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Save the Date!

8th Annual GriTogether
11 JUN 2011

at Sgt Grit in Oklahoma City
Details coming soon!

Be sure to add to your address book or "trusted senders" list to ensure delivery of the newsletter each week.

AmericanCourage #249     31 MAR 2011

Gray UltraLight Sports T-Shirts

Sgt Grit,
photo of a Gerry Schaller Look forward to your newsletter every week, thank you very much for your time. Attached is a picture of me when I was 4 years old. Hope this will bring back some memories to readers today over 50 years ago. The uniforms were from a 200 pound Marine and my Grandmother cut them down to fit me at 4 years old, she did an outstanding job.

I did go into the Corps in 1961 and today am a member of the Marine Corps League in the Old Breed Detachment 767 of Glendale AZ and of the West Valley Devil Dogs Pound 332. I would not trade any of my Marine Corps experiences for anything they have served me well all during my life.

Gerry Schaller

In This Issue

Okay, let's get this started, touching family pictures, more torture, SWAK, several blatant capitalist pig plugs, more on Semper Fi, you must read the Marine wife and mother, Pres. Truman OOOpps, Marine/Army receiving, Pappy B., reunions, 5 of 10. And of course the response to my salutation "Fair winds and following seas". I was surprised, most were supportive. Many from seagoing Marines who were closer to the Navy than those of us who never got a ship.

I have include many of your storied responses. Those of you who sent in just the salutation I will use them in future newsletters, an impressive list.

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

the Sgt Grit Facebook the Sgt Grit Blog

Cake Toppers drying We offer Wedding Cake Toppers. We do some custom painting on each one. They have to dry. To properly dry and not mess the new paint this is how it is done...

When I was looking things over the other day several things came to mind other than drying. What do you think, what came to your mind?
Sgt Grit

Dear Sgt Grit,
Another wonderful issue! Keep them coming. I was a Cpl. in Vietnam 1968, during the Tet offensive.

I was the guy that hand delivered the mail to the grunts at all the "fun" places on the DMZ. I spent time at Khe Sanh, CaLu, LZ Stud (later to become combat base Vandergrif), Camp Carroll, the "Rock pile" and all the "Hills". If you were on the DMZ from 1968 to 1969, you got mail from me! I think it was the best job in the Corps at that time. The look on those Marines faces when they got mail from home was worth the Purple Heart I received.

SEMPER FI and May God Bless the Marine Corps!
Cpl. "Chip" Morgan 2371997

photo of CPL Zimmer's sons in dress blues costumes

the "zimmer boys!"
Right ethan zimmer age 4 left holden zimmer age 3 sons of corporal David p. Zimmer
semper fi!

And I Quote...

"Courage is the first human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others."

This is my husband Corporal Douglas Hopkins and our new daughter Aubrey.

CPL Hopkins kissing his newborn daughter, Aubrey

Read this entry on torture: "Talking about torture we came back to main side from Matthews and we got to see a movie "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" with Elizabeth Taylor now that was torture. "

How about in 1962 with 3rd MEB being pulled out of northern Thailand after being in the jungle for 3-4 months. In Thailand we were eating out of mess-kits and pancakes for bread. We flew from Udorn Thani to Clark Air Force Base in C130's. At Clark, we went to the dining facility "mess hall" and went into total shock. They had 4 person tables with table cloths, real china, real silverware and glasses. We were in the same utilities we wore in the jungle. The torture part was they had beer machines but were put off-limits to us. That was torture.


Odyssey Dawn Special T-Shirt

Story #1
While at PI from July 55 to September we went to a "On Base" football game. Arriving well before the start of the game, we sat in the stands at attention. I was amazed that we were allowed to see a football game while still being recruits. I should have known better. As protocol dictated, just before the game started, we stood at attention while the National Anthem was being played. We remained at attention when the Marines Hymn was played, and because one of our Junior DI's was from Texas, we still stood at the position of attention while the song "The Yellow Rose of Texas" was played. Just before the opening kickoff, we were ordered once more to attention followed by "about face". We stood with our backs to the field during the entire football game.

Story #2
During that same time period, it was customary for girl friend's to print "SWAK" across the envelope. This meant "sealed with a kiss". During one mail call our DI stated that we are not Marines, and he doubts that we will ever become one, but we were at least supposed to be men. So he gave us one week to notify our girls to stop putting those letters on the outside of our mail. As luck would have it, I was the first recipient of one of those letters. As instructed by our DI, I stood on the "ironing board" and read the letter out loud to the rest of the platoon. I then ate the letter washing it down with a canteen cup of water. Thank God it was an air mail letter!

One of the last Sgt. E-4's

Mel Meszaros sends these moto rides!

Mel's Motorcycle Mel's Jeep

Hey Sarge, I just want to say God knows a Marine and everyone does by the look in their eye (at least a true Marine does) and how polite they are until a reason makes them not to be. All I can say it's a brotherhood of no other. Heard a lot of talk lately about folks saying they was a Marine and truly wasn't but we should be proud as the Devil Dogs we are that Americans want to be the best of the best, although it gripes my a-s like a land mine gone off under my feet or under a true brother.

Suppose the reason I'm a saying this is because I came across a kid that said he was a Marine in a bar one night and well kept carrying on how he was a Marine and well we as Americans we should respect him. I finally got tired of the kid saying all this, and well I walked up to that table and I just looked at him and asked... well tell me, so what was your MOS? Well the kid looked at me and told me his MOS was special forces and me being who I am, I asked him so your an 0311 (course every true Marine knows what that is).

So I politely looked at his wife or whatever she may have been and asked her to leave the premises, although she was hesitant and did finally leave. I smacked the kid and hurt him of course the adams apple I shouldn't of done it. I suppose what I'm trying to say is I should have taken that kid to Parris Island and put him on some yellow foot-prints instead of taking his life that night just because he said he was a Marine.

D-mn'it he was an American and I feel that I failed that night as a Marine. So all you fellow Marines remember be proud as a United States Marine and help a fellow American out under any circumstance only because we vowed to protect and serve every true American as our Commander in Chief so desires us to do. Take care just a Marine with 23 and a half years of service and of course yes that ended it all. This is from a Marine that knows I should have adapted and overcome. The boy was an American.

And I Quote...

"Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share."
--Captain J.E. "Ned" Dolan, USMC (Ret.) Platoon Leader E/27, Korean War

black and white photo of Ira Hayes Most Marines know "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," written by folk singer Peter La Farge. It tells the story of Ira Hayes, who was one of five Marines and a Navy corpsman who became famous for having raised the flag Feb. 23, 1945, over Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. The song has been recorded many times, but by far, the most popular version is by the late Johnny Cash, recorded in 1965...(Listen)

Richard LePage

Sgt Grit,

The Esprit de Corps and brotherhood shared by those who have earned the title of United States Marine is one of the most powerful bonds I have ever witnessed and experienced. I became a Marine in October of 1967 and received my honorary discharge in January of 1973. During that time, I had the honor and pleasure of serving with Lewis Burwell Puller Jr. (Chesty's son) with Colonel Robert H. Barrow - later General Barrow, our 27th Commandant, and with a multitude of other fine Marines - enlisted, NCOs and Officers who were unique, dedicated, squared- away, individuals and credits to the Marine Corps.

I subscribe to the belief "Once a Marine, Always a Marine", and I have seen the proof of that every time I've met a fellow Marine. My occupation since leaving the Corps has required frequent and distant travel. During multiple visits to 47 of the 50 states and 40 foreign countries during the last 40 years, I have met hundreds and hundreds of active duty and NOLAD Marines - from 18 year olds just out of boot camp to 80 +plus year old WWII veterans - and I have yet to meet one who, when I said Semper Fi and extended my hand, did not reply with an OOHHRRAAHH or a Semper Fi and an extended hand in return.

I've had conversations with veterans of Iwo & Guadalcanal, the Frozen Chosin, fellow Vietnam vets, Iraq & Afghanistan vets, as well as peace-time Marines who never had the opportunity to go to war. The common denominator among ALL of them was their pride in being a Marine, the instant connection and acceptance of me as a brother Marine. Our Marine Corps tradition, history, reputation, image and brotherhood is the envy of all of the other branches of the military - so it's no wonder so many people want to pose as Marines.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and although posers and wannabes tend to torque our jaws, we CAN be proud that we are held in such high esteem that so many guys out there want to be one of us and pretend that they are.

Semper Fidelis,
S.R. "Dutch" Van Tyle

And I Quote...

"We fight not for glory, nor for riches, nor for honour, but only and alone for Freedom, which no good man lays down but with his life."
--Declaration of Arbroath, Scotland, 1320

Hey Sgt. Grit_
A few years back I remember a series of books called Brown Side out and Green Side out.
If memory serves it was by two Marines that were talking about what side of the pack cover they would use when on the march. They used to end their notes to each other with "Green Side Out" or "Brown Side Out". I will do further research and get the origin of it.
Unless some other readers know about it.

Fair Winds and Following Seas.
Semper Fi.
Sgt. Jeff Wolven

----- Brown Side Out

Note: We've got it:

Green Side Out, Brown Side Out and other stories by Maj. Gene Duncan, USMC(Ret)

Hi, just received my goodies and I'm very happy. The leather collar looks great on my cat "Gunther." Talk about warp speed shipping too! You all deserve a big bravo zulu. Look forward to doing business with you in the future, Semper Fi, Dale Kelso

Semper FI?...

Sgt. Grit, Regarding Sgt. Elliston on using the word "FI" & deleting articles from yr stock, I for one don't agree with it. It been part of our tradition as far back as I can remember, one of my uncles that was a Marine many years before me used it and I must say it has been over 46 yrs when I became part of the Marine family while still in high school, which I retired from. My point is that Marines relate to it & so does no veterans, I have had civilians say the term to me & I respond followed by "when were you in", many will say they weren't but just recognize what a Marine tradition we have.

So I end with "Semper Fi" to all Marines!


In reference to the guy that complained about "Semper Fi." Marines have been using that phrase for generations and if you don't like it, then don't say it. But, do not expect other Marines to stop saying it because you don't like it. In closing I can only say to you, "SEMPER FI MAC !"

Chuck Spencer
3/27 & 3/1 Viet Nam

Sgt. Grit

I just read the letter from Sgt. of Marines? about how the term Semper FI offends him when I went through boot camp the teaching of Latin was not part of our training process. Semper Fi is probably one of the most famous military sayings in the world and this Marine says it is a disservice to all Marines. get serious jarhead (oops another non proper Latin phrase ) if you do not like it maybe next time you should try the Army.

Cpl. Charles Michalski

To Sgt. Elliston, Sgt Grit # 248,

From one Marine to another, I don't think society is getting to lazy to pronounce two additional syllables as to people in society looking for different ways to be offended so easily. Marines and the Military alike have been abbreviating and nicknaming people, places, things etc. forever. I have not meet one Vietnam Vet yet who is "offended" by the abbrev, "Nam". So, I say if you are offended, sorry. Have a coke and a smile Brother.

Semper Fidelis
Sgt Buse, '79-'84

Sgt Elliston I'm sorry to hear that you are offended by the use of Semper Fi. Personally I am proud to both hear and say it. As you say you are a former Marine but give no reference to time frame, a little background may be in order.

I could not even think to tell you the origin of its use but do know that it became extremely popular in the 80's. After the Beirut barracks bombing in 1983, then Commandant Gen P.X. Kelly was visiting survivors in Germany. When he learned who was there, a Marine on life support, unable to speak wrote "Semper Fi" on a piece of paper. The Gen said "Lord where do we get such men?"

This was picked up by the press and it went viral. That is the first time I remember seeing the scarlet and gold window stickers which you can still find today.

It means an awful lot to some of us.

Semper Fi
GySgt T.K. Reichard, U.S.M.C. (Ret.)
Aug 78 - Mar 08

Greetings All, I felt compelled to respond to a couple of the articles in this week's newsletter. The submitters of the articles have of course, a God given "right" to their opinions. In the same vein, I too have that "right". So here goes.

I do not find anything wrong with the greeting "Semper Fi". I hear it at least once a week while dining out, shopping or at my workplace. I feel it an honor to be greeted with the greeting. We all know that the "proper" greeting is Semper Fidelis. The abbreviated version of the greeting does not lessen the intent or the purpose. Are the titles of "Gunny" or "Top", less than proper? I think not.

The terminology "fair winds and following seas" may or may not offend some Marines. It does not offend me at all. During my years on active duty, I had the "pleasure" of traveling on thirteen (13) different U S Naval ships. As a grunt that was susceptible to sea sickness, I always hoped for fair winds and following seas.

In regards to John Wayne, one of my favorite actors, I never thought of him as a Marine, only as an actor. I never confused the two titles. He did a lot of good public relations for the Corps, through his films, but he still was not a Marine. If you keep in mind, the differences between the two, there should not be a problem.

I got promoted to PFC at the finish of ITR in 1959. I do not remember a formation or a ceremony. The second time that I got promoted (to PFC again) there was a ceremony in front of the company.

Semper Fi, fair winds and following seas, pin that stripe on me, gunny., I want to be like the Duke. LOL

Floyd White 1860619-0351 C-1-9 1st and 3rd Divisions -Marine Barracks Portsmouth, NH Shipyard

And I Quote...

"In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."
--Edward Gibbon

All Gave Some, Some Gave All Tattoo

All Gave Some, Some Gave All Tattoo

Dear Sgt Grit,

My husband served in the United States Marine Corps prior to our meeting and marrying. In January of 2009 our son graduated at MCRD San Diego. When April rolled around he and his new bride moved from our home in Washington State to Camp Pendleton. With them both being only just 18 it was hard to say goodbye!

In August of 2009 my husband's stepfather began serving at Heaven's Gates. We had one more Christmas with our son and his wife that year then it was 11 months before we were able to see them again. My heart ached for my son's presence; my wonderful mother-in-love was dealing with the loss of her spouse.

On day I gathered my pitiful little heart up and screwed up my backbone and said to myself "I am the wife and mother of Marines! I will improvise, I will adapt, I will overcome!" Later I spoke to my husband's sweet mom and she was down in the dumps. Not the kind to be coddled or fussed over, I reminded her that she could do this.

Harriet's placards I decided to make a half-sheet moto placard for myself and make the other half for her. Since she lives several states away, I mailed hers. She called me right after she got it, sobbing. She said she'd had to pull over on the way home from the post office and have a good cry, but that this placard was THE best thing because she needed to hear it. That's the kind of woman she is and during her grief she'd forgotten it.

My copy is on the wall next to my computer where I spend a lot of time. When I miss him and feel low I remember that I married a Marine and I raised one and that I have the ability, with God's help, to improvise, to adapt and to overcome-it is my choice.

Please find the placard attached, perhaps you can crop it appropriately and publish it-there may be another wife/mother/grandmother that might need to make herself one!

All the best!
Harriet Cook
Very Proud Wife and Mother of United States Marines!

OK, Doc... (that's PHd 'doc' Thompson)... let you slide on the first one in a previous issue, but this is now a second offense... doubt that it's a PI thing, although that possibility might exist, but will assure you that had I, or any of my DI cohort at MCRD San Diego, EVER heard you refer to your utility cover as anything 'fatigue'... you'd STILL be doing squat whoopies... or, if you prefer, 'bends and thrusts'. Next thing we know, it will be Army lingo even more... my teeth go on edge when I hear, for example "The" Two-Six... it's not "The'... it is, and has been, for more years than you've been alive, just 'Two-Six" or "Three-Five", etc., so please don't be guilty of that one...

Dickerson sends (and NOT the one who was a DI at both PI and SD... two tours, back to back at SD))

Sgt. Grit
We are the parents of a United States Marine. When he signed up, he knew his uncle had gone into the Marines but was discharged due to health problems. He was driven to prove that no matter what happened he was going to be a Marine. He went to MCRD, San Diego for his training.

After almost two months of recruit training the Senior Drill Instructor noticed that even though he was keeping up with all the recruits he had a definite limp. He would not go to sick call voluntarily, so he was ordered to go. The doctors found he had hair line fractures up and down both legs. They wanted to send him home. He talked to his Series Commander explaining what happened to his uncle and requested permission to stay and finish his recruit training. He was given permission, but had to drop back one class. This was very hard for him but he persevered.

Three weeks later he joined his new recruit class. During the rest of his recruit training he did not limp once. Even when he went through the Crucible, not during The Reaper. When he received his Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, it was the greatest moment in his life. He called and told us when he would Graduate. It was at this time the Marine Corps showed us their dedication to each other. He knew we couldn't make it to his Graduation, and called to let us know when his plane would land in K.C..

We tried everyone we knew to try to get the money to surprise him at his Graduation. No one would help us until my wife called a little known group in our town that helped Marine families. She explained to the woman who was in charge our problem. All she did was ask when we would like to leave. With great shock my wife told her as soon as possible, because I am disabled and we would have to drive out. She told my wife to get packed.

It wasn't 15 minutes later when there was a man knocking on our front door. Neither of us knew who he was and he would not give us his name. All he said was "This is what Marines do for Marines.", he gave my wife an envelope and walked away. We never found out who he was but may God bless him and his family. The envelope had enough money for gas and lodging going out and coming back. Let's just say our son was completely surprised to see us there for Family Day. The next day we watched our son Graduate a Marine.

If every branch of our military had this kind of dedication to each other no soldier would ever feel alone.

Proud Parents of
CPL Hayden, Raymond J.

And I Quote...

"We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again."
--George Washington

In Memory of Cpl. Frank Buckles

It might interest readers to know that Cpl. Frank Buckle (USA) passed on 28 February 2011 at the age of 110. Cpl. Buckles lied about his age to enter the US Army to enlist at 16 years old. He served as an ambulance driver in Germany and was honorably discharged. He was the last American survivor of in-country WW I veterans. World War One is officially over for the United States of America. May Cpl. Buckles rest in peace. He certainly deserves it.

Kevin R. Anderson
RVN '69

Below is part of the Report about the Korea War not readily known. You had a Marine ask if ever the Marine Corps was threatened with Extinction! Nothing could be clearer than this!

F. L. Rousseau, GySgt. USMC Ret.

"We'll never have any more amphibious operations. That does away with the Marine Corps. And the Air Force can do anything the Navy can do nowadays, so that does away with the Navy."
--Truman's Secretary of Defense Louis A. Johnson, to Admiral Richard L. Connally in 1949

But on the way to gutting the Navy and Marine Corps Something Happened

President Truman, guided by his Cabinet and the JCS and a strong personal dislike of the USMC, had cut the Fleet Marine Force to 34,000 officers and men, giving a ground fighting strength of only six infantry battalions, and a total Corps strength of 74,279 officers and men. Eliminated were the two Marine divisions which would surely have enabled Eighth Army to meet and defeat the In Min Gun in the Pusan Perimeter. Corps strength was so reduced that the 3 battalions available for a provisional brigade only had two companies each.

Truman had so weakened the Corps that they could not man the third companies... the elements of maneuver! The third companies did not join 5th Marines until after the second Naktong battle, and then mostly manned by reservists who had been driving buses and bagging at supermarkets barely weeks before.

As it turned out, the single Marine RCT which still was capable of rapid deployment effectively saved the Perimeter, and South Korea, with its valiant defeats of the NK in the Naktong battles. When Truman permitted calling up the Reserves, the Marines were once again ready for decisive counter-attack behind enemy lines.

Having graduated from the US Army's Infantry School at Ft Benning in 1980 & as a Marine graduate from MCRD San Diego in 1987, the Army has gotten "softer" than what it was 31 years ago while the Marines haven't changed!

Marine Corps Receiving Vs Army Reception (YouTube Video)

Marine Corps Receiving VS Army Reception.. Just some differences in the way things are done between the two branches.

And as an old Army recruiting slogan said, "Sometimes the best Soldier for the job is a Marine!"
Semper Fi Devildogs!

Mark "Thunder" Miller
SFC US Army NG '99-'07; SGT US Army NG '80-'86 SGT USMC '87-'93

Can I get a copy of Vol. 20 of your catalog? I gave mine away to a fellow Marine and just found out on the last page under custom products there was a picture of the USS Curtiss that I served on for two years.

The Curtiss was the most top secret ship in the Navy, it was the flag ship for the Atomic tests at Bikini Atoll. It was called the Ghost Ship because nobody knew anything about it. We have a movie coming out called the Burning Skies about the largest Hydrogen Bomb the U. S. set off on Operation Castle, the Bravo shot. It was 15 Mega Tons.

Thanks, and that is your history lesson for today. Ed Franklin

And I Quote...

"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
--Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

Any of you old Marines remember? I was on the 1956 Marine all star football team in the far east. We played in the Typhoon Bowl on Jan. 1, 1956 on Okinawa which we won. Man that was good duty. Cpl Joe Wilson, 2nd Bn. Wpns. Co. 3rd Marine Div.

Sgt Grit

Chesty was my Ex in China (1940 - 1942 ).
My Contract (l939-l960)

I was a Japanese POW for nearly 4 years.

I think your outfit is Great.



Dear Sgt. Grit, back in 1984 after I graduated high school I tried to get into the Marine Corps. I signed up for 6 years, spent the night in a hotel so I could be woke up at 4 a.m., taken to the federal building so I could duck waddle and do all the other parts of the physical. I got to the final part where I sat in front of the doctor and was told I am sorry but no we can't let you in because you already had your left knee operated on, I was crushed. The Marines knew something I didn't, because I have had 6 total surgeries on that knee. They told me to try one of the other branches of the military, but I only wanted to be a Marine. I was the only one in my graduating class who wanted to be a Marine. It still bothers me to this day I never made it, I think you need shirts that say "FRIENDS of a MARINE" or something like that and go to 4x on sizes.

Thank You For All You Have Done... Semper Fi... Kevin

From: Amber H.
Your website is the AWESOMEST thing ever! You guys helped me get everything I needed to make a shadow box for my husband!

This past week I made an appointment at Honda Dealership in Memphis, TN to have my brakes checked. I was informed that there was a $39.00 charge. On my vehicle I have two (2) decals. A Marine Corps decal on my rear window and on the driver's side door window a Korean War US Marine decal.

A Service person came up to me in the waiting room to inform me that everything checked out okay and that the Tech was putting the wheels on. Several minutes later she was back with the bill in hand. I took out my credit card to pay. She informed me that the Tech said: "He thanked me for my service and that it was taken care of". The Cashier also thanked me. I was completely speechless. This was the second time in 61 years that I have been personally thanked for my service by total strangers.

Jack Nolan 1131869 S/Sgt
Panama (50) Korea (53) Cherry Point (57) Semper Fi

I had the honor of knowing Pappy. He and my Dad spent some time together in Tsing Tao, China in 1942. My Dad was a musician, a honky-tonker, and Pappy recognized him walking around there in China. They became friends. But Pappy was a pilot, and my Dad a basic grunt with three stripes and the war took them in different directions.

In 1988, I was at the Reno Air Races videotaping for our local cable provider, wearing a big PRESS pass with my name printed in big block letters. Pappy saw my name and asked me if I knew a fellow named Edgar. I told him of course, that's my Dad. We became friends. I met Pappy at the Reno Air Races almost every year until he became too ill to attend. He graciously introduced me to astronauts, race pilots, the Blue Angels, the Thunderbirds and so many more at the Officer's Club on Stead Field.

I haven't been back to the Air Races since Pappy's death. I miss him. If he had wanted to he could have bragged and told stories about his victories to anyone and stayed On Top of anything or anyone's tales! But that wasn't his way. He'd tell you a story about when some new grunt decided to use gasoline to clean the dug-out latrine. You can surmise where that story's going. Luckily no one hurt, just a few singed nicely!

He was a true American Hero with a few personal issues he struggled to control. But he did, and one of the nicest men I've ever known.

Story from the Sgt Grit Blog

And I Quote...

"... if there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought -- not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes

Fire Mission
Desert Shield

"August 2, 1990: Saddam Hussein ordered his military to invade their neighboring country Kuwait and take control of its rich oil fields. Mercilessly, the invading soldiers quickly overtook the small country and claimed it in the name of Iraq. The United States was quick to respond to the cries for help from around the world and began the rapid deployment of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers to the desert of Saudi Arabia and prepared to liberate Kuwait. Lance Corporal Robert Marshall was one of those soldiers. As a young Marine Corps artillery scout, Lance Corporal Marshall was eager to take his military expertise to the front lines. Read as he describes the true story of dealing with extreme temperatures, weather, and hostile environment while he and his fellow Marines continued to work through training missions that would prepare them for the inevitable battle."

Available direct from the publisher at and

Robert Marshall

LtCol Ronald Brown USMC(ret) is currently at work on a 50th year Commemorative of U.S. Marines Vietnam and would like to talk to Marines that were there --- specifically, the An Hoa Basin and the Que Son Valley. Have them call me at 517-699-2624 or email at,

Thanks and Semper Fi

Re: American Idol wearing Dress Blue Blouse

To Rob Lutz and all other Marines...I Agree I got on line but U have to establish an account etc and was Pi-sed when I saw that Civilian wearing the Marine Corps Dress Blue Blouse!
He should be Jailed and given 80 Lashes I believe....
R.Ysasaga MSgt Ret

Reunions: Hotel 2/3 3plt 67-69 reunion. Marine Vn vet Call joe [alabama] whittington 334 262 5997

Marines that were stationed at 1st Marine Corps District. Garden City, New York. Reunion dates Sept 12-17-2011, Asheville, NC Contact

Charlie Battery. 1st Bn., 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division *Livingston. CA. ( **Charlie Battery 1/12 **, 4th reunion gettogether July, 30. 2011 ) Memorial Park. 1416 C Street Livingston, CA 95334 for more info.

Call. Cpl. Vasquez 1976-79 (209) 595-3859 all service are welcome, dropin and say hi.


See More Reunions

Sgt, Grit,

In Jan, 1954 I hit the footprints at MCRD San Diego. In Jun. 1993 my son hit the same footprints. In Apr. 2007 one of my grandsons hit those footprints and in July 2011 his brother will take his turn. Lord willing I will attend his graduation this Oct. If possible I will follow up with pictures. Also, so far all of us have reported to 29 Palms as our first duty station.

Gunny Ree, Retired.

And I Quote...

"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."
--Thomas Paine

Boot Camp Stories from 1963, Lessons for Life

William N. Thompson, Honorable Discharge, USMC, Pfc (E-2), Ph.D., Retired

5 of 10 The Puny Recruit Could Do Pull-Ups

The next week we were back in the barracks and in our regular daily routines which of course included time on the PT (Physical Training) field. I was certainly one of the weakest members of my platoon, as I weighed only 130 pounds. My daily exercises found me just barely making it through each routine-although I do take pride in the fact that when it counted, I did make it through, even if "just barely." On one exercise however, I surpassed most others as my lighter weight gave me an advantage. I could do more pull-ups than the average recruit could do. I remember that one day the drill instructors were yelling at us about our poor pull-ups performance, and I gave it everything I could, managing to hit my chin on the bar eight times.

The next day the drill instructors were really adamant about our pull ups. They were screaming at one recruit as he let go of the bar after six repetitions. I was the next in line. They yelled at me and the others remaining in line that the next recruit had better be able to do nine pull-ups or we were all in for big trouble. Inside I felt a warm feeling of pride and pressure as I knew if I stretched my abilities to the fullest and refused to yield to muscle fatigue and temptation, I just might possibly be able to do nine pull ups. The first five came easy, and then the struggle began, six, deep breath, "Don't quit now," I told myself_Seven..not bad. Now for the eight we did yesterday. Why was it harder, so much harder, but I could sense that my chin was moving up, and yes, eight. I was totally exhausted, but I couldn't quit now. Not now. It was all on the line. Everyone was watching. My movements were definitely in slow motion, but they were in motion. With all my essence and pride on the line, I slowly felt my body rise and my chin approached the bar_ It was so far away, but something inside me made me extend my efforts as I had never done before_closer and closer, then YES! NINE! My chin touched. I had done it. Barely concealing a smile I held onto the bar and let my body come down as I let go and regained my balance standing on the ground. NINE pull ups, as demanded, as ordered. The Prive had done the job.

The prive was shocked when the drill instructor did not offer an "attaboy." Instead he had a scowl as he came over to me. A mean scowl. He started yelling. "You bast-rd. You S---O--- B---. You quit on me. You heard me say nine, so you thought you could quit at nine. You report to me tonight." That evening inside the barracks, my "quitting" was rewarded by twenty minutes of bends and thrusts as a demonstration on what happens to a recruit when he tries to belittle a drill instructor by quitting. The lesson for life was not all that obvious, but I sense that it had something to do about goals. Goals are never final. Their achievement is never a signals that we can quit. We can never stop reaching for the goals beyond the goal of our momentary struggle. We must keep-on- keeping-on.

Closing Salutations: Sgt Grit: From 1 SGT to another, you hang tough with that particular closing salutation. As a former tanker, 55-59, it brings back fond memories of being FMF. Semper Fidelis. Randy Heaton

Re: Fair weather and following seas: Marines should go back to their roots and recall they are "soldiers of the sea". I spent 2 years on an amphib as Combat Cargo Officer/legal officer/you name it. I now have a certificate identifying me as a "USSMA" or United States Seagoing Marine (Association.) I don't believe our amphibious ships now carry a Marine as ship's company any more, and that's too bad. For various reasons I asked the ship's captain if I could qualify as OOD underway, and after some serious thought, agreed to my request. I still have the papers so identifying me as OOD Underway. (By the way, when I went to bootcamp, we didn't have yellow footprints.) I enlisted, rose to SSgt, field commission, through the ranks as W1, W2, finally retiring as a major. Major James Murphy sends.

From my Drill Instructor:
"STAY OFF the SKYLINE!"! (with the appropriate emphasis of the day...)
Peter C. Formaz

Hey Sarge:

The bestest saying was and is "GungHo". Good enough for the Marine Raiders, good enough for me!

The Navy greeting I remember was "All aboard". As we went over the side, I don't remember them saying anything.

Fair winds and following seas seems more like a Cunard Line saying.

Sully USMC Ret.
Gung Ho (all pull together).

"Semper Fi"
"Forever and one day"

All along I thought you were saying that for those of us who were seagoing. Cpl. P. Trainor USS Essex 62-65

Grit, "Fair winds and following seas" is a NAVAL term. The United States Marine Corps is a NAVAL Service.
Nuff said.
JJ Holland, Sergeant of Marines, 2229533

Those Marines who are b!tching about the use of this term are forgetting our heritage when we served on ships of sail. That would have been considered an exceptionally well meaning comment to any Marine or Sailor who served in that period of time. Yes, it might be more popular amongst our Navy brethren in this period of our history but it was a Marine saying in our past and as such should not be ridiculed!

Semper Fi
David Wright
GySgt 59-74

On duty one night and a group of Sailors and Marines coming aboard ship, young Lt. as officer of the day, and I his NCOIC when an old salt was to board, he saluted the flag and turned to the officer and said these memorable words. " Request permission to cross your patio daddy'o " I about lost it, and the young Lt. saluted and looked dumb founded.

D W Conrad 1621556
2 Bn. 2nd Marines
Camp Lejeune, NC
Not as Mean
Not as Lean
But Still A
United States Marine
Semper Fi

I was in the Corps the same time as you were and also in DaNang. Do you remember having to 'Snap Too' when you were given info or orders while you were busy with something else? Afterwards, you were told to 'Carry on' as if nothing happened. I think a good send off in your newsletter would be 'Carry On, Marine!'

CPL Al Nagel - RVN 68-69

I'm fine with "Fair Winds and Following seas," simply a way of saying "good luck" with a nautical flair. To those who b-tch about it, let's wish "Rough seas, headwinds and a bunk in the bilge." What I am not fine with is Marines who have nothing better to do than play "gotcha" with fellow Marines. They don't have to get your newsletter if it's so offensive. We bemoan the Political Correctness of the hoggy civilians, then develop our own PC gotcha games over what is proper USMC usage, trying to feel gungy by one upping each other. Examples abound. Suck it up, Marines. Focus your fire down range, not at each other. It's a target-rich environment out there, and the barbarians are inside the gates.

Robert A. Hall
Cpl, USMC, 64-68
SSgt, USMCR, 77-83

I remember a Drill Instructor at Parris Island telling a recruit upon sending him on an errand "You better get some gone clown. Move, Move, Move" Those parting words still ring out and I occasionally dismiss someone with the remark.
Bill Bland, Sgt. E-4 1956-59

Sgt. Grit:
You asked for suggestions for endings to correspondence. My late uncle, Harold Finchem, enlisted in 1938 and served for 30 years, retiring as an E-9 (one of the first so promoted). He was kind of a role model to me, although I'm not sure whether the term had been invented yet then. I turned 18 on 6/16/1952 and enlisted on my birthday, served 7/1/'52-6/30/'55, including a tour in Korea, and was honorably discharged as a Sgt. (E-4). He once ended a letter to me with "Keep a tight one". (The expression was, of course, "Keep a tight a-s-hole".) I'd pretty much forgotten about that until you raised the question, but I like it.
Keep a tight one!
-- Gerald R. Brookman

Semper Fi- Do or die.

We did, but too many died..

In 1969 we watched 'Sands of Iwo Jima' as a training film. SGT Stryker (John Wayne) portrayed the ideal Marine NCO.

-Mark A. Fulton

And I Quote...

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes an act of rebellion."
--George Orwell

God Bless America!
Liberty is sounded for NCOs and PFCs with hash marks! Good night!
Sgt Grit