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AmericanCourage #243     06 JAN 2011

2011 Valentine's Day Shirts

General Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, in Afghanistan for Christmas visiting the Third Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment, First Marine Division. The troops really appreciated the time he spent with them as you can see.

General Amos and Snow Marines smiling for the camera

General Amos posing with the Marines of Third Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment, Firt Marine Division. Marines laughing and smiling

In This Issue

Those are some great pictures of General Amos spending Christmas with 3/5 in Afghanistan! Several excellent stories about Navy jargon, including a Caribbean Cruise ships response to a vets Naval knowledge.

Yet another phony story. It's great the guys get called out, it's a shame there are so many. The kid who got a story through me a while back sent a letter of apology initiated by a Marine. And the final story is an outstanding story of Christmas 1967, don't miss it.

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

Get up to date! Check out the Sgt Grit Facebook and the Sgt Grit Blog

43 years between OK and reunion:
Reunion photo 43 years before photo and current photo

Cpl Dominguez in uniform Sgt. Grit,

My father, Cpl. Jose A. Dominguez, 876815, passed from this life on 11 December in Downey, CA. As a 19-year old he landed with F/2/26/5th MarDiv on Iwo Jima 19 February 1945. He fought through to the push to secure the final third of the island and was wounded 14 March 1945 by shrapnel from two mortar rounds. He was evacuated from the island and spent the next several months in hospitals in Hawaii, Oakland, CA, and San Diego, CA. He was honorably discharged on 5 November 1945.

My dad was a quiet man who spoke very little about the fight on Iwo, but he loved the Marine Corps, and all Marines past and present. He proudly wore a baseball cap signifying his status as an Iwo Jima survivor. Cpl Jose Dominguez He celebrated his 85th birthday on 30 September 2010 and shortly thereafter I sent Sgt. Grit bumper stickers to him and to my mother. His read "Like Father, Like Son" and Mom's reads "I May Look Harmless, But I Raised A U.S. Marine". They proudly displayed both on their vehicle.

I was privileged to conduct dad's funeral service and Marines from the local Marine Reserve Unit (November Battery, 5/14) rendered honors at the graveside. Flag Folding at Cpl Dominguez's memorial service As expected, they performed their duties with precision and professionalism befitting the traditions of the Marine Corps. When we told these young Marines that dad was an Iwo Jima vet, they were noticeably moved. One commented that they study about Iwo Jima, but he (my dad) was there!

Folded flag presentation at Cpl Domingue'z memorial service My proudest moment was following in dad's footsteps in 1975 when I went to Boot Camp at MCRD San Diego. He never said much, but I know he was proud that I became a Marine. We'll miss him a lot, but we know where he's gone and rest easier in that knowledge. I've included a couple of pictures of him c. 1945 and on his final birthday. I've also included one of the Marines folding his flag and presenting it to my mother.

Thanks for providing a forum for us to remember all the fine men who have worn the Eagle, Globe and Anchor.

Semper Fi!

I always see the stories of items made for Marines. I just wanted to share two of my recent works. I made a double flag shadow box out of red oak. I did the complete build by myself from drawing out my plans to finished box with items in side. I also just completed a quilt that is Marine Corps themed.

Theresa's Shadow box Theresa showing off her Marine Corps cake

Both items were made by me for my boyfriend. The box was for his birthday and the quilt is for Christmas. I hope you like them. Thank you to all the men and women who serve, and God bless!

Theresa Ann Ela

Marine Corps seal blanket - front view Marine Corps seal blanket - front view

And I Quote...

"I love the Corps for those intangible possessions that cannot be issued: pride, honor, integrity, and being able to carry on the traditions for generations of warriors past."
--Cpl. Jeff Sornij, USMC; in Navy Times, November 1994

Our Mascot (chesty). I was thinking Maybe you could put him in the Magazine :) Anyways thank you so much for all of your help both in the Past and in the Future!

Chesty and his Marines

Devil Dog - Chesty Thanks and Semper FI

Sgt Malueg
NCOIC La Crosse
Recruiting Station Milwaukee
9th Marine Corps District
United States Marine Corps

Never too late! After nearly 15 years and way too much thought finally got my Marine ink. 6 hours of patience and an early Christmas gift from my wife.

Anchor with USA Flag colored wings tattoo Thanks to Sgt. Grit for a great shirt that gave me the idea for the perfect tattoo! A little design liberty and the work of a great artist in Canton, Ohio (Brandon Smith) and it all came together. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I've enjoyed all the other submitted tattoos.

W. Elliott '83 - '95
MAG 31, 2nd MAW
VMFA(AW)-332 Moonlighters

Ahoy, Sgt. Grit,

Devil pup sleeping peacefully I am extremely pleased with the various items I have secured from your store. I am forwarding a photo of my newest grandson wearing the Marines Baby Beanie #4009. This young man was born into a family of many generations of the Navy/Marine Team service. His middle name is from a family member (Marine)that was KIA on Iwo in WWII. His uncle, Sgt. J.H.T. Hornbuckle, served in Iraq with the Marines as a plt Sgt.. His grandfather (myself) served in 'Nam as a Sgt. with base security Mabs 11 in Da Nang.

And, his great grandfather, H.R. Hornbuckle, who sadly just passed, served the greatest Navy in the world, on board the USS Trenton in the South Pacific in WWII. Two of my uncles also served in the USN during WWII. Several cousins also Marines. One cousin a D.I. The family tradition will continue.

Sgt. Grit, I just read your comments on the use of Navel jargon. I agree completely with the use of, Deck, Porthole, Hatch, Aye Aye Sir, etc.. So, with that said, "Fair winds and following seas Dad", and remember, when you see those Marines guarding the streets up there, they also served the Dept. of the Navy. Dad, Say hello to GySgt. R.L. (Buck) Sproul, my SDI, and Maj. A.J. (Ozzie) Golab. The three of you made me the man I am today.

R.K. (Rock) Hornbuckle
Sgt. of Marines, '66-'70
'Nam '69-'70
Old Corps, 2251105

Nathan saying thank you. It is my son's first visit home after graduating Marine boot camp from MCRD in San Diego. This little boy (3 years old), Nathan Joppa, came up to him and said "thank you for keeping me safe!"

Our son, Tim Bergenstock, Private First Class. He is currently in 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. He has received orders to go to Afghanistan this spring.

Picture by Lori Bergenstock

Sgt Grit,
I beg to differ with you... we Marines are NOT part of the Navy. We are however one of the Naval Services and part of the Department of the Navy.

Reminds me of my occasion to visit the Officers Club at the Naval Support Activity, Danang. At least one of the tables had a sign on it stating "Reserved for Naval Officers." Of course myself and two of my friends sat at the table to enjoy our brews. The club manager came over and asked us to move from the table. We replied not only NO but H&ll no! We reminded him that although we were not Navy Officers, we were in fact "Naval Officers" and had all rights to sit at that table.

A few months later when we were able to visit the club again the sign was changed to read "Reserved for Navy Officers." Having had a few tours with Navy commands or on a Navy staff and embarked on board those things that are "large and grey and get underway" (AKA Navy ships) I have found numerous ways to tweak the Navy's nose by factually claiming that I was in fact a "Naval Officer" but not a Navy officer.

However, I do agree that since we are "Soldiers of the Sea" we should not forget our Naval roots and use proper terminology; e.g. Deck, Bulkhead, etc.

Palmer Brown, "Slayer of Dragons, Lover of Women, and LtCol of Marines (Now retired)"

'Till the last landings made,
and we stand unafraid,
on a shore not mortal has seen,
'Till the last bugle call,
sounds taps for us all,
It's Semper Fidelis, MARINE!

And I Quote...

"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold."
--1stLt. Clifton B. Cates, USMC; in Belleau Wood, 19 July 1918

Hey Grit,
Just wanted to say thanks, well done or Bravo Zulu to you and yours out of Oklahoma for all that you do for us Marines. Marines from WWII, up until present seem to be participating in your scuttlebutt. And though I cannot say it is better than some of the sea stories out of our fellow Marines in the Marine Corps League, it comes close;-)

Anyway, I figure I would back you up on the last of the 2010 newsletters where you defended Navy terms. And to give an example of how these terms can help.

When I went on my first real cruise, a 7 day Caribbean with Norwegian Cruise Line; using naval terms helped me out. (This definitely was not like any of the cruises I'd been on with the Gator Navy) When the emergency drills occurred, I was helping people go to either the port, starboard, forward, or aft direction when they seemed to be lost. Even though we had just left Miami and were only underway for a short time, my sea legs came back to me quickly and one of the senior ship's officer took note of my actions.

After guessing correctly and telling a passenger to go aft, pass through the hatch and go to the port side or left, I could sense this movement towards me. Introductions, then he said something to the affect, you must be Navy; he looked me over, and said no, probably Marine. "Aye" could have easily been my reply. I was thanked for helping, and asked where my berthing was. Arctic Circle Certificate His reply to mine, was we'll get you bumped up a few decks, once the drills were over, and once you get to your life boat station. This was kind of like getting bumped to 1st class on a plane. Now as a very young lance (E-3), on the USS Saipan, I delivered perfectly pressed uniforms to officer country, plus to the goat locker and their berthing had nothing on this new cabin. It even had its own head! (I'm told all do...)

When given the opportunity to dine with the ship's captain, I informed him that I do hold a certificate for Blue Nose, but even though I am eligible for Order of the Rock, didn't receive a certificate.

Shellback Certificate And though I probably shouldn't as a pollywog, I asked if he would be presiding as King Neptune for the "Shellback" or "Spanish Main" ceremonies. Now it's been a few years, but I think I remember, "You would enjoy that, wouldn't you Marine." I do remember seeing he enjoyed answering questions about King Neptune, Shellback and the like, even though we both knew our route wouldn't take us to the equator... I'm certain he wasn't prior US Navy, but he did know the lore.

Spanish Main Certificate For the rest of the cruise, most of the ship's crew and the captain greeted me with "Morning/Afternoon/Evening Marine" even though I had nothing USMC on or of the Grit gear out there now. Winter of '91/92 may have been PG, Pre-Grit, or pre my knowledge of Grit gear.

So I say, let's embrace our Navy heritage, and our mad amphibian skills. Hoist your grog, eat some citrus fruit to prevent scurvy and if you've gone through one of the "ceremonies" and are no longer a pollywog, you're one of the few. There are Marines, and even many of our Navy brothers that do not hold any certificate of line crossing or passage.

Oh, and how about them midshipman? Yet another well executed Navy beats Army football game!


And I Quote...

"We must indeed all hang together or, most assuredly we shall all hang separately."
--Ben Franklin

Jet Engine Class 615 NAS Memphis NAS Memphis 1966

Jet Engine Class 615 NAS Memphis (spring 66)
Cpl Bill Carey 65-69 I'm the good looking one

Sgt. Grit,
Just finished another great e-mail issue on your great site. Once again, from fall down laughter to, can't hold back the tears, stories.

The great story by MSgt Gary L. Coon (USMC) Ret. prompted me to add yet another perspective on the Old Corps/New Corps.

From where I sit here is no Old Corps vs. the New Corps. The Marines that came before you are the Old Corps. The Marines that came after you are the New Corps. It really doesn't matter what your dates of service were, it still applies. And for each of us it will be different. Is one better than the other, or "vs." the other, probably not. And then, which one are you? Well, ask the Marine you are talking to. If you were in before him, you're Old Corps. Get the picture?

This idea projected itself upon me while I was a participant in a very special operation. About 15 years ago, while still employed as a teacher/counselor/coach at Rim of the World High School, Lake Arrowhead, CA, since retired, I was invited to attend a weekend program at the Marine Corps Bases in CA. The premise was that, if we saw firsthand how young boys were transformed into men by the Marine Corps, maybe we would guide some of them in that career direction. Having graduated from MCRD SD, 2nd. Batt., as Right Guide and Honor Man from Plt. 233, in July, 1959, I figured I had some insight into what I was going to see. Right and wrong.

The Drill Instructor stepped onto the bus, the screaming started, we were ordered off of the bus much like I had undergone forty plus years earlier, and directed to stand on the yellow footprints. A great smile came upon my face. What a flashback memory. Can you possibly imagine how that felt, doing it again 40+ years later? The rest of the 40-odd persons in the group were not so sure what the h&ll was happening. The DI's in charge kept up the screaming barrage for about 5 to 10 minutes. The lead DI then informed everyone that they had just gone through the first few minutes of indoctrination for new recruits. The pressure was off and we could relax and ask questions.

My first observation was that the Quonset huts that we used in '59 were gone and replaced by new multi-storied barracks. I thought, what a sweet deal, until I saw the recruits running up and down those many flights of stairs and then thought of the many "extra duty" assignments that DI's could find on those stairs.

We were given many many demonstrations during the next few days, but to skip to what I felt was the most important. We were transported to the final stopping point for "The Crucible" at Camp Pendleton, I think. In '59, when I went through, this requirement had not been instituted yet.

The culmination of "The Crucible" was that each recruit was personally handed their EGA and congratulated by their DI's upon becoming Marines. That was one of the most powerful and moving moments I have ever been witness to. Each man being personally accepted into the greatest fraternity in the world, by the men who had trained them.

Ya, I felt very Old Corps at the time, and couldn't choke back the tears of pride. I certainly had no worry about these new Marines and what they brought to the Corps. Their training features a lot of new "gadgets" that we didn't have in '59, but all of us are the better for it. Need we worry about a difference between the Old Corps and the New Corps. I don't think so. We all bleed Marine Corps Green. Just one opinion.

Semper Fi Former Cpl Kenneth L. "Rip" Stephens 1956-1963, 2533 Radio Telegraph Operator

And I Quote...

"Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent Alliances, with any portion of the foreign world."
--George Washington

The story from Sgt. Marchant & Clyde Hart brought back some memories! When I went to get married to a chubbette I met on base, My company CO Maj. Cavazoz (sp?) said , "I can't stop you, but I'd advise against it. She's going to make you miserable before she leaves you." At the end of my enlistment, I was at the cutting score for Sgt. The wife said she'd divorce me if I reenlisted. The CO was then Capt. Daily. He gave me the "If the Corps wanted you to have a wife, they'd issue you one. She's probably going to leave you anyway" speech.

To make a long story short, I got out, she made me miserable, bankrupted me, ballooned up to over 200lbs and left me anyway. So any young Marines reading this, LISTEN to your CO! They have that job for a reason!

Cpl Keith Grisham, 3534

Devil Pups - Best Use of Products

Devil Pup allison sporting a USMC sweatshirt

Brady Meyer age 20 months
Grandson of J.F. Mahoney USMC 1966/1970

Devil Pup allison sporting a USMC Hat

Allison Mahoney age 17 months
Granddaughter of J.F. Mahoney USMC 1966/1970

Sgt Grit,

I thought this might be of interest to my brother Marines and your loyal readers.

"WE CONTINUE TO SERVE" 2,000 Military Funerals

Last Saturday, our VVA Chapter 207 out of Westport, Ma performed our 2,000th military funeral honor for a deceased VietNam Vet. We had standing tall in the cold wind at Beech Grove Cemetery smartly uniformed,. Our Commander, 6 riflemen, myself , bugler and a half dozen regular charter members. I might mention that of this group, 3 like myself are Marines, Dave Coderre, our chapter President, and Art Proulx, former Chapter President, both Nam Vets. We provide military honors for all veterans and their families, free of charge.


Art Caesar,

55-59 USN Seabees
59-65 U S Marines

Recently my wife purchased a couple of T-shirts for me from your website as Christmas gifts, and of course I also received the Sgt Grit's catalog as well.

Upon thumbing through the catalog I noticed the pictures you included from various sources, and was touched and inspired by all of them. So I would like to share a few pictures and stories I have with you.

Back in 2006 I got this idea to send guitars to our Warriors in the Sand Box. The first guitar I sent went to the Camp Chapel at Camp Fallujah, Iraq C/O Sgt Major Brian Battaglia. and at that moment "Guitars for Grunts" was born. Of course, I couldn't be stingy and only send guitars to my beloved Corps.

My trip to WRAMC, one lone Marine surrounded by Army personnel! Zakk's guitar on the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.

I also sent them to members of the Army and Air Force as well. After sending several guitars I decided to take a car load of instruments down to Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) in Washington D.C. That was a trip that humbled me for life! So for almost two years I fixed up old guitars, scrapped together nickels and dimes to cover shipping costs and was able to provide our Warriors with approximately 60 instruments. There were however a few instruments that really stand out in the ol' memory department.

Guitar sent in memory of Spc Daniel P. Cagle. This is Daniel's unit in Iraq with the guitar. Guitar sent in memory of Spc Dennis K. Samson Jr.

Photo Captions (all the photos):
The guitar that started it all!
My trip to WRAMC, one lone Marine surrounded by Army personnel!
The guitar Ted Nugent Autographed that went to an Army unit
The guitar Zakk Wylde donated to Guitars for Grunts
Zakk's guitar on the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.
Guitar sent in memory of Spc Daniel P. Cagle. This is Daniel's unit in Iraq with the guitar.
Guitar sent in memory of Spc Dennis K. Samson Jr. Dennis' mother is a fellow Marine.

Sadly, due to the economic down turn... ok shi-ty economy, I was forced to shut down operations for Guitars for Grunts last year. but it was a H-LL of a ride, and I thought I would share it with you... Marine to Marine that is.

P.S. I love the T-Shirts, just wish she didn't have to buy then in extra round now

Semper Fi

Paul Hickman

Lance Corporal Ralph E. Egan Lance Corporal Ralph E. Egan
US Marine, Vietnam 70-71
Alpha 1-5
Pointman-tunnel rat

Great nephew of Marine Ralph Egan Shane Vest
Son of Angela Vest
Great nephew of Marine Ralph Egan

I was reading the stories to my wife and I came to the pic from Michael Kirby. I could not tell my wife what I was looking at, I could only show her. That picture brought back to us when our son walked on that parade ground standing tall after becoming a Marine. Her dad was a DI at MCRD in the 1950's and our youngest son if he has his way will find his feet on the yellow footprints. Thank you for an awesome memory. Thank GOD for the US MARINES!

William & Vickie O'Bryant
Marine parents

From the everyday stressors of life to the stressors related to combat, stress can affect even the strongest Marine. The DSTRESS Line was developed by the Corps to provide professional, anonymous counseling for Marines, their families and loved ones when it's needed most. Call today to speak with one of your own.

Dear Sgt Grit-
As noted by Gray Nash there seems to be an overabundance of people trying to pass themselves off as Marines and other military veterans. Just last week at a Christmas Parade in my area there was a guy all decked out in Marine Dress Blues - all covered in Medals. So I walked up to him to see who he was - he has CMH on! I started a conversation and asked him a couple questions which he could not answer - like why were his Birds upside down, and he had on SGT Stripes too??? (he was masquerading as a Colonel/SGT with a CMH).

He was talking to a newspaper reporter when I walked up and informed the newspaper reporter this guy was a fraud. I had 9 Marine uncles, my father was a corpsman with Marines in Korea. and have many friends that are Marine veterans, and by G*d know the difference in the medals he was sporting. I asked the reporter and the guy how he got THIS MEDAL, as I put my finger on his CMH. Then I explained to the reporter WHY this was NOT his medal, and EXACTLY what the Medal would be awarded for, and he was obviously a fraud. When the reporter started to ask this guy a couple questions the fraudulent Col/Sgt just disappeared into the crowd. I tried to find him but the sneaky ba-tard was long gone.

Since the Supreme Court says these guys can do this I guess as veterans we need to look out for these frauds ourselves.

What really torqued me was that I had just come from delivering some Christmas baskets to bonafide old Marines and other veterans (loaded with Sgt Grit stickers and homemade cookies) and felt the happiness of real veterans who had served Our Country with great spirit and heart.

If I see this Col/Sgt again I may have to have someone keep me from whooping his arse like he needs.
just an Old WAC

In regard to the post on the switch over for the uniform of the day. I was stationed at G-1, HQMC (Henderson Hall) oh yes. Opppss got off the thought. Anyhow I was there from Jan 57 to Sept 58. During that time I got to field test those Greens. Being the holiday I was ok'd to wear them home for the holiday. NOT all that good of an idea. The MPs at the bus station pull my young butt in. was held up while they made some calls. Got the ok. The idea was to see how they held up during the bus ride to Mass and back. GREAT. USMC 55- 64 "middy"

And I Quote...

"It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf."
--Thomas Paine

Gerry and his H&MS-13/H&MS-11 South jet shop and test cell. This is Gerry Schaaf Cpl 84-88, I'm planning a Reunion this Aug. for the old H&MS-13/H&MS-11 South jet shop and test cell, ok, it's not as old as most of your reunions I see on here, but hey, it's still been over 20 years since I've seen most of these guys ( and gals ) I started a Facebook page to get in touch with the old gang,

Anyone that is interested or knows somebody that worked there please join up and share stories, we have lots of pics of "our" old days. I'm also including the only group pic from our shop, it would be great to see most of these people Were looking at the weekend of Aug, 6th in the Chicago area, & this is my first time doing this so I'm hoping for a Marine Corps style turnout !

Gerry Schaaf

Here are the two tattoos that I got. I took all these pictures with my phone (as you can see, the picture phone quality improved between tats, haha).

Eagle, Globe, and Anchor and Tribal USA Flag custom arm tattoo Crying angel with Marine boots tattoo

The one on my arm I got about 5 years ago (which I entered into the tattoo contest when I came out there for the Grit-together). The second one is on the outside of my right leg. I wanted a new tattoo in honor of our brothers and sisters that gave their lives for us... past, present and future. A friend of mine made this one and I got it done that night. I hope that mine make your gallery.

Semper Fi
Joshua D. Collins

aye aye Sir! -all hands on deck!- close the bulkhead! open the hatch, etc if your attached to a Navy ship or in the Fleet Marine Force you'd hear those sayings all the time but there's a ton of Marines who have never been on a ship or Naval base.

In my 4 years (61-65) I spent the first two years going to boot camp, comm school then over to Germany on an Army base and then I went to Camp Lejeune, N.C. with the 10th Marines in the FMF.

I deployed to Cuba for a few months then down to Panama for trouble at the canal also did the Steel Pike exercise in Spain and then back down to the Caribbean for another cruise then some time at Camp Lejeune and finally another Med cruise which also included a trip up to Norway for an exercise.

Of my 4 years in the Corps I'd take the back 2 any day over the first 2, I spent a lot of time on Navy ships, carriers, mike boats, flight decks etc. and if you were in the FMF you let out a groan when they announced over the loud speakers somewhere out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean:"Stand by for heavy waves, tie down all loose gear, button down the hatches were in for rough seas." but that was 45 years ago and you know what? I kinda miss it'.

l/cpl J.T. lacey 1956841
Semper Fi my brothers and sisters

Sgt. Grit;

I was with I/3/2/2, and was on the USS APA 36 Cambria, as member of a designated 'Hilo' landing team, we flew off the USS Boxer. (the little WWII 'jeep' carrier) I also remember that we were awaiting transport from the beach at Aranchi Bay, Spain after the exercises were over. It was early in the evening, after dark, when we were given the news that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated.

In regards to one of your comments in reply to someone who had questioned your use of the Fair winds... etc. statement. I personally have no problem with closing salutations, regardless of service affiliation, or service related 'lingo', if they are offered respectfully. We are all AMERICANS! We are all blood brothers, and like 'family' we will disagree on some things.

Also everybody knows that the only thing we have needed the USN for was a 'boat ride' to the combat zone, and occasionally some air or artillery support. The Corpsmen should be part of the Corps, as well as the 'Seabees', as they are on the ground with us, not on a ship miles away.

Dwight T. Lang
Sgt. PMI
62' - 66'

Sgt Grit: I am ashamed of Cpl Van C. Pasey's post about his encounter with a clerk at a Barnes and Noble Book store. I have always found Marines to be mostly respectful of women, at least to their face, and for him to brag about how he talked to that woman is a disgrace! His Boot Camp lessons sure didn't sink in did they?

Semper Fidelis,
Virginia L. McDougall, USMC 1950-52

just some info, there's a fund raiser auction in Andover Ks. VFW (just outside Wichita) for double amputee Sgt Jonathan Blank 1st recon on Jan 16th,
Semper Fi

Platoon 256 - 1955 MCRD San Diego In 1955 MCRD San Diego Platoon 256 decided 100% to purchase Dress Blues which at that time were not issued. Don't remember the cost exactly but was around 100 bucks. We passed in review proudly as we graduated in undress blues with our M-1 rifles.

Tom Schwarz
Cpl (E-4) 1497554

The Howdy Captain story in your last issue leaves much to be desired in terms of credibility. For one thing, the writer claims the event occurred in 1963. Gomer Pyle USMC was not conceived until well into 1964, first airing on September 25th of that year. He also claimed this event took place at MCRD, San Diego. According to the article in Wikipedia "The show was filmed at Camp Pendleton and Desilu Studios' RKO Forty Acres backlot."
Acknowledging your sensitivity to bad language, this story is bullzhit.
gary Harlan

And I Quote...

"War hath no fury like a noncombatant."
--C.E. Montague

To: R. Eckhardt.
Your comment on being on Cho Do Island in 1952 caught me by surprise. The only Cho Do Island I knew During the Korean War was at the entrance to Inner Wonsan Harbor and was the only piece of Real Estate the Allied forces held north of the DMZ when I was there. I arrived in Wonsan as a Squid aboard the USS Cocopa, ATF 101 in 1953. Our ship had an occasion to support the Marines on ChoDo with some sort of supplies. They were frequently shelled by the Chinese who owned all the territory around Wonsan. The Task Force that made the Wonsan area its Patrol area, would return fire on these Chinese Gun Positions when they fired on the Marines. I am and always have been a Admirer of the U.S. Marines. There exists NO BETTER in this world.

JJ 1949-61

My Son, Lee A. Thear, a LCpl with 2/6 is going to be at Camp Lejeune on 1-6-11. The next day is our Christmas! I am going to spend a week with him at the courtesy of SSgt Keith Disenroth in Jacksonville, his recruiter! You can't get any closer than that. Back from Afghanistan at last!
His proud father, Bruce

Dear Sgt Grit;

This one Retired CWO-3 that feels Gray's name should never be mentioned in the same sentence with greats as Chesty, Daily and so on. Everyone thinks Gray is so sh-t hot. Do Marines remember how he ballooned up into some fat pig after he became Commandant?

He deleted Engineer Warrant Officers from the LDO Program because he thought the Engineer field was a waste of the Marine Corps time and money. During the Gulf War 1990 our CG Lt Gen. Krulak put Gray in his place by sending him a message, telling Gray what a vital role the Engineers played in winning the war. I have a copy of that message at home in my foot locker. All Gray thought was worthwhile were the Grunts. Don't get me wrong, my opinion, they're the back bone of the Corps, but we did it as a team. Something Gray knows nothing about! My opinion, Gray was useless as a Commandant and a Marine!

Semper Fi
Michael Fry
USMC (Ret.)

Dear Marianne and All at Sgt Grit-
I just wanted to thank you all again, and thank all those who responded to the request to cheer up my Dad. My brothers don't understand the Marine family, but we do, and we knew we could count on you. To those who sent cards to my Dad, thank you so much. He was very touched. He said he'd like to send you all a letter, but he's so behind on letters right now, he can't add anybody to his list. Please know he is so grateful.

"From what some of these people said you'd think I won the War all by myself". I told him he deserves the thanks and the praise since we are losing our WWII Vets at an alarming rate.

Again, thank you all.
Semper Fi
Marine Mom and Daughter

And I Quote...

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant."

Sgt Grit;
I am a civilian contractor currently serving at Camp Liberty, Baghdad, Iraq.
I served 4 years in the US Air Force 1985-1989.
I also served 7 years in the US Marine Corps 1990-1997.
I have served as a contractor off and on since 1999.
I have also served as an Airport Officer for the City of Los Angeles.
I have served in combat environments all over the world.

Letter of Recommendation from Major General Carl B. Jensen Devil pup posing proudly

I am sending you this pic of my motivating 4 year old son who wants to carry on my proud precedent as a Marine!
I hope this motivates you all at Sgt. Grit!

Sgt. Tim Wright 1990-1997

Thought I would share some pictures of our snow bulldog. My Marine husband Kane, I and our three children Dakota, Cadence and Keely made with our very rare Christmas day snowfall. Posing beside is our bulldog Samson.

Snow Bulldog Snow Bulldog and Samson the bulldog

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Semper Fi,
Liberty, Sc

Christmas 1967

The Gunny said "there is no place and no time I would rather be than here and now". By the living standards I had come to expect in Vietnam this was pretty good but it was not as good as home. I thought the man crazy. It was Christmas Day 1967, more than forty one years ago.

The place was well north in South Vietnam. I had just come back from the perimeter where I manned a M60 machine gun for a four hour shift. My view had been unobstructed for as far as I could see in front of my position as the terrain was flat and desert like. I felt safe.

Desert like, except it was wet. Little fresh water puddles spotted the aria around our outpost. It was great for bathing but not drinking as it was used for bathing and we were all rather ripe with sweat. The Marines who were here more permanently than I had cots and were housed in heavy wooden bunkers covered from top to bottom with many layers of sand bags. They were well sheltered from the rain and I envied the fact that they were dry most of the time except when duty called them to the perimeter or patrol. When done they could dry off and change clothes and boots in a relatively safe environment. So far I had not been this lucky as I spent most of my time in the jungle digging a new hole every night sleeping and marching in the rain. Still the Gunny's statement was mind boggling as I recalled my mother's Christmas dinner and the love of my family on this day.

My job here was to run some field telephone wire and do whatever else I was ordered to do and that included guarding the perimeter and burning the human waste with diesel fuel.

In a group of 15 Marines there is always one who fancied himself a C ration chef. His family would send him hot sauce and other spices and he would make fancy the rather bland C rations that we lived on. We had such a Marine in this bunker on this Christmas Day. It addition the Marines came forward with the treats sent from their families "back in the world". Yes, we had a buffet of sorts on this Christmas Day. Although some of the cakes and cookies might be a bit stale no one complained. Beverages were limited to cool aid drunk from a plastic canteen or metal cup.

In a group of 15 Marines there is always one who fancied himself a rock star. We had such a Marine and he broke out his guitar. So here we were 15 men of all different religions singing Silent Night by candle light, eating fancied up C rations and stale sweets; each willing to lay down his life for the least liked among us. The Gunny was not crazy after all. The place and time he was referring to was not Christmas Day 1967 in Vietnam. The place and time he was talking about was within us. The love I felt in that bunker on that night I have yet to duplicate and never will until God calls me home.

Cpl Edmund R. Driscoll
1st Battalion 3rd Marine Div. Vietnam 1967-1968

Iwo Jima Satin Finish Statue
Iwo Jima Satin Finish Statue

Bronze Eagle Globe and Anchor Statue
Bronze Eagle Globe and Anchor Statue

Laser Eagle, Globe and Anchor Etched Cube
Laser Eagle, Globe and Anchor Etched Cube

Mini WWII Combat Boots
Mini WWII Combat Boots

God Bless America!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit