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

Accessories        Awards and Plaques        Headgear        Ka-Bars        Office       

AmericanCourage #245     03 FEB 2011
|View with Pictures | ONLINE STORE

Came into possession of this photo and just wanted to share with my Brothers-in-Arms.
I believe it was in Kansas? Nebraska? was recently purchased and is now in, or on its way to Cumberland County Tennessee.
Check out the old style EGA. Maybe some younger eyes can make out the tail #
I'll bet it has Elephant Grass caught up in the landing gear, after all it is a Marine Combat Aircraft.
Ken Martin
Cpl U.S.M.C.
RVN 68-69

In This Issue

A lot of great pictures have been submitted lately. Thank you, they really add to the stories. Don't forget the Sgt Grit Blog for daily stories and features. Our Facebook page has a picture of the day and other interactive things going all the time.

Below you find an unfortunate but interesting Belgium robbery and how about a five drinks in one day question at the VA, garage sale patriotism, Khe Sanh Historical marker. Also, a piece about Wikipedia does it again.

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

Some friends and I who served at the same time in Korea with the 1st Division recently attended graduation at MCRD-SD, and had a very wonderful day. We ate lunch at the O club, visited the museum and then headed home. I have enclosed a couple of the photos I took for your review and publication, if you like. The Marine in the middle received the Navy Cross, the ones on either side received the bronze star and they all received one of more purple hearts.

Semper fi.

S/Sgt I. J. Oshana, (RET)

And I Quote...

"We have two companies of Marines (520 men) running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments (3600 men)pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the h-ll is going on?"
--Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., US Army, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; during the assault on Grenada, 1983

Just wanted to show our youngest Marine officer, 2nd Lt. Aaron Anderson, being given the 'Officer's Oath' by his brother, 1st Lt. Clayton Anderson on December 10, 2010 following graduation from Marine OCS, Quantico. Clay, a veteran of 3 deployments in Iraq, as an enlisted, flew in from Okinawa to perform the ceremony. Following 6 months at TBS, Aaron will report to Pensacola for flight school.
Semper Fi, J. Anderson, USMC, '71-'73.

Howdy Sgt Grit; I'd like to post this picture of my two Brothers and four Sons. My brothers and I, all were in Vietnam. I was the last to arrive in 1966. I was in Phu Bai, My youngest brother in DaNang and my Oldest brother was in Chu Lai. We pretty much had Vietnam under control for a short time.

Semper Fi, Don Griffith, 1stSgt, USMC RET

My son is Corporal Bossier, Jonathan A., who is presently stationed at Camp Pendleton. Last year he was deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan with the 1st MLG at Camp Leatherneck. To show him and his unit support, about 40 of us men from Pointe Coupee Parish, who meet regularly for breakfast every Friday morning, many of whom are former active Marines, decided to obtain a Marine Corps flag and have our names embroidered on it and ship it to my son.

He flew the flag at Camp Leather Neck from about May, 2010 until October, 2010, when his unit returned to the States. I have attached a picture of the flag and my son which was taken at the presentation ceremony held in New Roads, Louisiana, in December, 2010. The flag will be on permanent display in the Pointe Coupee Courthouse in New Roads.

Along with the flag, will be a the list of the names of the 81 Marines who gave the last full measure during the period between May, 5, 2010 and October 6, 2010, which was the time period that the flag was flown in Afghanistan. The inscription above the names will read, "To demonstrate their prayerful support and faith in the 1st Marine Logistics Group Forward, Landing Support Detachment United States Marine Corps, destine for Afghanistan, the flag signatories, all from Pointe Coupee Parish, State of Louisiana, had this flag made and shipped to them in May, 2010. While flying over Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, this flag witnessed the ultimate sacrifice paid by eighty-one brave Marines for the cause of Freedom. This flag serves as a memorial to them."

The pictures don't show it, but the flag has a few holes caused by the conditions under which it was flown.

I sent this so that your readers would know that there are still some people that support our men and women of the armed services, especially the Marines.


Larry S. Bossier

This is my son Sgt. William Beckes and 1 of his daughters. It was taken on the day he deployed for Afghanistan 8/24/2010 from Oahu Hawaii Marine Base.

Pamela Beckes

Hi Sgt.

I guess I would be Old Corps by today's standards. My number is 1225080. When I went in there with a group of about 15 of us, and the number assignment seemed to be on a basis of the test score we took. I was apparently the highest score; so they put me in charge of the others. This three day high ranking came to a screeching halt in about 1 second as we arrived at the San Diego train station from Chicago. The kindly gentleman who helped us into the cattle cars, made it plain what lowly scum we all were.

At that time we were new Corps of course. Frankly, I don't think new or old makes any difference. My neighbors son joined up a little less than a year ago, and he just as much a Marine as I was 59 years ago. The training and equipment changes down through the years, but the steel core of a MARINE does not. There weren't any yellow foot prints then, but we quickly learned how to stand at attention from several other kindly gentlemen who in 13 weeks also trained us in quite a few other matters regarding becoming Marines.

I don't think it was my good looks that made me become a Hollywood Marine. It probably had to do with the Marine Corps needs at that moment, just like all the other assignments they gave me. Basically, you went where they told you, and did what they said to do. The physical agony of the PI sand fleas was offset by the mental anguish of watching the beautiful civilian world going on just up the hill from the h-ll going on at MCRD SD. We had the honor of the living in Quonset Huts right next to the airport. We could also see the Navy recruits just over the fence going through their gentile exercising.

William Thompson
Sgt 1225080

And I Quote...

"Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others."
--Alexander Hamilton

Sgt. Grit- I would like to receive a newsletter of some sort regarding the Marines at war now. I was a Marine myself and my son is now and in the war and I would like more updates about our Brothers fighting today. Any help you could give Sarge would be appreciated. Thanks Brother from an old SSgt.

Note: I agree. They would make outstanding reading. Some stories from Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Djibouti, Haiti, Philippines or any other place Marines have been the last 10 years or so. Also it is the 20th Anniversary of the Gulf War, you Marines are very quiet. Send me a story. Stop now and write me a story. It only take a few minutes. Start with the first few words and you will be surprised at what you end up with.
Sgt Grit

Sgt. Grit, What an interesting letter. First it is amazing that the MCL would name a Detachment after Theodore Roosevelt since T. Roosevelt Hated the Marine Corps and here is some evidence:

President Theodore Roosevelt removed Marines from warships, but six months later President Taft restored them. The ribbons and medals on most are just put on with no regulation, except the Five men first is second left front to the second right. Also, the Marine Second right is a Distinguished Marksman and appears to be a Corporal with a Hashmark. Most of the Enlisted are Expert Riflemen which was very important in those times because the Marine that fired Expert received an extra $5.00 monthly.

The Marine with the Fourragere did more than just fight he has some Decorations but hard to tell what, there are some other decorations. The Officer (the Marine with the Sam Brown belt) has both campaign medal and Decoration. Most interesting group of Marines that for sure were Old Corps. Read "The Devil Dogs of Belleau Wood" and learn just how special they were.

Thanks Cpl. P. Linder for an interesting photo. One shouldn't just be a Marine but should learn about our Marine Corps, my 26 years and 3 Wars was just a cake walk with what many Marines in the early twentieth Century did.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Ret.


Regarding Cpl Linder's photograph of the Theodore Roosevelt Detachment in Boston. Notice the tall Marine in the back row, center. He's wearing a Dress Blue p-ss cutter! I don't recall ever seeing one before...

David Couvillon
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired.;
Former Governor of Wasit Province, Iraq;
Righter of Wrongs; Wrong most of the time;
Distinguished Expert, TV remote control;
Chef de Hot Dog Excellance; Avoider of Yard Work

And I Quote...

"I rejoice in a belief that intellectual light will spring up in the dark corners of the earth; that freedom of enquiry will produce liberality of conduct; that mankind will reverse the absurd position that the many were, made for the few; and that they will not continue slaves in one part of the globe, when they can become freemen in another."
--George Washington

Hi Don:
Here is my "tribute" to a one "H-ll of a Marine". Richard L. Holycross, Marine Platoon commander and chief warrant officer. I knew him as "Gunny" Holycross/Dick. I had the privilege of serving with him in the 27TH Special inf. rifle co. here in Columbus, Ohio before and after active duty. He was everything a Marine represents, a good friend and a good cop on the Columbus police dept. where he held the rank of Sergeant and led by example that few could match. The pistol range is named is named in his honor.

I came across this old newspaper article that I had saved from Sept.1967 as I was looking thru my graduation book from PARRIS ISLAND, 2nd Battalion platoon #132, 10 September 1957. I would like to share this with all the fellow "grunts" out there and to let Gunny Holycross know that he may be gone for some time now, but not forgotten.

Recreation area to honor war hero, ex-police officer.

Richard Holycross, a Marine platoon commander and chief warrant officer was killed 10 Sept. 1967, after he brought "devastating fire" on the enemy with an anti-tank gun, says his Silver Star medal citation.

Hollycross was wounded in Korea and sent back to Columbus. He joined the Marine reserves and enjoyed a 14 year stint with the Columbus Police Division. In 1967, he decided to return to active duty. Six months later he was dead.

He died on the day he was scheduled to leave Vietnam and meet his wife Donna and daughter, who was 11 then. Both lived in Columbus.

Paul Ignatius, then secretary of the Navy said, Holycross repulsed an enemy attack by "exposing himself to enemy fire".

Standing by, in my dress blues, tennis shoes, and a light coat of oil.

Semper Fi
Bob Scarborough 1489689
Corporal E-4 USMC

I was a Navy Man for 10 years from 1967 to 1977; But I spent most of my 10 years working with the Marines and Navy Seals as a Flight crew chief on Hueys and flying MediVac from the USS American into the jungles of Vietnam, Saved many a Marine brother during battles and they saved me many times over. My son is an E-8 with the Marine Corps and has been in the Marine Corps going on 16 years. He is a Crew Chief on H-46's with the 31st. MEU and previous MEU Units. His MEU Unit flew all the special forces into Iraq and Afghanistan immediately after 911. His picture behind a 50Cal. in an H-46 was in the October issue of U.S. World News & Reports. Very proud to be a father of such a fine Marine; as all Marines are.
Semper Fi. Daniel Chabot.

And I Quote...

"Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one."
--Thomas Paine

Hi Sgt Grit,

This is the USS Coral Sea reunion group going in to the MCAS Headquarters Building.

Thanks for everything,
SSgt William R. Moore
USMC Retired

Release #: 019-2011
Date Released: January 26, 2011
With Art

By: Lance Cpl. Damany S. Coleman
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Two Marines, sailor earn NAM for outstanding performances

It is the Marine Corps' policy to recognize meritorious achievements and superlative performances by awarding meritorious masts, letters of appreciation and accelerated promotions. According to Combat Development Command Order 1650.2D, it is also recommended to periodically single out individual Marines whose performance of duty and standards of proficiency exceed that generally expected of all Marines.

Two remarkable Marines and one just as impressive sailor were awarded as the Marine Corps Installations East 2010 Marine of the Year, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year and Sailor of the Year during the annual MCIEAST breakfast at the Ball Center aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Jan. 20.

Cpl. Jesse Parke, representing Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station Beufort, Sgt. Avery Washington II, of MCAS Cherry Point and Petty Officer 1st Class Julian Esteban, from MCAS Cherry Point, were recognized for their exceptional performances in a competition against thousands of others in the region.

These motivated, dedicated, modern-day warriors were also awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, in addition to about a dozen of gifts; including fine jewelry, engraved plaques and Ka-Bars and statuettes, most presented by civilian business leaders in the community.

John Reed, executive director of Mainstream Productions and host of the annual breakfast and awards ceremony, asked the Marines to consider making their service in the military into a career.

"All services need people like you," said Reed. "Someday, 10, 15 or 20 years down the road when you finally get out of the service, it's not the medal that they will remember; it's the respect, the admiration, the feeling of self worth and knowing that you did a great job."

Maj. Gen. Carl B. Jensen, commanding general of MCIEAST, and Sgt. Maj. Robert VanOostrom, sergeant major of MCIEAST, presented the medals to the Marines; however, Esteban was not able to attend the ceremony due to his selection process for picking up the rank of chief petty officer.

"That honor that you have lavished upon the naval services here is reflected back upon you sevenfold," said Jensen. "We are absolutely mindful every day that when we come to work we live surrounded by the greatest community in the United States, in the most military friendly state. This is as good as it gets."

Following the ceremony, Washington found it hard to come up with words to describe his excitement.

"It's a good feeling, I don't know how to describe it," said Washington. "I remember being in (military occupational specialty) school and wondering what this would be like. My first year in the Marine Corps I was in a non-deployable unit, and I was kind of disappointed, thinking 'this is not what I signed up for.' But I made the most of it and it teaches you what you can do when you go all-out. It teaches that you can achieve something no matter where you're at. I really appreciate the opportunity and I've learned a lot in the process."

In Esteban's stead, his staff noncommissioned officer, Master Sgt. Scott Thome, spoke a few words about his work ethic and character.

"One of his great characteristics is that he is a great leader," said Thome. "He looks for leadership challenges and as his (staff NCOIC), he has constantly come to me and asked 'what can I do to make things better' or he bring me ideas to make things better for the sailors and Marines that work under him. He won this for a reason and he shows it at work every day."

Parke, who was recently promoted to the rank of corporal, said that becoming the Marine of the Year for MCIEAST was something he had never expected.

"Two years ago, I was going through recruit training and I saw one of these same awards sitting on my senior drill instructors' desk," said Parke. "It was just something I never thought would be possible and I think that says a lot about the caliber of Marines we have today. One of the best feelings is the motivation that comes with it. It was (my drill instructors) giving me knowledge, physical training and facts about uniforms, and even if I didn't like it, it was something I had to do. Without knowing, I became a better Marine and a better person. (To win this award) shows they really do notice hard work and it's great to see that first hand."

And I Quote...

"[M]y religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave."
--Gen. Stonewall Jackson

Sgt. Grunt,

I listened to the President last night as he gave his speech in Tucson and at the beginning he mentioned someone as a "former Marine." Relatively good speech other than that. A tough duty well done.

Please send the White house a comm link to the Commandant's Office so they get it right. There are no former Marines, once one, always one, per the CMC! Semper Fi! I look forward to your email as a high point of my day. I read every word.

Your emails do a great service to the Corps. All of us who are no longer on active duty miss our times and friends from the past. We are not former Marines.

Get the message over to the White House, please!

WO Michael W. Hoffman

Sgt. Grit, I'm connected to our Marine Corps by enlistment, Plt. 1067 1st Battalion, Parris Island S.C. 21 Sept. 1966. Following ITR @ Camp Lejeune, went to Electronics school @ MCRD San Diego - Ground/air radio repair. Jan 1967 - Sept 1967. Then on to MCAS Quantico. Gnd. Electronics until Jan. 1968. Viet Nam Feb1968 to Mar. 1969. First with HQ & HQ Service Bat 3rd Marine Division - Dong Ha. Then with MASS 3 1st MAW DaNang. Back to Quantico MCAS till Release from Active Duty April 1970.

Since then I've stood tall & proud of my service as a United States Marine & my Country with all its problems still the best the world has to offer.

I wear the MIA/POW band of 1st LT William C. Ryan Jr. USMC lost in battle Body not Recovered 11 May 1969 - it never comes off.

Semper Fidelis to Marines Past , Present & Future.
Sgt Glenn A. Shaw 2310168.

Sgt. Grit:

I lived in Brussels, Belgium, from 1982-1989 when my wife and I worked for a newspaper whose European edition was based there. One day my wife left our house before I did to go to the office, while I stayed in bed because I was working a night shift. I heard the front door open a short time later and I assumed she had returned to retrieve something she had forgotten. Wrong.

When I rolled out of the rack an hour later I noticed that not all in the living room was as I had left it and realized we had been robbed. When I took inventory, the only things I could find missing were 80 U.S. dollars and my prized Marine Corps ring, which I had purchased at the Camp Pendleton main side PX in 1969.

I often wonder what had possessed a Belgian thief to steal it and what he did with it. It was a handsome ring, to be sure, gold with a ruby stone and the eagle, globe and anchor, but it had cost me just $25. I was very proud of the ring and all that it represented and I'd happily strangle the son of a b-tch who stole it if I could find him. I doubt that he knew he was stealing mostly memories but, in any case, he went for the best, whether he realized it or not.

Sgt. Bill Federman
USMC 1968-71
Vietnam 1970-71

And I Quote...

"Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the earth itself and all it contains rather than do an immoral act. And never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may appear to you... From the practice of the purest virtue, you may be assured you will derive the most sublime comforts in every moment of life, and in the moment of death."
--Thomas Jefferson

Good morning. Yesterday was my first time to use the VA for my service connected disability; I had been using the civilian sector until this time. Upon arriving there were a number of magazines for the Navy Air Force and Army. To my dismay there was only one book .."History of the Navy" how boring except the chapter on FMF.

I was called in to see to Doc, but my first stop was to provide information to the nurse for input into the computer. I notice the framed Marine emblems, dog tags, etc., and surmised he is a Marine One interesting question he asked was..."During my life time (55 now) had there been an occasion for me to have 5 drinks in one day?" My response was I was in the Marine Corps and went to college. We both laughed.

But it is not why I write. I was then put into the exam room to wait on the Doc. The Marine Nurse came in and asked if I had seen the magazines in the waiting room, no I had not, he said sorry he was out. He orders SGT GRIT for the waiting room on his own dime. I let him know my big days is Thursday when I receive my email version of SGT GRIT. What a great job this Marine is doing to keep us Marines informed of your site. VA Clinic Indianapolis, IN.

Semper Fi, Joe Savone Cpl of Marines, 1974-1977

I joined the Marines right out of High school and went to P.I. in June 1943, I eventually landed on Iwo Jima the 21st of February with the 1st platoon, Service and Supply Co. 5th Service Battalion. Well I came home and about 60 years later I was at a Church garage sale in Sun Lakes Arizona where I found this statue of the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima and I was about to buy it, I turned the statuette over and would you believe that it was made in Japan, as I was standing there holding the Statuette the Pastor came over and said did you find something you want to buy and I handed him the statuette and I told him to turn it over and look at the bottom and when he saw that it had been made in Japan he said that's obscene and he proceeded to throw the statuette in the trash can and I then told him I had been on Iwo and I thanked him for disposing of that statue and he thanked me for my service in the Marines.

Semper Fi
Jim Head 524854

From you last issue...Couldn't help playing with it for about a half hour...S/F Steve

And I Quote...

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
--Martin Luther King Jr.

Sgt Grit,

If you need to paraphrase or condense the following document you have my permission and the reason is because it is important to me to get this changed and I realize that it is long but I have a mild TBI and it now takes me 15 words to say something that might only take 5 words. I also want you to know I explained at the Battalion Level that the reason I wanted to pin my son was because when I was injured he would help put my legs in the car, get my pants on, tie my shoe, let me put my arm around him when I got tired and he would help me walk. It is rare to see that kind of dedication out of a 16 year old kid and then to turn around and after seeing his dad almost die and all the struggles with PTSD and TBI and still want to be a Marine I can't put into words the amount of Pride I have for my son. (I also have two other kids who without them I wouldn't be here and one of them is serving in the Army and I am also extremely proud of him for wanting to join the Army.)

I don't want Marine's who come behind me with the same issues and be denied. Nothing can give me back what I was robbed but hopefully we can change the future.

On a personal note I just want to say thank you for your service. As a Vietnam Vet you have opened up your heart and lives for those of us returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and let us know we will be OK. There are days I don't know if I am going to make it in this world and I think of you and know that if you can survive over 40 years then I will be OK. I love you and thank you for all you do. Welcome Home Marine.

Semper Fi,
Nick Bennett

P.S. There is 20 years difference between our oldest and youngest so I have dubbed this Picture Past, Present, and possibly the future!


Sgt Grit,
I am writing to inform you of disturbing trends in our beloved Marine Corps and hopefully with enough coverage we can implement some changes in Recruit Training.

Some background information first. I am a retired Marine Staff Sergeant having been wounded by a 107mm Chinese Rocket in Iraq on 11 November 2004. I have had over 26 surgeries and still suffer from being in a combat zone. In spite of everything my kids have seen my two oldest boys have followed in their dads footsteps by joining the Armed Forces. My 20 year old is proudly serving his Country with the Army in Alaska. My 22 year old just graduated from Parris Island on the 21st of January 2011 and the reason I am writing.

My son went to college and earned enough credits to be a contract PFC. Since we were going to family day and graduation I emailed his Senior Drill Instructor and asked if I could pin PFC on him and explained my background as a Marine. To my horror I was told that a contract PFC doesn't have a ceremony so the answer was no.

After talking it over with my wife and fellow Marine family I decided to try and find someone in the chain of command that might be able to help me promote my son. Needless to say Semper Fidelis doesn't apply to anyone I talked to at Parris Island and was told by one Sergeant that I would have an opportunity in 9 months to try and pin LCpl on him.

In spite of all that, I did find out that if you graduate Meritorious they do hold a promotion ceremony. My question and maybe someone can help me is when does getting a rank not warrant a promotion ceremony. My son worked just has hard to get PFC along with the other Marines who graduated as PFC and was robbed of one of the greatest traditions in the Marine Corps and that is a promotion ceremony in front of your fellow Marines. I am sure I am going to hear all sorts of excuses like there is no time in boot camp and every second of every day is accounted for but there is time for some Marines so why are they special? They can't hold a promotion ceremony for everyone but there is time to go to the museum, as evident at the following location, what is more important? If you look at the Parris Island website and look at the training cycle you will see: Recruit Training Matrix: Phase III

T41 (Training Day 41) Museum Tour - To assist with reinforcing what they have learned about Marine Corps history, and to help them learn about the history of Parris Island, recruits visit the Parris Island Museum.

I was only asking for a 5 minute ceremony and maybe I should have asked for the Company Gunny or First Sergeant to see about being able to promote him. I did talk to someone at the Battalion level and at the Company level and was brushed off both times. I just want to say thank you for robbing my son and every other Marine who has got promoted and not giving a proper promotion ceremony. I can't believe you teach classes on Customs and Courtesies, Leadership, and all about Marines being Brothers and Sisters and then cheat them out of a promotion ceremony and to add insult to injury holding a promotion ceremony for just a select few.

The second issue I had was in regards to Graduation. Since they have implemented the Crucible the Recruits are now given the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor and called Marines for the first time almost a week before, Graduation has been reduced to nothing more than a ceremony. There is no more significance to it and in theory you could do away with Family Day and make it Graduation Day instead. The issue I have is the fact that as a Marine I missed out on the greatest milestone of my son's life and that is him being called A Marine for the first time.

Parris Island did a terrible job of explaining the significance of what happens after the Crucible in regards to the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor Ceremony and the recruits earning the title Marine. I would have loved to see them play a video of them receiving the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on Family Day while they stood in formation and explained to the families the importance of the ceremony while the families were given a brief on the Recruit's time on the Island. I bought a challenge coin of the Crucible with the date on when he earned the title Marine and my son's eyes started to leak along with mine when I presented it to him and said welcome to the family. I realize they have a lot going on but even my son missed the significance of that moment till I explained it to him.

On Training Day 68 they have what is called "Share the Legacy." There is also an important moment when Marines, past and present, come visit and "Share the Legacy," passing along their experiences, and telling the new Marines how the Corps' core values have shaped their lives. After the Marines get secured from Family Day what a phenomenal time would this be for the new Marines who have family that have spent time as Marines to come in and talk and answer questions about the Marine Corps. Can you imagine the wealth of Marine Corps History that could be handed down from Marines who have been there and done that? This is all above my pay grade to figure out but it can be accomplished.

I would like to hear from other Marine families and Drill Instructors on these issues to see if it is just me or if there is and should be an outcry to try and get this implemented so that everyone has a promotion ceremony and families get to witness one of the most important milestones in their kid's life when they are first called Marines.

Semper Fi,
Nick Bennett
1988-1996, 2004-2007

Hi Sgt Grit,
A few years ago while I was watching TV, I don't remember if it was a news item or some news show, they were showing some WWII Raider Vets watching some present day, I think they were Force Recon coming out of a helicopter on a rope, I think the announcer said that they were fast roping to the ground. Again I'm not sure but it seems to me that some or was it all came down head first. But while the Recon Marines were roping down the WWII Raiders were heard to say that they wouldn't dare do that. And after the demonstration was over the Recon Marines and the WWII Raider Marines got together and they were both very impressed with each other. I guess you could say the "first" meets the "present". I am in hopes you or someone can tell me if they saw the same program and where I can find it. It kind of made my eyes sweat.
Thanks, Bob R. Cpl of Marines 1960-1963 Semper Fi

And I Quote...

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The Marines don't have that problem."
--Ronald Reagan, U.S. President; 1985

Sgt Grit, (service numbers)

That Wikipedia site is doing it again. Don't believe their bull. The numbers of 1,800,000 - 2,000,000 for 1953 - 1965. and then 2,000,000 - 2,800,000 for 1966 - 1972 are both wrong.

I was released from active duty in 1965 and my number is 2008036. My oldest brother's was 1935149 which falls in the right range. My brother who went in with me had 2008034. We joined on 17Apr62.

Dale Landon

Khe Sanh Historic Road Marker
"A Place That Always Was"
By Craig W. Tourte
H.Q. 1/13 Khe Sanh 67-68

On Tuesday, November 10, 2009, the state of New Mexico dedicated and unveiled an Official Scenic Historic Road Marker honoring those who died at "The Battle of Khe Sanh, Vietnam 1968." The beautiful wooden marker is inscribe: "The Battle of Khe Sanh claimed the lives of 2,097 United States servicemen. This historic marker is dedicated to honor and preserve the memory of New Mexico servicemen who were killed in action or later died of their wounds. The Khe Sanh Vietnam veterans will forever live in each others' hearts." In addition, the marker is inscribed with the names of nine of those who were killed from the State of New Mexico. I am sure more names will eventually be included, as that information becomes available.

"The location of the "Official Scenic Historic Marker" is identified as being at New Mexico 124, Mile Marker 16.5. In actuality, it sits along the old Historic Route 66 Highway, North of Interstate 40 at the 104 Exit in an area identified as Acoma, New Mexico. It was an approximate 50 mile drive along Interstate 40 from the City of Albuquerque to reach an area known as "The Sky City." The Sky City is actually an area where the Acoma people lived centuries ago atop a mesa to protect themselves from enemy attacks by neighboring bands. The Native American's who live in the area are identified as the "Acoma" which means "Place of readiness." According to a little research, "Native American legend" describes Acoma as a "place that always was." Native history says " was first inhabited about 700 A.D." "Archaeologists agree that it has been continuously occupied from at least 1150 A.D. to the present." Acoma, New Mexico is generally considered "America's oldest continually inhabited city."

The drive from Albuquerque to "The Sky City" where the Historic Marker is located is not unlike any other drive I have taken along a desolated high desert highway. Long, straight and lonely for the bored and weary traveler who too often focuses attention on what's over the next rise. One could pass Acoma in the blink of an eye and never know anything was there except sand, sagebrush and red dirt. I wondered why a monument honoring these heroes would be erected in such a desolate location and not in a more densely populated area.

It was early evening when I drove out to the site of the Historic Road Marker where I met Harold E. Lockwood (HMH-CH-53 Sea Stallions) for the first time. Harold is a tall, proud Native American, former Marine and Vietnam Veteran who is the Sergeant at Arms of the National American Indian Veterans. We stood together as darkness approached, surrounded by red sky with a few wispy clouds off in the distance and tall red table top mountains rising up from the desert floor. Harold identified his house a quarter mile or so away from where we were standing. With the swing of his arm in a wide arc he told me about his cousins, friends, other relatives and Native Americans who lived nearby and identified those who had served and those who had made the ultimate sacrifice, all from the Reservations. We talked about the arrival of the early Missionaries, the Native American children who had been taken from their parents and even to this day, the hardships his people face.

We spent a few minutes talking about his service in the United States Marine Corps and the three years he served in Vietnam. The tragically brutal injuries and death he had observed as a helicopter machine gunner, too often recovering the dead and wounded. The missions off of ships made by young boys who eagerly entered combat for the first time, all dressed in new green uniforms and combat gear and his painful recovery of their remains after the battles. Harold remembered all of these events clearly and with great sadness as he looked up into that red evening sky, silently remembering the pain that is often overwhelming, as he searched for the words that would somehow explain to the outsider, the horrors he had witnessed. Remembrances I knew were still prevalent.

The following day during the dedication ceremony there were a group of young children from one of the local Native American schools who preformed a dance. Adorned in Native American costume, I observed they all had very intense looks on their faces. I realized that the dance these children performed was a serious cultural interpretation of events and beliefs that had been handed down from one generation to the next. The dance was significant to the Native People and fitting in that it was performed in memory of those who had sacrificed for their people and our country.

As I stood alone looking out across the Acoma, viewing the red earth color of the valley and hills, not so dissimilar in color to the red clay of Khe Sanh, I glanced up into the very wide open sky and understood why fate had brought "The Battle of Khe Sanh" marker here. Somehow fate had brought this remembrance marker to this spot, because this place is a "Place That Always Was," A "Place of Readiness" and in a way, a place of safety for those who we will never forget.
Craig W. Tourte

And I Quote...

"There exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness ... we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained."
--George Washington

Sgt Grit,
I disagree with the name calling of SSGT McKeon, who on 8 April 1956, marched his platoon into "Ribbon Creek" and recruits in his platoon panicked with terrible results. I knew Pvt. McKeon after he was court-martialed and worked in the Chaplain's office at Parris Island. He had a lot of remorse for this incident. I do not approve of what happen, but to call him those names, you had to know him or have been there. This is also true about Al Grey. I was with him as a "Colonel" and he was a very tough boss but fair to any that worked for him.

The week he pinned on his 1st Star, he had to make a speech at the "O" Club, MCAS New River, he grabbed a young lt. out of his office and said come with me, You're my aide for the day. When they arrived at the club, he opened his own door and looked back at the Lt. and said, "Hey, you better come own, you're going to be late". I was standing at the entrance of the club when he arrived. He saw me and walked over, called me by my 1st name and went in to the club. Al Grey was a great leader and loved his Marines that worked for him.

V/r Jim Kight 1953-1979
(DI Parris Island 56-57,59-61, CWO4, Captain Retired)

God Bless America!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit