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Combat Ribbon Shirts A good Marine goes home every night with two important things in tact, his Honor and his Integrity.

Semper Fi
Donald Yoder
Sgt USMC Ret. Old Fart

Where It Starts
The Yellow Footprints
The Yellow Footprints

Sgt. Grit:
I always wondered why the term "scuttlebutt" was used for both a water cooler and for "rumor control". (Or maybe it was explained in boot camp and I was "skylarking", another odd term) Tom standing next to the Scuttlebutt cask Recently, my wife and I visited Boston for the first time and toured the U.S.S. Constitution. During the tour, we were shown the object in the attached photo which was located on the gun deck. It was explained that sailors and Marines were given their daily water ration scooped out of this cask which was called the scuttlebutt. Since they had nothing to do while waiting in line, they traded rumors. A great tour of a the oldest commissioned ship in the Navy.

Tom Mahoney
('67 - '71)

Unclaimed Marine Honored
On July 22nd Marines from Bravo Co. and NH Marine Corps League presented full Military Honors to an unclaimed Marine. L/Cpl William Lawrence Marine Officer, two Flag Folders, a Chaplain, Two Buglers and Firing Detail presenting full Military Honors to an unclaimed Marine, L/Cpl William Lawrence

The Detail consisted of A Marine Officer, two Flag Folders, a Chaplain, Two Buglers and Firing Detail.
Michael Horne, Cemetery Administrator received the folded flag.

CO Noticed
Dear Cpl. Williams,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your prayers. My name is Cpl. Karl A.Tober. I was with Delta Company on Operation Dewey Canyon. I remember the 18 of March 1969 well. It was the last day of the worst operation I was ever on. I was on the last Chopper out of that h&ll hole. Our CO noticed that we had left a machine gun team behind. He ordered that chopper pilot to go back for them. We did so and we all made it back to Stud safely. Thank God and thank you for your prayers.

Karl A.Tober

His DI Is Smiling
When the bee stings-----

Bee Sting Article LCpl C.R. Dehn says it was personal pride that kept him standing at attention as a bee buzzed about his face during the birthday pageant. However, when Dehn opened his mouth to take a deep breath to blow the bee away he sucked it in instead. The bee stung the inside of Dehn's mouth several times and then he swallowed it when an attempt to cough it up was to no avail. Dehn maintained his attention stance throughout it all commenting later, "I knew all my buddies at OCS were watching."

Great To Recall
Sgt. Grit, it's great to recall so many years of Marine Corps history, w/o your help I don't feel some us old timers would ever remember some of the things we would probably wouldn't want to recall, yet every time I read them it's like going back in a time zone.
So thanks for sharing all past, current feelings of the Corps that will live forever'!
Semper Fi!

And yes, flattery will get you in the newsletter.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Reunion Marine Barracks, NAS, Quonset Point, Rhode Island from 1966-1968
Vintage Boot Camp Special Sgt. Grit,

Recently we have tried to contact as many Marines from our old outfit. We are planning a reunion in March of 2010 at the Marine Museum. So far we have got about 15 guys we served with. We are from Marine Barracks, NAS, Quonset Point, Rhode Island from 1966-1968. Don't know if it can be done, but could you help get the word out to former Marines from Quonset to get in touch with myself, Bob, or my buddy, Travis. Thanks for your time and keep up the great Marine tradition of great Marine "stuff".

Semper Fi!

Bob Longabardi (Cpl)
1584 Gary Street
East Meadow, NY 11554
516 489-7081

Travis Fryzowicz (Cpl)
98 Richmond Ave
Spotswood, New Jersey 08884
723 251-5518

Rope Hole
While on a Training mission on Tiawan, As the Ships Plt, "81 MM Mortars" We returned to the ship to reload the Bn.

Before the rest of the Bn. came aboard, Our Plt. Sgt. had a Rifle Inspection on the top deck of the APE. Well we all know how large a Rope hole is on the ship.. Well Staff Sgt. Berton snatched the Rifle from a Marine and inspected it. Stated disgrace, and flung the Rifle across the deck, and would you believe it went right though the hole and into the Sea.

SSgt had to pay for the rifle.
This was in 1959 I think.
Old Memories
M/Sgt French/Ret.
w/1/5, Korea 1953-1954, Okinawa 1959-60, 81's 3/8 Lejeune, DI at Pi 1965/1967 the on to Vietnam.

Empty Clips
In 1966, each Seabee battalion had a Gunnery Sergeant attached. MCB-9 had Gunny Miley. Gunny Miley had lost an eye in Korea. His bad eye was ice blue. The whole battalion took great pride in "our" Marine. I was a LTJG then and myself and the other JO's really liked to hear the stories the Gunny could tell. One he relayed to us was of a night in Korea when (in his words) "the entire Chinese Army was charging at his fighting hole." Gunny said that in addition to all the ammo he could carry, he also had a good supply of empty clips for his Garand. The Chinese also knew about "pling" which meant that the Garand in front of them was empty and now was the time to rush the position. Gunny Miley explained the reason for the empty clips was to load a full clip in your rifle and then throw an empty clip at a rock. The enemy would rise up and charge into fully- loaded M1's. I lost track of Gunny Miley when I was med-evacced from Viet Nam. Does anyone remember him?

Steve Schady, US Navy Retired

Marine with Mom Photo Contest
Marine - Do you have an old or recent pic of you with your Mom?
Get details on the photo contest!

Lt. Col. Edward L. Barker
Lt. Col. Edward L. Barker, United States Marines, Retired, died August 4, 2009, after a prolonged illness in Temple, Texas. He was born on December 8, 1920, in Houston, Texas. He entered service from Crockett, Texas. He was 88 years old.

Barker was a veteran of the United States Marines and served in the South Pacific in WW II. In the Korean War in 1951-1952, he served with Marine Observation Squadron Six (VMO-6) and HMR-161.

In 1941, he left Texas A&M and volunteered for service in the Royal Canadian Air Force to become an enlisted flight instructor. Following Pearl Harbor, he was commissioned in the United States Marines after returning to the United States and trained as a Naval Aviator at Pensacola, Florida.

While in Canada, he met and later married Geraldine Beatrice Frances Brown of Regina, Saskatchewan, April 17, 1943, in Regina. They are survived by two sons, Edward L. Barker, Jr, and Harold R. Barker, of Dallas, Texas.

His last billet in the Marines was as Executive Officer of H&HS Squadron, MCAF, New River, North Carolina, in 1965.

In Korea, he was awarded the Silver Star for an attempted helicopter rescue of a downed Marine pilot on the Hill 851 - Hill 520 ridgeline at Heartbreak Ridge on October 7, 1951. He was also credited with the Air Medal w/8, Distinguished Flying Cross w/1, Navy Letter of Commendation w/V, Presidential Unit Citation, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with w/3, Victory Medal WW II, China Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal w/3, and Korean Presidential Unit Citation.

In 1980, after a lifetime of total silence about his career, Lt. Col. Barker consented to talk for one hour with his youngest son, Harold R. Barker, about his military career. After that one hour, he refused to talk more and until his death remained silent.

That one hour conversation later resulted in the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C., and the founding of the Korean War Project on the Internet.

According to his wishes, his ashes will be released over the Pacific Ocean off California.

The story of Lt. Colonel Barker's heroism and influence in honoring all Korean War Veterans throughout the world can be found at: koreanwar.org

Shows The Dedication
Sgt Grit,

Custom Marine artwork tattoo Attached is a picture of my USMC tattoo. I sat thru a lot of hours to get this completed.

Well worth it as it shows the dedication to the Corps most of us will always have.

Semper Fi,
Scott R, Neff Sr.

I Welcomed Him Home
I had the pleasure to stop at Sgt Grit's main store and get a picture of Don and I standing at the back of my motor home along with two other old Marines. Sorry I don't remember the other two's names. I'm sure if they see this on the web site, they will write in and let us know their names and dates of service. I did meet another old Marine that was a bit bitter about the happier homecoming that the current military is getting. He was a tad upset after 40 years of returning home from Viet Nam that he never received a welcome home. I welcomed him home as I do all old vets who survived any past wars. I can only remember why I served my country not for the accolades that so many seem to be looking for or wanting. I have and will always stand tall for being a Marine and a veteran of the Viet Nam conflict.

Don and Fritz McDowell standing next to McDowell's motorhome Don, Fritz McDowell, and two Marines standing next to McDowell's motorhome

Sgt Grit, your prices are below average from what I've seen across the U.S. I would also like to thank your staff at the office for their courtesy and assistance with ordering items.

Stand tall Marines, you've done your duty, never hang your heads for anyone.

Sgt Fritz McDowell
RVN 68/70

One Was Not Good Enough
Emblem and USA Flag Tattoo Devil Dog Semper Fi tattoo Sgt Grit: Well it took me ten years after my retirement but I mustered the strength to display a rebellious attitude and get my first Marine tattoo. I found that one was not good enough so I got a second tattoo to balance things out. I am proud of my service and am now proud of the ink that constantly reaffirms that commitment. The first was traditional with an EGA while my second displayed a stronger commitment to insuring the tattoo met the high standards expected of all Marines. I received the first in Yuma while the second came from a thorough review of tattoo artists in Orlando. The reality is that one more is upcoming as a tribute to my father's service. Semper Fi to all.

Chuck Forrester
Pvt - CWO - Maj
1978 - 1998

Chesty Has Crawled Out

Did you see the CBS Evening News Friday PM? CBS reporter Laura Logan (or similar) has been doing nightly reports on 'E' Co/2nd Bn/8th Marines. She has been doing a fine job reporting on Marines recently after starting off a bit rough a few years ago (another victim of one of my 'MARINES NOT SOLDIERS' rants!). In this latest series of news reports she has been quite accurate and informative.

However, in Friday's report she allowed a young Marine from 2/8 to stand up and say something along the lines of, "Marines from Iwo Jima and Chosin Reservoir have nothing on me. I'll have my stories to tell my children. I'll have my stories to tell."

Now, I'm just tossing this out there and am open for discussion. 2/8 has served EIGHT tours in Iraq and this #9 in Afghanistan. They've seen a lot of action and I'm not saying it's not tough for them there. Hot, dusty, primitive living conditions and people shooting at them from behind every rock or tree.

But to compare them to the Marines at Iwo Jima? Or the Chosin Reservoir? H&ll, I bet 'Chesty' has crawled out of his grave and is heading over there right now to teach this youngster some respect! 2/8 isn't suffering 60-70% casualties. It's not -20 degrees.

Yeah, it's hot and he's got a few Taliban shooting at him, but that's nothing like having 30,000 suicidal Japs coming after him or 100,000 screaming Chinese h&ll bent on killing everyone, is it? How would he be behaving if 5000 to 6000 Marines were killed in a month long battle or if 8,000+ were wounded?

I think this kid's Gunny ought to kick his azs then send him to the First Sergeant, let him kick his azs some more then pass him on to the Sergeant Major for even more azs kicking.

Just my opinion.

Tony Glass

Aszes Whipped By One Lone Old Man
Girl friend and I went to Vets Rally in WinterPark, Colorado last weekend. Several pictures are included hope you can use them for the newsletter. Two stories though.

On way down we had to stop for last minute forgotten items. Stopped at a Super Walmart. While browsing, saw an older gentleman with a cane and a 1st Marine Division Jacket. Some kids (18-20 year old) were around him (4 of them). I was a little ways away and thought they were just talking. But suddenly one of them shoved him backwards into one of the others.

Ok, I got your back, and started to hurry towards them. Figuring four youngster against one old man with a cane just isn't right.

I took maybe three steps, and that quick I saw the older man didn't need any help. Using his cane, he had three of them on the ground in a blink of an eye, the 4th was making distance. I continued over to offer any assistance I could.

Security showed up and then later the cops. We visited while waiting. Turns out he is a Korean War vet. When cops got there he politely told them, he did not want them arrested, but turned over to their parents. He gave each a business card. All it said was United States Marines at top, Korean War Vet in the Middle And Semper Fi at bottom.

He told the cops, they will never live down among their peers having their aszes whipped by one lone old man. More punishment than what jail would ever do. I got one of his cards with name, but somewhere on the trip I lost it.

Now to the Vets Rally.
2007 it was cold and rainy.
2008 I am told it snowed (I was in Sunny Calif, MCRD and Camp Pendleton 40th anniversary my graduation).
2009 it was again cold and rainy, but we had a good turn out.

Choo Choo
Sgt of Marines (NLA)
RVN 1970 - 1971
Here are some pics of the time there.

POW / MIA flag on bike in parade USMC flag on bike in parade. Marine Color Guard in Parade  and what I believe are new recruits waiting to go active. The traveling Vietnam  War memorial Wall

POW / MIA flag on bike in parade
USMC flag on bike in parade.
Marine Color Guard in Parade and what I believe are new recruits waiting to go active

Notice the Staff is about a 1/2 step ahead of the group
They all appear to be slouching a little
With all the Sgt's in the group, must be pretty easy rank to get these days
And the traveling Vietnam War memorial Wall

Middle Of The Sahara Desert
Sgt Grit, I guess this qualifies as a sea-going Marine story. I was a member of Marine Communications Detachment stationed aboard the USS Pocono AGC-16 in 1957-1959. Crossing the Atlantic ocean during one of our cruises to the Mediterranean the navy scheduled a live firing exercise for their twin 40mm guns.

A couple of empty 55 gallon drums were thrown overboard as targets. After the ship sailed approximately 250-300 yards away firing was to commence. The navy also invited 3 Marines to the shoot to fire our M1's. Our 1stSgt, sergeant Verdeyen and myself were selected because we were expert riflemen.

The navy shot first, came close but did not hit the targets. Then it was our turn. Our 1stSgt was in the offhand position while Sgt Verdeyen and myself used the sitting position. Don't remember how many rounds we fired but we hit and sank both targets. This is not to slight the navy gunners, just telling it like it was.

Another story aboard the USS Pocono. While sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, the ship was caught in a terrible storm. Our ship was rocking and rolling but we still had communications with the Naval comm station in Port Lyautey, Morocco. They wanted to know our position. So we in Radio 1 buzzed Flag Plot over the intercom to get our coordinates. After giving our coordinates to Port Lyautey they came back over the radio- teletype with, "Congratulations, you're in the middle of the Sahara desert."

So for a while I guess we didn't know where we were or a newbie was on watch in Flag Plot. The storm also flattened the steel gun tub that surrounded the 5 inch gun at the bow of the ship. Memories. S/F

GySgt Archuleta, Ret.

No Matter How Tired
Me, an old Marine from Viet Nam days! Was in Nam 67-68 with Combined Action Company Alpha 2 near Phu Bai and Hue. I learned a lot in those long ago days and nights when our unit with only 10 or 12 Marines and about 20 PF(Popular Forces) Viets did our job. You take 18 to 25 year old Young Marines and place them into a Viet Village and their standing order is to protect the village and keep the enemy out.

When you walk outside the barb wire front gate and can't really see anything since it is so dark, with only 2 or 3 Marines behind you, and two or three PF's and knowing that you have to walk into danger, on jungle trails to get to the ambush site, all of a sudden, you realize that you are not a kid anymore. You get a big dose of reality that you now deal with, a life and death situation and the last thing you want to do is endanger the men slowly walking behind you, for they are trusting you, a fellow Marine to get them to the site safe.

What do you do? You take a deep breath, and move out slowly, so slowly as it is so dark, you can't see anything, only shades of very dark to complete dark, but from memory you walk, listen, breathe slow, quiet, and move. Knowing you have a job to do, you move forward, but no matter what, you never more any faster than you feel you need to for even thought you need to get to certain check points at assigned times, you never, ever do anything that will put your BROTHER MARINES in danger. Finally over hours, you get to your assigned location to set up the ambush, relieved that you got to the site without any chit storm occurring and your men are safe.

Why am I reliving the above that occurred over 40 plus years ago? Well folks, it is so old Marines from the old Viet Nam days, and yes, some of us still alive and in our 60's and more, can pass on to the new generation of Marines that are dealing with the enemy now. Our units had 50 % loss rates back then for we were such small units, 10 or 12 Marines out in the middle of nowhere, and when the Tet Offensive occurred in early 68, we got hurt bad, but we did our jobs just as the young Marines now are expected to do.

Ask Old Marines like John Shylo, Mageski, and Soupy who was assigned to Alpha 3, several miles away from me, and they went thru the same as I did. We all did the job, did as assigned to do, but we all knew this basic fact, you cover your brother Marines back, you kick azs, kill the enemy, and get back home safe along with your brother Marines. No matter how tired, how sleepy you are, you never, ever do anything that will endanger your brother Marines. PERIOD!

Now, all these years later, I am 62 years old, retired from 37 years in Law Enforcement in Houston, Texas and I find myself worrying my azs off for the health and welfare of today's young Marines, doing the job which once again, it seems for an American public that does not support our men in combat.

STOP HERE! For going to tell you that no matter what you hear, that most of the AMERICANS in this country do support you and will stand behind you regardless of what you hear on the news and read in the newspapers. AMERICA is behind you MARINES, so do the job, kick azs!

Jim Lyles, US MARINES- 1966 to 1970. Viet Nam- 67-68, Assigned to CaC Alpha 2, and Military # is 2251765.

"Horn" Back
Greetings & Semper Fi:

Ignore the hour, for starts! I have purchased a "Musical Horn" from you folks a couple of years ago and, sadly, I have yet to hear it back!
I have called the manufacturer and I shared with them that it was my personal opinion that the "chip" that I received with my horn was playing this sacred hymn way too fast. I likened it to how fast we sang it after removing our gas masks in the gas chamber at Camp Geiger (1959) and were told we cannot leave till we sing the Marine Corps Hymn! Trust me - under those circumstances it gets sung in half the time normally required. The woman at the other end played the hymn at normal speed and I was able to tell her that that was the correct way, the correct speed. They sent me the new chip and I immediately installed it!
Marines' Hymn Musical Car Horn I also went on to tell them that this is the most fun that one can legally have these days with their clothes on. From the smiles of children parked next to me in traffic in a car bearing the smallest of Marine Corps stickers (which my eyes can pick out at 100 yards); to the old hands who fiddle with their dash radios and their cell phones trying to figure out where the heck this "tune" is coming from; to the Marine on N. Main St. in fatigues who gets the treatment as I pass and pull into the nearby gas station (last seen screaming at me for "making his day"); to the cop directing traffic who spots my "SEMPRFY" Plate (I can spell, "SEMPRFI" was spoken for) on my van and gives me the thumbs up and gets the "horn" back; to my "civilian" friends who are spotted walking about town knowing that I am somewhere within sight; to the Marine who THINKS that he has every possible sticker known to man on his chariot when he realizes that he has been trumped by another Marine with a musical horn, the joys of owning this device are endless.
The reason for my writing at this time, at this hour, is to complain that I have NEVER gotten to hear "The Hymn" back! Isn't there another Marine here in the 03301 zip code who owns this same horn? Let's meet! ;-)))))
Denis J. O'Connell, Sr.(1841, CPL E-4, 1958 - 1962) Concord, NH 03301

The Old Preacher
If your a Marine or you know a Marine, you will love this story... Good one for the Sgt Grit Newsletter....
Semper Fi,


An old southern country preacher from Georgia had a teenage son, and it was getting time the boy should give some thought to choosing a profession. Like many young men, the boy didn't have a clue what he wanted to do, and didn't seem too concerned about it.

One day, while the boy was away at school, his father decided to try an experiment. He went into the boy's room and placed four objects on his desk: - A Bible - A silver dollar - A bottle of Jack Daniels whisky - A Playboy magazine The old preacher then says to himself "I'll just hide behind the door, and when he comes home from school this afternoon, I'll see which object he picks up. If it's the Bible, he's going to be a preacher like me, and what a blessing that would be! If he picks up the dollar, he's going to be a businessman, and that would be OK; but If picks up the bottle, he's going to be a no-good drunkard, and, Lord, what a shame that would be. And worst of all, if he picks up that horrible magazine he's gonna be A skirt-chasin' bum."

The old man waited anxiously, and soon heard his son's footsteps entering the house and whistling and he headed for his room. The boy tossed his books on the bed, and as he turned to leave spotted the objects on the desk. With curiosity in his eye, he walked over to inspect them. He picked up the Bible and placed it under his arm, dropped the silver dollar into his pocket, Uncorked the bottle, and chugged a big long drink while he studied the details of this month's centerfold.

"Lord have mercy," the old preacher disgustedly whispered, "he's gonna be a Marine!"

Reenacting Vietnam
Dear Sgt. Grit,

The enclosed link will lead you to an Associated Press release of about ten hours ago.

The article is both an enjoyable & "Positive" statement regarding those of us who served in the Nam... And toward those who have supported us. Both now & in the past...

Could be that attitudes have finally begun to change for the better...Hope you enjoy Reenacting Vietnam War

"Semper Fi",


Locked In The Freezer
Hi Sgt Grit,

I look forward to your news letters and often purchase items from your store. I was thinking about how today our troops can call home on cell phones and use e-mail to contact family.

Well Sgt.Grit as you know all we had was U.S.Mail and some times that was slow.

In 68 I was with 2/4 Golf Co,3rd Plt.3rd Mar Div.RVN I got a letter from mom that had the usual home news (we miss you, weather is great or crappy can't wait for you to come home and so on.

This letter had gone on to say that my little sister and baby brother had gone to the neighborhood convenience store for candy etc when men came in and robbed the store, she went on to say that my sister and brother and some other customers were locked in the freezer at the rear of the store, the letter just stopped no more pages ?

I started to panic and others around me asked what was wrong and I told them the story, of course they said don't worry it's probably nothing.

Well now I get out the letter gear and write home and in the letter I said mom where was the rest of the letter and what happened to my sister and brother ?

As you know we move from hill to hill daily and when weather gets socked in it's going to be awhile before mail catches up with you.

Another letter comes from mom and nothing about my sister and brother. Well now I finally get the letter from mom that says Oh my gosh Honey I'm sorry about that and don't worry as when the Police arrived they got your sister and brother out of the locked freezer.

New Iraq 2/4 Magnificent Coin Boy Sgt.Grit it would have been so nice to have had a cell phone or e-mail. I do not recall how many days or weeks it had been until mail caught up with us.

I look back and laugh at those crazy times we had and would like to say thanks for the news letters and all the stories that bring back so many memories of long ago.

I carry my 2/4 Magnificent Bast*rds coin I got from Sgt. Grit's and consider it my lucky coin.

Thanks again brother and Semper Fidelis
At that time Sgt.Burns Stoughton Mass

A Fellow Marine
Nick was my best friend, he was a fellow Marine and was like a brother to me. In fact I would say that we were closer than most brothers could ever be. We'd experienced things together that no one else could ever relate to unless they were there at that moment in time.

For the last four years of my life after high school everything I've done or experienced has been with nick. I've had some of the best times of my life with nick and I think a lot of that had to do with the love and appreciation we both shared for life due to the hardships and bitterness we shared that in the end can only make you do just that, love life.

I can remember times when nick and I would just sit in the barracks and drink a whole bottle of vodka or jack daniels and just talk and laugh and be happy we could both be sitting there and not in the d*mn desert. I can still remember the day we arrived at parris island, it seems like a lifetime ago, and how in the first week we got separated and nick went to 2nd BN while I stayed in 1st BN because he needed to be evaluated for his allergy to bees.

I remember with a week left to go I broke my right hip and had to have surgery and stay in the hospital for two months. As soon as nick's graduation ceremony was over he came right to the hospital to visit me. It's things like that I think that made us closer than any friends could ever be. Once we both got to the fleet it was every single weekend from Friday to Sunday that we would party non-stop, and that's the way it should have been for two kids our age dealing with the things we were.

Then we both went to Iraq in march of 2008, myself with 2nd LAR BN and nick with 1st BN 9th Marines. I heard about a suicide bomber that hit a combat out post with 1/9 about a month into the deployment and I prayed to god that nick was all right. Luckily at that time we had internet access so I got a hold of him pretty quickly and my mind was put at ease. We both came home in October and picked up right where we left off both better and wiser from the experience we had shared.

As soon as we got back, there was already talk of 2nd LAR deploying to Afghanistan before the summer came. That turned out to be only Charlie company going out and I got picked to go with them. So of course after I told nick he wasn't going to let me go alone and he transferred to 2nd BN 8th Marines who were slated to leave at the same time frame we were. We met up at camp leatherneck in Afghanistan where we saw each other on a regular basis and talked about colleges we were going to go to, a house we were going to rent for the summer, and how much life just sucked out there in general.

We pushed south on june 27th and that was the last I saw or heard from nick. I don't think either of us really knew what to expect coming down here. The first week down here in the helmand province was the craziest thing I have ever experienced . I don't think I can count on both hands the number of times I thought myself or one of my guys was going to die. I knew nick had to be going through the same thing and every chance I got I'd call my mom and ask if she had heard from nick's mom to make sure he was still all right. As casualties increased all across the helmand province, including my own battalion, I couldn't help but constantly worry.

On the evening of july 27th I called home to put my mind at ease again after hearing another Marine in 2/8 was killed. My mom answered the phone and asked if anyone had contacted me and I instantly knew what had happened, that my worst possible fear had come true. I felt sick to my stomach and I still do. How could this happen to nick? I thought we were both invincible through all of this, that all of this would just be another drunk story to tell when we got home. How could my friend who I'd shared so much with and had so many future plans with after the Marine Corps be gone just like that?

Andrew at Cpl. Nicholas Xiarhos Funeral As I sit here in a city called Khan-Neshan in the Helmand province of Afghanistan I keep asking myself these questions and I'm finding it very hard to sleep at night now and I feel like that light I always saw at the end of the tunnel is dimming away for me knowing all of the grief and mourning going on back home for my best friend and fellow Marine. I wish more than anything in the world that I could be there for the service and to see my friend off but it is impossible now and there is nothing I can do to change it.

I hope that by everyone hearing these words read can some way help put everyone's hearts and minds at ease . I will end this with a quote that has stuck with me for a long time and has inspired me when I have been in my lowest and darkest moments. "we must never allow ourselves to forget or dishonor the few men who went and would go again to h&ll and back to preserve and defend what this country truly believes to be right and descent." I feel like half of me has been taken away here in Afghanistan and the better half at that.

I miss you and love you nick and I will never forget the things you and I have been through for the rest of my life.

CPL. Andrew W. Coville USMC

Cape Cod News Story

He Came Unglued
Sgt Grit

I come from a long list of Marines, My father, four Uncles two brothers, My son joined in nineteen seventy four and spent fours in My father was a China Marine.

To get back to Yemassee & Parris Island...While in boot camp and the Platoon had finished the rifle range, We went on mess duty at the rifle range, There were 80 of use in the platoon 16 went to the BAM Mess, I stayed at the rifle range, the evening before we were to start Mess, the Drill Instructor come to me and told me he would be gone for a while and I was to make a fire watch list for the troops, in the am I was to March them up to the mess Hall at 5am and than go back at 7pm and march them back to the huts we were staying in,

The thing about this...I was only Fifteen Years old and there were men in their late twenties and had previous military service in the army. In the two weeks no one questioned me.

Then on the last day before going back to main side. The CO came out to see the troops He asked me where the Sgt was. I told him I had not seen him in two weeks from day one of mess duty, Well to say he came unglued is an understatement, The platoon Number was two fifteen. in 1954. I wonder if there is any one out there who remembers this. I also caught h&ll for my final few weeks till graduation. I was also the right Guidon and first squad leader.

Cpl. Iver C Steele USMC When a Cpl meant something

Let The DI On The Bus
Sgt Grit

I was one of the first boots to get trained under that new policy, only we spent just Little over 6 weeks on the island and got there when they still let the DI on the bus, and yes most of us had a great buzz going, at about 0300, I was from Ma and flew to an airport which I believe was beaufort, then a bus to the foot prints to get the new world order going.

Well the capt told the story exactly like it happened, we drug are tired aszes around until maybe the next night when we picked up by are training DIs and then finally bed us down. After a few hours sleep the garbage cans and yelling started, that's when you first knew your world changed.

By the way I was in Plt 301 and the dates we were there, I have my book here were from Dec 28th 1965 till Feb 17th 1966, then to Camp Geiger Y Co for infantry training.

Another funny story about 301 maybe not so funny but it happened and I'm sure our DIs took crap over this for years, when we were on the rifle range the guide or who was in charge of the 301 flag left it on the 200 yard line and nobody noticed it till we got to the 500 yard line, well the staff had 3 or 4 holes in it and we had to march or walk backwards to are barracks and you all can imagine what happened next in push up position.

If that story has been here before I'm sorry to bore you but the SD ended up making 2nd Lt, so I guess it did not hurt his career to much

R Afton 2542 RVN 1968 1st MarDiv hqs comm (puzsy aircond comm cen and flush toilet)

I'll Eat That
Sgt Grit, Gotta share another funny boot camp story.

I was in platoon 2063 at Parris Island (graduated 10/27/1981) and our DI's were Senior DI

SSGT Krause, and Sgt's Ishmail and Mazenko who were all rough, tough DIs, but there were times when we did such stupid stuff, that Mazenko (who was the youngest) had to turn his face away from us to keep from cracking up laughing. I don't know if, as a group we were dumber than the average platoon (we did win several series awards), but if nothing else we did give those three Marines some great stories to tell their grand-kids over the years!

Anyway, one day in the chow hall very early in first phase, I went through the chow line and took 3 or 4 pieces of corn bread thinking it was sheet cake without icing. When I finally got around to eating it (about 2 minutes after sitting down) after ramming everything else down the pie-hole, I realized it was not cake, but very dry corn bread! I must have made a gagging sound when my buddy Jimmy Cornell said, "Man, I'll eat that, I love corn bread".

I told him to take it knowing I would have been ripped to pieces by a DI if he saw that I did not eat all that was on my tray, but when Jimmy reached over to take them, Mazenko saw him with his hawk-eye and came flying over to our table. "Why, you thieving piece of %#@&*^% sh_t, who the %$#@ told you to take that %$^&*%$ corn bread of off that %&^*$%# recruit's tray?"

Jimmy stammered something and Mazenko screamed back, "You better come up with a good %^&$#@$ excuse or your stinking a$$ is going to the ^&*%$#$ brig, you thieving piece of pond scum!" I felt so bad for Jimmy, but there was nothing I could do. Mazenko PT'd Jimmy out in the formation and then again after we marched back to the squad-bay, but that was not the end of it. At the noon meal, Mazenko walked over to Cornell and said, "Now sh_thead, since you want to steal food from recruits, I am going to take your %$^&*$# food every meal" (Mazenko knew Jimmy did not steal the cornbread from me - and you Marines reading this know d*mn right well that Mazenko was just having fun), but the next few days after Jimmy would load up his tray, Mazenko (if he was on duty at that time) would walk over and take something off Cornell's tray!

Looking back now, it was hilarious, but back then it was not funny. Mazenko would walk over and say, "hhmmnnn, I'll, take this and that and this and that.....now, go away sh_thead!" But looking back now, I know Mazenko must have been laughing his butt off at how terrified we were of him! No one ever ate any food off of another recruit's tray again as far as I knew! I never ran into any of our DI's in the FMF, but I would love to have had a chance to thank all three of them. They were all great Drill Instructors and did a great job of making us into Marines! I still respect them immensely to this day! God bless all Marines and all service men and woman and know that we are praying for all of you. Freedom is not free!

Incidentally, I love corn bread, but every time I eat it, I think of that day all those years ago!

Semper Fi
Mike Kunkel
Cpl - 0331
Weapons Plt, Lima 3/8

As We Scrambled
Sgt. Grit,
The 8/14/09 edition of Sgt. Grit had a letter from "Capt. T. PISC" about Receiving barracks, yellow foot prints, etc. It brought back many fond memories. He talked about the little old lady who was on the bus as it arrived at Receiving Barracks and her reaction to the DIs. I have a similar story to relate.

In June 1966, I arrived at Receiving Barracks along with four others, destined for 2nd Recruit Bn. On that bus were the five of us, the bus driver, and seated just behind the driver was a little old lady, probably in her 80's and weighing 95 pounds, soaking wet. Before the bus came to a complete stop, a huge gorilla in a Smokey Bear cover stormed on the bus screaming more trash and filth than these 17-year old ears had ever heard. Somewhere in all that noise, I remember hearing something about "Unasz the H&ll off my M***F**** Marine Corps bus" and something else about some G***D***M***F*** footprints". As we scrambled and clawed our way over each other to get out, my last memory of that bus as we "unaszed" was the grin on the driver's face and the absolute horror on the face of that little old lady. She was cowering in the corner of her seat as far from that green Monster as she could.

Undoubtedly that was her first trip to Parris Island as it was ours.

I would love to have heard the story she told to her friends the next day!
Oh, how I miss it!

Semper Fidelis
S.C. Beaman
1966 - 1972

Why There Is No "J" Company
In the August 13 Sgt Grit newsletter a Viet Nam era Marine asked why the phonetic company designators passed over Juliet going from India to Kilo (in my day India, Kilo, Lima, and Mike would be 3rd Battalion line companies). While Juliet (spelling is disputed but there was no "e" on the end and only one "t" at the changeover in 1957) is used as part of the phonetic alphabet (replacing the original Able, Baker, Charlie, etc from WWII and Korea) it is not used to identify line (infantry, grunt, animal) companies because back in the day when the codes changed, field messages were written by hand (we also did not have NVG or plastic rifles, and we still had "thump call" on The Island) and there was a real possibility of a message scribbled by a sweaty comm guy being misread because a "J" could be mistaken for an "I' or an "L" Besides, what 0300 MOS would want to be in a company named after a 13-year-old Shakespearean ing�nue'. Btw, the "J" during the Able, Baker era was Jig. There were a lot of Scot-Irish in the "Old Corps."

RTO and Corporal of Marines
3/6/2; 22nd SLT
To know, learn. To be, do.

In answer to "why there is no "J" company. Back in the dark recesses of my brain housing somebody told me it had to do with Custer getting his butt shot off at the little big horn. Possibly "J" company? I personally thought there were three companies under Custer.

Once upon a time there was a Jig Company. And once upon a time it was a racial slur. That is why it was dropped. Why they didn't use Juliet or Justice. or Jag, we'll never know. This is from a 1948/53 memory time.
Ray Walker

In response to Charlie Newell, Alpha to India. I heard some other stores about why no J Company but this one make the best sense. There was no J company. [The letter J was traditionally not used because in 18th and 19th century old style type the capital letters I and J looked alike and were therefore too easily confused with one another.] It was common for a battalion to become temporarily attached to a different regiment. For example, during the confusion and high casualty rates of both the Normandy landings and the Battle of the Bulge, in order to bolster the strength of a depleted infantry regiment, battalions and even companies were moved around as necessary. (taken from Wikipedia).
Duane Kuykendall- USMC 1970-72

Sgt. Grit:
In response to Cpl. Charlie Newell's request as to why we have no Juliette Company, I'd like to take a shot at a possible answer.

I used to teach navigation topics for our local U.S. Power Squadron boating organization, and those topics included celestial navigation. In celestial navigation, it's vital that you have some idea of actual time (so as to connect with longitude) and also time zones. Nathaniel Bowditch is thought of as the U.S. "guru" of navigation, and in his book, he described the use of 25 lettered time zones, each one describing 15 degrees of longitude, and equal to one hour of time. (See "The American Practical Navigator", 9th Edition, pp.290-291.)

The reason for 25 lettered time zones instead of 24 is that the area around the International Date Line is split into two separate 7.5 degree time zones to avoid confusion, since those two separate time zones are in different days. There are 25 letter-designated time zones, but 26 letters in the English alphabet. All the letters were used to designate specific time zones, except for the letter "J" which was reserved for use in whatever local time zone you happened to be in at the moment, so we don't have a "J" designated time zone, either. Incidentally, that usage has resulted in the phrase "in jig time" meaning "right away" or "immediately."

A more complete explanation can be found in these three links:

I'm not sure that this is an adequate explanation as to why we have no Juliette Company, but it may be a start.

Keep up the great work, Sgt. Grit!

Semper Fi,
Jim Doss
Sgt. of Marines, 1970-1976
Combat Engineer, 1371

You Won't Make It, Maggot!
The letter from Tony Glass, "Marine, Jarhead, Leatherneck. Brother", in American Courage #207 made me think of my reaction when I get down or feel I can't complete a task.

I graduated and earned the title of United States Marine on 13 May 1964, 2nd Battalion, Platoon 218, MCRD, San Diego. Even today, at age 66, when I'm having a bad day, I think back to those formative days in Boot Camp. I stop and remember Sgt. Bridges, Cpl Stelling or Cpl Wright telling me, "You won't make it, Maggott!" I repeat the words that became my motto back then: "They can kill me, but they can't stop me!" This is motivation enough to get me through whatever had been bothering me. This motto, along with knowing that every Marine out there is willing "watch my back" is enough for all Marines everywhere, regardless of age and time in the Corps! This is the essence of a Marine - watching out for each other!

Semper Fi, Marines! I've got your back!

Bob Lonn
Once a Marine, Always a Marine!

Short Rounds
It's a shame they stopped the receiving D.I.'s from boarding the bus on arrival at P.I.
It was the first nightmare I ever witnessed while still awake !
Cpl. T.Rieger Plt. 374 16MAR66 Semper Fi !

To all Salts,
1956/1963, 1649003, Platoon 2061 Boot Camp, SD, CA. S/Sgt Swan, Sgt Teasley, Sgt Fish and Sgt Gore. Drill instructors. When I tell sea stories I use true and solid reference points to back my BS. The only rank I saw out off boot camp were, expert rifleman, and kiss-azs's, and a Cpl who had been in the Navy 4 yrs. Cpl Romeo who lost a stripe in the switch.
Semper Fi L/Cpl Tom Leigh-Kendall

While in Boot Camp latter part of 1953, there was scuttlebutt going around about a sentry that challenged the officer of the Day, who responded, "I am Captain Marvel," to which the sentry responded, "Well no sh!t, and I am Superman." I think the kid is still doing push ups.

Will Clifford
Capt., USMC (Ret)

This is the top dog in the Army's boot camp, that is some sad stuff.......Tough Love for New Soldiers

received the weekly letter and am proud to say that Aug 20th 1969 I received the Eagle Globe and Anchor...Semper Fi Brothers---40 years ago...g

The story from Pam Laucius in the August 20 newsletter caught my interest. When I looked at the graduation photo attached, I remembered the names printed on the bottom. It was my graduation photo, too. I went on-line and was able to find Pam. It seems we live about 50 miles apart, and I hope to get together with her soon to remember old times. Keep up the good work.

Semper Fi!
PFC Sharon (Clark) Hill

Just wanted to submit a memorable boot camp quote from my boot camp days on Parris Island (back in 2001)

"I've got more games than Milton Bradley 40!" (platoon 4040) - D.I. SSgt. Vetos

Platoon 4040, 4th BN P. Co, MCRD, PISC
Women Marines - The Fewer, The Prouder. OOHRAH!

Christy Jotte :)

I liked the article about Yemassee, SC. I had the pleasure of spending the night there in August 1964. I actually went back to visit in the mid 80'. I spoke with an older lady and told her I was trying to locate the Barrack and she said "Look around, you are standing in it" The Barrack had been moved down the street and was an Antique Store.
Bill Martin

NAM Country Decal
NAM Country Decal

IRQ Country Decal
IRQ Country Decal

Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Birthday Ball