Sgt Grit Newsletter - 04 AUG 2011

In this issue:
• Professionalism and Kindness
• The Old Crater in Hawaii
• 5 generations of Marines

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This is for those who are jealous of Marines who are seen as c-cky.
It is only c-cky if you can't back it up.
Marines are confident!
Phil "Akabu" Coffman
Sgt '72 - '82

In This Issue

What a great job I have. I have said it before, but I will say it again. I get to read the stories first and get them in the newsletter. What a privilege. Thank you all. After 13 years of doing this newsletter I still look forward each week to putting it together.

the Sgt Grit Facebook the Sgt Grit Blog

Here we go: professionalism and kindness, the old crater, 5 generations, slapped his swagger stick, enlisted 1965 retired 2006, replete with sound effects, I didn't have to, became routine, more CWO and call signs, loved a can of peaches, mystery Marine, and of course quotes and short rounds.

Stay Green, Re-enlist
Sgt Grit

Flag Gray T-Shirts

Professionalism and Kindness

Hey, Sgt. Grit,

I've never been much closer to Vietnam than 29 Palms, but I do have a Vietnam-related story that might interest those Marines who did their duty through a dark and difficult time in our Nation's history, Operation Frequent Wind. My story takes place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, of all places.

I was in graduate school in the mid-90s, and I would sometimes eat with a fellow student who was obviously of Asian background. When I got to know her a bit, I happened to mention that I was in the Marine Reserves. Since this was Harvard, the reaction to this was usually, at best, a sudden change of subject, as if I'd told some obscene joke. However, upon hearing that I was a Marine, her face immediately brightened.

She told me that when she was a little girl, she and her family had been evacuated during the Fall of Saigon. She said that the Marines who had taken care of her both during this event and afterwards couldn't have been nicer to her and her family and that even though she'd never met a Marine since then, she had a soft spot in her heart for Marines because of their professionalism and kindness during that difficult period.

Even though I obviously had nothing to do with the events described, it made me feel good that my fellow Marines had treated a little girl and her family so well. I hope that some of the Marines who participated in this evacuation will read this story, so that in this way I can pass along a young lady's heartfelt gratitude.

Let's not forget the Marines who were lost during this evacuation, the last US ground casualties of the Vietnam War.

Semper FI,
David Johnson
USMCR, 1991-1999

An Old Crater

I was with Comm Spt Company with the 1st Marine Brigade in 1971 and 72. I remember on one training exercise at Pakaloa on the Big Island our call signs were Hoot Owl and Jawbreaker. For some reason before doing a radio check the operators had the habit of blowing into the receiver before asking "Hoot Owl, Hoot Owl, Hoot Owl this is Jawbreaker radio check over." Jawbreaker, Jawbreaker, Jawbreaker read you 5 X 5 over."

By blowing into the handset it created a loud noise on any radio tuned to the net including the one in the Brigade Commanders tent. I guess he or someone got tired of the noise and ordered everyone to stop blowing into the handset. I do not know who but someone replied by blowing into the handset and saying "Aye Aye Sir."

Marines go figure.

What I remember most is that before leaving Kaneohe for the Big Island we were all issued long underwear and insulated sleeping bags. Since it was usually a constant 85 degrees on Oahu I could not figure out why until I found out where we would be staying, halfway up the mountain in an old crater where the temperature was around 55 degrees. Not necessarily cold per se by most standards but cold for Hawaii.

Marine tent on Oahu Our famously inept Lt. thought he would be staying in the BOQ and only brought sheets and almost froze. To make matters worse they forgot to send a tent so we rigged one from a tarp and ponchos. (see the photo) I believe we were on the hill for almost three weeks before they moved us to the helipad. We had running water in that we rigged another tent next to our equipment and if you dropped something on the deck the rain running through the tent just carried it out the other side.

We were in this for a week before the Battalion Medical officer deemed it unfit and made us move to a Quonset hut which we hated because now we had to stand a fire watch.

Jim Grimes

5 Generations

Austin and his great grandfather Sgt Grit,

It has been 66 years since I have walked the yellow footprints at PI. I was honored this past month to have been invited by the CG of Parris Island to be one of two reviewing officials for the 1st Training Regt Delta Company's graduation.

The event was doubly appreciated by this old WWII, Korea and Vietnam Vet because one of the newest Marine recruits being graduated was my own Great Grandson Austin W; Lee.

Sign outside of Base Theater This makes 5 generations of servicemen in my immediate family. A picture of the newest Marine and the Old Corps Marine is attached as well as the sign at the theater on PI.

Semper Fidelis, George M. Barrows Sr

Jr Past Commandant Onslow County Detachment # 262 Marine Corps League National Marine of the Year 2001

Respect and honor the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps by saying his name correctly.
John Archer Lejeune (Luh-Jern)

What Have You Done?

Sgt. Grit,

Do you know what you have done?
On any given Thursday you have taken so many hard charging Marine's off the streets. Instead of h-ll raising and kicking butt and partying.
You now can find us sitting in front of our PC's or smart phones reading your newsletter.

Outstanding Marine
Love your Newsletter.

LCpl. B. Avig
Vietnam 1969

I Just Glanced

After returning from Okinawa 3rd Engineers and being stationed at Camp Lejeune (spit and polish) I was sitting in our work Quonset hut one day reading a book when someone walked in. As he passed I just glanced up and continued reading. He passed me and two seconds later came a scream "Attention on Deck" we all jumped up. The Captain returned to me with a scowl and said well Cpl. at least some one here recognizes an officer.

I stammered "sir I was engrossed in the book and didn't register who it was who walked in. It was a good thing there were no "Skin" books in the hut. He picked up the book I was reading and advised me to read what is to be done when a Officer walks in a room.. For me, luckily it was the Marine Guide book. He then slapped his swagger stick against his leg and walked out. I was up for Sgt and sweated it but he never asked my name.

Sgt F. Rigiero 56/59 Semper Fi all

Marines Flip Flops

Addressing a CWO

Dear Sgt. Grit,

While reading the last few newsletters with stories about W.O.'s I was reminded of an incident with a Navy W.O. In the fall of 1978, Then President Carter had ordered Gitmo to be reinforced because Mr. Castro was making some noise. A BLT from Camp Lejeune and a Squadron of A-4s from Cherry Point were sent.

The Navy EOD team at that time didn't have anyone on their team familiar with the A-4 so, 2nd MAW sent down one of our EOD Sgts. to attached to the Navy EOD Team (one of the best 6 weeks of my career). Boatson Master Chief Miller the NCOIC of the Navy team took me under his wing and made sure I was taken care of and that no one messed with me (he was also one of my instructors at EOD School).

One day the Master Chief and I were in the Navy Ammo Dump. There was a Navy W-2 running things at the dump that day. In the course of conversation I at one point referred to the W.O. as Gunner. Apparently not being familiar with Marine talk the W.O. took offence and started in on me. Master Chief Miller interrupted him, and informed him "Whether you realize it or not that Marine just paid you a compliment. So you should probably keep your mouth shut before you p%@s him off". Gotta love those Navy Master Chief's.

"Keep your head down and your powder dry"
Ric Backus
74 - 95

Re: the addressing a WO--Easy, if he had a bursting bomb brass insignia his rank on his collar he was a "GUNNER" and saluted no officer below major.-- .We had such a man (The Gunner's name was Homer Humpky) who had served on Guadalcanal as mortar officer and in late summer-fall of 1944-45 was on the training staff at Pendleton as officer-in-charge of 81mm mortar trng... had 20 years Corps time including duty in China...

His Mortar training team... had 1st Sgt with 21 year (China, too) couple of sgts and the other six or seven Marines with eight-years, including Central America.

They rode the dickens (slightly more salty words) of one of their number who made PFC before ending his first six-year hitch. They could be hard-aszs graciously, treating we post Boots like equals... They knew we were headed for the Pacific as replacements and wanted us trained...

Dale Cook 2-f-23 4marDiv (Iwo vet)

As a CWO4 who enlisted in 1965 and was reminded that it was time to retire in 2006, I can say without hesitation that the term "Chief Officer" is not a proper way to address and Warrant Officer. During my time on active duty and in the reserves, the following terms have been used and some fall in and out of favor. They are: Gunner Jones; Mr. Jones; and either Warrant Officer Jones or Chief Warrant Officer Jones.

It is not improper to use the full rank when addressing a warrant officer, i.e. "Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jones" but it is generally not required as the five different warrant officer ranks really only matter to other WOs (to establish pecking order). It would be used in a formal setting, such as introductions, retirement ceremonies, etc. but not in day to day communications.

In the Army, however, it is common for warrant officers to be called simply, "Chief" and it aggravates the devil out of me when I visit Ft. Bragg and am greeted with that term.

Hope that is some help

Miles F. Weaver
CWO-4 USMC (Ret.)

My response to L/Cpl Sexton's question in the 7/21 newsletter can you address a Marine Warrant Officer as "Chief Officer" is, NO! In my 20+ years, Private to Gunny to CWO-3, I have never heard any Marine use "Chief Officer". As a Marine Warrant Officer I was normally addressed as, "Warrant Officer or Chief Warrant Officer" (once I was selected for CWO-2 & 3).

I do remember when I was TAD aboard an Army base several times I was called 'Chief'. My usual reply to being addressed as 'Chief' was, "I am a Marine Warrant Officer and unless you see 'feathers' on my head, please (Marines are always polite) address me as Warrant Officer". While my MOS didn't rate the 'Bursting Bomb' many called me "Gunner", my favorite!

CWO-3 Rick Leach
USMC Retired

Sgt. Grit,

Regarding LCpl. Sexton's question, I believe referring to a warrant officer as chief officer would be inappropriate. It does not make a direct reference to his warrant officer rank.

When I served from 1970 to 1974, we would most likely call the warrant officer Mr. Smith or, somewhat more informally, Gunner Smith. If it was a somewhat more formal situation, we might say Warrant Officer Smith. The only time I heard a warrant officer referred to as Chief Warrant Officer was in a very formal situation such as a retirement ceremony.

So, I think referring to the CWO as a Chief Officer is wrong, regardless of what he called himself.

Woodrow W. Pea, Jr.
Active duty USMC, 1970-1974

In regards to the question posed by L/Cpl Sexton about the proper way to address a Chief Warrant Officer I'll relay how I learned the lesson. Fortunately for me I learned it by watching someone else do it incorrectly.

When I was a young salty PFC about 3 months out of Boot Camp we had a much older, much saltier CWO-4 in our unit. This was way back in the '80's when we generically referred to all CWO-4's as "Gunner" as that title had not yet come back into "official" usage. The Gunner had been around Korea and Vietnam and was a little intimidating.

One day an Army Major who was visiting the unit addressed him by saying "Hey Chief". Well the Gunner stopped in his tracks looked the Major straight in the eye and said "Chief?" "Chief?" "MAJOR, a CHIEF is a FAT FU--ING SAILOR with a CUP OF COFFEE in his hand!" And then he walked away. I don't know who was more shocked, me or the Major.

I learned two important things that day.
#1 - Never call a Marine Warrant Officer "Chief".
#2 - Marine Warrant Officers out rank Army Majors.

Kevin J. Sullivan

In regards to Chief Officer, the correct way to address a Chief Warrant Officer 3 (other than "sir/ma'am" if you are speaking directly to him/her) is "Chief Warrant Officer", the number helps if you remember it, but it isn't generally considered wrong if you leave it out.

It's understandable getting confused as a young PFC new to the fleet. You'll learn in time that a chewing out isn't always a bad thing when applied properly. Getting bawled out for a simple slip like that is too much though. I'm not saying we need a gentler, kinder Marine Corps (far from it); but if someone chooses to deliver an aszchewing for something so slight, a truly deserved aszchewing loses its significance. In this case a simple correction would have sufficed.

SSgt Hill, Brandon E.

This is for "A. T. Sexton" and his question re: Warrant Officers. I held a number of ranks including WO 1 and CWO 2. There has always been some misunderstanding about the term "Gunner" as well. Technically and officially, a "Marine Gunner" is a warrant officer who rose through the ranks as an infantry (03 MOS) and is the only Marine who is authorized to wear a bursting bomb on his left collar with his rank insignia on the other collar.

Warrant officers are never addressed as "Chief Officer" but properly as "Mister" (or of course "sir" may be appropriate!). If the person wanting to address the warrant officer knows his/her name, then there are a couple of proper options: "Warrant Officer/Chief Warrant Officer Jones" or "Mr/Maam Jones" although this latter could be awkward when addressing a woman warrant officer.

It is also common to address 2nd and 1st lieutenants as "mister" or "maam" as well. In the navy it is proper to address all officers up to and including LtCdr as "mister" or "maam". Keep in mind that "maam" is really an abbreviation of the word "Madame" and in today's world "Madame" might have a negative connotation!

Maj James Murphy USMC (ret)
1164618/060665 3511/1345/1302/1305/1310/0430
(various MOS's over the years!)

Heating Stove

It was interesting to read the story about the DI and Gen. Krulak. I was in Plt. 280 in '59, we were all busy with our work in the hut one evening when someone noticed Maj. Deptula the battalion XO sitting on the heating stove in our hut, needless to say the place jumped to attention. I seem to remember that all he said was "carry on."

We were also told that our "E" company commander Capt. E.E. Evans was the son of a Marine pilot who was the first to loop a seaplane.

E.L. Collins, Cpl.

Daddy Would Read

Back in the days of yore, before cell phones, pre-paid phone cards, Skype, e-mail, and whatever else is taken for granted nowadays... (I know a Marine Mom who gets one or two phone calls a week from her 'forward deployed' 0331 son...) the techie way to communicate with the folks at home was by mailing small tape recordings back and forth. In fact, in late 1966, the tape cassette was the latest and greatest... had started out that tour with a small reel-to-reel recorder purchased at the PX at Subic Bay.

Our daughter was two and gaining, when ol' Dad had a bright idea!... advised Mom that when she bought a 'Little Golden Book' (that probably needs a 'TM' on it...), that she should buy two of the same book, mail one to me, and I would read it aloud into the tape recorder... so that the curly-haired little dickens could sit at home with the book in her lap, and Daddy would 'read' to her. (Being somewhat new to this Daddy stuff, didn't think about potential 'go back a page' commands etc... a drawback, even if somewhat minor)

The mail had come with a book... so, as my hooch mates (as gnarly a bunch of Mustang Lts and WO's as ever was corralled, and Tankers on top of that...) were off sippin' sasparilla or Carling's Black Label over at 1stTankBn Officer's mess along with a movie, there I was at my elaborate desk, (which was labeled in several places with 'Shell, 105MM Howitzer... etc") with only one light and the tape recorder, recording the tale of the Three Little Pigs... replete with sound effects, of course. "I'LL HUFF, and I'LL PUFF, and..."

Ever get that feeling when you're alone, that you're no longer alone?... looked around, and there they were, having come into the hooch via the back door. Consensus was, that while a good try, this alone was not going to get me sent home for a Section 8...


Note: Marines, that should bring a bit of moisture to the area below your forehead. I have two daughters, I don't know how I would have handled not being around them as they grew up. Great story, thank you for it.
Sgt Grit

Slight Curve

Sgt Grit,
Campaign Cover: The one I was issued, wore proudly in 3rd RTBn, Parris Island from 1963-'65 (and still have), didn't have a cord around the brim. It was issued with a leather strap. Our Bn Sgt Maj's pet peeve was insuring that the brims were flat - not with a slight (!) curve upward in the front & rear, and worn squarely on the head - like National Park Rangers.

We don't promise you a Rose Garden Poster We however, chose to look more like your poster, "We don't promise you a rose garden" also sold elsewhere in the catalog. He finally gave up when all the Series Gunnery Sergeants began wearing them our way. We claimed it a Marine Tradition to wear them that way as evidenced by a lot of old photos.

By the way, my call sign was Cassandra, 1966 in The 'Nam..

P. Formaz


"Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one."
--Thomas Paine

"You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."
--Abraham Lincoln

"It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom - for that alone, which no good man gives up but with life itself."
--Declaration of Arbroath, Scotland, 1320

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it!"
--Albert Einstein

"We shall not fail or falter;
we shall not weaken or tire.
Neither the sudden shock of battle
nor the long drawn trails of vigilance
and exertion will wear us down. Give
us the tools and we will finish the job."

--Sir Winston Churchill

Short Rounds

I was a field radio operator starting in Battalion (call sign "Nailbrush"). I was sent to Alpha Co.1/5 in late February 1968 (Hue City) First call sign "All brook Alpha 6" later it was changed to "Millbrook Alpha 6". I stayed in Alpha Company 1/5 until end of tour. The tour started in Hoi An; then Phu Loc, Hue, Phu Bai and ended in An Hoa. There were many places in between such as "Troi Bridge." These call signs may bring back memories to some of your readers.

Semper Fidelis:

There are 7,997 individuals still carried as unaccounted for from the Korean War (73,792 from WWII and 1,687 from Vietnam). NC

Call signs,
5th Comm. Bn.- Moring Glory
Const. Plt.,-Hoot Gibson
MGySgt. Rod West (Ret)
RVN 2/66-9/67
Desert Shield/Desert Storm 1/91-4/91

Hi SGT. Grit

While in China In 1946 H&S 1st. Bat 5th as a radio operator we were guarding a bridge with a re-enforced grunt plt our call sign was STRATFORD while Battalion was AVON. I don't remember the schedule but we had to report every so often.
Jim Crandall Cpl of Marines

Oh my goodness! That first reader submission (by Robert A Hall) was priceless!

My teenage kids, who are in the Young Marines, and I all laughed out loud at that one.

Korea, The Shooting Stopped, Armistice Signed, after 36,572 American deaths. That's an average of 988+ per month, or 12,190 per/year.


Jim Grimes wrote about the different meals. I remember a C-3 meal (dinner). Spiced Beef. It was one of the best of the C Rats.

Dale Strawn
Cpl 2108037


Back in November 1966 I was in final training for deployment to Viet-Nam. I was standing in the chow line when a jeep drove up and skidded to a stop sending dust everywhere. The driver and an officer got out and ran into the chow hall. The guy in front of me said they were looking for someone. I joking said, "They are looking for me, but I am going to eat first". When I got back to my unit I was informed to get all my gear and stand by for a jeep to take me to headquarters. Yes, they were looking for me.

My jeep came and off we went. When I arrived I was escorted into an office and the door was closed behind me. I was told to sit and then advised my father had passed away and I was to be given leave to go home for the funeral. I was shocked because my Dad was in good health when I saw him some two weeks earlier. I flew out that night.

When I got home my Mom informed me what had happened. Dad was getting dressed to go have his Nitro medication refilled when he died. The doctor after told me Dad was overweight, high blood pressure, plus he smoked four packs of Salem's a day. His heart literally blew up.

After the funeral a friend of the family, full bird in the Air Force, asked me if I wanted him to start the paperwork for a Hardship Case since I was the only son. I told him to go for it. I then told him, even today I do not know why, going was something I HAD to do. Within a week I was across the big pond and attached to 2/9.

When I was waiting for the freedom bird in Da Nang to take me back, 13 months later, I found a kid that did engravings. I gave him my well used Zippo and he added a few things to it. It was later stolen from me. Of all the things I cherished most from Nam, my Zippo engravings.

I do not remember the exact wording on my Zippo; however, this is what I had engraved on my Viet-Nam K-bar - "I didn't have to - I did it anyway - and I am better for doing it".

Translated; I did not have to go to Viet-Nam, but I went anyway and I am better because I did go.

Sgt. Halpin

People Were Parting

Sgt Grit,
When I read the stories about Marines strutting it reminded me about some stories I had written about my whole life. The Marine Corps was one of the biggest times in my young life. Below is the story I wrote about "strutting" or what my Mother said about it.

Most of my uniforms went from MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan by military transport except for a bare minimum. Most all my civilian clothes I sent home by bus, Greyhound or Trailways, in two seabags. I paid extra to have a notice sent to my parent's home indicating the two seabags had arrived.

When I got home and they weren't there, Mom and I went downtown LA to see what happened to them. We went to one terminal, then to the other, and back to the first terminal, I was told each time that they didn't have my seabags. The two terminals weren't far apart; they were within walking distance of each other. When I entered the first terminal for the second time, my mother, who was behind me said as I was walking toward the complaint counter it seemed as though people were parting just to get out of my way. (I guess this is the strut we are talking about). I also wasn't too happy about not getting a notice that they had arrived, but also getting a run around like we were, wasn't helping me control my temper either.

Upon a second look, the first bus terminal we entered for the second time, found them in storage where they were collecting storage fees. But, since no notice was sent, they would give me my seabags and the storage fees would be dropped. I said fine, give me my seabags and I'll get out of here, and we left.

Thanks for all you do for all Marines, Sgt.
Semper Fi
Cpl Bob Reiseck Jan 60 - Dec 63


I am really surprised to see and hear stories regarding individuals assigned to Anglico units. For those of you who are not familiar with this USMC unit, ANGLICO is an acronym for Air/Naval/Gunfire/Liaison/Company, who's personnel were traditionally assigned as liaison to non-USMC units. I personally was assigned to the ROKMC (Republic of Korea Marines) during my tour in Vietnam 67-68. Our role was to call in med- evac's, air strikes and naval gunfire as well as all logistic support. Our principle area of operations just prior to the 68 Tet Offensive was in Hoi An, approximately 18 miles south of Danang.

Semper Fi to my Anglico brothers and all Marines.
Jim Marshall

Fire Lottery

Sgt Grit,

Sgt Krause must have been aboard the USS George Clymer the same time as me. I was with 1st Comm Provisional at Camp Hauge in 1964 when we flapped out on the Clymer towards Vietnam because of the Gulf of Tonkin incident. We never landed, just sailed up and down the coast of Vietnam in the South China Sea.

As I recall the ship had wooden decks topside as old as it was being launched in 1941. As we sailed towards the Philippines the ship had over a dozen fires, all electrical. It concerned us at first but after a few fire alerts it became routine. Someone in our outfit came up with the idea of a lottery to guess how many fires we would have before we reached the Philippines. I don't remember who won but this is my recollection of sailing aboard the George Clymer. The USS George Clymer was decommissioned in Oct.1967.
Semper Fi.

GySgt G.R. Archuleta
USMC Retired

Red Patches

Sgt. Grit;
I read the letter from D. Krause of 2nd Landing Support. (Shore Party, red patches) He must have been one of the 6 Marines it took to replace me. I was 1st Landing support from 58-62. We loaded and off loaded the USS George Clymer so many times that the sailors and Marines knew each others' family history. I think about how we were assigned a hold and crammed 300 Marines with our battle gear in a space 100' X 100' for weeks at a time. Been up and down those cargo nets a few times.

(for $78.00 a month) Now a convicted killer and rapist sues us, the taxpayer, if his color T.V. set won't pick up the p-rno channel.

John Myers
(Shore Party)

I Did Not Remember x 2

Today I mark the 56th anniversary of joining the Corps. It was the best thing that I ever did. About 15 years ago or so, I finally joined the John Basilone Detachment NJMCL. At one of our meetings one of our members came up to me and said that we were in the same platoon at PI and as a matter of fact, we stood side by side when we took the oath to join in New York City. I told him that he must be mistaken because I did not remember him and as we all know, it's hard to forget the men that were in your Boot Camp platoon.

The very next meeting he showed me a copy of our traveling orders from NY to PI. Sure enough, his name appeared just above mine. After talking to him about it we found that I did not remember him because just before we were at the rifle range he came down with something that set him to sick bay and eventually he was sent back to finish his Boot training with another platoon.

Another short story was when I was still working, a guy came up to me and said that we served together while we were stationed at Camp McGill, Japan. Again I doubted it until the next day when he not only showed me a pix of us together, but it was along side of my tank. Later we figured that he was on the last draft to arrive at that duty station and I was a short timer and we never got to know each other very well.

It just goes to show you why it's important to join the Marine Corps League in your area. Not only will you feel like your HOME again among your brothers But you will never know what you may uncover.

Semper Fi!

Ray Skarzynski
Marine Sgt. E-4
Past Commandant
John Basilone Detachment
New Jersey MCL

0311/and Radio Operator In Two And A Half Hours

Hey Sgt. Grit

I arrived in Da Nang Sept. 67 as an L/Cpl 3516 mechanic. I walked up to a table and handed my orders to an E-6 and waited. He stamped 0311 on them and I said Hey Staff Sgt I'm a 3516 mech. He said not now welcome to the Nam. I was sent to Delta Co 1st. MPs checked in and went to my hooch.

In a little while a Sgt. Came in and said Hey L/Cpl Summers can you operate a PRC 25 I said yes Sgt. He said good your h-mping it tonight go get checked out at the com shack. I had just gotten back from a Carib. Cruise and had gone through the jungle warfare school in Panama so at least I wasn't completely clueless. I was later transferred to Bravo Co. at Marble Mt. and humped the PRC 25 there for my Lt.(Lt. Olson) on many operations and patrols. I'm sure the training the Corps gave us gave us all that can do attitude it has served me well all these years. O I just remembered what they told us in boot camp all Marines are 0300!

Garry L. Summers

Plaster On That Smile

Sarge Many thanks for helping keep my spirits up hoorah somehow it seems Vietnam will never be over. Where have all those lost brothers gone? They're in heaven guarding the city of the Lord. I go on for them as long as my will of iron lets me thanks for you guys and your attitude... 3 times a private but always a general 3rd mardiv IIImaf 5th brigade black sheep.

If you think pain is weakness leaving the body, try out Parkinsons Disease, then you will know pain comes from an inner fountain at the intersection of the streets guarded by those lost brothers. Just plaster on that grin, rise and meet the dawn as you salute their sacrifice.
Always Remember SEMPER FIDELIS
255-60-69 1969-1972 USMC

Blows My Mind

Am I being too selfish? I would have loved a can of peaches or pears once a month in Nam as a care package, but "video games, musical instruments, comforts of home". We didn't even have that in training. Are we getting soft? I don't know. Blows my mind.

Don't get me wrong, I send the USO money regularly, but this one caught me by surprise. From what I have read, the troops are drowning in care packages.

Oh well,

Proper Return

Back in 1980 I was sent to Fort Bliss TX. strait out of boot at P. I. for HAWK. Our C.O. at the time was Capt. Bushelman. He liked our uniforms to look pressed, so we used the base cleaners.

One afternoon I was going to the cleaners to pick up my uniforms. As I was walking down the sidewalk I was facing a black army butter bar. As I got close enough I popped a salute with the proper greeting for that time of day. When the Lt. returned the salute he did it with his left hand and said 'yo man what's up'.

I stopped and looked at him and he asked me what's wrong soldier. I said that I was a Marine not a soldier and that required a proper return for my salute. He looked at me puzzled to which I informed him that you don't salute with your left hand. This is where it got scary he took a step back and had to look at both of his hands like he was trying to remember which one was his right after studding them for a few seconds, he gave me a proper salute and said carry on. After he walked on I thought to myself the army was scraping the bottom of the barrel with this one and this guy thought he was back in the hood.

Sgt. D. Jones 79-83

Pop, You Are Missed

Flying Sergeant,
Maj. W.M. Russ (Ret.)
Please excuse the dates are fuzzy because we never wrote the book before he passed.
First enlistment 1936-1939, Sea going/China Marine, USS Augusta, Just missed Chesty commin' & Goin'. But was there for the Firing upon the ship. Great Liberty!
Recalled 1940.
1942, SSgt.
"If I can't get flight school, give me Raiders!" Got Flight School NAS P.Cola. With Tyrone Powers. Commissioned 2nd Lt. Flew Transports all over the Pacific WWII, Search party for J.F.K. and rescue party for "Pappy" Boyington.(POW).
Served in Korea/Chosin "We cried, we couldn't get more wounded on the planes"
Flew as Commandant Gen. Sheppard's Pilot in Command.
Retired 1956 H&MS-31, MAG-31(Rein)FMF,MCAS Miami, Fl.
All This without a high school diploma.
As a sub contractor (Flight Instructor/Flight Commander) for the Army 1965-1973. They required him to get it. He was so proud! " BS! Army! It ain't what you know, it's the paper that says you don't!" Didn't care for the Army or "collage boys" But when those Army College boys went off to Vietnam, that Naval Aviator Made sure they could fly "Fixed Wing"!
He once saw a C-47 at Cairens Field and said "Humph, got about a 2000 hours in that one back when it was an R4D. '"Even showed me the log book!

Pop, You are missed

Great Tattoo

USMC Bulldog Tattoo USMC Bulldog Tattoo

LCpl Charlie Oman
66-67 Vietnam
M Company, 3rd Bn, 1st Marines

Great Truck

Nathan Kelley Truck from Photo Contest Great black truck. Nathan Kelly came by the store the other day. He design the flag holders himself and has made several for other Marines in the Topeka, Kansas area. He had some of our product on his truck. The back window see-through graphic and the flags. The flags will no longer be available. Get them while they last.

Mystery Marine

Sgt. Grit

I recall an incident that happen to me that might be of interest to other Marines from back in the 1950s... I had just graduated Boot Camp from MCRD San Diego in Dec. 1956 and was heading back to Indiana for Christmas and a 30 day leave... All of us guys going back east had boarded the Santa Fe train there at San Diego and was excited to be on our way home...

After a couple hours into our trip we all started getting a little restless and found our way to the Club Car... One thing led to another and we began to get a little rowdy... Enough so some of the passengers started complaining to the Porter about us... We had noticed in the back of our car was a Marine sitting by himself in full Dress Blues with hash mark stripes on his sleeve reading a book... He hadn't shown any interest in us guys or even talking to us for that matter, he just let us continue on with what we were doing... And we weren't doing anything except being a little loud and enjoying ourselves, after all we had just graduated and were told you are now Marines, we were on top of the world and enjoying our freedom...

But the farther down the tracks we got the louder we got and here come the Porter with a look of disgust on his face... He said you guys are being too loud and you need to get back to your seats and be quite... Well I noticed the Marine in the back just looked up at the Porter then went back to reading his book...

We were quite for awhile but like 17 and 18 year old boys not for long, and we got loud again... Here come the Porter stomping into our car and said I told you guys to sit down and be quite, you are disturbing other passengers... Again the Marine just sat there showing nothing either way...

Well it happened the third time and the Porter was having a fit... All of a sudden the big Marine laid his book down beside him, stood up and walked up to the Porter... Got right up in his face and in a very polite but firm voice told him... You have been in here three times tonight giving these boys a hard time, He said where these boys just came from they have been through a living he-ll, and he told him in a tone that sounded like a DI don't come back into this car tonight... He then walked back to his seat and sat down and went back to reading his book...

The Porter never came back... We never knew who he was or where he was going but I'll never forget the respect I had for that Marine that night for standing up for us... I often wonder who he was and what his story was... Where ever that Marine is tonight I say... SEMPER FI

Howard W. Kennedy on Facebook

Army Bronze Star

SF Sgt. Grit,

In response to Sgt. Vitek's letter about the number of bronze stars awarded by the U.S. Army, I have read in many books about Nam, that the bronze star was given as an end of tour award. I cannot say that all were not earned by the recipients. I have read that army K-9 dogs received this award as well. The Marine Corps is very stingy with this medal and when awarded, I believe it is only with the combat "V" authorization. If I am wrong, feel free to correct me.

Dan Buchanan
2531 E3
USMC 1969-71
Nam 70-71

Quite a while back I saw an article on the internet that said the Army awarded a Bronze Star to any Soldier in WWII that rated an Army Combat Infantry Badge. A blanket issue. Please check it out.
Semper Fi! Gunny Jack Bolton

Keep kicking at darkness until it bleeds light Popping smoke!
Sgt Grit

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