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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 #253     26 MAY 2011

Adopt a Marine - Not Just for Christmas

Sgt. Grit,

I wanted to share that my son graduated and has now joined the ranks of the Marine Corps. His mother and I are both Marines and in 92 we were issued 1 OD green child. PFC Bolowskie graduated last month on Good Friday and it was the best Friday I have ever had, I cannot remember a day I was more proud.

PFC Bolowskie and his fellow Marines It had been 23 years, 2 months and 17 days since I had graduated on that same parade deck in San Diego. I noticed some things had changed, a couple more buildings, trees are a lot taller but the Marines that graduated are still as lean and mean and Gung Ho as any that have before him. He now stands a lot taller and has that great c-cky attitude we all get from knowing we are serving in the greatest branch in the world. He's currently at MCT and sent me a pic with his new brothers that I wanted to share.

Semper Fi and God Bless!

In This Issue

If you have not visited my front page recently, do it. We have added many new features and our product offering is (and I am bragging) outstanding.

I have a great staff. They work the product offering hard. They update the web page daily, sometimes hourly. Take a look and come back often. I do an outstanding job acting like I own the place. I have very good people working for me, I am blessed.

There are several responses that take exception to previous posts. Interesting readings.
Ampsurf is worth a look. Outstanding work they do.

Here we go: dragon on the roof, Doc stand right there, E-11 or E-12, growing up with a Marine father, liberty cards, class and humility, Semper Seabees, letting things slide.

A warrior of the Jarhead tribe.

Sgt Grit

the Sgt Grit Facebook the Sgt Grit Blog

Hi Sgt Grit, My name is Richard J Soares 1845705 USMC Retired. Enclosed are pictures of a dragon mounted on my roof top. His name is Semper Fi, and was made out of steel by my son Vance A. J. Soares to honor all who have served, are serving now, and those who will serve our illustrious Corps.

Semper Fi, the steel dragon Semper Fi, the steel dragon mounted on Richard's rooftop

Semper Fi is a dragon from the sea. He surfaces when and where needed to restore peace. With his breath of flame, armor piercing talons, and earth shattering tail, he will restore the peace and tranquility for the down trodden. Once his mission is complete, he returns to the sea to await another skirmish or war where he is needed. It is only natural, as Semper Fi is the United States Marine Corps.

Semper Fi, the steel dragon standing at the rear of a red Ford Truck Closeup of Semper Fi, the steel dragon standing at the rear of a red Ford Truck

The dragon on the roof is done in Marine dress blue colors. His backbone is the enlisted rank structure with SGM at the shoulders as with the rank is wisdom. At the bottom is the most important, that lonely PFC who is first to go into battle. His tail is an anchor with crossed bayonets, which have a Marine Combat Ribbon on one.

We hope you enjoy the pictures and what the dragon stands for.

I was coming home on leave around Christmas 1987. I was in my Greens and when I got off the plane in Denver I was to have about a 6 hr lay over before the next flight to Omaha. As luck would have it the gate next to where I had just came off the plane had a flight leaving for Omaha in about 10 minutes. I asked the gentleman at the desk if there was any way I could get on that plane. He looked up and said "Doc, stand right here and don't go anywhere, I'll see what I can do!" He came back in a hurry and said. "Come with me, I got you on the flight."

I thanked him for going to the effort at the last minute like that. He looked at me and said. "Doc, a Corpsman saved my life in Vietnam, I can't repay him, but I can help you out." He also told me he would call my Mom and Dad and let them know I would be home in about an hour. I about had tears in my eyes as I thanked him again. When we got to the plane they were holding the door for me, I turned to him and said. "Thanks Devil Dog, and Merry Christmas!" He looked at me and said. "Merry Christmas Doc!" We shook hands and I got on the plane, in a first class seat no less. My parents were waiting at the airport to pick me up when I got there. My Dad asked about my seabag, and I told him I had no idea if it made on the flight or not. We waited as the bags came down the baggage claim, and sure enough he got my seabag on the flight also.

I have never forgotten what that Marine did for me, and will be forever grateful that he busted his six at the last minute to get me on that flight and got me a first class seat to boot. I have tried to pay it forward and I only hope in his eyes I have done the right thing. I has bothered me all these years that I never got his name, but his act of kindness has not been lost on me. God Bless You Devil Dog, where ever you are!

Semper Fi,
Alan Smyth HM2 USN 81-88

Flag Gray T-Shirt Special

Just read the story about the "wannabe" at the AmVet bar and had to chuckle. My best friend Tom and I were both in 3rd Force Recon in Viet Nam ('66-67). Just last week we were discussing the number of Marines we keep running into that just don't pass the "I've been there" test.

When we see a USMC tee shirt or hat or... we always say "Semper Fi Marine" and await the replay... most of the time we get a "Semper Fi" back which prompts us to ask "What outfit were you with?" Here come the great answers - one guy told us "The Marine Corps" We said yes, but what Division? and he again replied The Marine Corps in a tone that indicated he had no idea what "outfit" meant. At this point we had to have some fun with him and began asking him about his rank, was he E 11 or 12? (he was an E11 with a purple heart for killing 16 viet cong).

I know that the Corps is the smallest of the services but isn't it amazing how many people WANNA BE a Marine!

Jay W.

And I Quote...

"There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism."
--Alexander Hamilton

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SgtMaj Gonzalez's License Plate Just wanted to share a picture of my license plate. There are a good number of former Marines in my area and I receive a number of greetings and comments on it daily. Some for Army and Navy as well. Keep up the great effort on the newsletter.

Semper Fidelis

O. Gonzalez

In response to MGYSGT Johnson writing that he "was also responsible for writing the telegrams that went home to the families of Marines who had been killed or wounded."... With all due respect I challenge that statement.

No Marine family received a telegram that their Marine was KIA, MIA or POW. The notifications were always made in person. I was the casualty NCO for the First Marine Corps District, Garden City, Long Island and had responsibility for arranging notifications throughout the Northeast US. The notifications were conducted in person as I assigned the appropriate recruiting station or I personally accompanied a Marine Officer and made the notifications myself.

Again, I inform you of this with all due respect.

E. De Lise
Sgt of Marines 66-70
1st Combat Engr Bn (Rein) - Vietnam
Marine Liaison, Bethesda Naval Hospital
Casualty NCO - Headquarters 1st Marine Corps District

Sgt. Grit

Fred Finch's New York Marine license plate I have been a PA resident for nearly 15 years. When You offered the Marine State plates I jumped at the chance to get one. When I joined the Corps in Jan 1955 I was a NY resident so I wanted to honor my Marine Corps heritage with the NY plate rather than one from PA. I get many comments about the plate... not always flattering. But I proudly say "F--- em' if they can't take a joke." I love PA but I'm a native born New Yorker and proud of it. Thanks for the opportunity to flaunt my Marine Corps heritage. Several people ask me how to get one of these plates. Perhaps you could offer them again.

Here is a photo of my plate.

Many thanks Marine.

Cpl. Fred Finch USMC Jan 1955 - Jan 1959

Another excellent newsletter! Sgt. you guys are the best ever! Thanks for the memories! SEMPER FI !
Cpl. Chip Morgan, 68-69 3rd Mar. Div. RVN.

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Sgt. Grit,

While reading this week's newsletter, a couple of entries caught my attention (more so than others--all were interesting).

1. My experience on Okinawa consisted of four days of processing on the way to Vietnam during the first week of December of '66, and four days of waiting for my rotation back to "The World" at the end of my 'Nam tour, just before Christmas '67. (My son, Sean, had more experience on the island than I did, when he served a year with 12th Marines in the mid-'90s.) Anyway, spending time with Marines of various rank and experience who had served there, I frequently heard the Japanese word, "sukoshi" (often abbreviated as "skoshi" and "skosh"), used to express "a little bit, short, small, or little". GySgt G.R. Archuleta mentioned riding "skoshi cabs," which reminded me of a rumor I heard during my first four-day stay at Camp Hansen. The "word" was (referring to their driving habits), that all of the "skoshi cab" drivers were former Kamakazi pilots who didn't get to fulfill their missions during WWII. Riding in one, on one occasion, tended to confirm the credibility of that claim.

2. I have often heard officers who joined the Army or the Corps through OCS derogatorily described as "90-Day Wonders." I can't speak for the Army's version (although I trained at Ft Sill's Artillery Officer School alongside recent Army OCS grads and have my own, biased, opinion). Reading Dr. (PHD) Thompson's accounts of his 11 weeks at boot camp, I compared his closing account of the progressive level of difficulty that was programmed into his training. I would like to compare his experience with my own.

As I have mentioned previously, I joined through the Platoon Leaders Class (PLC) Program for college students, which is broken into two six-week sessions. The "Junior" session occurs during a summer before either the candidate's sophomore or junior year of college. The "Senior" session occurs before graduation.

In my case, I signed up during my freshman year, but my paperwork somehow did not make its way through channels, so I reported to old Camp Upshur, aboard MCB Quantico, for the Junior session at the end of my sophomore year. Since I had failed two courses (poor study habits my freshman year because high school had been easy for me), I had to take an extra semester to graduate, and did so in January, '66. (If I had graduated on schedule, I might have been a Basic School classmate of Phillip Caputo, who wrote of his experiences in the book A Rumor of War, which was made into a TV movie back in the '70s.) For me, the Senior session was during the summer of '65, at the "Mainside" OCS facility, and we candidates in that session were the survivors of the Junior session.

I think the number was around half of those who initially reported to Quantico for the Junior session continued on to the Senior session. The others either were dropped on their own request (DOR), were injured (or died) and declared "Not Physically Qualified" (NPQ), or were declared "Unsatisfactory" (Unsat).

Dr. Thompson's boot camp was in 1963, as was my Junior PLC summer. During his eleven weeks, their training progressed in difficulty on the PT field from tennis shoes to boots. We PLC's started in "boots & utes," and we did all of our training in that uniform. I didn't receive PT shorts and "tennies" until the Senior summer.

The purpose of boot camp is to tear down and rebuild a young man into a member of a team of Marines. The purpose of OCS is to weed out people who do not have the deep-down desire or "pack the gear" to become officers in the Corps.

Yes, when I took my oath of office as a Marine 2nd lieutenant, I had a total of one week more experience in the Corps than recruit Thompson did, but before I was thrust out into the "mythical FMF," and before I could be trained in my MOS, I was sent to The Basic School for five months. Every new Marine 2nd lieutenant, no matter which MOS he (and now, she) will carry, first learns to lead Marines in combat. So new Marine lieutenants (no matter if they are lawyers, pilots, grunts, or admin-types) fresh out of TBS and reporting to their first assignment, are not 90-day-wonders. They are "240(+)-day- wonders." They may be "green," but it's a deeper shade of green than they're getting credit for. And do they rate a salute? I think so.

Semper Fi!

Tom Downey Once a captain USMCR; always a Marine
July 1963-June '76 (for pay purposes)
Vietnam (4Dec66-18Dec67): "I" 3/11, 12Dec66-31Jul67--FO for "L" 3/7 5 1/2 months, then FDO; 3rd 8-Inch Howitzers--FDO, 1Aug-18Dec67) Reserve (?Aug69-?Oct75): Corpus Christi, TX unit (XO of "C", & CO of "D" 4th Recon Bn, redesignated as "C" 1/23-- XO & CO)

And I Quote...

"I look around and see people who live in the safest places in the world, and they are preoccupied with anxieties and fears because they don't know what risk is anymore."
--Todd Carmichael

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I know this subject has been beaten to death but I would like to voice my opinion. I served in the Corps from 1974 through 1994; I retired a MSGT. I never asked for anything but I always gave my best. As a result I received several meritorious promotions. I received my meritorious promotion warrant to GySgt in the mail. Anyone who thinks handing a Marine a promotion warrant and calling it a day is acceptable, in my humble opinion, has never been in a leadership role.

The Marine Corps stands on customs and traditions. We graduate from Recruit Training by participating in a parade; one of the most memorable experiences of all times. Why aren't we just handed the Eagle, Globe and Anchor and sent on our way? Because we are Marines. Because we are better than that. Because, as leaders, we do what is necessary to motivate subordinates to give their very best. A promotion ceremony, no matter how formal/informal, is a small price to pay to motivate Marines to excel, to go the extra mile. We are taught to lead by example. What example are we setting when we do not take the opportunity to celebrate a Marines accomplishment of moving up the leadership ladder.

Semper Fi,

Robert A. Rainey

Sgt Grit,
I have always been fiercely protective of our Corps' history and our well-deserved image of spit, polish and toughness and as the World's Finest Fighting Force, and I harbor a loathing (some say unhealthy) of people who claim our title of United States Marine, or of any military service for that matter when they did not earn it.

I have recently encountered one of these lying PPOS's (Poser Piece of S_it) myself, the problem is, I work with this woman and am the work-leader in the unit. About a year ago when she and I first started working together I was unpacking my belongings into my new cube and in doing so, hung up a large, wooden Eagle, Globe and Anchor. Seeing this, she said, "you "were" a Marine? To which I replied, "Semper Fi' and that I was STILL a Marine. She did not reply to my "Semper Fi" and that puzzled me. Over the years I have encountered many a Marine and addressed them all with a "Semper Fi Marine" and everyone to a person came back with either a Semper Fi or at least an Ohh- Rahh. But this person said noting, but I let it pass.

The next day, she told me that she still has her Dress Blues AND that she was in the last female platoon at Parris Island who had male drill instructors! She is in her mid-30's, so I suspect she would have gone through recruit training in the mid-1990's, but I went through Parris Island in 1981 and although we were separated from the WM's (I was in the 2nd battalion- (platoon 2063) by the parade grinder and the Iwo Jima monument) we did cross paths with them at times as our platoon's marched past each other. I can recall at least three occasions where this happened. And I vividly recall the WM platoons having female DI's back then.

Anyway, a co-worker whose dad was a Marine overheard the conversation and snickered and asked if the Marines still have BAM's anymore. I cracked up laughing and replied that I respect ALL Marines and would just take the high road on that moniker. But the PPOS did not reply as to what a BAM was, and I know that any Woman Marine, like the term or not has heard it before, so I knew for certain then that she was a liar about her Marine service.

But, if the lies to date where not enough, she continued a few days later when another co-worker asked me about how one gets to Parris Island. I replied that, since I lived east of the Mississippi, I was to go to Parris Island and that the morning I left, my recruiter picked me up at my house and drove me to the AAFES Station at Fort Meade (Maryland) where I met up with other recruits. From that point we were flown to an airport outside Beaufort, S.C. and then bused from there to Parris Island. When the female PPOS hears this, she replies, "well my recruiter drove me from Baltimore down to Parris Island." I just looked at her and through a bitten lip, just turned away. I knew if I replied, I would say something I was sorry for and would get in trouble. This person has since moved on to another unit, but to date when we pass we do not speak.

If this person were an individual on the street I would confront them, but not in the current situation. As far as I am concerned there is not much that can be done at this point, but I just thought I'd share this story in light of all the recent stories of military imposters that seem to be coming out of the woodwork these past few years. I always promised myself that I would react differently if I ever encountered a PPOS, but I can't risk losing my job. God Bless all our servicemen and woman and remember to keep Memorial Day in its proper context!
Semper Fi,
M. Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Weapons Platoon, Lima 3/8

Note included with an order to Sgt Grit.

I arrived in DaNang early June '69. I reported to Hill 10, I 3/7. I lasted till 22 August. I was badly wounded down by Camp Baldy. A lot others died or badly wounded by friendly airstrike. My first tour was E 2/5, 14 Dec 67 to 2 Jan 69.
Cpl. TJ Larson

And I Quote...

"The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it."

I served in Korea with the 7th Marines from Inchon to Chosin. At Chosin we were across a valley from the 5th Marines.

A few years after I joined the Marine Corps League, I met a "newcomer" who was a Navy corpsman. He served in WWII, China and Korea. I found out that he was with the 5th Marines and in December was wounded... so was I. We were evacuated on the same DC-3 to a field hospital Wonsan.

We never knew each other until we met in the League. "Doc" Elliott died May 7, my birthday. He was 83.

I was privileged to have known him and participate at his funeral.
Don Mooney, USMC Ret

AmpSurf is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization (68-0569858), made up of amputees, veterans, friends and families of the disabled and depend on donations for our operation. Our Goal is to Promote, Inspire, Educate, and Rehabilitate people with disabilities, especially our veteran heroes through adaptive surfing and fun, safe, outdoor activities that all can participate in.

One in five Americans struggle with a lifelong disability and nearly two million men and women have served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan and are coming home looking for ways to feel whole again and to fit back in to 'normal' life. Whether they are an amputee, blind, suffer from PTSD, have quadriplegia, or suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Whether they served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf war, Iraq or Afghanistan. Whether they are a child of autism, or a young woman who has lost a limb to Cancer, AmpSurf offers a unique program to bring the healing power of the ocean and adaptive surfing together for an experience that is both mentally and physically rehabilitating.

For 9 years, AmpSurf has been providing our learn to surf clinics to serve those who need us. We have served hundreds of our disabled veterans American heroes as well as disabled adults and children who probably never would have had this experience if it hadn't been for our program.

Caldwell's orders from Parris Island Sgt Grit here is my orders for Parris Island from 3rd Mar Div. Left Treasure Island and arrived there in time for Sgt McKeon's Plt to still be there, He is the one who lost 6 men in the swamp, I am not trying to stir up anything my feeling is maybe if those had not panicked maybe would had made thru the swamp.

Bernie Caldwell 9/9/54 to 9/8/57

It is my solemn duty to report the passing of Thomas Stephenson, USMC and Beirut Veteran on April 18, 2011. He has joined MSGD Heaven, and will be missed, but not forgotten. The Beirut Veterans America motto is "Our First Duty is to Remember".

"When I get to Heaven's Gate, St Peter I will tell, another Marine reporting Sir, I served my time in H-ll"
Semper Fi
Robert Brady
USMC (Ret)
Bravo 1/8, 24 MAU Beirut May-Nov 83

My partner Professor Andrew Lubin and I are producing a PBS-HBO quality documentary. Details are in our attached mission statement, but basically the goal is to produce a quality documentary in which the American public will see the incredible effectiveness of Marine efforts in Afghanistan on the battlefield and in the hearts and minds of the Afghan populace.

Our thought is that if someone had produced this sort of documentary for the American public when Marines were fighting in Vietnam history and attitudes could well be different today.

This is Andy's 12 embed with Marines. We have an arrangement with Walt Ford at Leatherneck magazine which will air live reports Andy will send from the battlefield. He will be going with 1/3 (and other embedded Marine units) to dangerous areas no reporter has ever visited. We will send you the links to post on Facebook and your website if you choose.

It's amazing how small the Marine universe truly is - the CO of 1/3 is Lt. Col. Sean Riordan, son of Jim Riordan who was a fellow FO with me out of E/2/12 in 1965-1966 south of Danang. I think you also were arty - there were 6 of us that were FOs during my tour - we are all close and I will introduce one of us - Col Barney Barnum (MOH) at a Memorial Ceremony here in Atlanta in a few weeks.

DVIDs, contracted by the DOD to supply video footage from Afghanistan, has agreed to give us total access to their satellites and broadband capability in Afghan. The Marine Corps Motion Picture Office in conjunction with Headquarters Marine Corps has signed a Production Assistance Agreement with us, basically giving us access to all USMC personnel and assets in Afghanistan. The prestigious Marine Corps Heritage Foundation has given us an initial grant. Applebees is the first corporation to donate. Our agreement with one of the oldest think-tanks in the U.S., the Foreign Policy Research Institute (a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, allows contributions to our project to be tax deductible. Private contributions along with the grants have us at 25% of our needs and we are working on finding the remainder. I hope you may be able to find a way to donate to our cause.

Checks should be made out to "Sangin Project LLC" and sent to:

Franklin Cox
P.O. Box 190706
Atlanta, GA 31119

or to:

Mr. Alan Luxenberg
Foreign Policy Research Institute
1528 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Write "Sangin Project LLC" in the memo section of the check.

Here is a link to my interview at MCA when I was signing books there and at the National Museum of the Marine Corps a few months ago

Also please go to my Amazon page link and click to look inside to read Chapter One of my book. It captures the essence of the Marine Corps according to Lt. Gen. Ron Christmas

Semper Fidelis,
Frank Cox

And I Quote...

"Law and liberty cannot rationally become the objects of our love, unless they first become the objects of our knowledge."
--James Wilson, 1790

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The Worcester Detachment #144 of the Marine Corps League has lost one of its oldest and longest members when Walter Maloney, at the age of 90 died in his sleep earlier this month (May 2011). Walter joined the Marine Corps in 1938 and served until the end of WW-II serving in combat on 3 islands in the Pacific. He then joined the USMCR and was called back to active duty in July of 1950 to serve 3 years in Korea serving 10 years on active duty. Every time we would ask him about his time in action, he would say; "I'm no hero, the heroes didn't come home, tell their story not mine." Walter was buried with military honors at one of the largest turn-outs for a funeral seen in recent times. He will be missed by many.

Chris Manos USMC 1958-1962

Reply to Sgt. Dean Stoker's e-mail regarding duty at Headquarters, Department of the Pacific

I too was stationed there at 100 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA. from July 1946 to March 1949, after graduation from boot camp at MCRD, Platoon 52, and then 30 days mess duty at Staff NCO mess hall,

At that time, Major General Leroy P. Hunt was the Commanding General, and Major Gordon H. West was the Headquarters CO. I was assigned as a liaison contact with the Navy Department for the booking and arrangements of Marine Dependents going overseas via Naval Transport. I was married and lived in a housing naval housing unit called Guam Village. It was great duty.

When I got discharged on March 25th, 1949, I enlisted in the Reserves for four years, and was called to active duty in January 10, 1951. After Camp Pendleton and Pickle Meadows, I embarked aboard the USNS Aiken Victory with the 7th Replacement Draft and arrived at Pusan, Korea in April 1951, and caught the same ship back in 1952. After a year in Korea (5th Marines) I spent six months at Parris Island and was released from active duty July 10, 1952, then discharged March 25, 1953.

Still 'kicking' at 83.

Semper Fi,

Lemuel W. Pickle, (E-7), 603798

My son was a short timer at Offutt AFB in Nebraska in 1991. For his remaining time was assigned to drive a bus on base. A C130 came in loaded with a platoon of Marines. They came down the ramp and ran to the bus. As they got on the bus he said "dad they had knives and guns hanging all over them"! When they got to their destination they ran off the bus, got in formation, sat down and started field stripping their weapons and cleaning gear.

He had hauled several loads of Army and other services due to the base at that time being a SAC headquarters. But he said that experience was boarder-line scary! I assured him he could not have been safer anywhere in the world.

No better friend, no worse enemy.
Semper Fi
Sgt. Steve Brown 1969

Old Liberty Card

Fieldson's Liberty Card

Sgt. Grit,

I wanted to share an example of a Marine Corps officer that showed real class. My wife and I were at the East Coast Drill Instructors Reunion held at Parris Island May 5-8. On Friday May 6th the Assoc. were the guests at a Recruit Graduation, and near the end of the ceremony as is common in South Carolina it started to rain. Several of us were huddled together and facing a long walk to the area where our cars were parked when a van that was transporting Colonel Rick Grabowski, Chief of Staff to the Base Commander, stopped and offered us a ride. There were too many Association members to fit in the car so Colonel Grabowski offered his seat to one of the older people, exited the vehicle, and insisted his driver take us to our cars. That left the Chief of Staff standing outside in the rain until his driver returned for the Colonel.

What an example of class and humility Colonel Grabowski showed us, and those in the area that witnessed this act of leadership and respect. You can tell Colonel Grabowski was once an enlisted man and knows how to take care of his men and his guests. I thanked the Colonel at the banquet held May 7th and wanted all to know that our Corps is in the hands of leaders like this.

For those of you that have never attended the Drill Instructor's Reunion I encourage you to do so. You do not have to be a former Drill Instructor to attend and it is a fantastic event with good fellowship. In closing I encourage all Marines to re- connect with their Drill Instructors if possible. It is the chance of a lifetime to get to know the people that guided you to earn the title Marine.

R. A. Kiser, (Cpl. USMCR)
Lewis Center, OH

And I Quote...

"There is also in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong. A love of truth and a veneration of virtue."
--John Adams

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A good friend and motorcycle club brother, Eddie Seyfarth known to us as Laidbac is now serving at a new duty station, guarding Heaven's gates. He passed on Easter Sunday morning, 4/24/2011 after a long battle with cancer.

Laidbac served in a 60 mike mike squad with Lima 3/26, RVN 67/68. If you have the book, Lima 6 by Col. R.D. Camp, there's a picture of him, (such a young skinny 18 yr old then) standing in the mortar pit with no shirt and hand on hip.

You will be missed always brother, Semper Fi!

Flip (Fred Lowery, Cpl. of Marines)
Ntl. Secretary
Leathernecks Confederation MC

Sgt. Grit,
Last evening, May 12, 2011 our family was invited to Warrior Night 2011 Honor and Sacrifice by the Marines of MCAS, New River. (Helicopters). During the afternoon they were dedicating a new park at the entrance of the Marine Corps Air Station New River Main Gate. The ceremony included a dedication of a Helicopter Hanger 4108 in honor of our son, 1st Lt. Jeffrey R. Scharver who while assigned to HMM-261, was killed in action on October 25, 1983 during Operation Fury on the Island of Grenada. During the ceremony General Jon Davis gave a moving speech of his acquaintance with Jeffrey. Gen. Davis is now the commanding General at Cherry Point.

That evening at the Warrior Night Celebration, and that is what it was, our family were guests of the Marines for the fun, the memories, the many toasts to our fallen and camaraderie like I have never seen. We enjoyed talking to fellow Marines who knew Jeff and that Jeff worked for when he was at New River. His commanding officer, Ret. G. Amos also attended and talked about his experience with the losses in Grenada. It was an outstanding evening. The Marines sure do it up right. Our family was presented with a picture of a Cobra with the various patches of his squadron, past and present and the names of the three Marines that were killed in Grenada. Pat Gigiere and Jeb Segal and Jeffrey. God Bless the Marine Corps.
Semper Fidelis!

Vivian Scharver - Mother of Lt. Jeffrey Scharver Wilmington, NC.

I take issue with and am very angry at Kent M. Yates' 05-05-2011 article concerning his qualifications, creative liberty and his alleged "code." Who the h-ll does he think he is?

First let me say that in order to "jump once" with Force Recon Marines he would have to go through jump school. No fool except him would jump out of a perfectly fit aircraft without proper training. He never mentions if he wore gold or silver parachute wings on his uniform. Not a word about that. He says some things are better left "unremembered." He is right since I don't think he could remember things that did not happen.

He also states he received an "honorable medical" discharge but never pursued a PTSD claim because of some kind of secret "code" amongst Marines. I have never heard of such a code and I doubt it even exists. Apparently he wants to play the hero role because he never applied for the PTSD claim. I am a 100% disabled former Marine with just such a rating (30%) and more for gunshot and frag wounds during action around Quang Tri Province in July of '69. I didn't ask for the PTSD rating until 30 years after discharge when the symptoms became too severe to ignore anymore. For him to compare Marines who have such a diagnosis to Army doggies is arrogant, condescending and stupid on his part. There are far too many former Marines and others who deserve that designation and many more who won't pursue it but should if for no other reason than to talk about how it has destroyed lives and families through domestic violence, poly substance abuse, suicide and attempted suicide, crimes and general mental health problems. I am one of them. I got help through the VA and am doing better. So I guess he thinks he's a man's man, a hero who don't bleed or suffer after extensive combat tours.

He's not a hero, he's a wannabe plain and simple who would denigrate those Marines who receive a PTSD rating and money and the treatment services for it. He certainly needs to have his head examined himself for spouting off on matters he knows nothing about.

In reference to his "cross training," I thought Marines had to attend a sniper school to get that designation. Every one of us "crossed trained" in squad tactics beginning in boot camp. I don't know what makes him so special in this area. To be trained for land mine warfare and demo you were either an engineer or EOD and had to go through schools for it. And the very laughable best is his claim of "Special Operations". Except for Force Recon or snipers I was unaware the Marine Corps had a special designated MOS for that. You had to train stateside for Recon and sniper MOS.

In short I think Yates is to an extent an impostor or wannabe. He certainly has taken huge liberties with the truth and for that reason alone I remain skeptical.


Kevin R. Anderson
713 17 street
Des Moines, Iowa
USMC '67'-'70
RVN '69

Dear Sgt. Grit-

I would like to respond to a letter that was in the May 12, 2011 Newsletter.
I copied and pasted the following from the Newsletter from Shooter 0369 Infantry 1989-Present:

"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..."

I understand that Shooter is talking about civilians and/or non Marines getting tattoos of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, but he also mentioned that the Eagle, Globe and Anchor is "not just another trademark worn on a t-shirt". My father is a Marine - a GySgt - with 21 years of service. He is also a Korean War vet. He is 83 years old. My cousin is also a Marine. I have a sweatshirt with an embroidered seal of the Marine Corps that I wear with pride honoring my father, my cousin and every male and female that has served in the past, present and will serve in the future. I do not wear it nor treat it as a "trademark on a t-shirt". I understand that the men and women of the Marine Corps are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for us civilians. Maybe I haven't earned the right to wear the sweatshirt, but I don't do it lightly. As I mentioned earlier, I wear it with pride to honor ALL Marines. I have never been through boot camp, but I can tell you that growing up with a Marine Father is no walk in the park.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read my rant.
Daughter of a Marine

In regards to other people wearing the "Eagle Globe & Anchor. In my opinion, other than Corpsmen, the unit I feel that "may" have been able to rate the "Eagle Globe & Anchor" are the Seabee battalions assigned "directly" to Marine Corps Engineer regiments (17th,18th,19th & 20th) during WW2. After Navy boot, these men were issued Marine uniforms, trained with Marines, and subject to Marine Corps rules and regulations, being directly absorbed into the Engineer Regiments. They were integral parts of the Marine assault shore-party landing and fighting operations in the Pacific. As one WW2 Marine told me.

"I fought side by side with the Seabees on Iwo Jima. I was with the 4th Eng. Bn. as a Demolition Marine. The CBs were always there when you needed them They were not like Marines, "(THEY WERE MARINES)"

Unfortunately, this is a moot point, as most of them are long gone now.

Semper Seabees

Son of a deceased WW2 Seabee.

And I Quote...

"A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious."
--Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC)

Hi Sgt. Grit!

I am a Very Proud Mother of US Marine Cpl Mark Cureo. I have been reading your newsletters ever since my son joined the Marines 3 years ago in March. I really enjoy all the articles and seeing the pictures too. I also have ordered many items from the catalog as I am a devoted Marine Mom!

My son and his wife Jordan, are stationed at 29 Palms, California. He is in the 3rd CEB SPT CO as a welder. Mark has served one tour of duty to Afghanistan last November and his company will be serving again this coming October 2011.

Awesome Tattoo I'm writing to you because a few newsletters ago, several Marines sent in pictures of their tattoos, which were awesome looking! Being a Proud Marine Mom, I wanted to send you a picture of my son's tattoo. Mark had his done when he came home after basic training at MCRD San Diego. It is great looking, tastefully done and I believe shows his devotion to the Corps!

I pray daily for ALL our men and women in the military to be free from harm!

SEMPER FI from a Proud Mom!
Cathy Flowers

Hey Sgt Grit,

I just wanted to comment on something that irritated me quite a bit. The Marine Corps is famous for its traditions. Upholding those traditions is vital to maintaining the espirit de corps throughout the service. When I graduate OCS I was 30 years old and had been in the service for 12 years. I graduated Honorman as a comparatively speaking "old man". They completely skipped our Eagle Globe and Anchor ceremony. None of the individuals received an EGA as they graduated.

To this day it irritates me. That is a tradition that should never have been left out. It represents a milestone of acceptance into a brotherhood and sets a bond between all Marines that separates them from all other services. That bond has been tested in the forges of combat time and again since the Corps' inception. Shared sacrifices, shared miserable experiences and shared tradition is what keeps that bond strong and able to weather any circumstance. If we continue to allow these traditions to go to the way side, such as not holding the EGA ceremony, or letting Marines graduate boot camp without attending the crucible, we are going down a road that we may not recover from. Once you let things slide once, you continue to "let things slide."


Officer of Marines

If you can handle one more on saluting:... circa 1958, was stationed at Camp Horno on Pendleton... laid out with three quadrangles, I assume at one point intended to house an infantry regiment, but at the time, had an assortment of more or less independent battalions... 1st AT Bn, 1st Recon Bn, a Comm Bn, a Motor T Bn, and Division Schools. The only Navy personnel that I knew of were a few medical personnel, including (very few) Navy medical officers. If you saw somebody all in khaki, with a khaki frame cap, odds were pretty high that it was an officer...

At the time, my one pair of issue glasses (not yet known as "Birth Control" glasses... that being reflective of the wearer's chance of getting anywhere at all with the ladies)... were broken, so I was doing my best John Wayne squint...

A buddy and I were proceeding across the quad belonging to the Comm and MT Bns, when I spied an approaching figure clad all in khaki, with a khaki covered frame cap. I nudged the bud to be sure he was alert to our upcoming requirement to render appropriate military courtesies. Of course, he looked at me as though he had just finally confirmed that I truly was nuts, and as we move into the six-pace range, I rendered an absolutely correct hand salute, accompanied with a hearty "Good morning, Sir!"... whereupon the Chief Corpsman I had just saluted looked over at me and said "Howdy, Bub..."

SSgt. Smith,
Your grandfather's card was probably issued at the EWA air station. Most likely before 1941. The clue is 2nd. Marine Aircraft Group. FMF. That became the first unit in the newly authorized 2nd MAW in mid-1941. The 2ndMAW designation would have been added I'm sure by the time of Pearl harbor. I noticed the Battle Pin, but that was still being worn by some old timers one or two years after the War. This is not a definite conclusion, but I believe it's in the correct time frame, definitely an old card. At any rate, the rank of Master Technical Sergeant was eliminated at the end of 1946 (I believe).

Semper Fidelis,
Paul Santiago GySgt.(Ret)

AS a former Marine I had one of the highlights of my life occur a couple of weeks ago. I was at the NRA Convention in Pitts. and got to meet and shake hands with Col. Oliver North. He was there signing books. I asked his aid if he would sign Semper Fi on the inside jacket of his book. When he saw the request he looked me over and I said "COL., we ran some of the same ridges together in Nam." I had been in 3/26 and he was in 2/4 at the same time in the same areas. We talked briefly and shook hands. When I got home I noticed that he had signed my book "Semper Fi, Warrior" I wanted to tell him that my son had been a SEAL in the Mideast and had me him a couple of times also.

Col. North, if you're reading this, Thank you for talking time from your busy schedule to talk to a charter member of your fan club. It was a real honor and privilege meeting you and I will remember it all my days. Thank you and Semper Fi, Warrior and Patriot to you, Sir.

Gary Neely, Sgt. USMC ret., 66 to 72

And I Quote...

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

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0369 Infantry,

I am sorry if I offended you by using the term "EGA". That is how the Eagle, Globe and Anchor was referred to us recruits by our drill instructors. So therefore it became a part of my vocabulary when I was molded into a Marine. I do not feel that it down grades what it is or stands for. By the same token it should enrage you to her the acronym "USMC", and should make you spit blood to hear "USA".

As you well know the Marine Corps' terminology is chalked full of acronyms. We have our own language, from the way we write our names, the date and tell time. And personally, I love that. One of the easiest ways to tell if someone is lying about being a Marine is to ask them what their MOS was. If they were not one they rarely ever know what that means.

When a Marine is speaking in full out Devil Dog jargon only another Devil Dog will understand them. And to me there's nothing better than that. That is part of our bond, part of our brotherhood. Also that is why I enjoy this newsletter because it gives us a place to experience that again. Especially those of us who are back in the civilian world and miss it dearly. By the way, I read you Lima Charlie, but disagree. So Ooohrah, and Semper Fidelis to you my Marine Brother and others.

Semper Fi,
Cpl White L Btty 3/10

Standing by to stand by!

Let no boy's ghost say if they had only done their job.

Sgt Grit