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Eagle, Globe, and Anchor iPhone 4 Back Cover
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USMC Purple Tank Top
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I Love My Marine Customizable White T-Shirt
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Have an upcoming reunion? Post it on our Reunions Page. Or just go there to look for upcoming reunions you might be interested in.

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Tips for easy reading

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!

AmericanCourage #256     07 JUL 2011

Ka Bar Special

To All my Friends and Fam.
Roland Gomez standing next to a sign with Marines names and an Airman's name listed on it Three Van Horn Tx natives, may God bless them and return them back safe and sound. I send this on a day of remembrance so that others may remember what they do as we sit in the safety of our homes. May we also take a moment and sit in silence so that we may remember all that gave their lives so that we could reap the reward of freedom.

Love your Brother, Cousin, Friend;
Gomez R
USMC Veteran

In This Issue

Stay with me on this. It will take a bit for it to play out. I have two newsletters, this one, AmericanCourage and the Sgt Grit Newsletter. AmericanCourage is mostly parents, wives, girlfriends, etc..of Marines, Marines and other patriotic items. The Sgt Grit is all Marine. They alternate weeks. I run what I call my "dirty word" check on each newsletter. That is, I have a list of words that have proven to not get past the PC filters of Yahoo, Cox, etc...

When this happens you don't get your newsletter that week. On the AmericanCourage which is family, patriotic oriented the word check takes a few minutes and I find very few words. On the all Marine Sgt Grit letter takes good bit longer. We are not choir boys and our Drill Instructors taught us "many" things that are not appreciated by the PC police. Just a passing observation. Good *&^%# job Marines!

Here we go: He has the strut, blind date, blue star rainbow, sign of respect, arrogance, Jingle Bell special, two motorcycles, not a mattress sale, a private gathering.

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

the Sgt Grit Blog the Sgt Grit Facebook Page

My name is Heather and my boyfriend is a LCpl. I was reading the story "The LOOK of a Marine". It is much more important than my story but it reminded me of a couple days ago when I was at the airport with my boyfriend. We were walking around and a couple of the Airport staff were talking. We walked by and we both heard one of them say "That one's a Marine, he has a strut." It was a surprise to me. I'm getting used to it since it never fails that whenever him and I go anywhere someone recognizes he is a Marine.

Heather Matthews

Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard at the 2011 GriTogether

Sgt Grit Marine Color Guard handler and horses Sgt Grit Marine Color Guard in uniform with Sgt Grit and staff

Sgt. Grit,

I had the privilege to take my fiance and son to this year's festivities. What a blast it has been this last year to finally see The Place and meet The Sgt. behind all those goodies I have bought over the years. I'm not sure the future wife really understood the pride I sang our beloved hymn or the gleam in my eye just being in the same place with that many Marines again.

Daniel and his son displaying their tattoos My little buddy here loved the temporary tattoos. He wore them with pride just like his daddy, and cried when I finally washed them off a week later. Thank you for a great time and letting me introduce my boy and future wife to the Marines! OOHRAH!

Semper Fi!


See more photos from the 2011 GriTogether

4th of July Photo Contest

It seems that there are more Marines marrying Marines, so I thought I would add my two bits: I met my husband at Cherry Point in 1965 on a blind date, a few days after his return from Viet Nam. Six months later, on April 15, 1967, we were married in a beautiful church in beautiful downtown Morehead City, North Carolina, by a minister who had a wonderful Scottish brogue. We were both PFCs, and our wedding rings were bought at the PX for a total of $20.00.

PFC Sharon's Marine husband After the ceremony, we went to our small mobile home, where I cooked fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and veggies for the wedding party. After dinner, and many toasts to the bride and groom, the wedding party crashed on the living room sofa and floor, and I passed out in bed with my maid-of-honor. It has been an interesting and wonderful life.

We have a son (a computer engineer working for a government agency, who has twin boys, a daughter, and a grandson), and a daughter (living in Phoenix, who has four children and a grandson), all happy and healthy. We just celebrated 44th years of continuous marriage, and I will never be able to say it wasn't an interesting life. I have attached a picture of the handsome Marine I married.

Semper Fidelis
PFC Sharon (Clark)

Photo of rainbow ending behind home with blue star flag at front walkway. Blue Star-Rainbow

Is this cool or what? My across the street neighbor took it of our little home in New Hope, PA!

John Wear

And I Quote...

"[I]t is a common observation here that our cause is the cause of all mankind, and that we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own."
--Benjamin Franklin

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

Abigail and her boyfriend standing in front of HMH-461 My boyfriend, a Lance Corporal, shows me an HMH-461 that he flew on when on tour in Iraq.


Charles Manning from Lapine, OR

Part of the 1/26 - Khe Sanh Survivor

Dropped by to say hi to the Sarge.

back of Marine Corps Red Jeep Marine Corps Red Jeep side view

I had such a cool thing happen the other day. I was sitting at a stoplight and noticed a pickup behind me. In my rearview mirror, I could see a "Semper Fidelis" sticker on the truck's back window. (I notice stickers a lot more now, since I have a Marine Mom sticker (and a couple of others) on my own car.) As I continued to look in my rearview mirror, the older gentleman driving the pickup saluted! I saluted him back, saw him chuckle a bit - then the light changed and we both drove off. While I appreciated the sign of respect from him for my son's service, I appreciated even more the opportunity to show him the respect he earned as a Marine. God bless you all!

Kelly Jackson
Marine Mom
Edmond, OK

Sean Torres Sr, Cpl USMC 1986-90, 91, DeForest Torres, currently at school in Ft. Gordon GA., and  Hector Torres, Sgt USMC 87-93 Here's a pic from my youngest brother, DeForest Torres' boot camp graduation (Feb 2011), from left to right is myself, Sean Torres Sr, Cpl USMC 1986-90, 91, DeForest Torres, currently at school in Ft. Gordon GA., and the oldest Hector Torres, Sgt USMC 1987-1993. Our mom gave all 3 of her sons to the Corps.

Sean A. Torres Sr.
Adjutant, SI Det 1, MCL

For those that watched "After The Catch" who saw Capt. Andy Hillstrand wearing a Marine shirt, here's the reason why:

Photo of Johnathan HIllstrand, Andy HIllstrand, Mike Rowe While not a Marine, Capt. Andy was at a NASCAR event in Charlotte, NC where he met a group of wounded servicemen (Andy is pro-military and has a lot of respect for those who serve). One of the men in the group was a Marine who had been seriously injured while serving and they spent quite a bit of time talking and hanging out at the race. He was wearing that particular shirt and Andy was in a Time Bandit shirt so they decided to swap shirts as a sign of mutual respect and admiration.

Andy wore the shirt for "ATC" as a shout out to the Marine who gave it to him and, in essence, a shout out for all those who give so much for this country.

(left to right. Johnathan Hillstrand, Andy Hillstrand, Mike Rowe)

Glenda's Dad's Tat I know from time to time some post images of their new Marine Corps tats.

Thought some of your readers might enjoy seeing an old one that has been on my Dad's arm from my earliest remembrance. The words have faded a bit, but if memory serves me, the words Semper Fidelis are written on the banners.

His name is Raymond Pursell and he was in the Marines from April 1943 - January 1946. He said a couple of guys he served with got the same tat at the same time he did (before Iwo). Glenda's Dad's Flag

I am also including an image of the flag he brought back from WWII. The guys in his unit signed this flag and it is very precious to him.

Thanks, Sgt. Grit!
Glenda Joy Clark
purejoy @ comcast .net

After WWII I was serving at Naval Station, Hunters Point, San Francisco, Calif. We had gripes from Marines who had served in the Pacific (including me) about the Base Workers wearing Marine Utilities. Finally an order was put out saying simply; "Uniforms of all the Armed Serves are being sold in Surplus Stores all over the United States of America. As long as any one, I stress, "ANYONE" can buy any type of Uniform of the United States Armed Forces at a Surplus Store. It is legal for ANYONE to wear what he wishes. Derogatory wearing of these uniforms will be reported to the Base Commander's Office with the name of the offender."

After seeing what happened to a member of Congress (or some sort of Politician) from Mass. that said he served in Vietnam and was proven a Liar, Had never served in any of the Armed Forces, and the people still elected him back into office, I don't think most any one cares. While it galls me to see someone wearing a Marine "T", it also galls me to see a woman wearing a T that says; "I'm with Stupid" with an arrow pointing to the guy walking with her. What they are doing is actually giving you credit for your service while not saying so, they want to be Proud as you are, though they never served.

Punching them out only puts in Jail or worse sued for everything you've worked so hard to get. They're slimy and they know it and remember you're touching slime when you talk to them. In a Bar, I would announce loudly if I found a Liar, saying out loud; "This guy says he served and yet doesn't know anything about serving" and let the Veterans talk to him and maybe he'll be embarrassed enough where he won't say it again.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired.

And I Quote...

"The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions."
--Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

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

Don, I wrote this in response to an Army guy on Facebook who posted a comment on our Marine Corps site that he was sick and tired of Marine "arrogance". As it would to any Marine, it piszed me off some and I posted this. I hope you enjoy it and feel free to repost it wherever you would like. Thank you and Semper Fi! Marc Ciacchi.

Someone asked me what makes Marines special. I thought about that for awhile.

I think that what makes Marines special, if only in our own minds, is that elusive Quality of Espirit D'Corps. It's the fact that we, as individual Marines, don't feel that we are individual Marines. When we wear our uniform, when we hear our Hymn, when we go into battle, we are going with every other Marine who ever wore the uniform.

Standing behind us are the Marines who fought during the birth Of our nation. We're standing with the Marines who fought in WWI and gave birth To the legend of the "Tuefel Hunden", or "Devil Dogs". We are standing with the Marines who took Iwo and Tarawa and countless other blood soaked islands throughout the Pacific. We are standing with the "Frozen Chosin" and our Beloved Chesty Puller. We are standing with the Marines who battled at Hue City And Khe Sanh and the muddy rice paddies of South East Asia. We are standing With the Marines who fought in Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom and now, are fighting in Afghanistan. Like real brothers, their blood courses through our veins, and when we go into battle, we would rather lay down our lives than be a disappointment to them. We carry on our backs, their legacy, their deaths and their honor. We Carry that for the rest of our lives.

The Marine Corps uniform doesn't come off when our active duty is over. We wear it daily in our attitude, and our love of Corps And country. We wear it on our tattoos and our bumper stickers. We wear it in our hearts. It's why, no matter where we are in the world, on November 10th, every Marine celebrates the Marine Corps birthday. It's why we'll never be an army of 1.

It's why we never stop being Marines. It's why, for most of us, being a Marine Isn't something we were. It's something we are. It's the most important part of Who and what we are. Some say we're arrogant. We say we're proud. We have a right to be proud. We are United States Marines. The most feared and ferocious Group of warriors to walk the face of this earth. When Americas' enemies formulate Their battle plans, they plan on going around Marine units, because they know D-mn well that they can't go through them. We are what the other branches wish they were. We are the modern day Spartans. This isn't bragging. It's written In the battle history of our country. When there's a parade and the Marines march by, everyone pays a little more attention. Some say "arrogance". We call it "pride"

It's why, in a crowd of service men, you can always spot the Marine.
Why are Marines special? I don't know. We just are.

Semper Fidelis!
Marc Ciacchi

I had the privilege to stop by the showroom last week and meet Cherea and Sgt. Grit himself. I shared with them that I have a USMC BBQ smoker and I cook for Christian charities, churches, and the Military. I just wanted to send an update that I cooked for the Marines detail in St. Louis for Marine week. I've included pics on my blog on my website. I thought it might be useful because Sgt. Grit said something about this possibly being material in a news letter.

Here is the link to the blog.
Feel free to check out the site and contact me if you have any questions.

Oh by the way the bottle opener I purchased from you is on the pit and got used by us this week. Both Marine vets like myself and Marines too! LOL


Pit master - Smoke-N-Honor BBQ Team

Half Dome from Glacier Point - 2 Miles Away Climb the Glass Mountain is proud to announce the organizing of our sixth annual Edgedancer's Hike in majestic Yosemite National park in honor of California's Purple Heart Day (PHD ) and Guadalcanal Day (GD).

The hike, which occurs on August 7th, Gudalcanal/Purple Heart Day, is an eight-mile trek up to the top of Half Dome.

The idea to turn the hike into a memorial was inspired by fallen Cpl. Mark A. Evnin who was killed during combat operations April 3, 2003, in Iraq and it recognizes and commemorates the sacrifices made by service members fighting in the Global War on Terrorism. The goal is to inspire people to appreciate the nation's servicemen and women and honor those who have sacrificed their lives or parts of themselves; everything came about in an attempt to bring public awareness to the warriors, past and present, who have given so much for their country.

Marine Cpls Mark A Evnin and Tim Jeffers General's Group on Top

Hiking will begin on Aug 7, PHD/GD at Happy Isles and continue through Vernal Falls, which is also known as the 'Mist trail.'

Get More information about this outstanding hike

Company B 4th Landing Support Battalion on Top Organizers for the hike are seeking volunteers to plan and support our annual event.

To volunteer and for more information contact Philip Aaron: phone (718)670-6718 or e-mail

And I Quote...

Fortune favors the brave.
--Virgil (70 BC - 19 BC), Aeneid

Sgt Grit.

To the gentleman that referred to himself as a want-a-be. As a retired Marine 69-90 I often have people come up to me and say how they wished they would have served. I tell everyone of them the same thing.

We all can't be Marines. If we could, it would be called something else. (I almost said the Army) old school training. But if everyone did join the military and go off to war, who would stay home and run the grocery stores, gas stations, banks, etc.? Someone has to stay behind and take care of our loved ones and be the rear guard. Even in the Marine Corps, we can't all be front line Marines. Someone have to stay in the rear with the gear to keep us on the front supplied with BBB's (Beans/Bullets/Bandages).

So to all of you that never served but did support we as United States Armed Forces thank you for a job well done. I know that I am speaking for everyone who served in the past and present, we do our job much easier knowing that our loved ones are with those of you back home taking care of them. Semper Fi Patriot.
GySgt H. E. Newell
USMC ret 69-90

Washington County Toys for Tots team getting ready to pass candy at the 4th of July parade 2009 Sgt Grit:
This is a picture of some of the Washington County Toys For Tots team getting ready to pass out candy at the 4th of July Parade. Thank You Ralph Pallesco coordinator

July 4th 09 Parade

Sgt Grit,
Just finished reading American Courage #255. I read the piece about "Giving their lives for their Country". The writer said they didn't give anything, it was brutally taken.

First off, as a Combat Vet of Beirut, I don't know of anyone who gave their lives for their Country, They made that sacrifice for their buddies, for each other, flat out. Yes, War is brutal, and so are the wounds inflicted that lead to death or disfigurement, but it is after all War. Like any Combat Vet, I have seen firsthand the horrors that War brings, and lost far too many friends in the process, and still see the horrors in my sleep.

Though I know they always say They died for their Country, I know the truth, as anyone does, they died for their fellow Marines, because when the sh-t hits the fan, we all know that all we have is each other. Because when it comes down to it, each Marine counts on the other to have his back, all that "Glory" crap is out the door in a heartbeat.

Semper Fi
Robert Brady

And I Quote...

Some have been thought brave because they were afraid to run away.
--Thomas Fuller (1608 - 1661)

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

The images and sounds of Monday, June 13, 2011 will be with me for a very long time.

Veterans displaying flags at memorial of young Marine I have never in my life seen so many veterans and waving flags, or heard the thunderous roar of so many motorcycles as I did while I stood in front of Woodmont Hills Family of God Church during the memorial for Sgt. Kevin B. Balduf.

A few weeks before, I was sad to hear about the young Marine from Nashville that was killed in Afghanistan. I cringed when I heard that the notorious protesters from Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas were also planning to attend. As the daughter of a Marine Corps veteran of World War II, there was no doubt in my mind where I wanted to be during the time of that memorial.

Veterans displaying flags at memorial of young Marine When I first arrived, the sight of the enormous crowd of patriots brought me to persistent tears. I experienced the same feeling I get when I stand- hand over heart- while listening to the Star Spangled Banner. As I walked through the crowd, my heart was so full of love for America, and overflowing with gratitude for the brave men and women (past and present) who defend her with their very lives.

Protesters will continue to protest- ironically enough because someone will fight for their right to do so- but every time they do, it is a perfect invitation for regular people like you and me to also gather together and stand in the presence of heroes.


Sarg Grit
Just read about Marines Marrying Marines, I too did that but I went one better, I married a Marine Sergeant, we were wed at the Base Chapel USMCRD San Diego June 30 1945 and were together for 57 years. I lost her in 2002 to a Brain tumor. The thing that made our marriage a bit different is that I was a Corporal.
H "Red" Robertson

Sgt. Grit, after reading the article from Cpl. R.C. Trussel of 06/11/11 my mind flashed back to my tour in Nam, as I too was a member I Co. 3/26 @ KSCB until I was Medivac on 27 June 1967 thus I wish to remind all my fellow Marines especially those of us that were at Khe Sanh on this date. So many lost their lives on this date (19 KIA). There are two web-sites referencing this date, "The Battle of Khe Sanh" and "The Virtual Wall". I found vital information that has filled an empty space in my mind. My next mission is to attempt to make contact with the family of some of them.

Hopefully some of your readers will read this & will contact me through the newsletter.

Arnold Ramirez
RVN Mar 67 to Nov 68

...of the "Jingle Bell Special" taken off the Internet.

Jingle Bell Special diorama Jingle Bell Special diorama

Frank J Scorsone

Jul61-Jul65 with the exception of ITR my entire enlistment was served at MCRD San Diego. The base was used to house returning Vietnam vets who were treated very poorly.

Restricted to base, marched everywhere as a group, Sgt's were ordered to clean toilets and other demeaning duties. In conversation with some of these guys, I told them I volunteered twice but to no avail. To a man they told me Vietnam was a place no sane person would ask to go to.

To this day I feel I am a lesser Marine for not having done my part as many of my brothers did. I am proud of my service and having worn the EGA. But, this lingering feeling still haunts me to this day.

I.D. "Dan" Mark

I am the builder of a Motorcycle that honors the USMC and Toys For Tots. Many of the items we used were bought from Sgt. Grit. Thank you, for all you do.
Tim Banks.

Tim's motorcycle Tim's motorcycle displayed in front of a USA flag

Sgt. Grit,

One of the proudest moments of my life was earning the title "Doc" from my Marines. A lot of guys go to Corps School and become corpsmen, fewer go to FMSS to serve with Marine units, but it is the rare privilege of earning a Marine's trust in your abilities that earns you the moniker "Doc." That being said, I cannot express enough the love I have for my Marines.

I proudly served with Kilo, 3/25 during our deployment to Iraq in 2005 during which time we lost 48 Marines and Sailors. Not a day goes past that I do not think of those Marines and for the past two years, a group of Marines and corpsmen have organized a memorial run over the Memorial Day weekend, running in shifts, 106 miles from the Virginia War Memorial to the Iwo Jima Memorial, to honor the fallen and raise money for wounded veterans programs.

These honorable men and women have dedicated their time and effort for their brothers and sisters, with the intention of "interrupting" the holiday weekend and hopefully making people realize exactly what it is all about. It is not about a mattress sale, a car sale or a picnic - and it is not about honoring those who have served... we already have our own holiday... it is to remind the narrow minded public that there are those that made the ultimate sacrifice to provide them the freedom they so frequently abuse.

In 2011, the Memorial Day 100 raised over $17,000 for Hope for the Warriors. I cannot imagine any other branch of service having the dedication to their own that my Marines do. There is no pride, no brotherhood like the Marine Corps - in the military, or anywhere else for that matter. It has been an honor to be included in the Marine Corps legacy as a Doc, I can think of no better place to be.

Semper Fi,

William "Doc" Sukitch
Kilo, 3/25

Marine Platoon's reunion photo of Marines with their wives Dear Sgt. Grit:

Since 1996 our boot camp platoon has had AT LEAST one reunion somewhere in the United States every year. This year it was held in Prescott Valley, Arizona on June 9, 10, and 11. We started training June 1964 and graduated September 1964.

We all want to express to you and your staff a sincere "THANK YOU" for your support and donations every year.

Semper Fi

See more reunions and post information about your upcoming get together.

And I Quote...

"The average man doesn't want to be free. He wants to be safe."
--H.L. Mencken

SgtMaj. Marshall is right on the money re: handling of NOK notifications during VN.

I was on I&I duty for two years during that period and handled nearly a hundred myself. Getting the call sometimes during the evening or middle of the night always caused a press for time to make the notification without having to call HQ - and at the same time allowing a family one more decent night's sleep before showing up on their doorstep in the early morning hours, with news they didn't want to hear.

But that was the first step. The remains were met at the airport a few days later, followed by a proper burial, with the follow up paper work a little later. I have been asked many times how I could do these things. But I still feel it was the personification of Semper Fi. I considered it my duty and honor and privilege to represent the fallen Marine and the Marine Corps in the best way possible.

Hulen Jenkins, Capt, USMC, 59/66

This might be a little long but I posted this at Breitbart's Big Peace...

In The Company Of Heroes: A Private Gathering Of Combat Wounded Marines Posted by Bob Hamer Jun 19th 2011 at 10:02 am in Featured Story | Comments (4)

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
...Ronald Reagan

I spent four years on active duty as a Marine and twenty-six years as a street agent for the FBI. In retirement I've penned three books and have written for television. I've met Medal of Honor recipients and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, award- winning actors and Hall of Fame athletes, politicians and POWs, sociopaths and Godfathers. But one of the most memorable nights of my life occurred this past week when I spoke to a private gathering of combat wounded Marines and their loved ones. I was truly humbled to be in their presence.

More than a year ago I appeared on Sean Hannity's TV show discussing my book, THE LAST UNDERCOVER, which details my undercover career and chronicles my three-year infiltration of NAMBLA, the North American Man/Boy Love Association. A day later I received an email at my website from Stuart Upchurch. In essence, "Uppy" said he had gone to Marine Corps Officer Candidate School with a Bob Hamer and although I looked like I'd "been ridden hard and put away wet," he wondered if I was the same guy. We re-connected through emails and phone calls, and this spring I saw him for the first time in forty years.

In our many conversations, I told Stuart about my weekly visits to Balboa Naval Medical Center meeting with the recently wounded, most of them Marines. Although he lives on the East Coast he wanted to help in some way to honor those who are serving and sacrificing. He and Edith, his wife, decided to sponsor a steak dinner for the combat wounded and a spa day for the loved ones caring for these warriors.

Stuart asked me to host the event and speak at the dinner. I had met many of these Marines when they first arrived at the hospital and over the past year or so shared lunches, dinners, holidays, even trips to Sea World. But as I looked out over the crowd I swallowed hard, trying to dismiss the lump forming in my throat. I was reminded how young these men are, almost everyone younger than our son who is a Marine on active duty. I knew many of their stories but listened intently as they laughed, retelling heroic tales, stories which will probably only be told over a dinner or a few beers. They joked about their latest prosthetics and challenged each other to wheelchair races in the parking lot. These heroes ask for nothing, not even recognition. They are anonymous warriors who swore before God to protect this nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. They answered the call after 9/11 with more than a bumper sticker and refrigerator magnet. They didn't worry about pension plans, medical benefits, or take-home cars. They understand our nation is at war with an extremist element which will never be satisfied until we surrender or die.

There were double and triple amputees in the crowd: men who were injured saving the lives of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan; men who raced to recover fallen Marines and lost a limb or even two in the process; men who deployed five and six times dismantling thousands of IEDs, batting nearly a thousand but near perfect isn't good enough and now have no arms or legs. These men put their lives on the line without hesitation because this nation asked. They ran to the sound of gunfire!

With a nation focused on a congressman and his cell phone or unemployment rates and the economy, the war on terror has been buried on the back pages of almost every newspaper. For many, the war is an afterthought. It no longer fits neatly into a comfortable personal agenda. Too few are touched by this war with only a small percentage knowing anyone serving. Many Americans prefer to just move on, retreat before the problem is resolved, and blindly hope somehow the jihadists bent on destroying this nation will focus their efforts elsewhere. But for these Marines and their families the war is all too real. They have been in the arena, not up in the stands criticizing the players on the field. They will live with the scars of this battle forever, as will their families.

Not once in my time with these warriors have I heard even a whimper, never a "woe is me." Even those who will never walk again yearn for the chance to get back to the fight. They know when they took the oath to wear the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor there was no expiration date... once a Marine, always a Marine. Like every soldier, sailor, and airman in this fight, they understand we are in a life and death struggle against an enemy's irrational hatred for our values and our freedoms.

The Marines have a saying, "No better friend, no worse enemy." I am proud to share the title "Marine" with these men but question whether I could ever measure up to their deeds. I thank them for allowing me to be "in the company of heroes."

I hope tonight as your head hits the pillow you will take just a minute, I'm only asking for a minute, to thank God for that small percentage of the population who have chosen to defend us, who have taken the oath, who continue to serve in places we can't pronounce or find on a map. We sleep under the blanket of freedom because members of this generation have decided this nation and our way of life is worth preserving.

Semper Fi... always faithful.

Photo of Platoon 293 taking a photo together in a restaurant 44TH year reunion of Platoon 293 San Diego 1967 All Texas Platoon, Honor Platoon. Charles Madeley, Pete Killian, Dennis Bradford, Larry Whittington, Capt. Ed McDaniel (USMC Ret) and Don Hawthorne. Houston, Texas 12 June 2011.

Pete Killian
Semper Fi

And I Quote...

"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual - or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country."
--Samuel Adams, 1781

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Gunny wearing DI Hat and Sunglasses here another of Gunny Sgt bruce the moose at his best face ..likes like you wouldn't want to mess with this di Grace

Sgt. Grit:
In response to the complaint about not having stories about ANGLICO I submit the following:

I was a 1stLt just released from active duty and joined 4th ANGLICO in Miami. The I&I asked me how I was doing financially. Since I didn't have a job yet he fronted me a personal check for $100. I have always considered that leadership above and beyond the call of duty. Apparently so did the Marine Corps because many years later he was promoted to Commandant of the Marine Corps. I refer to General Carl Mundy. Then Major Mundy also found out that I had been promoted to Captain. Later, 4th ANGLICO in Miami was re-designated to Anti Tank (TOW) Company, 8th Tank Battalion and I was honored to be selected as the Commanding Officer. This was especially poignant for me because my Father LtCol Frank M. Thomas, Jr. USMCR, a WWII Pacific War veteran had been the first CO of the Miami Reserve unit, then the 2nd 155mm Gun Battalion, some 30 years earlier.

PS: I love the quotes in your newsletter. I save them and use them as taglines on my internet signature.

Frank M. Thomas, III, MBA
Formerly Major USMCR 66-89

There is always an easy solution to every human problem-- neat, plausible and wrong."
--journalist H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
--Albert Einstein

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant."

Don, I volunteer with our local fire & rescue here in TN... Shackle Island, to be specific, (which is more of a concept than a place.)... those of us who are licensed as either first responders or EMT, are dispatched by the County EMS, and usually arrive at the place of need before the ambulance gets there... had a call earlier this year where agent fell off of a ladder while trimming a tree... with a chainsaw. It wasn't quite as bad as it sounds, since he had no chainsaw injuries, but his other injuries were fairly extensive.

We got him C-collared, on a long spine board, thence to the cot (that's what it's called around here... not a gurney, though some call it that, but really a fancy wheeled stretcher made to ease loading into an ambulance)... once we had him inside the ambulance and started working on him... getting vitals, assessing his injuries, starting an IV, etc. I asked him 'how you doing, Marine??" (oddly enough, though I drive by his house a couple times every day, had never noticed his Marine flag back among the trees until we rolled into his driveway)... He took one look at my cover with the embroidered Emblem, and made a simple request: "I need a Corpsman!"

Turned out he was a Viet Nam vet, cannon cocker, 3/11, as I recall... have seen him since, and he's doing OK... didn't come up with a real Corpsman, but the Paramedic on the ambulance that day was a NOLAD Marine Engineer. Close enough, maybe...


Great job Sgt. Grit
We have a special service for all of the military, retired and currently serving, in our church every year around the 4th of July. To show our appreciation to all Military personnel. The Hymn for each branch of service is played and anyone from that branch can stand up for their hymn. Our Marine Corp. hymn still gives me goose bumps every time I hear it.

The people carrying the other branch flags are sloppy with the way they handle their flags. The Marine in dress blues does the opposite. He is squared away. Every step is perfection. I continue to be proud I joined the US Marine Corp to this day.

Keep up the good work.
Gung ho/ Semper Fi
Platoon 292 Hollywood Marine
Kermit Walker
cc: Brother Jim Walker went in about 1 year after I did.

Larry's Utility Trailer The photo details the back of my utility trailer. I decided to make the trailer a rolling memorial to my roommate, A.D. Benson, when we were at The Basic School at Quantico, VA. I have had considerable positive response on the trips taken between Arizona and Indiana. One night we stopped at Joplin, Mo. and the next morning I found the following note on my window.

Though I was not born when your started your time in Viet Nam, I wish to thank you for the sacrifices you made for our Great Country.

Closeup of the Utility Trailer Thank you for fighting for us when politicians lacked the honor to fight for you. Thank you for sacrificing for us when many of your own countrymen tried to dishonor that sacrifice.

On behalf of my 1 and 1/2 year old son, my wife, any future children of my family and myself I thank you for fighting that we may know freedom.

Thank you for fighting to bring that freedom to others. May God bless you and may he bless the United States.

The letter was unsigned, but I thought it fitting and should be included in my tribute to A. D. Benson.

(I am also sending a second photo of the trailer) You can use which ever works best.

Thank you very much. Larry D. Behle

Garcia's Award WESTFIELD, Mass.--A former Marine Corps Lance Corporal who lost his Springfield home in the June 1 tornado that ripped through Western Mass will be cited for heroism at the Westfield River Valley Detachment 141, Marine Corps League (MCL), pig roast and annual family picnic on Sunday, July 3, for saving the life of a man attempting suicide from the Tower Square Garage in downtown Springfield.

Javish Garcia

The Roland Knapp Award will be presented to Javish Garcia for displaying heroism and reflecting honor on the Marine Corps League. He was to receive the award at the Dept. of Mass., MCL, convention on June 4 but he was unable to attend because of the devastating events of the tornado. Garcia is a member of Det. 141, MCL.

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And I Quote...

For over 221 years our Corps has done two things for this great Nation. We make Marines, and we win battles.
-- Gen. Charles C. Krulak, USMC (CMC); 5 May 1997

Come on, you sons of b-tches! Do you want to live forever? --GySgt. Daniel J. "Dan" Daly, USMC; near Lucy-le-Bocage as he
led the 5th Marines' attack into Belleau Wood, 6 June 1918

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God Bless the American Dream!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit