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GriTogether coming up June 11, 2011

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For some of you old salts out there who have trouble with the small text in our newsletter. Open the online version of the letter. Hold the CTRL button and the + button and the text will enlarge automatically. Use CTRL and - to reverse the effect. Semper Fi!

View the Deal of the Day

AmericanCourage #252     12 MAY 2011

Memorial Day Shirt

O'Connell's Liberty Pass Well, Sgt. Grit, we've had a couple of candidates for old liberty cards. That prompted me to dig into my strong box for mine. It was issued in 1954 at HQFMFPAC, Pearl Harbor. Anybody got an older one?

Semper Fi,
Michael O'Connell, USMC/USMCR 1953-1961

In This Issue

Lots of good stuff this week...Are you ready for this?

Before and after photos, old liberty cards, Wounded Warrior Lounge get's Grit-ified, ceremony after the crucible, and a drop by visit with Chesty

A couple of good stories on Honor Flights, LCPL gets a ride from WO, another Air Force mess tale, plus a whole lot more.

Don't forget to check in at the Sgt Grit Blog and our Facebook page for the latest stories and comments!

"Rough seas, headwinds and a bunk in the bilge."
"heart breakers and life takers", who believed we were all John Wayne reincarnated
Sgt Grit

In response to Cpl. C.E. Walters 6441, I was in VMA332 first time around in 1968 when we flew the A-4's. In July of '68 we started the transition to the A-6 and became VMA(AW)332.

Please enjoy the photo of the last known squadron picture of VMA332 and the photo of the Avionics Shop. After attending A-6 schools either at Oceana, VA, or Whidbey Island, Wa, most of us ended up with VMA(AW)533 at Chu Lai in early '69, Then on to Iwakuni, Japan in late '69-'70.

Last known squadron picture VMA 332 1968 332 Avions 1968

We are having a reunion of 533 Marines this May 20-22 in Vegas.

Semper Fi
Jerry Callaway Sgt 6214 Com/Nav


View this and other reunions at the reunion page...Submit your upcoming reunion as well!

Wounded Warriors Lounge before redecoration Kristy,

Here you can see the before "Sgt Grit- ification" and after at the lounge for the Wounded Warriors at Balboa.

Wounded Warriors Lounge after redecoration Wounded Warriors Lounge after redecoration

Wounded Warriors Lounge after redecoration Wounded Warriors Lounge after redecoration

Wounded Warriors Lounge after redecoration Wounded Warriors Lounge after redecoration

Thanks for the assist.
Slainte !

Michael / "Doc"
M. G. LaMar, MD, USN-Ret. (HC)
Support Operation Caregiver

Army 236th Birthday Ball Invite The attached was forwarded to me ... LOL it's for an Army Birthday Ball invite, seems the Army wants to rob us of Iwo Jima. And it's from an Army Military Intelligence Battalion ... Can we say oxymoron ...

This is an Army Ball Invitation for a unit at DLI California.

Sgt Grit,

While reading the story from Gunny Walters about his two home comings from Nam, I couldn't help but remember mine, but for a different reason.

Prior to rotating back, I remember reading and hearing the stories of servicemen being spit on and called names by the anti-war dirt bags. It was suggested (but never ordered) to travel in civvies. But I had no intention of doing that.

I returned from Nam in June of 68. The military charter plane landed somewhere south of LA. El Toro maybe. I don't remember. Anyway we bused up to LA international. I went to the TWA counter and bought a ticket home to NY. When the plane was boarding the stewardess upgraded myself and 4 other servicemen from the cheap seats to the Lounge. This was forward of First Class. It was like sitting at a fancy booth at a night club. We were offered drinks (even Champagne) before the plane even took off. I opted for a beer. They couldn't do enough for us.

When we landed at JFK (might have still been called Idelwild back then ) I caught a bus to the LIRR train station in Jamaica, which is a very busy place. Anticipating the worst, I positioned myself with my back against a billboard, on the train platform, so no one could come up behind me, while I waited for my train.

I had no problems at all. While no one welcomed me home, no one tried to spit on me either. Which is a good thing, because, I'd probably still be on the inside looking out, doing 99 without parole, if someone did. The fact that I stand 6'3" and don't smile much, might have had something to do with it. Or maybe most of the dirt bags were hanging out in Calif. Come to think of it, I think they might still be there.

Semper Fi

Sgt. Bill Michell
65-68, 75-77

911 Shirt

Sgt. Grit,

Wanted to reply, respectfully, to Cpl. White's [(0811) L Btty, 3/1] letter in the 4/28/11 newsletter. I became a Marine in 1977 and got my EGA at graduation. A couple of years ago I traveled to Parris Island to see my son graduate. He had gotten his EGA after the Crucible.

Boot Camp is now 13 weeks, and the recruits become Marines in that ceremony at the end of the Crucible, sometime around the end of the 12th week. It is not like it used to be, where you and I became a Marine at graduation. They become Marines in that private, Marines-only ceremony, a powerful moment. They have not been given the EGA early, They become Marines then, and they have earned it. After that, they have liberty, they are called Marines, the relationship with the Drill Instructors is different, etc. That gives them a week of not being a recruit any more before the parade and ceremony where the families comes to watch.

I'm with you on the rest of what you had to say, Cpl. White, just wanted to explain what's going on with the making of Marines.

You can see the ceremony here, but you better have some Kleenex handy. These new Marines have just finished their training, have had about 5 hours sleep in the last 4 days, have overcome the last obstacle, and they cannot control their emotions as this ceremony takes place.

Semper Fidelis,
Mark Harrington
SGT. USMC 1977-1983
Father of a Marine 2009

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

Get patriotic quotes like this and many others on one of our AmericanCourage items

I was in the Marines in Korea, 5th anti tank plt., 1st Marine div. Got out and almost starved trying to find a job. Well I went back into the Army (family was too large for the Marines). While at Ft. Eustis Va. I found out Gen. Puller lived nearby. I decided to go see him. Took three days to get myself and uniform in shape and went to see him.

When I arrived at his home He was sitting on the porch. I walked up and gave Him a good Marine salute and the greeting of the day. He looked at me and said "Well a Solider boy" come to see me. I had all my Marine Corps ribbons on from Korea. He then said come closer, I did and He said well at least you were a Marin once. but I see you have the Marine Good conduct ribbon, lol you weren't too good a Marine if you have that.

Then He called "Mother". His wife came and He asked Her to bring a glass of lemonade for me and one of His "specials". We sat for about three hours. I left and returned to Ft. Eustis. That was one the most rewarding times in my life, the time I spent talking to Him. He died one month later, I was very lucky to have seen Him and talked to Him. I will Never forget it.

Retire SFC Robert L. Hebert Sr
I'm now 78 yrs young and remember every min. of it all

Osama Items


Just a very short note of condolence to the family of L/Cpl Jackson. Please know that your son will always be remember by all who knew him and that he will forever be in the hearts of all Marines past and present.

Semper Fi,
Jim Reid

To the parents of L/Cpl Jackson, Shawn and Faye Marceau, Fallen Marines are never forgotten. That is what Semper Fidelis is all about. May God bring you comfort and peace.

Jack Pomeroy
S/Sgt USMC inactive.

MSgt Ensstrom's truck Sgt Grit,
Pic of my truck with your products.

Dennis Ensstrom

Sgt Grit,

I would like to touch base on two topics that I have discovered while reading this week's Newsletter. Having been on active duty since August 11th, 1989 I think I've earned my right to voice my opinion on a topic as it pertains to the Marine Corps I am serving in and for all those that have served before me.

The first one is how and why people, whether Marines or civilians, feel the need to place an acronym to the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. Is it easier to say, does it sound more cool that way, do they not know any better? My father is a Marine, served post Korean War and one thing he told me before I went to Recruit Training was "son, don't ever say EGA, it's an Eagle, Globe and Anchor".

For the last 21 years and 8 months, anytime I have heard ANYONE use the term "EGA", I have corrected them to the proper words. It angers and disgusts me that after all the wars and conflicts we have fought in, after all the lives that have been lost, after all the history we have created as a Marine Corps, EGA is thrown around like it's just another acronym. To my Marine brothers and sisters out there, I ask you to not use the acronym EGA when describing our symbol, to correct others when they use it and lastly, think back to when you graduated Recruit Training and how you felt, did YOU think of it as an EGA?

On a second note, I 100% agree with Cpl. White (0811) L Btty, 3/10, in that the Eagle, Globe and Anchor is a symbol earned and not just another trademark worn on a t-shirt. If you want to brand your body with an Eagle, Globe and Anchor, go earn it... I challenge you to sweat, bleed, feel the pain, learn the history and pass through the trials and tribulations it takes to earn the title Marine because I can assure you, it's a lot more painful than getting it placed on your arm as tattoo... but then again, "Navy Son" is probably the same guy who is caught at bars and VFW's claiming to be a Marine, how sad...

0369 Infantry
1989 - present

Dear Sgt. Grit;

Several weeks ago, I sent the attached letter to you regarding my problem of not being recognized for the Combat Action Ribbon. Kindly, you published my message in the following weeks edition, and for a couple of weeks after that you received messages pertaining to the same subject, so I know the problem was not all mine.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that after this 12 year battle, and very possibly, as a result of your making it known by publishing it, someone may have gotten the message to the right person, as last week I received approval and recognition for the award. So, thank you for the possible reason of a happy ending, and whether the publication did or did not have anything thing to do with the final decision, thank you anyway for trying to help me out.

Semper Fi
Chuck Tucker 1109343 USMCR

"A Marine Veteran is a person who once served his country and at one point wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States Government" for the amount of "Up to and Including His Life."

This is an Honor and there are way too many people in this Country who no longer understand that.

Semper Fidelis, Marines

Cpl Tom Lucas, Jr.
1986 - 1991

And I Quote...

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
-- Voltaire [Francois Marie Arouet] (1694-1778)

I receive and enjoy the Sgt Grit newsletter very much. The letter from Bill Heise in today's version, which is also highlighted in the subject column of the e-mail is an urban legend. You can easily find it on and news video of the perp in the back of a police car is also on line. There was a theft, and the corporal did get stabbed after stopping the perp, but the other Marines merely pinned him to the ground until the police arrived. Cpl Duggen was back on Toys for Tots duty the next day, after receiving stitches.

Thanks for an excellent job on the catalog & e-mails. Kirk Yingling

Note: Hopefully they pinned him to the ground with 'energy and purpose'! Sgt Grit

Marine Corps Basic Class 6-68, Aug. 26-27, 2001 Foxtrot Co.,
6-68 (TBS-Quantico) in Chicago Aug 263-27
Visit official website
Or contact rlorish @ gmail .com or GuentherD1 @ aol .com


View this and other reunions at the reunion page... Submit your upcoming reunion as well!

To PFC William N. Thompson:

Your stories about MCRD-PISC are very interesting but please use the correct terminology. I don't know when or how long you were in the Marines but I was on active duty from Jan 1962 to May 1966. If I used the term "fatigues" instead of utilities or dungarees and "latrine" instead of head, I would still be doing push-ups or bends and thrusts. Those are Army terms.

Cpl J. W. Riner 1982640/2575
Naval Security Group - RVN 1966

When I was stationed in Minneapolis, MN, I met a WWII female Marine at the new Minneapolis VA. While waiting to see the doctor she saw me in uniform and started to talk to me. I don't remember her name, but I do remember that at the end of WWII she was one of approximately five women Marines that went over to West Germany to teach them how to utilize the Teletype machines, afterwards they were discharged from active duty as was the practice of the times.

I have never forgotten her and it saddens me that her story and those of other women Marines were not written down for future Marines. I do know that there is a place in Washington D.C. or Virginia that is trying to get as many stories as possible from the women who served. It would be a shame to lose their stories, so please pass the word to these women.


Grit: This should answer the eligibility questions in your newsletter:

"Murch" Cpl. '54-'57

I was with G/2/5/ 1st MarDiv, and we were in the uniform of the day before we could leave Pendleton, the cowboy Marines who cared for our beloved Korea war veteran RECKLESS were allowed to wear blue jeans cowboy boots and hats. etc, Our CO was Colonel D.M. Schmuck and was a 100 mile Boon Docker and a very solid Marine. On the 14th of January I had the Great Honor of sharing my beer winnings with S/Sgt Reckless. It was cold beer and we put them away.

Our motto was:
ALL THE WAY, GUNG HO etc depending who was calling cadence.

Semper Fi and Gung Ho L/Cpl 1649009

Hey There Sarge,

I read your stories every time I received them and pass them on to my retiree friends.

I have been retired on 30 for over 35 years and still going strong although not as strong as I would like. I did however want to let you in on a thing that has been going on for few years. In North Carolina, some people got together and put on a thing called Honor Flights. They accept applications from all WW2 vets and if you qualify you get to go on an all expense round trip flight to Washington, DC and visit all the WW2 monuments from all the services. It is a way for the civilians to say thank you for your service to the country during WW2.

I was on a trip yesterday and I would definitely encourage all WW2 vets to apply for a trip. I understand that all 50 states now have Honor Flights that emanate from their state to DC. It is well worth the time to apply for it. I was on a trip yesterday from New Bern, NC and there were 108 of us Vets on the flight with an additional Guardians along with us to help and keep track of us. Us older farts have a hard time walking and they provide Wheel chairs and people to push them so you get to see everything. They also provide you with box lunches and drinks at $0.00 to you! Because of that trip, I felt as much a Marine as I did for the over 30 years that I was on active duty.

I hope you can pass this on to the rest of the retired or discharged vets from WW2 so they can take advantage of this great endeavor to tell us Thanks for the Memories!



Honor Flight Network Website

I was stationed at MP Co. H&S Bn, 1st FSSG 86-88 I believe. One day I had walked from the company office over to the base day care to pick up my son, who had to have been less than 6 months old. I had to pick him up this particular day because my wife wasn't available or something, and we only had one car.

I was walking back to the company area carrying my young son in my left arm, with a diaper bag over my shoulder, and a baby seat in my right hand. A car pulled up alongside me, and when I looked, I saw the blue sticker on the car. I stopped and started grounding all my baby gear, except my son of course, in preparation to salute and probably receive an asz chewing. Instead, the Marine inside said "LCpl, don't worry about all that! It looks like you have your hands full. Hop in I will give you a ride", or something to that effect.

It was in fact a Warrant Officer. He gave me a ride to the company office and told me to carry on. I have never forgotten that. I was really strapped for money raising kids and being only a LCpl. Especially living in California, and this Gunner knew how hard it was on us. If by some miracle that Warrant Officer reads this and remembers that day, I want to say Thank You from the bottom of my heart, and I have paid it forward numerous times.

Once and Always
Semper Fi

M. Harris

We want to thank the Disposable Heroes Project/Crossfit Native guys for taking time from their busy schedule to stop by Sgt Grit.

Disposable Heroes Sgt Kirk Suiter HMLA 367 6114 Huey/Cobra Captain (OKC)
Sgt Brad McKee 8541 Fallujah / Ramadi (Louisiana)
Co-Founder Samuel Macaloso (Louisiana)

These dedicated Marines are continuously raising money through exercise for wounded Marines and Fallen heroes. This is a great bunch of guys and we are proud to include them in the Sgt Grit family of Marines.

In response to corporal Ciesielski's comment about only the USCG and USMC having Latin phrases because they are the two smallest branches and the most educated, please allow and old SeaBee to educate you further. The US Navy SeaBees, while not a branch in and of itself, is also a rather small unit. We don't claim to be educated in school book knowledge but we are educated in providing hot water and refer units so y'all grunts can get cleaned up and have a cold beer once in a while. We do have a Latin Phrase: Construimus, Batuimus which translates into We Build, We fight!

God Bless All My BIG Brothers!

CM3 Jim Hartman
USNMCB 21 and USNMCB 71 1968 - 1974
My oath to preserve, protect and defend had no expiration date!

Recently my wife and I were leaving a Lowes in Holly Ridge, N.C. just 20 miles south of Camp Lejeune. I saw a guy with a high and tight wearing a T-shirt with an Marine Corps Emblem on front and a 3rd Div Emblem on the back. I pulled over and ask who he was with? He didn't understand I said I was with 2/9 and I recognized his shirt. He still didn't understand so I said I was with 2nd Bat 9th Marines.

He then said well I never served and that the shirt was given to him by a friend. I pulled away letting it go with my wife saying no big deal it was just a free T-shirt. I went on to explain it was a big deal he never earned the right to wear the shirt and those of us that were there did and how can someone be that bold. I would say if you have the guts to be a poser don't do it right in the heart of Marine Country.

Sgt Fisher

And I Quote...

"Happiness is a state of being convincingly deceived."

Sgt. Grit. Here's one about my experience on the Air Force side of the base at DaNang.

It was sometime in 1968. My buddy Skip and I, both Sgts were returning from MAG-36 at Marble Mountain back to Tango in DaNang. We knew the Air Force had a USO on their compound so thought we'd snag some non-mess hall chow there. We were in a jeep and were stopped at the gate by a two striper Airman who is eating a sandwich. He tells us we can't enter the compound with those "guns", M-14s. We advise we're just going to snag something to eat and will be on our way. Again, he tells us we can't enter the compound without leaving our "guns" at the gate. I advise him Marines don't surrender their "weapons" to anyone, nor do we eat a %^&* sandwich when on duty, and drive on through the gate.

We get to the USO, clear and shoulder our weapons and get in line to get some chow, all the while getting stared at by the Air Force people. While we are waiting for our order two Air Police Sgts approach us. We don't give them any grief, just tell them we want to get some chow and be on our way.

Fortunately these guys had been around and hang with us shootin' the bull until we get our chow and escort us back the gate. We thanked them and advised they need to have a talk with the young Airman who is still at the gate. I don't write this to beat up on our Air Force Brothers... but just another example of how screwed up that war was.

Semper Fi
Rick Toynbee
Sgt USMC '65-'69

CWO4 Robert M. Black, Veteran who served in WWII in the Pacific, Korea, Vietnam, and many unreported actions passed away on April 22 of stomach cancer at the age of 86. He SERVED HIS COUNTRY for 30 YEARS retiring in 1972 at Cherry Point, NC. He was attached to A4 Squadrons and as a Production Officer at NARF, Cherry Point.

His Son,
Bruce Black

Marine Corps Command Chronologies for the Vietnam War

A great friend and fellow Marine sent me this link and there is lots of info out there.
Of course the info was organized by our government, so naturally you have to dig to find what you want:)
Semper Fi Cpl. Gary Kratochvil

One of the first things I learned in the Corps (1953-1961) was that you were not saluting the man, but the uniform. While at 2nd Tank Bn I was sent for four moths maintenance school at Fort Knox, Ky. The school was great, but one day, as I walked down the street dressed in Utilities, I met an Army PFC coming the other way. He looked me directly in the eyes and walked by without saluting. I was astonished, and called him back. I demanded to know why he didn't salute and his response was, "You're not an Army Officer."

I then preceded to educate him what the Globe & Anchor was and that from that moment on he had better break his arm at 30 paces or we would do it for him. He looked astonished that anyone had ever addressed him down in that manner. All he said was , "Yes Sir." then saluted and left as I returned his salute. I was really angry that he failed to honor the uniform so many great Marines had fought and died in. Maybe he learned a lesson that day.

Ed Dodd- formally 1st Lt. USMC

(DOC) Mulholland,

I do feel strongly about people that are not Marines wearing an EGA, but I do feel that Corpsmen are an exception. You are correct Corpsmen serve right alongside of Marines and we depend on them. If anyone else deserves to wear it, you guys do. I have had some very close friends that were Corpsmen, and I had the same respect for them. I am not a member but have a friend who is the "Sergeant at Arms" for a chapter of the "Leathernecks M. C.", and he says the only people besides Marines that are allowed to join are Corpsmen. So a big "HOORAH!" to all of our FMF Corpsmen brothers, past and present. If it wasn't for you all, a lot of Marines wouldn't be here.

Semper Fi,
Cpl. White,
(0811) L Btry 3/10

May Bin Laden's Virg-ns all have full beards just like him!
Semper Fi!

My nephew, a MARINE from birth, LCpl in the 2ND BTN 3RD MARINES serving in Afghanistan. See his tats

Upper arm tattoos - 0311 and USMC

I have searched online but am unable to verify the following quote, "Marines are the nicest, most helpful people you would meet and would do anything for you. That is, until you pi-s them off, then they change and all h-ll breaks loose." Anyone out there heard of this quote I heard recently?

Ed Fitch
Sgt of Marines, 84-90

Band photo and retouched photo - Post Band Parris Island 1920s An interesting before and after.
S/F Steve

Sgt Grit,

I want to report to you the passing of a Marine Raider. Joe Loy passed away on Monday May 2nd. He was a member of our Marine Corps League South Hills Pittsburgh Detachment 726. Joe joined the Raiders on New Caledonia in 1943. He was in I Company, 3rd Raider Bn and participated in the campaign on Bouganville. After the Raiders were disbanded he became a member of I Company, 3rd Bn 4th Marines and participated in the Guam and Okinawa campaigns. He was a wonderful man and I'm glad I got to know him before he passed on. He will be missed by many people. Semper Fi Joe, you have a new post at Heaven's Pearly Gates.

Shawn Kane

Sgt Grit,

I am a Marine. Active duty 1977-1981. In the letters you publish I notice a lot of people want their deceased Marines remembered. At our church at Easter and Christmas for a donation you can someone remembered. At Easter and Christmas for the last two years I have put in the following: In memory of all deceased veterans and their families. It is not much but it is one little thing I can do.

Semper Fi

Corporal Keith Rickmers

Wonderful stuff. Phonies trying to pass as Marines. In 1970 while learning to speak and write Vietnamese attending Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey, CA, some fellow jarheads and I came upon a guy saying, he, too, was a Marine.

I asked him where he went thru bootcamp and he said P.I. Still not believing him, I then asked if he was in the 6th, 7th or 8th battalion. He answered he was in the 7th recruit trng battalion. We picked him up and tossed him off of the dock. Of course, he was Army. He had a good swim to shore.

Semper Fi, SSgt Brown, USMC, retired

Pap and Jacob wearing hats from Sgt Grit and smiling for the camera Thought I would pass along a couple of pictures of my Grandson Jacob and I wearing a couple Grit hats.

Like Grit I was a Sergeant with 1st Marine Airwing and served in Bien Hoa

Al Haslam

Hi there, this is the second time that I have had direct contact with you guys. All I can say is, "Hoorah" ... you guys are the greatest customer service in the world! The Veteran's Administration should take a page out of your book.

I found SGT.GRIT quite by accident, I was looking for a recipe for SOS. You guys offered an honest to God, Marine Corps recipe, with all the facts surrounding its birth. You hooked me on your style and respect for all Marines and future Marines.

I am now a loyal customer and I have the Tee shirts and K-Bars to prove it. I wouldn't miss your weekly informal email for love nor money. It makes me feel at home enjoying the comradeship of fellow Marines. Once again thanks. Tell Grit that I was there and have the most respect for him because those, of us, who faced combat know what valor is. Semper Fidelis.

Note: Thank you! For those of you who miss a good SOS.
Semper Fi Sgt Grit

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

Get patriotic quotes like this and many others on one of our AmericanCourage items

Boot Camp Stories from 1963, Lessons for Life -- 9 of 10

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

9. A Prive Runs Through It

We participated in many drills and exercises during our Infantry Training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the four weeks immediately after we left Parris Island. We fired Browning Automatic Rifles and machine guns, we threw hand grenades, went through a confidence course, and put on and took off masks in a gas chamber.

One day we practiced a group exercise. Three of us held our rifles and side by side we ran through a 100 yard course which had high grass, screaming all the way. We were supposed to hit the ground and assume a prone firing position each 25 or 30 yards, dropping when we saw a signal from the side. Then we would get up and run again, and fall again, until we reached the end. The whole exercise would take one to two minutes.

I was at the ready when they signaled for my unit of three to "go." I was off, looking to the right and to the left and forward, always yelling, sort of a Marine Corps "rebel yell." I saw nothing to the side, so I kept running and yelling. When I looked ahead, I realized that I had crossed the end line. I was still running, but now I was looking into the eyes of a drill instructor. "Oh! Crap," I said to myself, as indeed I had screwed up again. Here it comes. More bends and thrusts. No options. We were off the Island. By the time we reached infantry training, we could be pretty certain there would be no more hitting. Maybe KP duty.

I was shocked when not one but three drill instructors approached me. How bad had my actions been, anyway? One of the drill instructors yelled. "This is the one over here." Another asked, "Is that the John Wayne, is that the Marine." It was very rare to be called a "Marine" in training. I stood at attention. A drill instructor said, "Marine, we love your enthusiasm, we love it." He then yelled at all the troops who were in formation, as the exercise had come to an end. He yelled, "This is the way Marines do it. This is a Marine."

While I was relieved, I was hardly "proud" of myself. I had screwed up. I thought, "They like this? Wow! They must like dead heroes. Do this in combat, and I'm dead." I am lucky, I just have boot camp and infantry training stories to tell. I don't think I would have been around to tell real war stories.

Dear Sgt Grit,

I started receiving your newsletters after ordering a Marine Corps watch for my husband. After reading some of the letters posted, I decided to post one of my own. So on August 20, 2009, I wrote explaining my husband's story of being wounded in Viet Nam and having tried for years to find the brave Marine who saved his life. He tried for years but was never successful. All we knew was his name, J. L. Houston.

In less than a month after I posted the letter we received a call from, none other than J. L. Houston. You can imagine this was a very emotional time for us. So for over a year we have been corresponding by phone and e-mail with J. L and his lovely wife Louise. And just last month we drove to Florida, from New Hampshire to finally meet and thank in person this very brave Marine. We instantly became friends and will cherish their friendship. Hopefully we will get together with them again someday and we will continue to keep in touch by e-mail and phone.

What a great feeling it was after all these years to be able to thank J. L. Houston from the bottom of my heart for saving my husband's life. This has meant so much to my husband Sgt. Donald E. Roberts to finally be reunited with JL.(Larry), and to thank him as well.

So Thank you Sgt. Grit for helping to make this possible. If I had not started getting your newsletters, we may never have found him. So we thank you and keep up the great work.

Joy A. Roberts.
Wife of a Marine

Not only do I have a Liberty Pass, I have an MCAS Beaufort EM Club Card and an MCAS Cherry Point Out Of Bounds Pass and a MAC Boarding Pass from Da Nang to Okinawa.

Greetings from Da Nang

EM Club Card MCAS Beaufort Front of Liberty Pass

Front of MAC Boarding Pass Out of Bounds Pass

I just wanted to drop you a note and tell you I think your store is the best. I have had to put a limit on my spending in your online store because I would go broke if I didn't. I enjoy receiving the catalog in the mail also. It gives me the chance to see what is new and what I want this year. lol I also wanted to tell you a little story that happened about a year ago.

Let's start with some background info. My son at the age of 12 came home from school on 9/11 and said "when I get grow up I am joining the military". I understood and was very proud that at that age he knew what needed to be done and that he was willing to do it. In my head I thought that by the time he was old enough this entire thing would be over. (Wishful thinking on my part).

He graduated from high school in May 2007 and in October he was at boot camp in San Diego. I was their proudest mom in the world and also the scaredest. I had very limited contact with him and that was very hard as I have to that point always been very involved in my kid's lives. Graduation comes and I was again about to bust with pride. Then after all his training was over and it was time for him to go to his first duty station, in Japan.

Two years with only phone calls and the very rare video chat were the longest two years of my life. He left for Japan on Mother's Day. Well after two long years he was coming home but he would not tell me when to pick him up from the airport. Every day for the week before Mothers Day I would leave work and hold my breath on the way home hoping he would be there. It was the worst walking in and he wasn't here. I was going crazy. Then on Mother's Day 2010 I had gotten a phone call from him telling me Happy Mother's Day. I asked again when he was coming home and again was told I would know when he walked through the door.

Again I am going crazy and by now it isn't taking much to get me there. I go to work (I work for a National hotel chain from 3p to 11p), and come home and still no son. I am sitting on the couch feeling a lot bummed out about to go to bed when I hear car doors. I look out the window and see a shuttle bus out in front of my apartment and there he was, my son was standing at the bottom of the stairs. I was afraid to move because I was afraid it was a dream and if I did he would be gone. He was looking at me and said "are you just going to stand there". I moved then, I moved down the stairs so fast even I thought that I was going to fall and break something (on me).

There is my son and it is still Mothers Day (for about 2 more minutes) but still Mothers Day. It was a late night and the best day in my life in a long 2 years (nothing except maybe becoming a Granny could come close to when he graduated MCRD SD).

Well as if that wasn't enough the next afternoon he handed me his credit card and told me not to go over $100.00 and to get myself something. Well my first stop was were I ordered a t-shirt a couple bumper stickers and the pewter heart w/ EGA necklace. No I didn't spend the 100.00 even with the postage charges but I got things that I could wear or stick on my car that would let everyone that sees me know I am a very proud Marine Mom.

I have gotten several t-shirts and will continue to get them. I average about 2 or 3 new ones a year. I get a new one when one of the ones I already have starts to fade or look over worn (I wear them all the time). The old one are put up and when I have enough I will make a blanket out of them for my son to hang on the wall or o the back of his couch to show my son that no matter what while he had the back of the US and his fellow Marines I was at home having his back and supporting him with every breath I take.

I would like to thank all the men and woman that chose to defend this great country and the parents of those people. I know how hard it is to give your son/daughter to the government trusting that they will take as good care of them as if they were their own children and pray that they all come home safe. My son and his unit in Yuma AZ are set to deploy this year to Afghan and I would just pray that they all come home the way they left.

Thank You
Semper Fi
Lisa Parent
Momma Marine

It's been a couple of years ago that I approached a little old man in a fast food restaurant and thanked him for his service as a Marine; the SGT GRIT cap and suspenders were good clues. I swear that he was a good 6" inches taller afterwards. I didn't know someone his age could experience a growth spurt. His new smile was nice to see.

Recently, I happened to notice a USMC license plate on the front of the car on front of me in a parking lot. An elderly man was alone on the passenger/front seat. The window was down and I approached slowly hoping I would not startle him. (At 6'2" & 300lbs I've been told I'm intimidating.) His USMC cap clinched the deal and I shook his hand and thanked him for his service. He smiled and asked if I too was a Marine. I told him I was never "in the service" but I sincerely respected anyone who is. Or was.

0230 hrs, 7 April 2011, I attended a Patriot Guard flagline for another Honor Flight for veterans en route to D.C. The weather finally cooperated here this year and the flags were snapping in the cool, not cold, wind. Other send offs have been miserable; bitterly cold, raining, snowing, and /or all of the above.

This year was the best: The chartered bus pulled in and the driver stopped smoothly, lowered the front suspension and turned on all the interior lights. As I stood by my flag watching more veterans check in to get on the bus, I observed one man, about 5'6" followed closely by his high-school age escort who wasn't any taller, got off the bus. He stood in front of this huge bus with his hands in his pockets for several minutes and beamed at the flags and relished the fact that someone remembered him and his contribution to his country. Soon he and his escort got back on the bus. I can't tell you where they sat down - it was breezy and I must have gotten something in my eyes because things got sort of blurry for a few seconds...

Semper Fidelis
Fair Winds and Following Seas


Sgt Grit While reading your newsletter last night, my daughter, a second grade teacher called to tell me about her day or (vent). I being the good listener for at least five minutes let her go on.

Seems she spotted two boys "laughing louder" more than usual one was holding his you know what in his hand (not exposed) She heard the one boy say something about his rifle and gun. My ears then "perked up" and laughter came out of my mouth. I couldn't resist. I repeated the boys statement "this is my "rifle" it is for "fighting" this is my "gun" it is for "fun". She said figures I would know what that meant. The boys when "questioned", where did they hear that? Responded from the movie "Full Metal Jacket "a little note was "attached" to their little back packs to include extra homework.

In response to the EGA I wear with "pride". My Marine Uniform hangs "high and tight" in my closet. Shirt starched and pressed the necktie properly knotted by a Marine who lives nearby and served with me somewhere in the Republic of Vietnam. I can actually wear the uniform if I take a deep breath. Just wish I could find my Garrison Cover left somewhere in Long Beach the the night before departure

I am an "FMF Corpsman" issued the Marine uniform and wore proudly while attached and when reporting back in the "States" assigned back to the Navy was informed by the check in clerk that I needed to get a Navy Uniform. I then informed him that when he stamped the official check in I would do so immediately

I wear proudly a ball cap purchased from Sgt Grit that has the EGA imprinted with a "Caduese" (Medical insignia) down the center of the EGA with "DOC" embroiderd on the side. In addition I wear the Golf shirt with the same EGA / Medical insignia over the heart which has been recently approved at 100% (the heart) and is full of wires, pipe and plaque. Agent Orange Documented Exposure

I recently re-decorated my den. Decided to pop out of the can. Decorated each of the four walls with various pictures one wall "Marine" for me One for my father a World War II Marine. One for my wife and I with Navy pic's etc. We met and married forty one years ago while stationed at the US Naval Hosp. Orlando Fla. She still has a "Request of leave Chit" to get married

In response to Liberty Cards I have my father's Liberty card authorizing him to go ashore at Yokahama Japan Oct.25th 1945. My wife and I have our Liberty card to "sight sea" (Navy term) Orlando. My Shadow Box is divided with Medals, Ribbons (including the "CAR" not issued at time of discharge), various Navy/Marine coins etc.

A little story of "Gung Ho"... While studying to be Motivational Manager I was issued a hard cover back book titled "Gung Ho" It was a story about a flock of geese.

The Geese fly in "V" formation with a leader "honking "to follow me. This is their form of communication .When the leader "tires" another takes it place without missing a "flap of a wing". The result "all the geese" "are part of a team" with a "leader" "Gung Ho" or "Semper FI" Brother

Semper FI... Fairwinds /Following Seas ...Always a Marine/NavyCorpsman.. Married to the Navy (Wife)... Son of a Marine
Doc" "FMF" "Nam "67 -68... Navy '65-69... Married '70 forever--

Frank Morelli

I appreciate the response but it is I who am thankful for the Marines.
And the wonderful people, and their families, in the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and Navy.
I try to "thank" any veteran, even those younger than I (and it appears as if there are a LOT more of them than used to be) but the Marines appreciate it more. Or that's what it seems like, anyway.
Semper Fi and thank you, Sgt. Grit.

Hi Kristy,
The History Channel is now casting skilled marksmen for the fourth season of its hit competition show, TOP SHOT. The casting call is included below and attached as a flyer. If you'd like to post it on your website, include it in a newsletter or just pass it on to interested folks, feel free!

If you have any questions regarding this show or the casting effort, please contact me. Thank you!

Casting Call:
Email with your name, city/state, phone number, a recent photo of yourself and a brief explanation of why you are America's next "Top Shot." Visit for more details. Call our casting hotline if you have additional questions: 818-478-4570.

Kristen Rinella
Casting Associate
Top Shot Season 4

And I Quote...

"The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our people, in a greater measure than they have it now, they may change their rulers, and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty."
--John Adams

Get patriotic quotes like this and many others on one of our AmericanCourage items


I am the mother of a young man, 14 yrs old, who is in love with the Marines. We are lucky enough to live on the West Coast so he is attempting to participate in the Devil Pups camp. I have to admit that he has spent most of his life not telling me about his passion. I have always supported our troops thankful that they give up part or all of their lives so that I can have my freedom and safety, but I am also against the wars. It wasn't until I met a man different from any others I had ever met before and fell in love him, that my son told me about his passion. The man I met was a Major in the USMC and very dedicated to helping the youth and supporting the future of our country through mentoring them. With my sons passion I began to find out more information about the Marines.

I soon found out that my Grandfather, William F. Binderup, had been a Marine. I don't know his rank or unit, but I do know that he was at Iwo Jima and fought in the most brutal battle of the Second World War. It is said that while on Iwo Jima, he was one of 250 men that volunteered to charge up Mt. Surabachi. He was one of the 27 men who survived that battle. He did his basic training at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. It was there that he fell in love with California. My dad told me that the other guys in his unit called him Grandpa because he was the oldest at 36 years of age. He was determined to fight for our freedom. Now that I have gotten to know this unique breed of men (and women) we call the Marines, I feel proud that my son wants to walk in the footsteps of his Grandfather.

My Grandfather passed away just months before I was born, I never met this man who was said to be kind and generous. He returned home a decorated Marine, returned to raising his then 5 children (My Aunt was born after his return), at the age of 65 he passed away from ALS. I think he would be proud of my son wanting to be a Marine too.

I truly enjoy reading your articles and stories. Since I met My Marine I have been trying to figure him out, hopefully I have many years to do so. I think there is a definite Marine quality to all the Marines I have met so far. I send many blessings to all the Military men, women and families of the United States.

Thank you,
Kristine Binderup

I read your news letter of Marines of all ages with their thoughts of fellow MARINES: recently my wife and I were at a local eatery waiting for our food, my back was to this young man, my wife had a look of question as the young man stared at my back of my vest. He came up to me and showed his belt with the Eagle, Globe & Anchor as the buckle, SEMPER FI brother I said. You see the colors on my vest are LEATHERNECK MC MARINE with battle colors on each side of the Globe & Anchor. I am very proud to wear these colors to the young Marine I hope you read this we will meet again. SEMPER FI

Tom C. Henry #2478679 Vietnam Vet 1968-1969

God Bless America!
No guts no glory, ooh rah!
Sgt Grit