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Sgt Grit Newsletter VS AmericanCourage Newsletter:

You receive both (alternating weeks)...so what's the difference?

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

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

I have just finished reading this month's issue of Leatherneck magazine and read an article that had a quote by "CHESTY" himself that I had never heard and thought that other fellow Marines might find motivating. Here it is.... Adopt a Marine

"After watching a Marine raise the flag over the American Consulate in Oct 1950, as fighting still raged in Seoul, Korea, an Army officer growled something about Marines would rather carry a flag into battle than a rifle. Then - Col Lewis B. "CHESTY" Puller replied, "A man with a flag in his pack and the desire to put it on an enemy strongpoint isn't likely to bug out."....

Fast Forward
When the Marines of 3/9 arrived at An Hoa after leaving the Water Point near Marble Mountain in April 1966, there was nothing but shelter-halves for personal sleeping quarters. Hardbacks were finally built during the summer BUT, we were out in the field all of the time. The one night India Company got to sleep in a hardback the VC mortared us killing two of our brothers and wounding many including yours truly.

Fast forward to 1967 and 3/9 is now all along the DMZ. During the summer we (India) was the "Sparrow Hawk" force working out of Dong Ha. On a rare day that we actually had off, some officers arrived in our area requesting our assistance in moving something. That "something" just happened to be a full size hardback built in the wrong place. Marines improvise, right? Here is a photo that ended up in SEA TIGER of how we did it! Flaming I picks up a building and moves it

On a serious note, our Corpsman from Getlin's Corner, Doc Chuck Dockery who lost both his legs to numerous gunshot and mortars/rockets wounds, is in the University of Washington Hospital ICU. He had surgery to repair 2 of 3 aneurysms to his aorta. His heart and part of a lung that survived lung cancer now with pneumonia plus he has only one kidney having lost one during the battle. Doc is in critical condition! Please pray for him and his wife and two kids. Doc is our rock! When we dragged him into our last stand position at Getlin's Corner with more wounds than any of us who survived he said, "lay me next to a Marine that needs my help!"

Please pray for Doc! God bless you and God bless our troops at war!

Semper Fidelis,
Jack Riley I/3/9 1966-1967

Cheers Were Loud Enough
Old Corps? ( Picture of platoon 103 San Diego, and USS Princeton in the Gulf of Siam)

Picture of platoon 103 San Diego I enlisted in 1953 and went to San Diego on January 3, 1954. (I know-Hollywood Marine)

Korea ended in November of 1953 so most of the drill instructors were vets from the war as was ours. He was Sgt Dilks and had one eye that looked slightly to the side so keeping your eyes straight ahead was nearly impossible when he was in your face. Did the drill instructors pass out physical punishment? Yes, and it was deserved for the most part. They did have their games using us as punching bags but it was all part of the process of getting us ready if Korea broke out again. Many recruits owe Sgt Dilks their thanks for setting them up for life itself. If you're still with us Sgt Dilks: Thank you!

There were no yellow footprints but then we were already smart enough to not look down.

I was scheduled to go to Electronics school out of boot but my history of playing the drums sent me to the Field Music school in San Diego where I was stuck for a couple years. Then I was assigned to the Fleet Marine Force Pacific Drum and Bugle Team in Pearl Harbor. We toured all the Pacific military bases and Alaska as good will ambassadors which took us to Japan. One day orders came to load up and board the aircraft carrier USS Princeton. No word of why but we were issued 45s before we boarded ship. (No ammo)

USS Princeton in the Gulf of Siam Once we were out to sea we were told by the Princeton's Captain that we were to be part of a Southeast Asia Treaty Organization war games. We had 6 or 7000 other Marines on board and a bunch of little helicopters. We were to be part of the first ever helicopter assault landings. Most of us had not even been close to a chopper much less actually get on one.

A bag piper was also aboard and practiced seemingly all the days we dinked around getting to Thailand. (18 days) Someone must have known he was going to be with us when the decision was made not to issue ammo. When we loaded up in our heloteams (name must have been made up by a swabbie) the bagpiper was scheduled to go in on the first run. I was in the team behind him. There must have been 10 choppers once they all got air born and turned to go to the airport in Bangkok. All of a sudden a cloud of black smoke and one of them headed into the water! We all watched as the Navy rescued all hands and headed back. The Captain came on the PA and announced that all were safe. The cheers were quite loud. Then he announced that the bag pipes were not recovered and the cheers were loud enough that everyone back in Japan must have heard them.

Picture of platoon 103 San Diego We camped on the airfield and watched as the rest of the players arrived. The crazy Airborne flew non-stop from the US and jumped next to us. One tried to do the roman candle bit but rode down with another crazy guy. A site to behold!

I always regret not getting "some"! Read the book "Hard Corps" by Marco Martinez, Navy Cross recipient, and you'll know what I mean. It's a short look into the War on Terror. (and my grandson is mentioned)

I am proud to have served, if only beating a drum for three years. Probably only 90% of us get "some". One of my Uncles got "some" in 1921 and my grandson got enough "some" for all of us.

Semper Fi

Sgt Vincent Meyers

Mount Suribachi Not easy then, not easy now
"Iwo Jima Today" with young Marines scrambling up the steep dunes. The major difference between 1945 and today is that no one was shooting at them!

Good pictures, good reminders! (See all the pictures)

65th Anniversary 2010. Check our web site at www.miltours.com

Semper Fidelis and ... Happy Birthday Marines!
Colonel Warren Wiedhahn USMC, (Ret)

Marines running up a hill. Abandoned Heavy Machine Gun Marines racing across the beach at Iwo Jima

Phony-Wannabee Caught And the Dumb-Azs
I'd like to think that I had a small part in catching this guy. If anything it was a dumb-azs move on my part putting his picture and story in an August newsletter complete with enough red flags that I'm embarrassed. But my mistake did get the POW Network involved and they are bulldogs on exposing these guys. They worked with federal officials, and here we are several months later with an arrest.

Wannabee Caught Article

Semper Fi
Sgt "Dumb-Azs" Grit

AmericanCourage Quote Shirt

Leatherneck Coffee Club
Leatherneck Coffee Club group photo
Leatherneck Coffee Club

Over The Muzzles
Sgt Grit:
We arrived on Okinawa Christmas Eve 1966. We were confined to the base, as we were to fly out to Da Nang the next day. We had been paid recently and there didn't seem to be any reason to take money (MPC) to Viet Nam so we hit the EM Club. Long neck American beer and mixed drinks were 25 cents each, and as I said, there wasn't much sense in taking money to Viet Nam.

We landed in DaNang totally in a daze. It was pouring rain. Mud was everywhere.

We were there as replacements. We were shipped off to Camp Carroll to meet our unit. For several days we were the perimeter guard for Camp Carroll. While there we helped ourselves to items the Army had in abundance, but we were short on. We found a couple of M-60s lying around. There were stacks of cases of C- rations that got shorter. I happened to stroll by an officer's tent and found cans of hamburgers and hot chocolate mix. We were only there a couple of days. we left the area a little heavier but better equipped. Next stop was Cam Lo, where we began to use our finds. We got to check out our new air mattresses too.

While at Camp Carroll we visited the P.X. which was in a big truck. We bought lots of U.S. govt. approved rubbers. The clerk wondered where we were getting all of the action. We strung him along, saying we had some bed warmers waiting. Actually we put them over the muzzles of our weapons to keep the dirt out. They fit the muzzle of the M-60 nicely.

Dinger 0331 Nam '66 7 '67

Invitation To Enlist
Request to Enlist letter from President Reagan You know that famous saying that Ronald Reagan first uttered?

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem."
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985

Well it appears as if someone asked him to enlist. Read on...

Semper Fi
John Wear

Happy Birthday Marines
3 Marines (1 in the middle holding two dachshunds) sitting on a couch smiling at the camera on the Marines 234th birthday. "Gunnery Sergeants" Grete and Liesl Hummer, currently "stationed" at the National Naval Medical Center, are proud to join GySgt Wade Cobar, MSgt Joseph Liptok (Ret) and Sgt Joseph Bradley in wishing the United States Marine Corps and all Marines a very Happy 234th Birthday (established at Tun Tavern on November 10, 1775)!


Gordon in his dress blues To all my Marine Corps, fellows in arms, I wish you all a Happy 234th Marine Corps Birthday. Semper Fidelis. To all Veterans I wish you an enjoyable and hearty Armistice Day.

The Old Gunny, Gordy

76 Alley
Point of interest, At our reunion Anti/Tank Co.5th Marines ( Korea ) Sept.18 at Quantico, National Museum, Marine Base. Going thru the Museum I ran across a Picture that was taken Feb. 7 1953 of myself and my tank driver Norm Bodway carrying out one of the 6 Marines we were able to help. It was at the Samichon Valley also know as 76 alley

Norm Bodway Red shirt
Chuck Batherson tan Shirt

Norm Bodway and Chuck Batherson Norm Bodway and Chuck Batherson Norm Bodway and Chuck Batherson Feb. 7 1953

Proud Tattoo
Eagle, Globe and Anchor tattoo After 15 years of looking for just the right Eagle Globe and Anchor tattoo and the right guy to do it, I found both. Dragon Guy Tattoo in Greensboro N.C.

Semper Fi,
James W. Moore

He Bellowed...Don't you see?
Dear Sgt. Grit:

Holy cow! Last night I had the weirdest dream.

Chesty Puller was sitting on a leather sofa, as big as life, puffing on a Cuban cigar and reading a copy of your catalog.

All of a sudden, he leapt out of his chair and said, "%% &&*****!!@@######!!"

I asked him what was wrong, and he bellowed:

"Don't you see!? Look on page 32. This license plate - item # LM02 - What the %%##****&&@@?!!! They don't have it in black with a silver eagle, globe, and anchor!"

I stepped forward and he thrust the catalog into my trembling hands.

"SEE?! They only have it in red and gold. That is for puszies. If I want it, Sgt. Grit needs to have it!"

I promised him that I would bring this to your attention, and he slowly faded into the leather of the sofa and disappeared.

As you can well imagine, this was quite a traumatic experience, and one that I would not care to repeat. He made it quite clear that what he wants is a license plate with:
Silver and black EGA License plate 1. A black background, and
2. The eagle, globe, and anchor, and in silver.

Is there any chance you might be able to locate such an item in the near future? I fear that I'll need to have an answer soon.

Thank you for your consideration -

Cheri Y.

Note: Cheri and all - the design is now available to order:
888-NOV-1775 (888-668-1775)

Heard Him Scream
Sgt Grit
This is Nile White the fading Gunner, and this morning I was privileged to be visited by two comrades in arms. Two of the finest equal to any U S combat Marine, two FMF Navy Hospital Corpsmen both close to my age and both also fading also due to the exposure to the chemical Agent Orange. And though a few days early for our Marine Corps Birthday, but in honor of such they brought a taste of the best of the best: for in the days of combat and no booze there was always an enterprising field Doc. With a jug of sick bay alcohol and a chess cloth to refine it and then a triple shot of some un-sweetened grape fruit juice and a shot of that in the freezing tundra of the northern parts of old cold cold Korea would rejuvenate even the dead.

Well as we smacked our lips with just a drop and out of nowhere and as close as my arm stood a Doc named Wentz. A little guy like most Doc so they could hide behind a big old bar toting marine. And he, Doc Wentzy, having made many a four or five man patrol with us to scout the enemy forces on the next hill there along the 38the parallel, well we heard him scream then the sound of a short round from one of our so many short rounds from the artillery valley two or three clicks behind our revetments. And he looked up and said oh h&ll Nile, I am dead and he was for a h&ll of a piece of shrapnel had tore all the way through his body. He was a small dude but we took turns carrying him over our shoulders back to our lines and straight to the tent sick bay. And when we laid him down the company commander for his name is burned into my mind for his dad was the commandant at that time, yes shepherd.

How simple the passing of the palm from my your heart to a man or woman in uniform. There can be no shame is such a gesture, but want to make a heroes day pass him a palms up for sure to all, especially Navy FMF field Docs. This 10 Nov. stand tall by your brother Marines for you are also one of the chosen few. To all Semper fi and especially to you Sgt grit the best thing since a second serving of French toast.

Semper Fi Nile E White de Gunner

AmericanCourage Patriotic Shirt

They'll Give You the Shirts off Their Backs
The 15th Annual Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller Marine Run was held on November 14, 2008. The Marines Corps Detachment ran from Fort Lee, through Puller's hometown of Saluda, and on to Puller's grave site at Christ Church Parish in Virginia. After a ceremony to pay tribute to one of the most decorated Marines ever, they went to the Middlesex County Museum to see Puller's medals and other memorabilia on display.

A museum volunteer said she really liked the t-shirts the Marines were wearing for this special event. Sgt. Randy Banks responded to her spoken interest by immediately removing his own t-shirt and handing it over to her without a second thought. She accepted it graciously and was surprised a few days later by receiving several more of the Marine Run t-shirts in the mail, enough for the rest of the museum staff.

The 16th Annual Chesty Puller Marine Run will be held on Friday, November 13, 2009. The museum volunteers look forward to the yearly visit from a group of dedicated, respectable, and generous Marines.

And I'd Been His
I served in Vietnam as a helicopter machine gunner and a proud member of HMM-262 (66/67). I received a purple heart for my efforts. When I returned from Vietnam, I had the feeling that as an air wing Marine, I hadn't done as much as the grunts who walked through the jungles, slept in the rain, etc. I finally worked with a grunt who was in Vietnam at the same time I was there. We became good friends and I confided in him one day that I somehow felt like I should have done more because I didn't have the combat experiences he had. He looked at me for a minute and then told me that he'd always felt the same way about me. He said that he felt lucky being on the ground and that his heroes were the guys who flew in the helicopters to bring in supplies, reinforcements or to carry wounded Marines out during firefights. He said he'd never be able to do my job. He'd been my "real Marine" and I'd been his.

The bottom line is this. We are all United States Marines. We go where we are sent and we do whatever it is we need to do for Corps and Country. We are all trained to be Marines. Rather than worry that you didn't do "your part," be content that had you been sent, you would have served your Corps well.

I've tried to get back in so I could go to Afghanistan or Iraq but, at the age of 63, the recruiters tell me that I am too old. My son, L/Cpl. Jamie L. Nix, is now on Okinawa and I guess he'll have to carry on in my place. Semper Fi!

Daniel L. Nix
Sgt. of Marines
1964 - 1967

Irish Pennants
I keep reading all these stories about getting on with your life after finishing your tour and getting on with being a civilian. I do not know if I read this or heard it but here is something that I think explains it best.

They say that after being discharged from the Air Force it takes about a month to get over ever being in. A soldier finally gets used to being a civilian after about a year. It takes longer for a Sailor about a year and a half. But you never get over being a Marine.

Answer these questions honestly and you will see what I mean. Do you still march in step with other guys when walking? Do you still blouse your shirt? Look at your gig line is it straight, I bet it is. Do you shave every day? I bet your shoes are shined aren't they. Do you still go to the head? Do you still refer to the floor as the deck and your bed as a rack? When you make your bed does it have hospital corners? When you hunt do you take a gun or a rifle? Do you stand when the National Anthem is played, better yet do you stand when the Marine Corps Hymn is played? Do you check your clothes for Irish pennants?

Do you gaze in pride at every young Marine you see? But when do talk to them do you check out their shoes, gig line, Irish pennants, and whether they shave and have a good haircut?

You have never been a Marine if you don't do at least half of these things.

Jim Grimes Sgt USMC a long time ago.

GoDaddy and Sgt Grit...Kinda', Sorta'
Semper Fi T-Shirt Bob Parsons, CEO of GoDaddy, is wearing our Semper Fi t-shirt in his "09/04/09 - episode #29" video on his blog.

You can also see the GoDaddy's USMC Birthday Tribute

1941 White Model M-2 Halftrack, In Memory
Sgt Grit

Attached our photos of my companies (North American Rescue Inc.) fully restored and running, 1941 White Model M-2 Halftrack it is dedicated to the memory of Sgt Robert A. Owen MOH (Posthumous) USMC a native of Greenville, SC. Thought your readers might like to see some pictures. Happy Veterans Day!


Tom Eagles HMCM/USN Ret.
Special Projects
North American Rescue Inc.

Photo of fully restored and running,1941 White Model M-2 Halftrack. Photo of fully restored and running,1941 White Model M-2 Halftrack. Photo of fully restored and running,1941 White Model M-2 Halftrack. Photo of fully restored and running,1941 White Model M-2 Halftrack. Photo of fully restored and running,1941 White Model M-2 Halftrack.

No One Raised Their Hand
In response to Brian Waters in the 05 November 09 news letter. I enlisted in 1979 and most if not all of my drill instructors were straight out of Vietnam, Out of all the customs and history we were taught the thing that sticks out the most is them teaching us to never let our fellow Marine down and absolutely no one gets left behind, These guys were hard and if you did something stupid and got beat around the neck and shoulders then you learned a lesson and moved on.

The drill instructors did not beat us because they were sadistic or got off on it, They just found a way to teach you lessons very fast and you learned well. During my time from 1979 to 1983 we were told that we were part of the new Corps, Because the Corps was in a transitional phase, coming out of Vietnam. Me personally I am glad I had war vets to learn from. I see what's going on with the Army and the stress cards in recruit training and it scares the h&ll out of me. What's little Johnny going to do hold up his stress card when the Taliban start to overrun his position? I mean nothing against the Army but who thinks this sh!t up. We had a few hard cases in our platoon during boot and it wasn't always the DI who taught valuable lessons, Lights out and bar of soap in your towel will teach even the most dense of recruits how to execute the field stripping and re assembly of the M-16a2 rifle at warp speed with 100% accuracy.

At the rifle range we had a visit from a major who after he made the drill instructors leave the area asked if any recruits had been physically touched by any drill instructor. No one raised their hand, So he made us line up outside the drill instructors office and talked to each of us one on one In the office. Evidently one recruit said he had been hit and we lost one of our best drill instructors during snap in week. The only good thing from that is we found out who the milk toast was. Enough said. Marines are a different breed of animal and cannot be put in the same category as a Army soldier that has his training dictated by mothers of America, If America wants to win battles then we need to do away with stress cards in every branch of service.

JMA. Corporal of Marines
Semper Fi from the Lava Dog's

To J.L. Morris.
Most of the 7th Marines were reserves at the Reservoir. Many on Fox Hill had never been to boot camp. Had that hill not held you and I would still be there 6 ft under Korean soil. Whoever makes the comments you refer to have never had a shot fired at them.

Ray L. Walker
A/1/5 1090705

To JR Morris- Don't EVER feel you're less of a MARINE because you were a reserve! So you didn't go through boot camp. Your boot camp was in the hills of Korea, we all know that. Anyone with any doubts, please read "Retreat H&ll. Many of the Marines at the Chosin Reservoir were reservists. Some had been to boot camp, some had not, all performed as Marines have since 1776. HAPPY BIRTHDAY-USMC. Goodnight Chesty Bumper Sticker Goodnight Chesty wherever you are.

CPL Dan Corum

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet". A Marine is a Marine no matter what the letter designation is after USMC. I think we will always find people who have their own private hang-ups, and as far as I'm concerned it should be their problem and not yours.

I very much can relate to what you are saying as when I joined the Marines in 1965, I joined under the designation of "program J" which was a two year active service program with four years of inactive (reserve) service. When I got out of "schools battalion" I was sent to my duty station as an 0141 (administrative clerk). When my first rating period (at that duty station) came up I was called into the Captains Office and he asked me who I had "pissed off". I had been given an extremely low mark out of schools battalion.

It turned out (I was told) that not everyone agreed with the "program J" two year enlistment and a low rating was given to those who enlisted under that program by some administrators. The first I heard of the low rating was when I was asked about it. The idea behind it was that it would be very difficult to overcome the low rating (within two years) and get out with an "Honorable Discharge". The choice would be to ship over to overcome the low rating or to accept a "general discharge".

Fortunately for me the people in charge saw the injustice of this. I would like to think that I earned every high rating I got from that point on and no doubt their confidence in me drove me to do the best I could. I did in fact receive high enough ratings to overcome the low one and was eligible for (and did receive) an "Honorable Discharge".

The other designation that was looked at by others as a "softer position" was the 0141 (administrative position) which back then was affectionately referred to as "Remington Raiders". Again this problem belonged to others. The truth was that we we're trained with the same weapons as everyone else, we stood the same inspections as everyone else, and we walked guard duty the same as everyone else. The only difference I could see was that we started work before everyone else and we were done when the 1st Sgt. said we were done (and that was usually long after everyone else). The only other thing that was different for us was that we had to take a five hundred pound safe with us when we "pulled up stakes".

The Marine Corps was and still is a very important part of my life. It took the kid out of me and it gave me a discipline and a tenaciousness that I would have never acquired without it. Put any letter you want after USMC (J or R or whatever), I still am and always will be a MARINE, and in my book so are you J.R. Morris.

D.J. Berglund 2163043 Cpl USMC (1965 - 1967)

More Reservists Stories

No Apology Was Necessary
Sgt Grit;

Happy Marine Corps Birthday. On Saturday 11/07/09 my fiancee and I attended the Marine Corps Birthday Ball at Camp Pendleton. The keynote speaker was Major General R. L. Mills CG 1st Marine Div FMF. In his address he took a moment to apologize to the Vietnam vets present for the treatment (or lack thereof) we got when we came home. Being the Marine that I am, I took it upon myself to go over to the CG when he finished and told him no apology was necessary though greatly appreciated. We were, after all, Marines, we did our job came home and took it on the chin because "we are Marines."

A few minutes later a young Lt came over (who initially was at the table we were escorted to) and said "Major General Mills would like to request your fiancee and your presence at his table to dine with him and his wife."

Needless to say my girlfriend's response was what did you say to him? My reply was, "we were Marines (ughrahh)." We graciously thank the General, had a great birthday meal and in addition Major General Hoffman was the ball chairman and my former CG when I was a snot nose recruit at MCRD Parris Island 1971, so I got to meet him as well. And we reminisced about PI in 71, 2 and 3 battalion legal holds that brought the press, over the deaths of two recruits and the trouble he got in with the press when he coined the phrase "We never promised you a rose garden"

As the night closed my fiancee was presented with the beautiful floral center piece by Maj General Mills. Again this was Debbie's first Marine Corps Ball and truly for me a Marine Corps Birthday both she and I will always remember.

Ed Anthony former Sgt/USMC/Viet Nam Vet.

Old Corps
Grit, I travel a lot for work and I am truly amazed at the young Marines, I meet in airports, all over our wonderful country. They have the same pride, same "swagger", same confidence, that we had when we were in the Corps. I have talked with some of them and say I'm one of the "Old Corps", they respond, no Sir, you are a Marine, just a time change. I laugh at that.

We talk about boot camp and the differences in the USMC from the 1960's to 2009 and it is amazing to me that the Corps has not changed. Boot camp is longer now, we had 56 days and they have 12 weeks. They are anxious to hear how the Corps was in the 60's and most of the laughs we have is to see that not much has changed. They do not have JOB inspections now. When I mention the JOB, Junk on the Bunk, they look at me like I am telling them about the "Holy Grail". I laugh and say, that was a tradition that I am glad has ended. It is still the USMC and these young men and women are carrying on the tradition that was started, Nov 10, 1775.

I try to speak to as many as I can, and I ask myself, was I ever that young, and slim ?

Time has passed and most of us are not in our Boot camp shape, but we are Marines and we need to thank the young ones who are carrying on the tradition of our beloved Corps.
Eddie Leach
SSGT of Marines
1966-1969 and 1974-1980.
Platoon 2023.

You are "Old Corps" when you can tell another Marine with both a straight face and conviction that you've "got more time in the chow line than he(or she) has in the Corps!"

Sgt T Gardiner USMCR

More Old Corps Stories

From Polio To 1st Lt
In early June, 1941 I had me tonsils nearly rupture and I had to have emergency surgery. Ten days later I was back at the hospital with paralytic polio (it was the wrong time of the year.) By 1942 I was totally paralyzed and the doctor told my mother I would more than likely die soon.

It was at this time I heard on the radio that the 1st Marine Division had landed on Guadalcanal. I was only six, but realized that I wanted to be a Marine, even though I had never seen or heard of one (I lived in the blue Mountains of NE Oregon.) I also decided the Corps would not take me if I was in bed. I then spent the next 11 years learning to walk and building up my strength.

In 1953 I enlisted in the Marine Corps Active Reserves in Philadelphia, PA. I was attending Villanova University at the time and my Recruiter told me we need officers as much as anybody. I attended OTC in my summers and drills each week, raising from Pvt. to Sgt. (E4) In June 1957 I had the proudest day of my life when I graduated in dress whites and pinned on the bars of a 2nd Lieutenant. We had lost 56% of those who had originally started training with me.

Next came 3-57 Basic School and then on to Del Mar for Tank School. Then back to Lejeune and Bravo Company of the 2nd Tank Battalion. I was lucky to get a Platoon Sgt. named Gunny John Harrington. The first day I took him aside and told him he had two jobs, one run the platoon, and second to train me to be a d*mn good tank officer, then when I felt ready, I would take over.

He did a great job and soon I was ready. We were on independent duty, assigned to various Infantry Battalions, for the next 14 months and I was gone overseas. Then it was to several schools and finally our Battalion XO, Maj. Malcom, USMC, went to DC to check and make sure I would be around for a while since I had been gone so much. With the assurances of at least another year, he returned and I was assigned as CO of H&S Co., 2nd Tanks.

About then Cuba started heating up with Fidel threatening to cut the water off to Gitmo. Our entire Tank Battalion shipped out, just before I received orders to the 3rd Tank Battalion, 3rd Mar. Div. (HQ, USMC said I had been Stateside long enough and needed to see some overseas duty even though I had actually been aboard the Base for less than 90 days.) I had just finished my inventory and signed for the gear of the Company, when the orders arrived. We loitered off Cuba's coast for a few days, then went on to Viegas, PR to unlimber stiff muscles. I was there but a short time when I flew out on an R4Q back to Lejeune and then on to Okinawa on a DC6 with stops in Hawaii, Wake, Guam and finally Okinawa.

In June, 1959, I arrived at the 3rd Tank Battalion and was assigned as XO of Alpha Co. The Battalion Commander was Lt. Col. David M. Foos, USMC. About 6 months into the assignment, I was transferred to the 3rd AT Battalion as their Maintenance Officer. Here, my CO was Lt. Col. Guildo. S. Codispotti III, USMC. I was in this capacity for the rest of my tour of 22 months (Yes, not 18, but 22 thanks to Sec. of Defense McNamera). Then it was back to Quantico where I was assigned as CO, HQ Company Main Side. I was released from active duty in October, 1961. I then learned how to fly and spent the next 20 odd years flying until 1988 when I was diagnosed with Post Polio Syndrome. The Dr.s said I would be back on crutches or in a wheel chair within 2 years. One thing the Corps taught me is perseverance, and that you never give up. It has been 21 years, but I am still not giving in and I walk several miles a week with my wife and my Siberian Husky.

I am proud to drive a car with a front bumper plate that says I am a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, and my back license plate holder says US Marine Corps and on the back windows are the stickers of the 2nd and 3rd Div. I also proudly wear a hat that has the emblem and emblazoned on the brim is "The Few, The Proud." I also have a vest that displays the patches of the 2nd and 3rd Tank Battalions. I cannot count the number of men who have approached me and said, "Semper Fi" and I reply "Ooorah." Then we exchange units we were in and share the pride of belonging to the proudest and greatest brotherhood in the world, THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS."

A very proud former Marine.
1st. Lt. Edward L. Dodd, USMC 073558

We have finished filming Chosin and we are now in the editing room with the project. We ended up interviewing 184 vets in 27 cities across 14 states, and our goal is to release the film in conjunction with the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War next June.

This has been the first film and oral history project of such magnitude to capture this vital piece of Marine Corps and American Military History. It has been an honor to be a part of the project and we could not have done it without your support- many thanks to all of you.

We have posted a trailer for the film on our www.frozenchosin.com

Happy Birthday
Howard Cooper Commandant Lehigh Valley Det, LCpl Eric Shampine born in 1987 (the youngest), Marine Russell Gross, veteran of Guadalcanal and born in 1915 (the oldest), and Vince Poandl IV, Commandant of Bethlehem Det. Hey Grit,
On 10 Nov 2009 the Bethlehem (#284) and Lehigh Valley (#296) detachments of the Marine Corps League teamed up to celebrate the 234th Birthday of our Corps. We had a cake cutting ceremony at VFW Post 13. Pictured here are myself Howard Cooper Commandant Lehigh Valley Det, LCpl Eric Shampine born in 1987 (the youngest), Marine Russell Gross, veteran of Guadalcanal and Howard Cooper Commandant Lehigh Valley Det, LCpl Eric Shampine born in 1987 (the youngest), Marine Russell Gross, veteran of Guadalcanal and born in 1915 (the oldest), and Vince Poandl IV, Commandant of Bethlehem Det. born in 1915 (the oldest), and Vince Poandl IV, Commandant of Bethlehem Det. A good time was had by all and the cake was delicious. Hope you and yours had a good time as well in OK.

Semper Fi,
Howie Cooper

Short Rounds
The Marines have thousands of psychiatrists.
We call them Staff NCO's.
God bless every one of them.

Sgt. Grit...First things first! OORAH! In response to TOP Railsback question re the Eddystone, It was made By Remington at the Eddystone Arsenal, located south of Philadelphia..It was commonly known as an American Enfield and was carried by about 75 percent of the Doughboys. It is a very good rifle, but does have its' quirks... I have one beside me as we speak!
Semper Fi, GySgt Ken Gearhart USMC Retired 54-75

I would like to thank you for my combat vet. t-shirt...One of my friends asked me why I wear MARINE CORPS SHIRTS and HATS? I knew he had never been in the military, so I asked him if he knew what (ESPRIT DE CORPS) was? He said no, so I told him, there was no use me trying to explain it to him, because he'd never understand...I did tell him (ONCE a MARINE ALWAYS a MARINE)... Thank you again for the t-shirt.
Former SSGT. RJC

I love every single Marine I ever meet or will ever meet. Truly, he is my brother.
That brotherhood is what makes the Marine Corps what it is.... the UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS!

(now all you fools out there going on about old Corps, new Corps....)

DROP and give me PUSH-UPS 'til the AMBULANCE COMES!

Michael J Nichols
Sgt. of Marines
Vietnam - '69-'70

I love your newsletter. It helps me keep in touch. I recently moved to St. John USVI and this will be my first anniversary away from Marines I know. I have five more days to meet some so I can celebrate properly. If that doesn't happen I will celebrate solo and toast to those who gave all they had. I appreciate all you do for those who are still doing all they can.

Sgt. Bruce (Waldo) Holden
(on temporary assignment to the 1st civ div, until that tim