Band of Brothers, and The Code Talker, the veterans of World War II have been honored and remembered as their numbers dwindle everyday; but I have always realized that the Korean War vets have not been honored properly or remembered for their service in the "Forgotten War" despite your numbers are starting to decline day by day.

When you usually read about the history of the civilized world, they often talk about what if's: what if D-Day was a failure, what if Japan was able to win the Battle of Midway, what if we didn't win in the island hopping campaigns of Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa? Along with these questions, an afterthought is usually accompanied by "Was all that sacrifice worth it?"

Fortunately, for the Korean War veterans, "what if" is not a question, but an answer. That is because Korea went through a split right before the Korean War where two parallel universe developed and still co-exists through this day. In one universe, a capitalistic, democratic Korea exists in the South. It is a vibrant and strong country, which went from a virtual unknown to the 15th strongest economy in the world and is home to such household brand names as Samsung, LG, Hyundai and Kia. It went from a colonial victim of Japan to a model of democracy, where now the current U.N. Secretary General is a South Korean.

Compare that to its parallel universe to the North. North Korea is an economic, political, and social despot. Its economy is ranked around in the 90-100th with the likes of a civil war torn African nation. The economy is in such shamble that its population resorts to illegally crossing the border into China or starving to death. North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-Il reportedly lives in luxury, driving German cars and drinking French wine, while oppressing its population and murdering any political challengers. These is no freedom of speech or freedom of any kind for that matter, as recently demonstrated by the detention and eventual release of two American journalists. North Korea's greatest claim of fame is their constant threat to its neighbors with their nuclear weapons and missiles. They are shunned by most of the world community as a rogue nation.

So, what if the U.S. and 15 other nations didn't intervene when North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950? What if our Marines were not successful in Inchon landing? What if we didn't hold the line at the 38th parallel? The answer is simple. We would see one united Korea, one that is ruled with an iron fist by a demonic maniac, and its 72+ million population suffering everyday under his totalitarian rule.

Back in 1950-53, I am sure that a thought has crossed your mind as to whether your service and sacrifice in this unknown "Hermit Kingdom" will ever be worth it. I am sure it is no more different than what is going through the minds of our current veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. But all you have to do is compare the two parallel universe to see what differences you have contributed to.

Thank you, Veterans, for your sacrifice. Here is one grateful beneficiary who will not question, "what if".

former Korean citizen,
proud naturalized U.S. citizen,
and United Stated Marine from 1993 to 2001 Philip S. Lee

And I Quote...

"I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious."
-Thomas Jefferson

I would like to say it was an honor to service my country from 1971 to 1977 in the Corps. I wanted to let Sgt Amy Sutherland know that she is not a former Marine. She will always be a Marine. Once you where given that tile no one can take it from you. I served in the Marines during Viet Nam and after. I never saw combat but did see a lot of the scars of war. As an Air craft helicopter mechanic I saw the horrors of war in the faces of many of men. I too believe Chesty is proud of the Men and Women that volunteer to serve today. No one was drafted. They came with the same spirit of all generations before them. I echo the words of Mr. Ronald Reagan: "Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have made a difference in the world. Marines don't have that problem." President Ronald Reagan, 1985.

So Keep up the great work and wear you Title with pride
SSGT William K Kowalczyk VMO2,HML 267,H&MS-15,HMT-301, HMM-764,HMH-769,HMH-772,MWHS-1 USMC 1971-77

LCPL Joe Torres and retired NYPD detective Yvette Torres a 9-11 Veteran standing at the front gate of Parris Island Good Morning Devil Dogs, I just wanted to share a picture of my son now Lance Corporal Joe Torres From Tustin California. My sister Retired NYPD Detective Yvette Torres A 911 Veteran and survivor from the Bronx. Standing at the front gate of Parris Island . We are proud to say that my son is the sixth member of our Family to serve in the Marines. He is with The Thundering Third at Camp Pendleton. Getting ready to go to Afghanistan. I just want to say that we as country should be very thankful that we still have brave young people to serve. Thank you so much for your web site.

Semper Fi

SGT. Joe Torres
1975 - 1982

Eyes on the olive branch, but arrows at the ready!

And I Quote...

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

Cpl. RJ Breen standing next to aircraft Our son, Cpl. RJ Breen and his friend signed up with the Marines while he was 17 and a Junior in High School in 2006. As a Mom - I have to say I was not for this idea! They spent almost every afternoon running with the recruiters from the local recruit station here in O'Fallon, Missouri. He graduated high school one semester early and left for boot camp in January 2007. He completed boot camp in April and came home for his high school graduation in May and walked proudly in his dress blues. As a Mom- I have to say it was one of my proudest moments!

Our son has always been a bright light in our lives and the Marines made him brighter, stronger and more mature. I now LOVE the Marine Corps family!

Since then, he has been on a MEU last year for 7 months to the mid-east. He returned in April of this year, married his high school sweetheart in July and left in August for Iraq. He is an aviation mechanic and his Mom and Dad and Wife could not be prouder of this young man. We want to thank the Marine Corps family and thank you to all the Marines past and present who have served our country proudly!

Proud Marine Parents,
Ron and Tammy Breen

I have just met a Marine who served during Vietnam and joined the Fire Department in New York thereafter. His name is Lee Ielpi. He had two sons that both joined the FDNY, one of which was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. Mr. Ielpi was on duty when they found the remains of his son and went to the site to help carry his son out of the wreckage. He subsequently founded and runs the Tribute WTC Visitor Center less than a block from the World trade site, to help remember, educate, and honor those that were killed not only on Sept 11th, but the WTC bombing in the 1990's. He is a special individual and definitely one that people should know.

Bryan Sargent

Sgt. Grit

This was the second year of the Children's Miracle Network car and motorcycle show and chili cook-off here in Cheyenne. Primarily sponsored by Walmart.

Marine Trike Three Marines garnered first, second and third place in two categories.

Ron Fox got first place for his trike, pic included Choo Choo and his 2006 Electraglide

choo choo (me) got second place for the custom paint on his 2006 electraglide

I haven't recieved the third guys name etc yet. But here is some pics of the bike:

Marine Motorcycle Marine Motorcycle close up with devil dog made of flames Marine Motorcycle closeup displaying Iwo Jima Memorial artwork

And I Quote...

Who are the next knaves? Those that converse with them.
--Alexander Pope, 1688-1744

My Father was in the Marine Corps during WWII and he, like a lot of our WWII Veterans, passed away awhile back. As with them all, he is gone but not forgotten!

I grew up with him telling me stories of his time in the Corps, both bad and good. My Father was stationed at Camp Tarawa on the Big Island of Hawaii and he talked of this place often.

I had the Honor Guard at my Father's funeral and only those that have been in this situation can understand the pride that I felt for my Father that day. All those old stories and the good times that he shared with me (about his hitch) came rushing back to me.

He used to try and teach me cadence with his old .22 rifle and me with my Trusty BB Gun, which I remember like it was yesterday.

I still have his .22 rifle hanging on my wall and above it, his Flag Case. The Flag Case leads me to the purpose of this letter today.

I wanted to dress his Flag Case up a little bit so I got to thinking about any medals or awards that he might have coming to him. I have never dealt with the Government (I'm a civilian) but I have heard of all the Red-Tape that a person has to deal with.

It was actually very simple to get his replacement medals and I got to thinking that there may be others out there, just like me. Didn't want to get into all that Red-Tape and confusion that comes along with a simple request of our Government. Trust me, if I can do it, then anyone can.

I had no idea on where to start my search so I made contact with Sgt. Grit because I get their magazine. Kristy Fomin (Customer Services Supervisor) was so much help to me and she got me started.

First off, I was confused about his DD-214 and I could not find it in any of his papers.

*The confusion on the DD-214 is this. A lot of people living today as well as the majority of discharged veterans don't realize that the DD-214 didn't come in existence until 1946 with all the armed services being combined into the Department of Defense. Before that all the information in the current DD-214 was on the back of the veterans discharge certificate!

The Army and Air Force records were destroyed in a fire quite a few years ago. The Army and Air Force are still to this day trying to get all their records re-constructed. The Navy and Marine Corps records were stored separately and are still intact in Saint Louis.

*All this information was provided by: Jim Browne * USMC 1950-1954 *Camp Tarawa Detachment #1255 *Marine Corps League *Community Affairs Officer *Charter (past) Commandant 2006-2008 Thank you Jim Browne for all your time and patients with my stupid questions. I couldn't of done all this without you.

Once I figured out the confusion about the DD-214, the rest was very easy. All I had to do was to go to this website: and everything just fell into place.

I just answered the simple questions that they asked of me and then I had to print out a signature card, which had to be mailed in. I got all his medals in about two months or so.

My Father's Records were looked up and they sent me the medals that he had coming to him. I didn't even know which ones that they might be but they did all that work for me so I did get the proper ones. Flag Cases I must say that my Father's Flag Case really looks good but either way, with or without the medals added to it, it still fills me with pride that my Father was a part of what made this Country so great!

I sincerely hope that this information may be of some use to others out there. May God Bless the men and women that are still out there in harms way. May you all return home safely.

Michael Hogue
A Proud Son of a Marine

Thanks Again to:
Kristy Fomin
Jim Browne

And I Quote...

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
--Aesop, c. 550B.C.


Lt General L.B. 'Chesty' Puller was interviewed after his retirement by the late filmmaker John Ford. During this taped interview, Ford asked Lt. General Puller about the very high casualty rates Puller's combat units suffered. The general went on to say his units had sustained 57% enlisted and 72% officer casualties. He went on to say these high numbers were not because of poor leadership on his part but that it proved his officers were doing their duty.

Fifty seven percent enlisted? Seventy two percent officers? Imagine anything like that taking place today. There is a tremendous amount of information concerning the efforts and sacrifices of the people from our past that seems to be getting left out of today's history lessons. Is this part of the dumbing down of America' so often talked about? Is it just a sign of the times?

The world today is a much different place than it was then and it seems that the tremendous struggle the 'Greatest Generation' went through, what all they accomplished, what they sacrificed for us, is being allowed to be degraded into something less and downplayed as no longer relevant. I hear this from WWII and Korean War Veterans almost every time I go to the local VAMC for treatment. I am one that still listens to their tales and stands in awe every time I talk with one.

Always will.

As far as I am concerned, they have no equal.


Tony Glass aka 'Idiot'
USMC (w/ questionable peacetime service)
Remember Saigon and the Mayaguez

Blue Angels sign on outer wall Chris is from Darin, Connecticut. He Joined the Blue Angels in Sept 2008...he has accumulated over 2400 flight hours, and 350 carrier arrested landings...a TOP GUN fighter Pilot...I thought Chris was a Top Guy ! he gave me a personal inspection of the planes and hanger..a coin, autographed Picture, and Got all 6 Blue Angles to sign my NCO book....It was very interesting, exciting, and I was lucky because the world only sees these guys in the air, and I was able to walk in a very secure, and restricted area. to inspect the Planes and equipment ...Chris is one of 2 Marine Blue Angel Pilots...

Dean Smith and Maj. Chris Collins Maj.Chris Collins, USMC Left Wing Blue Angles Team Maj.Chris Collins, USMC Left Wing Blue Angles Team Maj.Chris Collins, USMC Left Wing Blue Angles Team Maj.Chris Collins, USMC Left Wing Blue Angles Team

Semper Fidelis !
Dean Douglas Smith

And I Quote...

"Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy."
--Winston Churchill

Marines in make shift boat Sgt. Grit,

I was in Hawaii last week on vacation. I witnessed true Marine ingenuity at work. A few Marines took cardboard duct tape and trash bags and in roughly 30 minutes constructed this make shift boat. It truly was amazing. I unfortunately did not get their names or unit. I suppose they were stationed in Honolulu. This is a small lagoon in the Hilton Hawaiian Village Honolulu. I thought you might like it for your e-news.

Marines in make shift boat Marines in make shift boat


Sgt. Scott Parsons
US Army - Veteran


In 1942 the best military equipment and supplies were going to the Atlantic Theater. This was the armament and equipment the 1st Marine Division carried ashore in the invasion of Guadalcanal.

- 1903 bolt-action, single shot Springfield rifles
- Leggins from World War I
- Cartridge belts from World War I
- Browning machine guns from World War I
- Mortars from World War I
- Ammunition that had been in storage since World War I

The invasion of Guadalcanal was the first attempt by the U.S. to retake an island in the Pacific. Eleven thousand Marines held s small strip of beach and a landing strip against massive Japanese assaults for two months before reinforcements arrived. The Japanese poured 50,000 men and tons of armament onto the island but could not dislodge the Marines.

Other than the Japanese, the Marines' worst enemy on Guadalcanal was malaria. Quinine was unavailable. On any given day, 2,000 Marines could be on sick call.

The battle for Guadalcanal lasted six months, until the Japanese withdrew in February 1943. Casualties for Marine and Army personnel were 1.490 dead and 4,804 wounded. More than 25,000 Japanese were killed--many of them in banzai charges.

And I Quote...

"Shame on the men who can court exemption from present trouble and expense at the price of their own posterity's liberty!"
--Samuel Adams

Hi Sgt. Grit,
Here are some pictures Taken on an Honor Flight of WWI I Veterans. I was a Guardian for the WWI I Vet. in the first picture. I had to be at the County building at 0230 Saturday morning and we got back to the County building at 2215 that night, very tiring but lots of good feeling in the chest.

SSgt William R. Moore
USMC Retired
Two World War II veterans standing in front of World War II Memorial World War II Memorial Group photo of World War II Veterans

There was a photo of a rectangular Eagle, Globe and Anchor with a question about the history of it. I found a Wikipedia page that offers a complete history of the EGA and the changes in the design, etc. If it was easy for a 69-year-old to find, it surely is for anyone. I'm a former "Swabbie," and surely one of the USMC's greatest fans. Love the stories -- this edition had some beauties about boot camp.

My neighbor and friend, Mike, who served in the USMC, was a chopper pilot in 'Nam. Boy, does he have some stories. His co- pilot and best friend was a guy he called Friendly. Dynamic Duo Black and White team, who "terrorized the Cong," as he put it.

To answer the question "Who is with Chesty?" Oh, I did pick Chesty out -- second from the left - before even enlarging the photo. Squared away!

I can tell you that my first Marine friend is with Chesty. He died way too young (early 50s). Mustang Elton James Keeley, USMC, one of the very first LCPLs, stationed at U.S. Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, MD 1959. I was in radio school there. He had an honorable career and was promoted to Lt.Col in the early 1980s. He may have been promoted to Colonel before he retired, not sure.

I last met with him at LAX in 1985 on his way to Headquarters Marine Corps as an advisor. He made the Marine Corps proud, as any Marine does, only as a lifer, the Corps was all to him. I know he's with Chesty guarding the Gates of Heaven.

I still choke up when I recall him tutoring me in the Marine Corps ways, and his lineage that went back to General (ahem, Army) William Tecumseh Sherman. If I had married him when he asked me, I would not have served four years active duty in the Navy. Stuff happens. We were better at being friends than lovers (and I was a nice girl, so we didn't). Just another (true) Sea Story from an old Swabbie journalist.

Semper Fi, SIR! And God bless.
Margaret J.(Janie) McAlister-Wheeler

And I Quote...

"Unless a man has trained himself for his chance, the chance will only make him ridiculous."
--William Matthews, 1942-1997

I want to agree with Mr. Brawner that the Marines of today are just as tough and in some instances even tougher than yesteryear Marines. As in Nam they don't know who the enemy is, because they don't wear uniforms to distinguish them from civilians. They have to make very quick decisions on when to fire and when not lest they hit an innocent person.

I have no Marine at the present time, but I have some dogface military in Afghanistan and I am as proud of him as I am of any youth who puts on a uniform to serve his country. If there is anyone who thinks they had it tougher in the past should get the head out of their a-- and drop to a knee and say thank-you to the boys in uniform. War is a horrid thing and whenever you served it was tough but the Marines the world over take it in stride and do the job.

Bill Axium
Cpl (E4)

Wally's Marine security guards Sgt Grit

Thought you might be interested in seeing who is on guard duty 24/7 at our house. They do a tremendous job.

Semper Fi,
Wally Pfeifer
USMC 1948-1950

Yard Guard Statutes

And I Quote...

Beware the tyranny of the minority.
--Latin Proverb

Unfortunately, I missed Sgt. Tony Glass' letter and am not sure exactly what he referred to in his letter. However, I did have the opportunity to Read Mr. Brawner's Letter. I think I can surmise what Sgt Glass had to say...

In year 2000 (Prior to 9/11) Myself and a good friend, Lt.Col. M. Jacobs USMC, Ret., Took a trip to Quantico Marine base just to get away for a while. He served in Force Recon 1970 in Vietnam, and I served the same areas as he but in 1969-70 as a L/Corp assigned to Bat. Recon. We are both 100% Disabled and retired from the Corps. He is a regular retiree and I was given Special retirement by then Commandant Leonard F. Chapman. (Chapter 61). We often discuss the differences in our training and the type of environment that we served in. It seems that we served in two different Marine Corps in the small space of time. But I digress.

While at Quantico we pulled over to watch a small platoon of Marines during drill practice. We both watched and I swear that we both had a tear in our eye while witnessing what we both thought was a disgrace to the Corps. There was no apparent pride in their performance. They were sloppy, out of uniform, and obviously out of shape. As proud retired Marines, we were dismayed to see what had happened to our beloved Corps. Especially evidenced at Quantico. Due to physical restraints we have not been able to return since.

However, I am told by other former Marines that This was no longer the case. Our Marine Corps. Forces have returned to their former Esprit De Corp, and have shaped up. From what I have been reading about our Marines in the current Wars I must admit that it must be true. They appear to be no less courageous and combat ready then we were. I have to side with Mr. Brawner, CWO-3 USMC Ret. that our current Marines are a force to be dealt with. Even under the restraint of "Rules of Engagement", they perform with excellence.
George F. Biello, Jr USMC Retired

'Fear Is The Mind Killer'

Micro Air Vehicles (Video)'s like "Buck Rogers" all over again!

And I Quote...

"I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?"
--Benjamin Franklin

Response to Sgt Mike Barnett

Dear Mike,
As a former FMF Corpsman serving with the Third Marines 'Nam 67-68. I offer my heartfelt sympathy to you and your family in the tragic loss of Ben .No words can describe the loss of a loved one.

I had read your brother's name in our local newspaper and rank "petty officer" I knew he was the Corpsman with the platoon. We served our Marines well and did the best we could while answering the call. He honored our country serving and sacrificing his life. He will never be forgotten.

I had the privilege of attending the Funeral in at Arlington for a fellow Corpsman whose remains were identified and brought home 2005. I met the family and seen the effects of their loss personally

As I stood there I remembered what an honor it was to serve as a FMF Combat Corpsman.

Semper Fidelis Frank Morelli


I had the pleasure to attend my new nephew's graduation from PI on 04Sep2009 platoon 1061. He is my new nephew because I married his Aunt in July. It was a thrill to see these young men and women enter into our illustrious Corps. When they asked for the Marines that were present to stand and be honored I felt an emotional surge that can only be felt by those of us that have served in the Corps. Congratulations to PFC Robert Sushinski, well done.

On another note, I would like everyone to pray for the safety of my lifelong friend Fr. Joe Coffey. Joe and I have been friends since 3rd grade. He just shipped out to Afghanistan 09Sep09 to be a chaplain for our fellow Marines in harm's way. Joe, if you read this, you are in my thoughts daily. Semper Fi.

Manuel Zaldivar
Corporal of the Marines
'79 - '83

And I Quote...

"Victory will never be found by taking the line of least resistance."
--Winston Churchill

Re; John Robinson letter in American Courage #209
First to LCpl Robinson : SEMPER FI

Second to John Robinson : I was POed after reading your letter so I let a little time pass & I still felt the same! I find what you had to say insulting not only to me, but to your own son & to "all" (your words) who serve or have served! You DARE to call "all" of us afraid!?? I'd like to see you on the street & show you just how "afraid" I am! I noticed you omitted your own prior service. It makes me suspect perhaps you didn't have the "courage" to serve!?!

While I will (and have) defend your right to have & to express your opinion, it is my opinion that this forum dedicated to honor & remembrance is NOT an appropriate place for you to spout off about "our" Second Amendment rights & leads me to my opinion that your head is so far up your a** that you can't pull it out - and don't get me wrong, because I DO believe in these rights accorded by our Constitution.


To Kendal Schacher USMC 1983-1988 : Most - if not all - who call themselves "former Marine" or even "ex Marine" actually carry the title "Marine" just as proudly as you (including myself) but these terms have been used for some time by many to simply signify a "Marine no longer on active duty" & certainly are not meant to offend or dishonor.


To LCpl G Hill & to J. T. Marvel 78-83 : Try to think of these actions as honoring their loved ones & all of us who have earned the title "United States Marine" & let us not forget that we served to defend their right to express themselves --- no matter how inappropriate, misinformed, ignorant, or even "stupid" we think it might be.


To those Marines presently serving : We are PROUD of you! To all "former" "ex" & plain old "Marines" past & present : OOO-RAH & SEMPER FI

Arthur D. Houchins
SSgt of Marines 73-80

P.S. - Thanks Sgt Grit for both newsletters & my opportunity to "spout off". Keep up the good work.

Dear SGT Grit

I sit here 4 hours away from going to boot camp. I would like to thank your company for showing me the brotherhood that I will soon be entering. I will do my best and won't let the Marines that came before me down

Semper Fi
Recruit Cunningham

Note: That would be your stories, not my company. Outstanding work Marines.

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Please unsubscribe my husband (NamVet) from the newsletter as he passed away on Sept. 8th, 2009. Thank you He was so proud of the Marines. He loved each and every one of you.
He went into the hospital for surgery for an aneurysm and he started bleeding and they couldn't stop it.
We are heartbroken.
Mrs. Harvey S.

And I Quote...

"The refusal of King George III to allow the colonies to operate an honest money s