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Sgt. Grit,

Having just read Cpl. James Lorrain's letter to you dated 6 May 2010 and seeing he was from the 10th Engineers of Portland, Maine, I wanted to add that the 10th Engineers were called upon to attend Lt. General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller's award of Maine's Medal of Freedom at General Henry Knox's house in Thomaston. Maine in the early-mid 60's (1964 I believe).

After the award was presented "Chesty" inspected his "Honor Guard" and I remember as he inspected me, I stared into his hard yet caring eyes and saw the pride and love of the Corps as he was "looking" at some of "his" Marines.

Gives me Goosebumps still when I think back to that day as we locked eyes for several seconds!

What a hero! Blessings to you, Chesty, as you keep the guards of Heaven's Gates on their toes!

L/Cpl Richard Townsend 1893513 1961 - 1969

In This Issue
See the GriTogether 2010 page: Three OKC recruit stations competed and you can judge how they did by the photos...Old Corps "schooled" New Corps in the pushup contest and many other great activities went on this year!

Meeting the enemy will bring mixed emotions. Many outstanding stories from my request for "Best Days In The Corps".

Atomic Marines, Six Hardchargers, and 132lb 18 Year Old make good reading. Funny story about "Aquiring: sh-tter paper in boot camp.

Story of a very unique way to get tickets to the Japan Olympics and you amtracers won't believe the video of the Corps new vehicle.

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

Sgt Grit Blog  Sgt Grit Facebook

Father's Day Shirt

GriTogether 2010 Photos
GriTogether 2010 Photo GriTogether 2010 Photo

GriTogether 2010 Photo GriTogether 2010 Photo

See all this year's photos

My MP Buddies
Sgt Grit,
Some more pictures for Mr. Allen or whomever.. Once again the names Cpl Valerio, Natasha.. Been off active duty since Oct 2007... Military Police from 2003-2007. Served with 2DMPBN and HQSPTBN MCB, Camp Lejeune, NC with 2 tours to Iraq.

PICS: 1: Marine Corps Ball Cherry Point, NC 2006. I'm farthest Right female and my buddy Mary farthest to the left with some of our other MP buddies. 2: Smokin a cigar with Chuck..3: My squad in Fallujah 06. 4: Me dressed up in my convoy attire and Rocking the gunner suit before we head out on a mission in Fallujah 2006.

Marine Corps Ball Cherry Point, NC 2006 Smokin a cigar with Chuck

My squad in Fallujah 06 Me dressed up in my convoy attire and Rocking the gunner suit before we head out on a mission in Falljuah 2006.

Thanks again. I love this newsletter and enjoy reading all the stories and responses people send you.

Natasha Valerio

Camp Del Mar, CA; LVTE-1
Marine's Mine Sweeping Amtrac - side view of LVTE1 Marine's Mine Sweeping Amtrac - front of LVTE1 with eyes painted on front

LVTE-1, Camp Del Mar, CA

Meeting The Enemy
I'm drinking a beer with my neighbors and find out the retired Ha Noi policeman was also NVA in the Da Nang area the same time I was here.

My darling wife tells them I still have my cammies upstairs in a suitcase and invites them to come up and watch me put them on.

Richard and his neighbor a retired Ha Noi policman that was also NVA during his time serving in Vietnam After I get my cover squared away, Mr. Oh gets really emotional and tells me he's really happy to have me in the neighborhood. Then he gives me this Russian bear hug that crushes my glasses.

Do you think this could ever happen where you live?

I didn't think so either.

Greetings from Da Nang.

1st MarDiv Patch History
The patch was designed by Col. Merrill Twining Division ops officer on the Canal and Capt. Donald Dickson, adjutant 5th Marines. Also an artist in civilian life. It was approved by Gen. Vandergrift to commemorate the division sacrifices and victory on Guadalcanal.

When the division got back from the Canal it appeared that the Marines might have to wear Army uniforms, which meant they would lose their identity. So they started wearing the patch. Rumor has it that some of the veterans from the Canal would wear it on their right shoulder not to be confused with someone who had not been on the Canal. Shortly after the end of the war, Col. Twining went to now Marine Commandant Gen. Vandergrift saying that he no longer thought Marines should wear anything on their uniforms to distinguish them from other Marines. He agreed and the patches came off for good.

( Info from Benis M Frank ) So there you have it.

Side note would be sometime in early 1965 Sec of Def McNamara decide the Marines could wear Army field uniforms instead of what we wore. Saved some money. Boy nobody like that. Nobody wanted to look like a ( doggie )

Thanks J D Gwiazdon. (did a little research )

Fire for Effect: Best Day in the Corps - Back to top

Best Days In The Corps
Sgt Grit, as requested, my best day in the Corps from 1943 to 1946, was getting off the cargo ship that took us to the Philippines, after spending 45 days while eating nothing but K- rations,. were fed by the wonderful Seabees. The cargo ship had just taken a load of sheep to New Zealand, the seabees built wooden racks 5 high to accommodate our folding cots. This was the only ship available to join the convoy at New Genea, as our corsairs, with crew, was aboard a carrier. The seabees always ate well, and deserved it,, but always shared with Marines.

Sgt Grit,
I actually had 2. The first was the day I had graduated Boot Camp aboard MCRD San Diego, my father came down from the stands to greet me after we were dismissed in tears because he proud that his only son was following in his footsteps. I was proud to be doing something more with my life than sitting in a small farming community. The second best day was when I was leaving Okinawa on the Freedom Bird on a one-way ticket back to the world.

Semper Fi,
D. Spresny

Actually I had three best days.
1. The day I graduated from Boot Camp (P.I.) 9/9/51
2. The day I met Chesty Puller at Pendleton. (Full Field Marching Pack inspection). 8/15/52
3. The day I met Gen. Lemuel C. Sheperd Commandant of the Marine Corps in Korea. (Personnel inspection). October of 1952., Don't remember the day.

The marching pack inspection went well for most of us. Gen. Shepard asked my age (18) and how long I had been in Korea. (14 days) His reply was good man.
There could not have been a more proud Marine that day.
SGT. John W. Vogel 1206263 USMC
1ST 90 MM AAA Gun Battalion 52/53

Read More "Best Days" stories

Fire for Effect: All Boot Camp - Back to top

Platoon 150 MCRDPI
Platoon 150 MCRD PI in 1962 This is a picture of a reunion held last month in New Orleans. All the Marines were in Platoon 150 MCRDPI in 1962.

One of the Marines was found with the help of Sgt Grit.

Thank you.

Sgt Grit:
I've been reading some of the comments about the DI's. I agree that some of them could be somewhat sadist. However, there were some who had a well developed sense of humor. Do you remember the 3 gallon buckets we were issued? You'd use them for everything from washing clothes, lugging sand and for something to sit on while cleaning your rifle or reading your mail in the evening on the company road.

Well the night before graduation, our Senior DI told us he was going to treat us to a movie at the open air theater. Before he formed us up for the trip to the movie. He had us get our beloved buckets. We figured that was so we'd have something to sit on. Wrong! As soon as the movie started he had us remove our covers and place the buckets over our heads. He stated that the movie had nudity and violence in it and he didn't want our young boot minds to get corrupted.

Sgt Frank Fillebeck
8th Engineers, MASS-2 1969 - 1973

Note: DI's have to be some of the most creative people on earth. Creative can also be read as cruel, sadistic, mean, fair, honorable, proud, best, committed. What a great tradition!
Sgt Grit

Little Light Went Off
It was 40 years ago today that I left NNMC (Bethesda) for convalescent leave for 30 days. I "fell " out of a 6-by and fractured shoulder, ribs and skull. (The first two injuries affected my combat effectiveness).

Why I am writing though..There has been much discussion in Sgt Grit about the impact and responsibilities of Marine Corps Drill Instructors. .I had several "intellectual" discussions with the two Steves I enlisted with (Pabst, Raley) while in recruit training at MCRDSD. I was complaining/whining about the unnecessary cruelty and privations of our DI's in "boot camp".

Once, I remember challenging (unsuccessfully) DI Sgt Connors, who I was sure had been spawned of Old Scatch himself, when "I" thought he was being unnecessarily tough on one of my colleagues. I was shaking my head (while we were at attention) when Sgt Connors (who like all DI's had SUPERB peripheral vision) asked me what my F'g problem was. I started to explain that the recruit's infraction did not merit the use of "medieval torture tactics". Mistake. The next two hours are somewhat of a blur, since Sgt Connors decided I needed some explanation (and demonstration) of the word "medieval".

At the end of the individual "instruction", Sgt Connors sent me back to my Quonset hut, in pain and exhausted but chastened.

Flash forward to WESTPAC, RVN, when we were having a real bad night. I was freezing (wet from the waist down) and sweating (from the waist up) and absolutely scared S!@#less. Then a little light went off- You have been through worse- and Sgt Connors prepared you mentally and physically for it. A 122mm hit about 100 yds away (the 122's were extremely inaccurate- like the V-2's hitting London 25 yrs earlier- but they both were intended to be terrorizing- and they were) and I remember thinking that Connors was preparing me to deal with this (improvise, adapt and overcome = mission = duty), and the light got a little brighter over my head.

How I got through recruit training I will never know (217 on "qual" day didn't hurt) but on graduation day for Platoon 2028 8/27/1968 I did know this: SSgt Wilson, and Sgts Bell, Ernst and, yes, Connors- guided, humbled and drove me to become a MARINE I was also humbled and proud when I got to speak to an Iwo veteran that day whose nephew had just graduated from a different platoon.. He said Marines and their training have always made a difference, in peace or at war. We carry that training and what it means- not just on active duty. I was 19 then and didn't quite grasp his meaning, but I think I do now. So, thanks, DI's. You may be SOB's, but every Marine owes you "big time". And so does our country.

Stuart Newberry
Ravenel's Raiders
USMC 6/68-6/70

Fire for Effect: Short Rounds - Back to top

Short Rounds
Remember, this June 20 is the 60th anniversary of the invasion of South Korea by the north. There are ceremonies all over the world for those who sacrificed for the lives of the South Koreans. Ooohrah!
I am going with the first group on 3 June, staying for 10 days, and going on tour of the famous battle sites, including The Punch Bowl, a seminal battle for Marines defending the south. Semper Fi!
Olin Thompson

I remember (1966) when the DI's just beat the crap out of you. Jeff 66-69

50 years in June I went to Parris Island. Boy what a surprise when we got when we got off the train, I was only 17 at the time.
Marine Corps-1960-1965 still semper fi Frederick Such

Sgt. Grit,
Women Marines are special women. I was married to one for 48 years, and she was a great woman. Lost her to breast cancer, gave her a Marine funeral. And not a dry eye in the funeral parlor. I really believe you need a Woman Marine to understand a Marine.

On a lighter note, are there any Marines out there from 1958 Platoon 234 Parris Island? As they say, not so mean, not so lean, but still a Marine.
Dennis Cosgrove, CPL E-4 1692805

My father was stationed at Camp Lejeune during the second world war. In fact, I lived there in the trailer camp and attended school at the base. While there, he was assigned to pose for a picture which was used on a postcard that was sold at the PX for many years. The postcard was a picture of a light machine gun crew with the sergeant kneeling behind the gunners pointing at their target. Lost the copy I have. So, if anyone has one of these postcards I would be very glad to purchase it from them.

Bill Giulian
S/Sgt USMCR 1949/1963

another BRAVO ZULU to the Sgt Grit News do not know how the malcontent could find your news unsavory must have had an abused childhood was in the MARINE CORPS on 3 different enlistments with 6 years between 2nd & 3rd medically retired in 1970 with 12 years pay was overseas 9 of them never had the desire for a tattoo but do not fault the men and women who got one. keep up the good work you are doing
SEMPER Ruben B Scott Sgt USMC Ret

Marine Detachment, USS Coral Sea, CVB -CVA-CA 43
All Years Sept. 29 - Oct. 2, 2010, at MCAS Beaufort,
SC POC, William R. Moore Home phone 772-287-8730
Cell 772 -486-4799 E-mail jarhead49 @ bellsouth .net

In response to Gil Gerrish ( B.A.R.) Browning Automatic Rifle M1918 A2 19.4 lbs Fully automatic magazine fed shoulder weapon with bipods, also 13 mag's 1 lb each M.W. Iliff 59-64 Gung-ho

Sgt Grit

In answer to Sgt Garrish..."Don't remember the weight of the BAR"...Anyone who ever carried that beautiful weapon will remember that it weighed 14.5 lbs unloaded and 19 lbs loaded. I carried one in 1949/50. God Bless the United States Marines pre/present/post.

J. Jenkins 49-61

This Marine who died in Afghanistan was 19 years old. I know his dad
Best Memorial Video for Marine
LCpl Rick Centanni

Fire for Effect: Time In Service - Back to top

"OLD MAN" Show Us Up
I was with the 3rd Marines on "The Rock" in 64 & 65, amongst other places in the Pac bowl . The battalion commander fell out the battalion for a morning PT run. As it turned out, it was a run from Camp Schwab to Naha. Anyone could fall out of the run, without penalty. Out of the battalion only 7 of us completed the run with the "OLD MAN" and were awarded 10 days @ the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, Free. On the Corps.

I was one of the survivors thanks to a generous sake hangover and a determination to not let an "OLD MAN" show us up. We were awarded tickets to games, living quarters, and a advancement in pay. Quarters were supplied if we needed them, but we chose to stay on the Ginza, and not meet the old man at the soldiers and sailor club, since we were single and he married. It was a great 10 days "ON THE CORPS".

Sgt Gary Brockhaus
Semper Fi

Wrong Place Wrong Time
To; Sgt. Grit
From; "General" Daniel J McEachren

I have written to you some time before about my GENERAL status and would like to offer a couple of more tales of my time on the MCAS YUMA Proving grounds out in the Arizona Desert

The first concerned being "Buzzed" by two low-flying Corsairs II's. On the range was or still is three large piles of dirt with three rings of tires on one side. These were (and maybe still are) for target practice for helicopter and strafing attacks. On one hot August day before dusk, I took a stroll along road in front of the targets. Dusk falls fast in the desert, and started back when I heard a rushing sound and seconds later the heat wave from two aircraft that just blew over me as speed. I dashed back along the road and they were coming around for another pass. This time I was clear most of the targets and got only part of the jet wash. When I got back to the hut, none of guys I was with realized what had happened. When we reported back in to the shop, nothing was ever said to me. Whoever those reserve pilots (I think), I put a little excitement unplanned into their training flight

The second concerns the same place at slight later time of another day. I call it, three rattlesnakes vs. one Marine= snakes win. On this occasion, it was past dusk and getting dark fast. I started walking back and freezing at the tenth. I heard very clearly, a rattle at my Five o'clock position, another at my two o'clock. and third at my ten o'clock The last one seemed the closest and I hoped that my combat boots would protect me. When I didn't feel a bite and almost two minutes of standing still, I did a standing forward jump and hit the ground running. For the landing place was near the two o'clock rattle, and once again none of fellow Marines were aware of what just happened to me. For the record, snakes have ALWAYS been one of the things that I cannot stand.

If there is anyone who was out there with me during that time MCAS Yuma S-3 range crew 1980-181/2 and read this, I would like to hear from you after these years. This includes a couple of sergeants (then) that worked in the S-3 Building. I don't remember their names any more, but they were part of the "Great" flag football team that year. My email address is; Dans_Shipyard @ Yahoo .com

Daniel J McEachren
LCpl 79-83

LBJ, AC, Praying
"Get the G-- D---ed air conditioner running!"
--President Lyndon B. Johnson-c.1967.

Articulated to Col. E.J. Sample, President's white top pilot, while the President's backside, had Cpl.F.E.Ruhl (crewchief) standing tall, having been shoved aside by the President.

Both men being 6ft plus, were in a spot only large enough for one. For the next 45 minutes, Cpl.Ruhl performed flight duties, while also holding in the a/c circuit breaker, and praying the a/c would not burst into a ball of flames!

It didn't and the Marine Corps did another excellent job for the President of the United States.

Cpl.Ruhl, later stated there were a couple of moments, when he felt quite awkward, but now knew positively he was a hetro- se-ual.

OoohRah! Semper Fi!
Respectfully submitted by,
Franklin E. Ruhl
PS I swear it is all gospel

Left Base One Time
I was surprised to read the account of one new Marine's account of boot camp graduation. I don't recall being able to have family or friends in attendance at my graduation at MCRD San Diego in April 1957. We were able to go to the PX, etc., but not leave the base. The next day we were driven to Camp Pendleton for ITR at Camp Horno. Unfortunately for me, I was selected along with about 10 others to help clear the land for the Camp Pendleton Rodeo. We did that work for about a week. We then were squeezed in with a new group of raw Marines for IT at Horno. At this time, I had only left base one time. A month later I was permanently assigned to Camp San Onofre, and it was another month before I got my first leave.

While getting used to getting OJT at the disbursing office, I and my fellow disbursing grunts came under questioning from the FBI. On the night of June 24, 1957, the Camp San Onofre (2nd ITR) Disbursing Office was robbed of $65,000. While a lot of us were cleared and some had to take lie detector tests, the FBI made a presence in our office for many days. About a year and a half later while serving on Okinawa, I found out that the disbursing officer himself had faked the robbery. He even hit himself on the head to make his story of unknown perpetrators forcing him to go to the office and remove the loot from the safe more believable. A sad ending to an otherwise fine career. I hadn't had the pleasure of really knowing him, but the rest of my fellow office pogues loved him. It was an experience I'll never forget.

In other matters, I recently determined that my mail lady is a Marine. I asked her about tattoos. She said most of the women get the rose tattoo. I was unaware that that was the symbol of Woman Marines. She also said that their motto was: The Fewer, The Prouder! I gave her one of my Sgt. Grit catalogs, and she's already made a purchase.

Semper Fi

J. V. Merl

You Had To WANT
In 1947 when there were on 75,000 Marines allowed in the Corps. There were 75 Marines stationed at Hunters Point Naval Station, San Francisco for Naval Station Guard Duty, they were also used to bury the War Dead being brought back from all over the world.

We would go on duty at Noon, relieving the Port Section. The Port section would then go to the barracks and put on their Dress Blues (the buttons and shoes shined during off hours on the watch list). They would board a Bus that took them to San Bruno National Cemetery where they would bury the Protestant Casualties of the War. Field Musics were also in attendance.

At about 1730 you would load the bus for the trip back to Hunters Point Naval Station and Liberty until 0530. After Morning Mess you would again put on your Dress Blues and board the bus to again go to San Bruno and bury the Catholic Casualties of World War II. At about 1200 you would board the bus to return to Hunters Point Naval Station to change into the Green uniform and stand Guard Mount.

Every other weekend off. All this on $50.00 a month (unless you were an Expert Rifleman and got an additional $5.00 monthly, a Sharpshooter got $3.00 a Month). At that time they took out $5.35 monthly for your National Service Life Insurance of $10,000, so it was less than the $50.00 and that was one of the main reasons Marines liked Overseas duty, 20% pay increase for overseas duty and at that time Hawaii was an overseas station.

When I left Hunters Point I thought I would have it fairly easy, I was transferred to the Naval Prison, San Pedro. The Naval Prison was being emptied to turn it over to the Local Government, so we were taking Naval Prisoners to Prisons near their homes. In the case of Murderers and other serious Prisoners we took them to Alcatraz. Getting off Prison Duty we went to Korea.

It didn't seem that hard then but I look back and it wasn't that easy, you had to WANT to be a Marine.

F. L. Rousseau, GySgt. USMC Ret.

Fire for Effect: Reader Requests - Back to top

Help this Collector
I received this from 1st MarDivAss'n, thought you might be able to include it in your next Newsletter... It's a very interesting item. Perhaps one of you can help with the question from FMCA?

Semper Fi,
Jay Graham
Cpl, USMC, 1953 - 56
1st Tk Bn

Help this Collector identify what he has

antique United States Marine Corps. bronze belt buckle "Here's an antique United States Marine Corps. bronze belt buckle (I think). I'm not sure of the type but I'm guessing there is not a Marine alive that will not know the kind of buckle it is. Incorporated into the design is the marine Emblem, Semper Fidelis, and an A1 on Wings. Crisp Detail..

The surface looks to once have a gold wash that has since been worn to a bronze finish. It measures 1 3/4" X 1 3/4" .The buckle is made by Jenkins and has a pat. Date of 3/5/27. Email your comments to "MEttore @ kforce .com" (no spaces)

We Never Promised You a Rose Garden
For anyone who does not know Chuck Taliano; he is the Drill Instructor looking up at the Recruit and saying "We Never Promised You a Rose Garden", in a Recruiting poster. He is a member of the Beaufort Detachment. I was seeing Chuck on a regular basis at the VA Hospital while he was undergoing chemo, but haven't seen him lately. Maybe he is no longer able to make the trip.
Let's keep him in our prayers.

Semper Fi
George Palmer

I have just received word, that Chuck Taliano, Sgt "T", is very ill. He is in ICU in Charleston, with very serious conditions at this time. I have been advised that his kidneys are shutting down, his heart is weakening, and he has a lot of congestion in the lungs.

Please keep him in your prayers.

I would ask that you advise anyone, not on this list of his condition, especially the Division Chaplain and the National Chaplain.

I absolutely will keep you informed of any updates.

Gene Wilbur
Department of South Carolina

Marines and friends.

Below, in his own words, is the latest update on Chuck's condition. Before reading any further PLEASE heed this request. He tires very, very easily and currently is hosting his entire family; which is a hand full for even a healthy person as you may well know. While he is extremely greatful for all of your concern and well wishes, please realize that he has not the strength nor ability to receive visits and phone calls from all his vast Marine family and admirers. That being said, those of you intimate with Sgt. T know who you are and are encouraged to call and will be welcomed.

Dear fellow Marines and friends,

As most of you know I have been in the hospital with complication to multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer). I have been fighting this terrible disease since December of 2004. It is incurable but treatable. However, treatments don't last forever. After a week of recovering from the pneumonia as well as more testing and analysis my doctors presented me this past Monday with two options:

1) Remain in the Hospital and undergo more high dosage chemo treatment. It would be unlikely that I would ever go home. The treatment would most likely kill me. Not being too stupid, I rejected this option out of hand.

2) Leave the hospital, go home and suspend all treatments. They give me 30 - 60- days. I jumped on this option as it allows me to spend my last days at home and with family. All of the family my Marine brothers and sisters. I thank all of you for your cards, emails well wishes and most of all prayers. Semper Fidelis my friends. God Bless.

Sgt. T

When Did This Become
When did this become a tattoo site? Am I the only one who is tired of 1/2 of the news letter being about tattoos? I have a suggestion. Create a site solely for that purpose so that people who are interested can go there to share their stories and pictures. This letter can go back to the stories that I appreciate hearing from Marines and I won't be tempted to discontinue receiving it.

David M. Shrum

I Cannot Visualize
Dear Sgt Grit,
Obviously you and Mr. Kunkel missed the point in reference to the Drill Instructor spitting a cockroach into the face of a Marine recruit. The "operative" term is African-American which is what the author of the original diatribe fully intended to target; if all the recruits present had finished their required training and were scheduled to graduate later that same day, any "tension" should have been relieved simply because they had "made the cut" and WOULD GRADUATE. There was no need for ridicule by the Senior Drill Instructor because the "worst was over" and everyone should have been in good spirits! The author obviously has personal issues with people of color and presented that pathetic collection of words.

Yes, I think the individual writing that initial letter was and probably is a bigot and just wanted to target an African- American; I cannot visualize a Drill Instructor risking his career just to embarrass a member of his platoon who had completed all phases of training right along with the others.

I was assigned to Platoon 109, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego and graduated along with 52 other recruits during March, 1962; ALL my Drill Instructors were White and, where appropriate, I was a 'sh-thead' or an 'a-shole' right along with the other recruits who may have deviated from the training regimen and 'p-ssed off' the Drill Instructor. And, as I stated in my last email, I shall remember those gentlemen FONDLY for the rest of my days. I got my butt kicked many times but I was never the brunt of racial jokes, racial slurs or what some may want to label as abuse today..!

No Sgt Grit! I didn't believe that story in the first place and had chosen to ignore it but I had to address the simple fact that he (the original author) had a "hidden agenda" in respect to his participation in the U.S. Marine Corps! Is it any wonder he didn't want to identify himself..? I am an American of African descent who served proudly in the United States Marine Corps; it is ironic however, that I have been called "Brother" by only one man, also in uniform! He was in Her Majesty's Service, British Royal Marines! Ironic! This is the year of our Lord, 2010; we should have been well past the primeval thinking of the past...?

R. Caddell
MGYSGT, (Retired)

A Better Person
Sorry that I missed al's downing of the DI's and what is acceptable in his eyes. I don't know if he is old Marine or not but he should have been around in 1965 and seen the things that went on then. I am proud of the DI's that I had because they scared me into being a better person and a Marine. They are human just like us but they had a job to do. They had to take kids and make men out of them in 12 weeks. Sometimes things had to be done to get the attention of said recruits.

I am proud of My DI's. I did not see action in Nam but I am still a Marine as I went to boot just like the rest of the Marines. My brother in law and brother were there and a Captain in Okinawa held me back because my brother in law got in touch with the Commanding Officer in Okinawa and requested I stay there. I requested to go but they would not let me go.

I am sorry that I did not see action but I had to be somewhere. AT LEAST I did NOT go to Canada like the OTHER BA--RDS DID.

Thank you
Sgt. Dabney Semper Fi.

Fire for Effect: All Boot Camp (Cont.) - Back to top

Wadded-Up Paper Bag
Hey Grit,

I just have a couple memories that are not in sync with some of those expressed on your website and I'd like to mention them for posterity.

First; when the DI gently coaxed us off the cattle car that brought us from the airport to MCRDSD, we got to stand on 12 inch yellow circles at midnight 12 Feb 1964. Not footprints.

I was issued one green blouse and one wool battle jacket (Ike jacket) in March 1964. We were told the battle jacket was illegal to be worn off-base and would be phased out in a year or two. I really liked that jacket.

We were issued Tropical Khaki pants and shirts. I hated them from the first day I wore them. You looked like a wadded-up paper bag within an hour of putting them on. Some guys were issued herringbone utilities and told they would be out in a year or so.

Some got brown shoes and some black. They all had to be black by graduation and spit-shined (of course). Two or three recruits were assigned to "take care" of that. At the end of boot we all had spit-shined, black shoes and boots. We got brown frame-caps and had to make them black by the end of boot. That was an individual effort.

We were issued M-14's in boot camp and qualified with them. This is the greatest weapon I have ever fired, and I've fired a lot of rifles.... In ITR we were issued M-1's and learned about M-1 thumb. We had BAR's and Bazooka's (2.5 in rockets) and rifle grenades and threw hand grenades. And hiked mountains until we puked... (Agony).

Just as an aside, I went to 2/7 after boot, Las Pulgas (the Fleas), Camp Pendleton, CA; June 1964. We formed an infantry battalion and regiment (7th Marines). Our rifles were padlocked to the foot of our bunk beds in the squadbay.

In March 1965 we put on a demonstration for the families of the Regiment. A Battalion on-line. The friends and families sat in bleachers behind the battalion. There were some targets set up at about 200 to 300 yards. There ensued fire from a Marine infantry battalion for about 20 minutes ... rifles, mortars, machine guns, flame throwers, Ontos, tanks. It sure was loud; and ripped up the landscape. I wonder if they still do that.

The start of 20 great years. Semper Fi!

Best regards,
MSgt Scott McClellan USMC Ret

What part of
"The terrorists intend to kill us"
do you not understand?

To "Acquire" Some
I was at MCRD San Diego in April '06. We were always running out sh-tter paper and we were told by our company 1st Sgt that supply wouldn't provide us with anymore for a while because we over used our supply. So we would have to "acquire" some from other platoons & that all the DI's would be made aware of this.

So there I was with 2 other recruits, in our deserts, leaving our squad bay through the head across deck into the next empty squad bay where we would devise our plan. 0100 we planned which house we'd raid & what to do if caught by a DI or MP.

We slowly & quietly crept down the back stairwell to the first floor moving towards the head entrance of MRP3's house. 3 recruits crawling under the windows against the wall so we wouldn't be seen. There we were 3 portholes away from the DI's porthole when 2 Rovers on firewatch came out to dump the mop water & at that moment we froze, stopped dead in our tracks!

We thought for sure we were busted. One dumped the water while the other looked around, but they were completely sidetracked by their intense conversation. They looked past us and went back in. We crawled faster knowing we were pressed for time now. We got to the hatch, head recruit was fallin asleep so slowly, one by one, we snuck into the rain room then to the sh-tter room and began pocketing all the sh*tter paper. We snuck back out and crawled back out.

We decided to confidently stand tall and walk by as Marines right past front guard. As we did a Rover came out to question us at that moment snapped as Marines and ordered the recruit back in the house and we continued on to our house. We had a big laugh the next day when every recruit was acquiring napkins from the mess hall. Thought I'd share this funny story with anyone else who has gone through this too.

Boot Camp Pic 1960
Scanned photo of Platoon 128 San Diego 1960