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AmericanCourage #246     17 FEB 2011
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We were going through Frank N. Fritzingers USMC military file and found a copy of a printed note card from A.D. Vandergrift and it was given to everyone who mustered out of service at the end of WW II. It reads as follows:


To each of you "Goodbye"
For a Job Well Done
"My Grateful Thanks"
for a Happy Future
"My Sincere Hopes"

Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps

Thank you for taking the time to put out the newsletter.
Larry D. Behle, USMC

In This Issue

For your 'daily fix' of Marine Corps info remember my Facebook and Blog pages. And don't forget to mark your calendar for this year's Gritogether. June 11th.

Many, many outstanding pictures with stories this week. Thank you for taking the time to include the pictures with your stories, they really add to the interest. As usual many historical quotes.

This outstanding week we have a rock star, Marine, time behind bars or not, the last Iwo Chaplain, oldest Marine to raise the flag on Iwo, Berkeley Marine OSO support, a must read by Lt Gen. John Kelly, and why John Wayne. And I have to mention the picture of the adorable 2 1/2 year old wearing her Dad's cover.

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

MY MARINE SON recently was promoted to GUNNERY SGT at 29 PALMS, CA. I am there IN LOVE and SPIRIT. Join me in CONGRATULATING Gunnery Sgt. Gregory A. Dague.

Diane Dague-Weller

My mom and her buddy having cocktails with two Marine just back in to San Francisco, after a tour in the Pacific, Taken 1944 at the Del Mar Rest and Tavern Italian Food at its best

Semper Fi Tom Leigh-Kendall

How to Become a Marine
Easy...Just ask "Big Brother".
In my case "Big Brother" was my eldest brother MSGT B. C. Mc Nulty USMC, who at the time was the local Marine Corps Recruiter here.

He told me to bring along another family brother and we could get 2 for 1. I did this and brought my brother Russell with me to the Recruiting Office. The attached photo was printed in the local newspaper in 1948. A sad note to this was that Russell was KIA in Korea in 1950. Big Brother B. C. went on to serve some 30 more years in 3 different Wars.

As for my military career I was most fortunate to always arrive after the shooting had stopped , but before the smoke had cleared. I had been drafted into the Army in 1945, and served time in Europe with the 78th Inf Div. ending up in Berlin. While there I was privileged and honored to have served with some of the finest fighting men the Army had to offer. These included Veterans from Normandy Beach, Battle of the Bulge, Anzio, and too many others to list here.

I had a repeat performance of the above when I became a U.S. Marine. Once again I was privileged and honored to serve and associate with Marines who fought in the South Pacific. The likes of Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Tarawa, Okinawa, and others. These men left a lasting impression on me and helped make me the Marine I am today at age 84.

In my successful civilian life that followed the military, I learned their lessons well, and I have always did my very best to pay honor, respect, and thanks to all Veterans past and present, and especially those who GAVE ALL. I have lived all these years in the Home Town of "The Five Sullivan Brothers.

SGT Vernon (Tom) Mc Nulty #1086339 and #37800798

And I Quote...

"Every older Marine is my father, every Marine that was in Nam is my brother, every new Marines is my son."
--GySgt Watters, USMC Ret.

This is a photo of SSGT Eveartt O. Givens and his granddaughter Cheyenne Harrison. The high school here in Perry Okla. had a tribute to the military for veteran's day 2009. Unknown to him she found a Marine uniform and totally keeping quiet about the tribute she surprised her grandpa.

I think you can tell from this photo he was surprised and proud of his oldest grandchild She made sure everything was just right not a hair out of place or a shoe unpolished. She made her grandpa proud that day.

This year on January 31, 2011 we laid this proud Marine to rest. He leaves us with heavy hearts but knowing that this Marine was promoted to guard the gates of heaven. (We all had this t-shirt on at the family receiving friends night.) The traditions continues with several of his nephew's becoming Marines. You are missed and loved more than you ever knew.

Thank you,
Melissa Givens
Proud Daughter of
SSGT Eveartt O. Givens
#3rd Marine Div.
8" Howitzer Bat.
Vet-nam 67-70

I found this picture on a site called you drive what ?
Don R.

I'm sure this is not the right link, but, I a former Marine wanted to tell a short story of a WWII Marine Cpl. His name was Cpl. Clarence "Dutch" Krause, he was from Wilmer Minn., and I met him in San Jose Ca., where I am a garbage man.

I was working my regular route, picking up the garbage when Mr. Krause was moving and seem to be having a hard time putting his garbage can in place. I said to him, It's OK sir I can get where it stands, he shouted back" you think I can't move this? I was a US Marine!"

I said Semper Fi, I was too. I got out of my truck and introduced myself. We became very close friends. "Dutch" was a Amtrac driver during the first wave of the assault on Okinawa, he would tell me a different story of the "Old Corps" every week.

He didn't have any family here in San Jose, so my wife and I would take him to eat and all the holidays he could be found at my house. We Marines, "Take care of our own", so I did.

We would always talk Marine Corps, the past, present and the future of the our beloved Marine Corps. Dutch made me feel the pride and honor of being a Marine, he was a motivator.

He recently passed away, and he is missed daily.

Semper Fi Dutch.
Fmr SSgt. Of Marines.

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

Last of the Chaplains on Iwo Jima Dies.

In the bloodiest days of Iwo Jima, he spoke the last words over fallen Marines and Navy corpsmen as they were buried in the island's black sand. On 20 May 2010, Marines, sailors and soldiers returned the favor to the late Rev. E. Gage Hotaling of Agawam MA, sending the old Navy chaplain on to join his comrades with military honors.

Hotaling was the last surviving chaplain who served ashore with the Marines at Iwo. He joined the Chaplain Corps at age 28 in 1944 because he didn't feel he could preach to the WW II generation unless he knew what they had endured, so he found himself with the 4th Marine Division on Iwo Jima. Some of his experiences on Iwo Jima are included in the book, "Flags of Our Fathers," which tells the stories of the men who raised the American flag during the battle of February 1945.

Rev. Hotaling's first sermon was delivered at a Manton, Rhode Island church on November 19, 1933. At that time the country was in the depths of the Great Depression. Rev. Hotaling was 17 years old and had promised his father, who was dying of cancer, that he would carry on the work of ministry.

Hotaling, 94, died Sunday 16 May 2010 in a Springfield hospital, 65 years after the iconic battle for the Pacific island. In a 2007 documentary, he talked about the grim task he faced as Marines fell in bitter combat against the dug-in Japanese enemy. Of the 6,821 Americans killed, Hotaling believed he buried about 1,800.

"We would have four Marines with a flag over each grave. And while they were kneeling with the flag, I would stand up and I would give the committal words for each one," he told the filmmakers. He said he took up smoking to overcome the stench of decay.

"I did it not as a Protestant, Catholic or a Jew, but as a Marine," the Baptist minister said. "Every man was buried as a Marine. And so I gave the same committal to each one."

A Marine Corps honor guard stood by as family members and other veterans paid their respects yesterday at Massachusetts Veterans' Memorial Cemetery in Agawam .

"He was a man of God, a man who comforted people and a shepard to his flock," said son Kerry, 57, of Ludlow. "He brought comfort to the fighting Marines who were on the island."

Thanks should go to Massachusetts State Trooper Mike Cutone, an Army vet, who was on a prisoner watch at Mercy Hospital when he learned from an old Marine that Hotaling was dying down the hall. Cutone made some calls and saw to it Hotaling was attended at his bedside by Marines in dress blues in his last days, just as he had tended to them in theirs in dirty, bloodstained dungarees.

"Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have made a difference in the world. Marines don't have that problem." President Ronald Reagan, 1985

Semper Fidelis,
Gerald T. Pothier
Capt. USMC (Ret)

And I Quote...

"My ardent desire is, and my aim has been ... to comply strictly with all our engagements foreign and domestic; but to keep the United States free from political connections with every other Country. To see that they may be independent of all, and under the influence of none. In a word, I want an American character, that the powers of Europe may be convinced we act for ourselves and not for others; this, in my judgment, is the only way to be respected abroad and happy at home."
--George Washington

All I have to say is life is funny.

My dad joined the Marine Corps in 52. Became a MP and was ready to head to Korea. But... as the Marine Corps often does, they had different plans for him. They sent him to Long Beach to guard/protect the Naval Ordnance stored there.

At first he hated the idea, but as any good Marine, he did his job to the best of his ability and accepted the fact that this is what he had to do. He did have one bright spot to look forward to. After a couple of years he was up for promotion to Corporal. Well... our beloved Corps struck again. They implemented a new rank, Lance Corporal. I guess this was the straw that broke the camel's back. He left the Corps in 56 at the end of his enlistment.

Then came me. I joined to get an education. Travel was the furthest thing on my mind. I just wanted a "9 to 5" MOS and the chance to go to school on Uncle Sam's dime. After boot camp, I went to Camp Lejeune for MOS School. I got pulled from school as an 0131 and sent via Rota and Cyprus, to meet up with 1/8 in Beirut. Once we returned to the states I figured I'd be able to get some school in. With the training cycle the way it was, we were back on deployment before I knew it. Came back from that one and was sent over to 3/8 to replace one of their 0131's who broke his leg. So, in my first four years of being a Marine I was deployed for 27 months and in Boot camp and school another 5. No time for school.

Seems the Corps played a trick on my dad and I. I got what he wanted and he got what I wanted. I ended up spending another 6 years on active duty. Always going somewhere for some reason. Ours is not to question why... LOL. I'm 60% service connected disable and consider myself extremely fortunate.

Want to take this opportunity to say thanks to all those who went before, with and followed after me. Semper Fi, you are what makes this country so great.

Semper Fi,
Jon M. Davis

When the Commandant, General Amos said "A Marine is a Marine. I set that policy two weeks ago - there's no such thing as a former Marine. You're a Marine, just in a different uniform and you're in a different phase of your life. But you'll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico. There's no such thing as a former Marine." This statement I truly believe, agree with, and support.

But, in general conversation when you say "I am a Marine" it gives the impression that you are currently serving in the Corps. I would have liked further guidance from him on this subject. Such as: A (Marine), currently serves in the Corps. A (Veteran Marine), served in the Corps. A (Marine Veteran) served in a combat theater, and a (Retired Marine), retired from the Corps. Just some thoughts I had after reading your newsletter.

Semper Fi!
R. Joseph Orlandi

And I Quote...

"To get the inestimable good that freedom of the press assures one must know how to submit to the inevitable evil it gives rise to."
--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835

Hello Grit,

I'm a Vietnam-era Marine and I'm involved in something extraordinary that I thought you would want to know about. It's the Spokane Veterans Court. As you know, in the military, we're taught how to dispatch our enemies. But, that head-on approach doesn't work well in civilian life. When vets resort to violence, they often find themselves in front of a judge and face criminal charges. More often than note, they do time behind bars.

In Spokane, we have a District Court Judge who is a former Special Forces Lt. Col. He noticed a lot of vets coming before him and started the Spokane Veterans Court. The idea is, vets don't need to be incarcerated, they need help - they deserve help. Key to the success of the program is that each "defendant" is linked with a Mentor. All the mentors are either vets or Gold Star mothers. We Mentors are the key links to sanity, stability and community services that our Mentees need.

At this time, we have 45 Mentees in the program, and only 3 have "fallen," but even they have gotten back up. It's an extraordinary success rate. And, what's more extraordinary, everyone involved is a volunteer. The judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, probation officer and everyone of us Mentors.

We are bringing a real-life meaning to our shared belief - no one left behind, even after they come home.

Mike Lovas
USMC 1966-1969
Marines MC

Sleep well knowing that there are rough men ready to do violence on your behalf.

On Nov 13, 2010 Lt General John Kelly, USMC gave a speech to the Semper Fi Society of St. Louis, MO. This was 4 days after his son, Lt Robert Kelly, USMC was killed by an IED while on his 3rd Combat tour.

During his speech, General Kelly spoke about the dedication and valor of the young men and women who step forward each and every day to protect us. During the speech, he never mentioned the loss of his own son. He closed the speech with the moving account of the last 6 seconds in the lives of 2 young Marines who died with rifles blazing to protect their brother Marines.

"I will leave you with a story about the kind of people they are - about the quality of the steel in their backs - about the kind of dedication they bring to our country while they serve in uniform and forever after as veterans. Two years ago when I was the Commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22nd of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 "The Walking Dead," and 2/8 were switching out in Ramadi.

One battalion in the closing days of their deployment going home very soon, the other just starting its seven-month combat tour. Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch together at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines. The same broken down ramshackle building was also home to 100 Iraqi police, also my men and our allies in the fight against the terrorists in Ramadi, a city until recently the most dangerous city on earth and owned by Al Qaeda.

Yale was a dirt poor mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and daughter, and a mother and sister who lived with him and he supported as well. He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000. Haerter, on the other hand, was a middle class white kid from Long Island. They were from two completely different worlds. Had they not joined the Marines they would never have met each other, or understood that multiple America 's exist simultaneously depending on one's race, education level, economic status, and where you might have been born. But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible of Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as close, or closer, than if they were born of the same woman.

The mission orders they received from the sergeant squad leader I am sure went something like: "Okay you two clowns, stand this post and let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass." "You clear?" I am also sure Yale and Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in unison something like: "Yes Sergeant," with just enough attitude that made the point without saying the words, "No kidding sweetheart, we know what we're doing." They then relieved two other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry control point of Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, Al Anbar, Iraq.

A few minutes later a large blue truck turned down the alley way-perhaps 60-70 yards in length-and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, killing them both catastrophically. Twenty-four brick masonry houses were damaged or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards away collapsed. The truck's engine came to rest two hundred yards away knocking most of a house down before it stopped. Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of explosives. Two died, and because these two young infantrymen didn't have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American brothers-in-arms.

When I read the situation report about the incident a few hours after it happened I called the regimental commander for details as something about this struck me as different. Marines dying or being seriously wounded is commonplace in combat. We expect Marines regardless of rank or MOS to stand their ground and do their duty, and even die in the process, if that is what the mission takes. But this just seemed different. The regimental commander had just returned from the site and he agreed, but reported that there were no American witnesses to the event-just Iraqi police. I figured if there was any chance of finding out what actually happened and then to decorate the two Marines to acknowledge their bravery, I'd have to do it as a combat award that requires two eye-witnesses and we figured the bureaucrats back in Washington would never buy Iraqi statements. If it had any chance at all, it had to come under the signature of a general officer.

I traveled to Ramadi the next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen Iraqi police all of whom told the same story. The blue truck turned down into the alley and immediately sped up as it made its way through the serpentine. They all said, "We knew immediately what was going on as soon as the two Marines began firing." The Iraqi police then related that some of them also fired, and then to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion. All survived. Many were injured-some seriously. One of the Iraqis elaborated and with tears welling up said, "They'd run like any normal man would to save his life." "What he didn't know until then," he said, "and what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal." Choking past the emotion he said, "Sir, in the name of God no sane man would have stood there and done what they did." "No sane man." "They saved us all."

What we didn't know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as the Iraqis had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.

You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over, or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before: "-let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass." The two Marines had about five seconds left to live.

It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were-some running right past the Marines. They had three seconds left to live.

For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines' weapons firing non-stop-the truck's windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore in to the body of the driver who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers-American and Iraqi-bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground. If they had been aware, they would have known they were safe-because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber. The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.

The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty-into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight-for you.

We Marines believe that God gave America the greatest gift he could bestow to man while he lived on this earth-freedom. We also believe he gave us another gift nearly as precious-our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines-to safeguard that gift and guarantee no force on this earth can every steal it away. It has been my distinct honor to have been with you here today. Rest assured our America, this experiment in democracy started over two centuries ago, will forever remain the "land of the free and home of the brave" so long as we never run out of tough young Americans who are willing to look beyond their own self-interest and comfortable lives, and go into the darkest and most dangerous places on earth to hunt down, and kill, those who would do us harm.

God Bless America, and SEMPER FIDELIS!"

We have had several stories about General Gray the last few weeks. I have been a fan of his since I saw a 60 Minutes segment on him in 1988. I am not a letter writer to organizations, people, nothing. But the 60 Minute segment impressed me so much I was moved to write him. I received this letter in return.

Now I don't for a minute think he wrote me a personal letter, I am sure his staff drafted it. I would like to think it is his signature. But it was a kick to get a letter from the Commandant on his letterhead.

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Marines have done so much, with so little for so long, they can do anything, with nothing, forever. --Author Unknown

Dear Sgt. Grit and Staff
I just want to thank you and your staff for being so courteous to me every time I order something and for helping me when I get mixed up. I hope you can understand I am and old man now (86) and I forget a lot since I was only seventeen when I went into WW-II then Engineering War Collage and then commissioned and went to Korea, Test Pilot school then On loan to NASA for a total of thirty eight years in the Marines. It has been such a pleasure working with your people.
Blaine Keith, Semper- Fi Sgt Grit

Why yes I did include a crass, capitalist, plug.
Sgt Grit

This picture was taken of me at the Oregon State Fair in 1995. We (the Marine Band in 29 Palms) did a series of concerts there every day during the fair and I had a wireless transmitter on my guitar that allowed me to run through the crowd while we did Metallica's "Enter Sandman".

Terry Moon

This is from the picture of the day on the Sgt Grit Facebook.

Sgt. Grit- Got your address from a magazine at the local VA Medical center in Niorthport, Long Island. Subscribed to your newsletter and it feels great to be back in the "Family" again. I read all the dope sent into your office and reprinted for all to read.

I was motivated to write in answer to a recent letter from Sgt. Marion B. Stults SN., wanting to hear from some older gyrenes. I enlisted in Feb 1945 out in 1947. I missed action but my enlistment was filled with loads of great people and places.

PFC John "Roscoe" DiLorenzo - NY

This is just a picture of my best friend (Since 1963), Michael Scott Hanks, seated, and myself in South Vietnam in February of 1970. We're still best friends today. The next 2 pics show us in 2010 on top of Lewis Peak east of Ogden, Utah. Mike is the one with the hat.
-Larry Vern Anderson Semper Fi

I saw a picture from Pete Kristall (in newsletter dated 10 Feb 2011) taken in 1959 at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. It shows quite a number of Marines outside of our stone barracks. I may be in that picture as I was attached to the 1st Marine Brigade as a corpsman with a 105 howitzer company. Photo looks familiar as I was there from 1959 to 1960. Then the Brigade boarded the USS Okahogan (APA220) for our cruise to Okinawa. And on 29 Mar 1961, I had been inspected and passed the Domain of the Golden Dragon with the rest of the Marines on board. Even have the name of the officer, Capt. W.E.Lewis, C.O., U.S. Navy for the Golden Dragon ruler. Got a Honorable Discharge in late 1961, came home to N.J., joined the Army National Guard (no Marine Reserve Unit nearby) and retired from the Guard in 1992. A good friend, a retired GunnySgt, has nothing but praise for the corpsman, and considers me a Marine. so Semper Fi

SSGT Tom Pierce, NJARNG Ret.

And I Quote...

"You don't hurt'em, if you don't hit'em."
--Lt Gen. Lewis B. (Chesty, Puller

My name is Michael Scharer, I was a Corporal when I got out of the Marines in 2002. I was in 3/4 in 29 Palms, and would love to get back in touch with the Marines I had served with. I miss the Marines! I wish I was still in, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about the Corps, and the Marines I had served with.

I know that some died in Fallujah Iraq, on the road to Baghdad. I found that out by reading a book written by a Marine I had the privilege of knowing and serving with. The book was titled "Shooter", and was written by Gunny Coughlin and Capt. Casey Kuhlman, USMCR. The book itself was an awesome read, highly recommend it.

I myself was Motor-T, and loved it. I spent a lot of my time with the grunts. In fact more time with them than my own platoon. I loved the grunts, they are certainly a different breed of Marine. I got to know quite a few Marines in my Battalion, because I was the licensing NCO, and I drove for them a lot. The "NO SH-T" or "THE BULL" as the battalion was called, had to be one of the best in 29 Palms.

We were the guinnea pigs of the Corps, or so it seemed. Some of us tested the different patterns for the new Utilities, some of us got to test out the Drones, and even the Javelines. Before I had gotten to the battalion, they had tried out the dune buggies and other equipment to see if they would actually be beneficial in combat. We would go to Fort Irwin and kick the snot out of the Army, we would go to Kadena Air Force Base and eat their chow when we were in Okinawa, not to mention steal the Air Forces women as well. Heck I think Marines just have that talent for stealing the other branches of the militaries women away from them. I had participated in many fights at Fort Irwin because of such.

Michael Scharer, CPL. USMC

Sgt. Grit,

Saw in the latest newsletter that you are still getting emails concerning service numbers, so I thought I'd help confuse the issue further.

Looked at both sites referenced a couple of newsletters ago. One was obviously just a copy of the other, but the information in both sounded very official.

HOWEVER: I belong to a Marine Corps League detachment, Simpson- Hoggatt, that was named for two Kansas City Marines KIA in World War I in 1918. This detachment was formed in 1925. After I joined I found that in the intervening years that all information on our namesakes had been lost, so I decided to research who these two Marines were.

Research started at the Liberty Memorial here in KC and continued at several libraries in the area. Finally had the idea of contacting the records center in St. Louis. Explained to them that I was not a relative but why I wanted the information. The records center was able to find the files on both and decided to send copies to me.

In both cases the term service number was never used in their files but both were issued their own number by the Marine Corps. In the files the number is referenced on different forms by any number of names - file number, case number, etal.

I'm thinking though that if it walks like a service number, talks like a service number,... The proof that these numbers were not were not issued retroactively sometime after the war as Wikipedia would have us believe is that these numbers show up on the Casualty Cablegrams sent back to the War Department in 1918 shortly after each was killed in action.

Thought it was interesting that both were also issued Army service numbers. This was because when Pershing finally decided to use the Marines in combat, (Pershing spent quite a bit of time being pi*sy about the fact that there were any Marines in Europe in the first place) the 5th and 6th Marines were two of the four infantry regiments used to form the new 2nd Infantry Division of the United States Army.

Simpson-Hoggatt has a new website,, that has pictures of these two Marines and information on where they are buried. Hope that in a couple of months to include some biographical information on both for anyone that is interested.

Semper Fi

Charlie Barnes
Simpson-Hoggatt Detachment (984)

And I Quote...

Don't you forget that you're First Marines! Not all the communists in H-ll can overrun you!
--Col. Lewis B. (Chesty) Puller, 1st Marines, Chosin Reservoir, Korea, December 1950

It is good to see a article on AMGRUNTS! I too was with 1St Amtracs at Cua Viet ( Camp Kistler ) from Dec. 67 to Sept. 68 . I was with Alpha Co. 3rd Plt. and was wounded my last time in Sept and was never returned to country. We sure engaged in a lot of battles and true, we did a lot of patrols. A beautiful painting is hanging in the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico honoring all the exploits of Amgrunts in Vietnam. To all who were at Cua Viet I say Semper Fi and ask that they remember all who died and were wounded in operations there.

Terry Mulkey

This is Katalina, she is 2 1/2 years old.. her dad.. my husband is a Sgt in the Marines!


Lima 3/1 and Bravo 1/11 (Vietnam) will be having a reunion July 7-10, 2011, in Canton, OH.
We'll be at the Holiday Inn (
Reservations can be made at 330-494-2770.
Room rates are $89.
Identify yourself as being with the Marines to get the rate. Local host is Phil Sonner. Contact him at 330-495-9565 with any questions.
Grunts and cannon cockers... you can't beat'em.

Harrison S. Jones Lima 3/1 coordinator
Phil Sonner B 1/11 coordinator

Sgt. Grit,
I have seen a lot of story's about the SN's Marines have. When I first went in my SN was 2616044 then in 1971 or 1972 the Corps switched over to your SSN as your SN. That came with the big pay raises they were so kind to give us. I went from $189.00 for a L/Cpl over 2 (wow) to $333.00. then the next month to $389.00. we all thought we were in heaven and had hit a gold mine. We were in Oki at the time and the money seemed to go a real long way.

I do have a question on SN's; once a Marine was discharged or if they had paid they had made the greatest sacrifice of all in combat were the SN's recycled and issued to another Marine?

When I was in to be a D.I. you had to be a Nam vet so is it still the same to be on the field pushing herds through do you need to be an in country vet?

I was wondering also if anyone knows what the best thing to do with an old smokey? I was issued main in Sept 1975 and I still have it in the cover block however it seems to be getting a bit ugly from all the years setting on the shelf. I keep it clean and all but it is showing its age.

Semper FI

Joseph E. Whimple
S/SGT USMC 2-70 to 12-76

Sgt Grit,

I had to smile at Ron Morse's post in the February 10th 2011 newsletter: "Before I was in, I wished I was in. When I was in, I wished I was out, When I was out, I wished I was in." The lyric struck so true for me I was reminded of when I actually did try to get "in again".

It was six months or so after September 11th, 2001 and the idea of reenlisting in the Corps really appealed to me. One reason the idea appealed to me may be that I was a freelance photojournalist at the time and all that work had dried up after 9-11. My work situation was added incentive to act on my desire to go back in the Marine Corps. I pulled the trigger one day while I was driving with my wife in Eastern Connecticut. There was a recruiting station on the right side of the road and I pulled over and parked the car, walked in and announced that I received an Honorable Discharge from the Marines as an E-5 in 1983 and would like to get back in. Age aside, the recruiter pulled out a cloth tape measure and proceeded to measured my chest, height and-ah, waist- Dang! I didn't think I had put on so much weight. I was told I'd have to lose it and I'd have a six month window before I was age barred.

Well, I failed the weight loss task, never really putting in the effort necessary. About six months later in the latter part 2002, I learned that the Army National Guard had less strict age requirements. I went to see a recruiter in Massachusetts (I forget which town) and told him I had a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and eight years experience as a photojournalist and writer. I said that I'd like to sign up for the media unit and explained my qualification and that I was an experienced, proven professional which could add a lot of value there. He was very positive and said he'd make some calls and get back to me.

True to his word, the recruiter made his calls and got back to me later that week. "Well, I can't get you in to the media unit but I've got another option which we can get you in right away." Disappointed because working as a photojournalist in the service would have been exciting, I queried the recruiter about the other option and he answered "I can get you into tanks." Talk about night and day difference! I said no thanks to tanks and said goodbye. The story still makes me laugh and I wonder if he actually thought I would jump on the offer.

I ended up getting a job in the insurance industry where I've been for nine years. However, I still harbor thoughts of pulling some strings and trying to deploying with a Marine unit for six months in Afghanistan. I'd like to accurately document the emotions, the ups and downs and daily boredom and routine of an entire tour. Photographs depicting proportionally what that old quote says about war; "It's 90 percent boredom and 10 percent sheer terror"-

Anyway, that's my story for today-

Semper Fi

J. Cris Yarborough
(USMC 1979 - 1983 - MOS 1833 Amtracs)

And I Quote...

"There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and those who have met them in battle. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion."
--Author Unknown

My name is Mel (Blackie) Meszaros and I have the distinction of being the oldest Marine to raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima. No, not on March 23, 1945, which was the first time, but on March 23, 2005. Please let me try to explain the sequence of events.

Serving in the Marine Corps from Jan. 29, 1960 to Jan. 29, 1964, I was discharged with the rank of Lance Corporal. Entering the civilian world, I became involved with the John Basilone Det. of the New Jersey Marine Corps League, to which I became and still am Honor Capt.

Since boot camp, where I first saw the famous statue of the flag raising, I always had the obsession of wanting to walk on the black sands of Iwo Jima and climb Mt Suribachi. The opportunity became a reality when I learned Military Tours was running a special tour in March 2005 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the "Battle of Iwo Jima".

For $5,000 I signed up for the tour. I, along with 500 people, including Medal of Honor recipients, celebrities, dignitaries and Young Marines, spent 3 days on the island of Guam and 12 hours on Iwo Jima. While on the tour, I became close friends with Medal of Honor recipient Jack Lucas and celebrity Lee Ermey, both of whom gave me their challenge coins.

Walking on the black sand is something I shall remember and treasure for the rest of my life. Since black sand is the only souvenir the Japanese allow to be taken off the island, I filled 2 qt jars of the sacred black sand. A quick side note: I have made over 200 pictures of the famous flag raising with sacred black sand glued to the bottom of each picture.

Now the part where I helped raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi. I, along with Jack Lucas and the Young Marines, was standing next to the monument depicting the spot where the famous flag raising took place. A few feet away was a 25 ft flag pole flying the American flag and because the hoisting rope was dry rotted, it broke and the American flag fell to the ground. Mike Kessler, who was in charge of the Young Marines, quickly organized a group to lift the 25 ft pole out of its sleeve in the ground. After laying the pole on the ground and getting some new rope to replace the rotted rope, the American flag was now ready to be flown again. The group, consisting of 10 Young Marines, Mike and myself, proceeded to place the base of the pole into the sleeve and raise the pole and American flag upright. I was 65 years old.

This flag raising was captured on photo like the first flag raising. The photo was taken by the editor Lee Webber of the Pacific Daily News. I am enclosing the picture and the article to show proof of my claim to be the oldest Marine to raise Old Glory atop Mt. Suribachi. In the picture, I am the one with the black motorcycle jacket with the EGA emblem on the back. Another side note: my challenge coin depicts this moment in time of which I was a part of which I will never forget. Enclosed is my challenge coin.

M. Meszaros

Sgt Grit,
First off, great news letter, it is the high point of my week and makes me wish I was still there. In regards to SSgt Bennett (I believe it was) and his son who was contract PFC. I was a contract PFC with an Associate's degree and scored high on the ASVAB much like his son and didn't get a promotion ceremony either. Maybe it was because I'm one of those "Hollywood, Surfboard Marines" that I see things a little different. As a matter of fact we didn't have an EGA ceremony as he mentioned, we didn't put our EGA on until graduation day and even then our Senior said "Go ahead and f--k around, you're not on the bus yet. You maggots aren't Marines until I give you dismissed!"

How about the time we drank water until we puked when some genius said he fell out of PT because he was dehydrated. Or the endless thrashing for some recruit who could not drill. Or how about I was a contract PFC with an A.A.S. in Computer Aided Drafting technology and I ended up a Bulk Fueler because I am color blind! The point is there are a lot of things about the Corps that isn't fair, but I love it all the same and wouldn't trade my experience for the world. There will be other days for the SSgt's son. My best promotion happened Meritoriously on Dec 2, 1997, but that's another story.

So, as Sgt Merritt used to say: "This is the Marine Corps Devil Dog, you either get hard or get the f--k out!"

Semper Fi.

Cpl Aguilar D.F.
USMC '95- Always

Like Father Like Son

January 1977 I stepped on the yellow foot prints of MCRD San Diego, I was assigned to 1STBN Alpha Co. I had a successful career in Marine Aviation Operations (S-3) I was fortunate to make three trips overseas, the first coming in 1979 to Iwakuni Japan. I went there on a one year "wing tour" and ended up staying for two years and nine months. It was there that I learned what the Corps was really all about, my first duty station had been with the reserves at MARTD New Orleans in Belle Chasse,

Anyway I retired in 1998 with the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. My 20 year old son who after one year in college decided that it wasn't for him, joined the Marine Corps. He too went to MCRD San Diego, and as luck or fate would have it, he too ended up in 1STBN Alpha Co. He will be in the aviation avionics field and should be starting school soon. I am very proud of him,

Mark Beall
GySgt USMC (ret)

Can you give me the answer to this question? Did James Roosevelt ever go through OCS or ROTC to get his commission? I heard that he was made a "Honorary Colonel" during his Father's term of office and when he entered the Marines he entered as a Captain. He served in the Raiders and was an Executive Officer of one of the Battalions when they disbanded, True or False?

Edward F Hoffman #561153

And I Quote...

"My only answer as to why the Marines get the toughest jobs is because the average Leatherneck is a much better fighter. He has more guts, courage, and better officers...The boys out here have a pride in the Marine Corps and will fight to the end no matter what the cost."
--2nd Lt. Richard C. Kennard, Peleliu, WWII

Sgt. Grit:

I've always been puzzled by the reverence in which some Marines hold John Wayne. Wayne, born Marion Morrison in 1907, was an actor whose only relationship with the Marine Corps or the American military was portraying characters in movies. He did not serve during World War II or any other conflict. It seems odd to me that real Marines are sometimes unable to separate Wayne's movie persona from his real life. After all, if anyone is grounded in the stark reality of danger, boredom, heroism, sacrifice, disappointment, terror, joy and pride that are part of military service, it is a U.S. Marine. John Wayne's reality was far removed from what we, as Marines, experienced and to consider him a symbol of our beloved Corps diminishes what we all voluntarily went through. As far as I can tell, his closest brush with real Marines is the P-38 can opener, nicknamed the "John Wayne" for reasons I don't understand.

If we Marines feel the need to elevate an actor to iconic status, I nominate Lee Marvin, who served in World War II in the 4th Marine Division and was wounded at Saipan. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery and his headstone carries the inscription "Lee Marvin, PFC, U.S. Marine Corps, World War II." Lee Marvin was the real deal, unlike John Wayne.

But who needs more heroes than we already have? Names such as Archibald Henderson, Smedley Butler, Dan Daly, "Manila" John Basilone, "Red Mike" Edson, Chesty Puller, A.A. Vandegrift, Carlos Hathcock, Jimmie Howard and Howard V. Lee, to name only a few, live in Marine Corps history for their dedication to Corps, country and fellow Marines. We don't need movie studio creations such as John Wayne.

I never met him, of course; we traveled in different circles. But I blame him for nearly getting me killed in Vietnam. When I was at Red Beach with III MAF in 1970, someone with a delicious sense of irony decided it would be a real morale booster to show a movie one night, "The Green Berets," starring John Wayne. A sheet was stretched between two wooden posts, the projector was fired up and we sprawled in the sand to watch the Green Berets win the war. During one scene, Wayne's group came under mortar attack and we watched in rapt attention as they scrambled for cover.

It was a few seconds until we realized that not all the explosions were on the screen and that we, too, were under attack. In a moment of life imitating art, the VC dropped 3 or 4 mortar rounds into our area to break up the party. Maybe they didn't like John Wayne; I don't know. After that I didn't either. As far as I remember, there were no casualties but that was the first and last movie we attempted to watch.

So let's remember John Wayne for what he was: a fine actor, but nothing more.

Bill Federman
Sgt., USMC

Marine from China and WWII, Ed Moneypenny, passed away the other day from prostate cancer. Survived Peleliu. He was a close friend. Had his father's WWI identity tag, a round one, and only 4 numbers on it. We used that often as a conversation starter when we'd go to different venues for the 1st Marine Division Southern California Chapter meetings and luncheons. He was a little old guy, but a h-lluva Marine in his youth!

I took this picture in front of the Berkeley USMC OSO. These are the men that relentlessly ran on Code Pink and World Cant Wait for 37 runs over 3 years. This is the Marines Motorcycle Club. These men made history and continue to. If not for the efforts of the MMC, Code Pink and World Cant Wait would be outside the OSO prophesying their perverted views with a full complement of visual aids, decapitated children, women "r-ped" to death allegedly by Marines as well as a sound waiver from the Berkeley City Council where their chant " R-pe torture murder war, that's what they're recruiting for" could be heard for blocks. We will continue this mission and hold our position. We are at the ready Sir. The situation is well in hand. For more information please go to vetsreturntoberkeley at our You Tube page.
Semper Fi, T.J. President V.R.T.B.

Marine Corps Disbursing Association bi-annual reunion 5-9 June 2011
in Las Vegas NV. POC: Kathy at wander World Travel 816 331 4535 or email her meneidin @ vacation .com or view our web site
This is for all Disbursing former current retired or in support of disbursing


Sgt. Grit: U.S.M.C. Bulk Fuel Association is getting together for our 23rd reunion, in Jacksonville, NC. May 13,14,15, 2011. All Marines who worked in fuel are welcome. Please E-mail HHust61 @ aol .com for questions or details.

Thank you for all you do.

Howard Huston(2611538)

After reading your 27 Jan 11 newsletter I would like to make a comment in reply to Sgt Lacy Altizer. Why isn't there a place to tell us Marines just what Ribbons we rate. Also why have Commentary Ribbons if we are not informed we rate them?

I was told to submit a SF181 to St. Louis and I did a year ago and still no reply. I did two tours overseas and we were involved with anything that went on. My DD214 says all I rate is the Firewatch and AttaBoy Ribbon. I don't want anything I don't deserve but I am sure there many more just like me who thinks the same thing. I know back when I was in Ribbons were hard to get not like they are now. I just think it would be nice to know.

Sgt Steven Fisher

And I Quote...

"First to go, last to know! Unlimited sh-t, mass confusion! The only easy day was yesterday! You don't have to like it, you just have to do it."
--SgtMaj Gipson, USMC

Disposable Heroes Project

Crossfit is a nationwide Gym/PT lifestyle. The Marine Corps has adopted CrossFit across the board and most Marine Corps Bases now have CrossFit Gyms.

I belong to CrossFit Native, one of about 6 or so gyms in the metro area. Almost all the people running the gyms are military and Police. For example CrossFit 405, which is downtown is run by Two Police Officers, one of which is also a Major in the Marine Corps Reserves.

Once a year or so, all of the CrossFit gyms in an area meet at one location and to what is called a Hero WOD (Workout of the day). The workout is generally named after a fallen comrade from one of the branches of the military and tends to be one of the worst workout you will do all year.

This year's Hero WAD, once it is all done, will consist of:

2000 Meters of Running
125 Knees to elbows Pullups
125 Push-Ups
125 Burpee Pull-ups (a Burpee pull up consist of doing a pull- up, then dropping to the ground and doing a pull-up)

To participate, the minimum donation is $20, but the participant can donate any amount they want, or they can get sponsored by a company to do the event)

100% of the proceeds will go to the Disposable Heroes Project.

Oklahoma event: April 30th.
CrossFit Native, 6103 NW 58th, Warr Acres, OK 73122,
405-514-4575 or

God Bless America!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit