Sgt Grit Newsletter - 10 MAR 2011

In this issue:
• Plt 2066 x 2
• Imposters, Death on a Wire, Promotions and more reader reactions!

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My son is w 2/9 golf co. Just returned home from Afghan safe to USA. Lost 18 awesome Marines during his tour. God bless their families. I'm praying for all of you. A grateful mother.

In This Issue

What a way to start the newsletter. 18 Marines lost. Marines are still at war. This mother among many others is grateful, 18 others are...
I was thinking of giving up sugar for Lent. I think I will change that. For Lent every time I want to complain about gas prices, traffic, poor delivery from a vendor, too much sugar or whatever it might be. I will stop and remember those 18 mothers. May God Bless Them ALL!

What are the odds 2066 x 2, boot camp torture, imposters, working plumbing, more about Okinawa, death on a wire, 3rd part of 10 stories of 1963 boot camp. Also an outstanding collection of pictures and text of the Amphibious Reconnaissance Company/Battalions of the 1950s (260 photos).

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

the Sgt Grit Facebook the Sgt Grit Blog

7th Comm

Comm. Co. 7th Comm. Btn. 3rd Mar. Div. FMF Marines holding FMF flag Sgt Grit,

Photo's here were taken from Comm. Co. 7th Comm. Bn. 3rd Mar. Div. FMF while at Camp Hansen, Okinawa in the summer of 1974....Came across them looking through old photo's and thought some of my brothers may want them.

Semper Fi...
Cpl D.E. Peterson

Comm. Co. 7th Comm. Btn. 3rd Mar. Div. FMF while at Camp Hansen, Okinawa in the summer of 1974

Out Of Uniform

20 of us flew into San Diego from Dallas, got on the bus went from Lindbergh field into MCRD san diego and pulled up in front of the yellow footprints. a very large scowling gunny leaned in the open door looked me right in the eyes ( I was near the rear of the bus), looked at the driver and very casually said, I sure would hate to be the last expletive-expletive off this bus! I ran over 12 recruits heads and shoulders to get off the bus!

The usual screaming yelling etc haircuts, initial issue and about 0130 hours we were placed in Quonset huts and the doors were shut. at 0430 hrs our three di's came in yelling and screaming. after falling in alphabetically according to height, SSgt ayala began his welcoming spiel, you people will never make Marines etc. do as you are told and you will survive, the longer it takes me to remember your name, the better off you are...

get up here pvt kent. 42 seconds into my first day and he knows my name. I was 6'2" and all of 128 lbs. show me the big red S on your chest he demanded. Sir! the private has no big red S on his chest! Sir! I screamed. Well then superman, drop and give me 5,000 pushups for being out of uniform. and things only went downhill from there!

Floyd Kent Sgt 1966-1970

10 new t-shirts

Desert Storm, 20 Years

Kilo 3/5's Deployment to the Gulf in 1990

Walt Chingo in Dress Blues - 1968

2066 x 2

I joined the Marine Corps because of my father, Walt Chingo. He is a Marine, and I saw the pride he had in being a Marine, and I decided I wanted to share that pride with him. My father was a Grunt in Force Troops Fleet Marine Force from 1968 - 1970, and served in Vietnam 1969 - 1970. Platoon 2066 - 1968 I was a Heavy Equipment Operator in the reserves, 6th Engineer Support Battalion from 1999 - 2005, and served two tours in Iraq - the initial push in 2003 and then again 2004 - 2005.

Platoon 2066 - 1999 But the greatest thing in this Father-Son Marine Corps story is the fact that we graduated from the same platoon in boot camp. My father graduated from platoon 2066 in 1968 and I graduated from platoon 2066 in 1999. What are the odds in a father and son graduating from the exact same platoon 31 years apart? Travis Chingo in Dress Blues - 1999

A higher power certainly saw fit to fate us to being a part of something special together in a very special way, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Semper Fi,

Travis Chingo

Forget The Baby Wipes

My heart is with him, and all the rest. If you are a grunt, though (I was 0331 myself) - you take baths when you can. Otherwise, it's best to be funky, get down in that crud and become one with it. Forget about the baby wipes, gedunk, hot chow, everything but your mission and the men in your unit. The other stuff is a distraction best forgotten.

Trust me on this.

Leaning Against The Bulkhead

In the early 50's I decided to enlist. So I went to the recruiting station. I stopped at the Army office and asked how much they paid. The recruiter said $45.00 a month. I told him I made that much delivering papers. Then I went to the Navy, they said the same thing. As I was leaving the building I saw a Marine in his dress blues leaning against the bulkhead. He said "Semper Fi"; I thought he said $75. so I enlisted.
"Just a joke, son" !
Regards, Joe Font

Amphibious Reconnaissance Company/Battalions of the 1950s

Cpl, Wayne Pilny 1315941
"A" CO 1ST Amphibious Reconnaissance
Marine Corps 1952/55
Pictures and text of the Amphibious Reconnaissance Company/Battalions of the 1950s (260 photos)

You will be amazed at the detail and history this Marine has put together and allowed me to post.
Sgt Grit


If you want to know about real torture in the Corps, I can tell you what it was like in 1966 at MCRD.

After seven weeks of training, we were allowed to go to a movie. We all marched in and stood at attention till told to sit. As we sat there waiting for the movie to start, we got to see all the previews of coming attractions. They were great. Full color, wide screen, we really had our hopes up for a good movie. When the movie started, we got to see "Jessie James meets Frankenstein's Daughter". Now that was torture!

Richard Constable
Viet Nam 1966-67-68

USMC Cartoon by freddie

USMC Cartoon by Freddie

Semper Fi Marine

This was a customer I have personally dealt with daily in my 5 years of working here:
By Kristy Fomin, Customer Service Mgr

Stoney North of Glendale Arizona and long time customer of Sgt Grit's died March 2nd 2011 while on a motorcycle ride with the Patriot Guard. He loved the Patriot Guard, the Marine Corps, his wife Peggy and his children and grandchildren.

I had an email waiting for me daily from this customer and we spoke often by phone. He was an absolute delight to talk with, not to mention one of the world's biggest flirts. He would call me from his computer room and his wife Peggy could hear his conversations through the vents in the house and from what I understand she pretty much ignored them because he was just that full of bull. I have spoken with Peggy a few times and I think we agreed he was just plain ornery.

We were looking forward to possibly meeting at this year's Gritogether. I am very sorry I will not get that chance. Stoney will be dearly missed by the Sgt Grit team and very personally by me. Our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family.

Semper Fi Stoney

Baby in Lean & Mean Just Like Grampy shirt with Emblem

(He was so excited to have this
shirt made for his grandson!)


Sgt. Grit,
In reference to promotion ceremonies for contract PFC's, I was a contract PFC and no, we didn't have a promotion ceremony. I was at P.I. Oct. 83 to Jan 84. Those who rated it, received their uniforms with the stripes sewn on already. The only ceremony we received was boot camp graduation, which was ceremony enough. I had made it. Every other promotion I received up to Sgt. was done through a ceremony.
Semper Fi
Sgt. Ed DeVoe
0481/Red Patch

I would like to weigh in on the subject of promotion ceremonies. First of all, I made corporal while on mess duty. A crusty old mess sergeant came up to me and said something like "Don't paint those d-mned stripes on for another week". That was my ceremony. I made sergeant while I was stationed at Pickle Meadows. The Comm officer handed me a piece of paper and turned around and said "slick sleeve Sergeant. H-ll I didn't make Corporal until I shipped over". He was an old mustang who originally enlisted in 1939.
J Kern, Sgt. 1950-54

Marine Steven Cox in this newsletter commented that he witnessed promotion ceremonies for enlisted Marines only after graduating boot camp and that pfcs completing same were not honored with a ceremony. I cannot remember any special ceremony when I was promoted to cpl. in '55 and sgt. in '56. There was no ceremony and no "pinning" because we did not wear pins designating our rank. What I do remember is adding another chevron with a permanent marker to the sleeves of my dungaree jacket and when Stateside having the cleaners at Camp P affix the new ranks to my Ike jacket, blouse and raincoat for a small fee.

Graduation from boot camp at that time also was no big deal involving families. There may have been half a dozen civilians in attendance when I was graduated. This may have been because of the expenses involved in traveling. I recall I spent 2 1/2 days each way on the train from Diego to Chi for boot camp leave prior to reporting to Tent Camp 2 and then Staging Rgt.

Semper Fi,
Bob Rader
God Bless America and the U.S. Marine Corps

Promotion Ceremony? I have one that would bring tears to your eyes. HMM-265 was running operations off the USS Iwo Jima Sept 1969 when the Sgt promotions came out. Missed it by an RCH. The CO needed two more Sgts so he said find a couple guys with combat aircrew wings. I was sitting in the right seat of a CH-46A when the Squadron Top walked up to the side hatch and let me know I made it but don't tell anyone he told me. Later, while walking near the Ready Room, an arm came out of the Admin Office and grabbed the collar of my jungle jacket. I was pulled into the office, Sgt stripes were pinned on my collars, each Marine in the office pinned the stripes on my arms and I was handed a warrant for a Meritorious Combat Promotion and orders for 3 days at China Beach. Dismissed. Grabbed the next helo out.

Wayne Stafford
USMC 66-70
RVN 68-69

PS: At China Beach, I ran into my old bunky Letter (Linsmeyer) from Phu Bai. Had a great time.

As for ceremonies for stripes. Well contracted promotions don't rate. Sorry. The ones that you remember are the ones you earn. My Cpl and Sgt stripes were earned... and then pinned. As per tradition, all the E5 and above Marines that so chose, got to line up and "pin" those stripes on each shoulder. Yep, just another one of those goofy traditions like "Qualifying with a sledge hammer", or sending boots after a can of "Black and Yellow Checkered Paint". After more than 30 years those traditions still make me LMAO.

Sgt of Marines 79-83

Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just,
And this be our motto - "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

One of them

This means to me acceptance by my Marines as one of them. This is the honor to any Navy Corpsman.

Read the story: Vet Earns Silver Star after 42 years

As a FMF Corpsman you have one foot in the Navy and one in the Marine Corps. I am so proud and humbled that they consider me one of them that they would do this after so many years.

Dennis "Doc" Noah.

Short Rounds

Charlie Battery 1/13 is looking for the original members who were with us when we formed up at Camp Horno, Pendleton 1966 until we rotated back to the states from Khe Sanh in Oct 1967. The reunion will be held on Aug 26-27-28 in West Harrison, IN. For more info call Ron Hoffman 920-468-0984 or email me at ronwhoffman @ new.rr .com (no spaces)

I enjoyed the picture taken 8 November 1955 of the 5 year-old and the Marine Staff Sergeant. I enlisted on 8 November 1955 and reached Master Sergeant, however, I received a combat commission 14 August 1967, for my 1965 Sergeant Squad Leader service in Vietnam, and retired a Lieutenant Colonel.

Note: The Staff Sergeant had no crossed rifles on his rank insignia. E8, E-9 and Lance Corporal did not hit the scene until 1 January 1959.

Sergeant Major Rohrs and Sergeant Lowe, thanks for the memories.
Semper Fi!
William R. "Bill" Melton
LtCol, USMC (Ret.)

I grew up with MARINE on the brain, both my uncles are jarheads along with a long list of us. Then I became part of a long list of "MEN"! Thanks 2 the countless hours of torment from my uncles I AM and ALWAYS BE a USMC. OHRAh.
CAMP LEJEUNE 96 Sgt. Indio. NM

All Marines who ever served at the Marine Barracks Rota are invited to join us for our 4th Annual Rota Marines Reunion to be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Beaufort, South Carolina on October 6-10, 2011. A special tour of the MCRD Parris Island is scheduled which includes attending the latest Marine Corps Recruit Depot Graduation Ceremony. For complete reunion details write to Reunion @ RotaMarines .com or link to

the best email I get is yours 75years still a Marine thank you for your emails. I was at Parris Island and saw the recruits pulled from ribbon creek a lot of changes occurred after that no more Pfc's or corporals as junior Drill Instructors. Chris Lumley.

I was with the Marine Support Battalion reporting to and serving with the Navy CT"s of the Naval Security Group. We were attached in support of Divisions such as the III MAF in Nam, i.e. 1st Radio Bn now the 3rd Radio Bn. and 1st went to Pendleton, 2nd Radio Bn at Lejeune. Unfortunately, you don't hear or see much of us. Since you were in DaNang; you might have heard of that the 1st Radio Bn had one of our platoons up on 327.

Semper Fi
John J. Cihak (SSgt)
1964-1970 Nam 68-69

Semper Fi from a 2/2 Vet. Wishing I was back in.

Another bunch of wonderful Marine stories! Thanks Sarge!
Cpl. "Chip" Morgan 3rd Mar. Div. Northern I Corps, 1968 Vietnam

USMC ( Vietnam1968, still lost somewhere along the DMZ ) " Revenge is a dish best served cold" Old Sicilian Mafia saying Also old Klingon saying from Star Trek "The Wrath of Khan"

Cpl. Meyer, Marion, Ray 24Feb.11 Attn. P.C.S. Heaven's Shores M. Ray Meyer has been reassigned permanently to Motor- T; Air Travel is Authorized. After serving '72-'75 Ray was discharged to married life where he lovingly raised 4 children and 7 grandchildren with his wife of 36 yrs., Colleen (Kennedy). espirit de Corps, Semper Fi Ray. God Bless.

I respect Lou Famino's remarks on the Ribbon Creek incident. What I don't respect is his sarcasm suggesting I could not attain Sgt. in my three year enlistment, when in fact I made Sgt. in 18 months.
1 May 1956-meritorious Pfc. P.I. LtC Thompson
1 May 1957- Corporal Major Mosca
1 Nov 1957-meritorious Sgt. LtCol Weiland It can be done.
(REALY) Sgt. Perry 1584682 Semper Fi


Hey Sgt. Grit,
My name is Cpl. Sweet, former active duty Iraq veteran and current college student (thanks in part, to the efforts of one Marine, Senator Jim Webb looking out for his "own"). I have a report of yet another impostor.

I used to work for a major beverage company on a part time basis stocking the shelves of a major store. One day I struck up a conversation with a young gentleman that worked for this store because I overheard him talking about the M-16. As a 2111 (armorer) that was like "music to my ears" and quickly got my attention.

Without knowing that I was a Marine, the young man proceeded to tell me that he was indeed a Marine sniper. I kept my wits about me and asked him if boot camp was as hard as everyone says. He told me that boot camp was a joke and that "once my DRILL SERGENT yelled at me and I told him that my grandmother could yell louder that that!" he then said that him and his DRILL SERGENT shared a laugh afterward.

While maintaining my bearing (barely) I reached into my wallet and showed the boy my Marine ID, which I was holding in my hand which was now shaking from anger and told him to never tell anyone such a ridiculous story again or I would ensure that he was charged with impersonating a Marine. We never really spoke again after that day and I made sure to let all of his coworkers, from his management down, know that he was a dishonest little pencil necked dweeb. To my knowledge he never made the claim again.

Cpl. Sweet/2111

At this point you are doing all you can do and in the most civilized manner that you can since the Stolen Valor Act has recently been declared unconstitutional. See article here: Stolen Valor Act We all need to do what we can to overturn this ruling.

This completely stupid ruling disgusts me as do people making false claims about military service and awards. It seems that she isn't even making an attempt to make believable claims. Her claims are so outrageous and laughable, I am surprised that she has been able to convince herself of them. I applaud you for staying calm. I don't think I could do the same. My husband is a combat veteran and I am so proud of him and all who serve and have served. I don't think I would be able to maintain my composure when faced with someone like this "lady" you are describing.

One thing though... my dad always told me that imitation was the highest form of flattery. It seems that the majority of these people making false claims, are claiming to be Marines. Just more proof that the Marines are the best.

Semper Fi from Texas

Sgt. Grit:

Just finished your latest newsletter. Great job as usual. I have noticed in the past 2-3 issues there have been articles about imposters. I guess I have a slightly different take. If these b-stards want to call them self Marines, why should we worry about it. Nine times out of ten you can tell immediately that they are FF (f--king fakers). Why should we waste valuable space in a great news letter to give them any time or attention that they surely don't deserve. I think we should challenge the ff if the opportunity arises, but other than that, we should keep them out of our minds and discourse.

John Nordlund

Christmas Surprise

A similar experience happened to me, when it came to junk food. I spent Christmas at MCRD San Diego in 2003. My platoon wasn't allowed to have any packages opened from home on Christmas. So we were all feeling a little home sick. One of my Drill Instructors sent me on a "highly important mission." I was tasked with going to the neighboring squad bay to retrieve some Coffee mix.

Upon my arrival, I discovered the neighboring squad bay looked like so many of the Christmas mornings I had enjoyed at home. Boxes were opened everywhere, wrapping paper, candy, gifts, letters, everything you could think of was all over the squad bay. It literally looked like one of Santa's Helpers had exploded in the squad bay. This lucky platoon was able to enjoy a short Christmas break. The look on my face must have been pretty pathetic, because a recruit from that platoon took pity on me, and offered a mini-snickers and mini-milky way bar. I gladly accepted and placed them in my cargo pocket for later enjoyment.

I subsequently forgot the treasure that lay waiting in my cargo pocket. A day or two later our platoon was engaged in a field day when I finally remembered that I had the treasure still in my cargo pocket. and I knew the longer I had them in my pocket the more my chances of being caught increased. The last thing I needed was a melted chocolate bar in my cargo pocket, and having to explain that to my Drill Instructors. So, I walked into the head, and found a secluded area by the showers. Once I felt the coast was clear, I very quickly and clandestinely placed the snickers in my mouth.

Not a second later, I heard an earth shattering "GUIDE" being screamed from the duty hut, and relayed throughout the squad bay. Not wanting to get in trouble for taking too long to report to the duty hut, I decided on a "chew and run" tactic. I thought I had a good 15 seconds and 50 feet of chew time. A brilliant move in my mind, until, I turned the corner out of the showers and to my horror I found out my Drill Instructor was NOT waiting in the duty hut but walking into the head.

I immediately froze and forced the snickers to the roof of my mouth, hoping that I would still be able to talk without being noticed. My Drill Instructor started the sentence that was going to be an order, but stopped, and became suspicious of my mouth. He tilted his head like a dog investigating an odd sound, squinted, paused for the longest couple of seconds in my life. He then said the most terrible words in the English language, "open your mouth." My heart dropped and I opened my mouth. I knew I was caught, and prepared mentally, for what I knew was going to be some sort of record breaking I.T. session to occur. Still with the snickers squished to the roof of my mouth. He grabbed my jaw and turned my head to the left inspected my cheek, and then repeated on the right. I felt for sure he was going to see remnants of chocolate in my teeth or on my tongue. To my ultimate relief he ignored the roof of my mouth, let go, kind of shrugged as if he thought he was seeing things, then continued on with the orders he was relaying to me. To which I responded with a loud "AYE SIR," while simultaneously becoming fully aware of how little involvement of my tongue was needed to say those two beautiful words.

To this day, my heart starts to pound every time I tell this story, or even think about it. Needless to say, that was the last time I tried to sneak around. I also became good friends with the recruit who gave me the candy while attending S.O.I. and made sure to NEVER accept ANYTHING from him ever again.

Sgt Smith, D.A.
Fox 2/23 2004 - 2008
Echo Co. 2142 Nov 3, 2003 - Jan 30, 2004 "Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice, it is not a thing to be waited for it is a thing to be achieved!"


Sgt. Grit,

Two links here to VMO-6. Hope you can find time to give them a look, and if the meet your usual high standards give them a little bump in your letters.

VMO-6 Facebook

VMO-6 Memorial Page

RVN 67-69

It Seems Unfair

It seems unfair when the powers to be set retroactive dates on the Navy Marine Corps Overseas ribbon, retroactive 1987, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, ret. 1974 and the Marine Corps recruiter Ribbon Ret. 1973, while the Drill Instructor Ribbon is ret. From 1952 and the M.C. Security Guard Ribbon is ret. from 1949.

It seems to me that if you earned the award by fulfilling the requirements there should not be a date attached to it. The fulfillment of the requirements should not diminish with time.

Sgt. of Marines

Had Her Fill

Sgt. Grit,

Loved your story about why you joined the Corps. My story didn't have too much to do with seeing a recruiter in uniform, as it did with watching old WWII movies on TV. "Wake Island", "Bataan", "Guadalcanal Diary", "Sands Of Iwo Jima", etc. I was born in 1945 and I remember my brother and I would watch the movies whenever they were shown. So for me it was the Glory of the Corps that inspired me more than the uniform, although I did think the Corps had the better uniform.

However, after I graduated from high school in June of 1963, I hadn't given much thought to joining anything, and was working at a somewhat of a dead end job as an usher in a theater for all of $1.10 an hour, when I got into a big argument with my mother. She had had her fill with me not having any particular aim in life, and said that was it, I was joining the Army. I said that if I joined anything, I would join the Marines. She said she didn't care as long as I joined something.

The next day she took me down to the local recruiter, and the rest, as they say, is history. By the way, my mother's brother, my uncle, was a Corpsman in WWII and was hopping the islands with the Marines. He made it back O.K., and until he died a few years ago, we had a special bond that no one else in the family had. The local Marines gave him a burial with full Military Honors, and presented his two adult children with the Flag.

Semper Fi
Orlando R. La Rosa
USMC 1963-1967


In response to Gy Mac - The small camp below Camp Courtney, Okinawa, was Camp Tengan. It was the home of Engineer Maintenance Co, Maint Bn, FSR (now FSSG) in 1971. I was XO at that time, and running a separate camp was quite a chore. We had our own mess hall, EM club, barber, motor pool, grounds maintenance crew, etc., and all of those extra duties fell to the SLJO - me - a new 1st Lt.

Our Platoon Commanders were Chief Warrant Officers, most of whom were temporary Captains when I checked in. Our shops were in the Rex area, a collection of Butler buildings across the road and north of Courtney, and cattle cars shuttled the troops from billeting to work areas twice a day. We also housed a Bulk Fuel Platoon. It was my fate to witness the destruction of Tengan in 1984, when I was back in Okinawa on my way to Korea in support of Team Spirit. The entire camp was bulldozed to make way for more housing. All of the sugar cane fields were gone, replaced with apartments. I was glad to see the camp gone, especially the Quonset hut that was designated as my BOQ.

Battalion and Regimental HQ were at Camp Foster, next to the Army base at Sukeran (now Zukeran) near the town of Koza (now part of Okinawa City). Shore Party was a part of 3rd Mar Div when I was there, but they made a lot of changes to the T/O afterwards. Camp Hague was HQ for MCB Camp Butler at that time, also. Hope my memory serves me correctly - it's been 40 years. I believe that at the time the island's name was spelled Okinawa.

For the former 0351 - I held that MOS as an enlisted man, T/O weapons back in the day were the 3.5 in. rocket launcher, 106 recoilless rifle, C-3 plastic explosive, and M9 flame thrower. The "Death on a Wire" came with the advent of the TOW missile. (Tube launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided). The operators are now designated 0352's, I believe. 0351's utilize the SMAW and/or Dragon missile. (I try to keep up with the changes through my son, who has been in about 8 years)

Semper Fi!

Camp Foster [USMC supply depot, MARS station, and the largest computer data center in the Far East; we ran all the other services' big stuff, plus Red Beach Danang when the mortars shut them down via earthquake detectors; e.g., they kicked the computers to get R&R 2400 mi north], was attached to Army base Ft Buckner, the army portion was known as Camp Sukiran [sometimes spelled with a "Z"]. Camp Foster backed up to Rt 1 west side, and was about 1 1/2 miles from Kadena AFB [best NCO mess in the Far East]. This was circa 68-70, when there were about 30 USMC sites on Okinawa, Camp Hansen was the largest, further north. Most, if not all, USMC bases on Oki were under "Camp Smedley Butler" [for your patch].

Ray Burrington Cpl 68-70 2506945
Computer MOS [40xx]
-the "other Oki" 69-70

In answer to Gy Mac's question on the unit on Okinawa in 1973 concerning the Shore Party Unit at Camp Zukeran, it had to be 3rd FSR. I was stationed at 3rd FSR in July to October 1968 after my return from Nam. At that time there was no MCB as the Army was there at the time but later moved off and the Marines moved into the buildings that the Army had previously occupied. I later received orders for an accompanied tour in July 1978 to 1981 and lived in the Futenma Housing on the hill overlooking 3rd FSR. I'm not sure if the Shore Party Unit was still assigned to that base or not. MCB Hqtrs was on top of the hill that the Army had previously used as their Hqtrs. and across the road from the Commissary.

I do remember the Camp Hague and Camp Ten Shaw (Can) but neither was in existence when I was there on the accompanied tour. They had been torn down and nothing was built in their place the best I can remember.

Also with all the comments about Ribbon Creek and SSGT KcKeon, I went thru boot camp in Sept-Nov 1962 in 3rd Bn "Q" Co Plt 368 and marched at close order drill and also ran morning PT at the parade deck next to Ribbon Creek where those recruits drowned. I also was a Drill Instructor, again in 3rd Bn from Jan 70 to Mar 73, and trained recruits at the same parade deck by Ribbon Creek.

I was at PI this past weekend (Feb18-19) and did not have my camera so as to take a photo of that area but plan to return again the 1st weekend in May and will send a photo of the area after I return home. It is much more visible now that the brush has been cleared from the causeway leading into the base.

Hope this answers Gy Mac's question and so maybe he can get his patch etc... to complete his project.

Semper Fi and keep up the good work you do for all us jarheads that still reminisce about the good ole days.

MGySgt Billy J Russell Ret'd

In answer to gy mac's question, I was on Oki in '57 or '58 , Tin can city may have been camp Elbert L. Kinser just west of hague, which at the time was a arty, regiment, 11th or 12th. Marines. Kinser was home to the 2nd. batt. 3rd. Marines, we started in tents and later moved into quansets or nissan huts, think we called them quanset huts at the time.

nam 67-70

Gy Mac -

Prior to the 3rd Marine Division pulling out of VN to Okinawa in 1969, Camp Foster (Sukiran) was the home of the 3rd Force Service Regiment, (3rd FSR). Up until 1970 Camp Hague was primarily a transient facility for Marines and Navy attached to the Corps, who were returning to CONUS. The main transient facility was at Camp Hansen for Marines going and returning from VN.

The Quonset huts you speak about at the bottom of Camp Courtney sounds to me like Camp Mctureous, MCB Camp S.D. Butler, home of the last of the "red line" brigs. At the bottom of Camp Courtney is the town of Tengan and at one time Marines stationed at Camp Courtney, FMFPAC were known as Tengan Marines.

All the Marine bases were named after Medal of Honor recipients during the battle for Okinawa (Operation Iceberg) 1945 and were subordinate to MCB, Camp Smedley D. Butler. They included Camp Courtney, Schwab, Hansen, Mctureous, Foster, Hague and Kinser. This was how it was when I remembered it, but many changes were made in 41 years.

Semper Fi!
Joe Alvino
Sgt. of Marines

Panic Mode

In 1964 I was a L/Cpl stationed at Camp Schwab, Oki., with MSGCEN HQCO 3rd Mar Regt (bottom of the hill by flagpole.) I was picked to go to the 64 olmypics in Tokyo. We flew into Iwakuni and from there were bused to Yokuska Naval Base. I rec. tickets to 2 olympic soccer games. me and a UD from my company took the train to Tokyo. While there we went to one of the games. after we went to the ginza district. We were bar hopping, way into the night. While i was talking to one of the bartenders my bud who was very drunk went to the head. The heads in Japan were coed. After a while a Nason came up to me and said my bud was passed out in the head. Me and one of the male bartenders went in and carried him out. I figured it was time to go. We carried him outside and I hailed a cab. We put him in the back and we went to the train station. Well I had to physically drag him out. A soldier seen me trying to drag him and helped me carry him.

I found out the train wasn't leaving till morning. That's when I got the bright idea to take a cab back to Yokuska. We got him in a cab and im trying to tell the cab driver to take us to Yokuska. The soldier who helped me understood Japanese he told the cabbie and left, i found out I didnt have enough money to get there. so the cabbie drove up to a 2 man police box (which are all over Tokyo) He said something to the police and off we went. The cab brought us to a police station where 3 police officers were waiting. now im in panic mode thinking were being arrested. im trying to explain to the police that im trying to get back to Yokuska.

I went and told them to call the embassy (bright idea) for I could not understand them. Whoever I was speaking with explained to me that the police were going to let us stay there for the night because we didn't have enough money to go anywhere. Well they laid my bud on a bench right there in the middle of the police station and put one in front of him so he would not fall. they even covered him with a blanket. When morning came they woke us up, my bud who did not know what had HAPPENED. Sat up, looked around saw all the police and covered his head with the blanket and yelled (Souza what did you do now?) The police all laughed, I explained what had happened. they brought us to the train station bought us 2 tickets to Yokuska and left. They were the politest police I ever met.

Well at least I had a good story to tell the guys when we got back to Schwab, Gy/sgt R J Souza USMCR Ret.

Death On A Wire

Just got finished with this week's newsletter. Fantastic! I really enjoy reading everybody's stories. I have a few that I like to think about from time to time; but try to keep them to myself as the civilians that I live with just don't understand. That's OK. You have to have "been there, done that" to fully appreciate what the Corps is like. Anyway, back to why I am writing. There was a question posed from a former 0351 as to what Death on a Wire meant. I don't know when that Marine was in; but I served as an 0351 from 12 Sept 88 to 11 Sept 92. I served with Weapons Platoon, Kilo Co. 3/2.

There are two weapons that 0351's learned how to use in Infantry School; the SMAW (Shoulder-launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon) or the Dragon Anti-Tank weapon.

If you get your orders to a Weapons Company (not Platoon) you get to play with the Dragon. The Dragon's rocket warhead is guided by a wire connected to the sight held by the gunner. Hence, the "Death on a Wire" moniker. You had to keep the sight on the target until the round hit the target. Detach the sight from the empty tube and grab another round.

If you received your orders to a Weapons Platoon, part of a line Company, your weapon was/is the SMAW. There is no wire with this weapon. Just pull the trigger and hunker down and hope (if you're not a good shot) that you hit what you were aiming at. It was always good to aim low and skip your rocket into the target as that thing will punch a hole thru just about anything, except armor.

Hope this clears things up for the former 0351 and educated others. I love the Corps and would go back in a heartbeat if the wife and kids could handle it and the Corps would take me back (with a few more pounds the when I left). I still regret that our unit was part of the Amphibious Assault that never took place during the first Gulf War. We were told that we were one of the first combat units to leave the states and one of the last to get back. Didn't get to participate in the ground war.

Spent exactly 9 month onboard LST-1194 USS LaMoure County. We even were issued two beers after being at sea for 32 consecutive days without a port call on not one but two different occasions. We would have given everything to get off that ship! Anyway, more stories to keep me thinking about the Corps-.

Semper Fi and thanks for the K-Bar that I ordered a few months back. Nice to hold one again-

Cpl. Christopher Steere
Assault Section
Weapons Platoon
Kilo Co. (the Kilo Zone)
3rd Battalion 2nd Marines

To the young Marine that wanted to know where the term "Death on a wire" came from - It was coined by some wag when the TOW and the Dragon were introduced into the system. Both were wire guided and very accurate hence death on a wire.

Frank M. Thomas, III, MBA
Former Marine Major
"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

To the person who wants to know what "Death On A Wire" means. It refers to the TOW Missile which is wire guided. The gunner had to keep the target in his sights until the missile hit. Same with chopper mounted. I was 0353 in NAM antitank assault man, never fired one at a tank.

JB, 1964-1974
Nam 65-66,67-68,70-71

I joined in 1977 and was trained as a 106mm recoilless rifle gunner. When I got to Okinawa, and assigned to 3/9, they were taking the 106's away and awaiting arrival of the Medium Anti- Tank Weapon, the M47 Dragon. The 'death on a wire' came from the fact that both the Dragon and the Heavy Anti-Tank Weapon, the TOW missiles, were wire guided. (We were also the 'largest distributors of used tank parts'.)

The Marine Corps reorganized the battalions shortly after that and moved the Dragons to Weapons Companies and TOWs to Regiments and Tank Battalions. They also changed the MOS from 0351 to 0352 for the Dragon and TOW crews.

Scott Hoerner
SSgt USMC (ret.)
'77 - '98
"I breached it with all the elegance and sophistication of a shape charge..." - D.B.

I was an 0351 in the 2nd MarDiv. The slogan "death on a wire" refers to the Dragon weapon system which is native to the heavy weapons company of an infantry battalion and is commonly deployed against hard targets such as tanks, APCs, etc. Much like a TOW missile the rocket is wire guided and follows the gunner's aim as it moves down range to its intended target. Of course, 0351s attached to line companies also fired the S.M.A.W. which is a shorter range "bunker buster" fired from a recoilless rifle but is not wire guided.
Cpl. Steve Laughlin
USMC 1990-1994

Tamarac Detachment 755, Dept. of Florida, Marine Corps League

20th Anniversary Reunion
Saturday May 14th, 2011 at 1800

Fort Lauderdale Marriott North Hotel and Resort 6650 North Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309 Reservations 800-319-5705 ask for Tamarac Reunion block of rooms. Reservations must be made prior to May 02, 2011 Room Rates $89.00 King or Double. Rates are locked in for 3 days prior and 3 days after.
Contact Jim Ruggiero at Pastcmdt755 @ aol .com (no spaces) or 561-908-1765 for more information.

Twin Brother

photo of Reymundo in Vietnam SGT.GRIT GREETING

I am from CORPUS CHRISTI,TEXAS My twin brother & I joined the CORPS together soon the 120 day delay BUDDY program & left for boot camp ONE DAY after graduation on JUNE 6th 1967.

AFTER BOOT-CAMP & ITR. We both got orders for O.C.S. (over the choppy seas ) VIET-NAM. ha I went to SNIPER SCHOOL & my twin WENT to RECON. I volunteered to go to NAM first, and my brother would go when & if I got back. Scan of Point of Aim book cover I convinced him the best thing for him was to try and get out of the Corps get back home to take CARE OF OUR mother who was IN NEED of SURGERY. she COULD NO LONGER work, did not know how to DRIVE, did not know a word of ENGLISH. She was a PRISONER in her own house. My brother REYNALDO finally got out on DECEMBER 1967.

I was already assigned to HEADQUARTERS CO. 7th Marines SCOUT- SNIPER PLATOON, st. MARINE on HILL 55. My brother wanted to come back in to the CORPS, because he wanted to go to NAM ?? HDQ Co 7th Marines 1st Marine Division Scout Sniper Plt XMAS 1967 Photo When I found out about his plans I extended for SIs more months to keep him out of the CORPS. I finally came back home with two PURPLE HEARTS, one for me & one for him. We ARE BOTH RETIRED Taking care of grand-children. we live less than a mile apart, Reymundo and his Granddaughter we get together at least three times a week for TACOS and COFFEE.

He thanks me every time we get together for my service to our country. Semper Fi to all MARINES God Bless. GOD BLESS the United States of America.

Lawler where are you? Call me.


Deserved Awards

Sgt. Grit,

There was a letter regarding deserved awards in American Courage #247. This may help the writer find references he needs.


Marines.Mil Document (pdf)

AUG 22 2535

Salt Peter

I'm a little behind in my reading of your newsletter, but I just read the question from the guy who wanted to know if they put salt peter in the Kool-Aid. I do not have a definitive answer for that, but my life experience tells me the answer is no. If you ever walked Fire Watch at PI, or San Diego I imagine, you could hardly help but notice that many guys slept soundly on their backs while their little soldier stood straight up at attention.

Always good for a laugh while you walked around the squad bay.

Philip Drugge, Sgt.
USMCR 1957 - 1968

salt peter in the Parris Island Kool-Aid:

I can verify that the rumors are true ...

But I graduated from there in Dec '59 and it's taken over 50 years for it to finally take effect !

I just wanted to throw in my two cents on two subjects. First to Chris Vail who asked about the elusive "salt-peter" legend. I went through boot camp January-March 1995. When I got to MCRD San Diego I had perfectly working plumbing like most 20 year old males do. I don't know if it was the stress or "salt-peter" but, things didn't work properly until about a week before graduation. It's the scaredest I've been in my life.

Towards the end of boot camp when the DI's loosen up a bit one of our Green-Belts, Sgt Funderberg, asked a recruit if he'd been jerking off a lot, to which the recruit replied "this recruit can't get it up sir!" "Who else has this problem?", he asked. Almost the entire platoon raised their hands. But, I still don't have a definitive answer to the question.

W.E. asked why Marines don't use umbrellas. I don't know but, I'm pretty sure only males with feminine qualities and airmen carry umbrellas.

Semper Fi,
EAS (really my initials) SSgt
Plt 1093, Jan-Mar 1995
Iraq 2004

Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Vietnam 65-70

All Marines and Corpsmen who served with or were attached to Golf are invited.
The reunion will be in Arlington VA on July 20-24, 2011. There will a monument ceremony at the Marine Corps Museum dedicated to our fallen brothers.
Ron Myers
email: rlmyers5 @ comcast .net (no spaces)

Hotel Co. 2nd Bn 7th Marines in Vietnam between 1965 - 70

Looking for all Marines and Navy Corpsman that served with Hotel Co. 2nd Bn 7th Marines 1st Marine Division in Vietnam between 1965 - 70. There will be a reunion at the Ocean Dunes Hotel & Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC this year from June 9, 2011 through June 12, 2011. Contact Steve Cohn at scone1948 @ yahoo .com (no spaces) or visit our web site at and go to the reunion page.

3 of 10 Just Be Careful About What You Ask For

The rule was quite simple. If you ask for it, you eat it.

When a recruit enters the chow line in a Parris Island mess hall, he first takes a metal tray. The metal tray has a large groove in it for a main dish, and smaller grooves in it for salads or vegetables or deserts. The recruits also takes a large metal spoon-table spoon size. The recruits behind the serving area are on KP duty-something we all did for a week. They held larger serving spoons. As one moved down the line holding the tray, the servers would fill up the tray. Portions were always good-sized. However, if you acted quickly, you were able to exercise an option of refusing the food being offered. You had to do this in silence as there was no recruit talking in the mess hall. You would make a head gesture or wave your hands in a rejecting motion similar to one that would be used at a blackjack table in Las Vegas when you wanted no more cards in your hand.

The eating tables always had loaves of bread and large dishes of peanut butter and jelly. You never had to fear that you would starve.

Marine Corps boot camp food was good. And I was always hungry when I entered the mess hall. I really love pork cutlets and beef cutlets-love 'em. So I was happy (though I could not openly express my joy) when I saw the server was dishing out cutlets. With a spryness in my walk I took my cutlet filled tray to the nearest dining table with others. We stood at attention and collectively sat down when ordered to do so. The private at the end of the table read the prayer, and I went at the food. I let my beans and salad wait. My big spoon immediately attacked the cutlet, chopping it up into mouth-sized portions. I scooped a large piece up and thrust it into my mouth. Oh my God. I gagged. I almost shouted "No." Well I did, but to myself. My mind quickly assessed the situation, and my mind told my mouth, "Yes, I took it, and I would eat it." It was a liver cutlet.

With the drill instructor standing near the table, I turned to my other food, and then to the peanut butter. I used the peanut butter and jelly as a chaser for each spoonful of meat, as I pushed the liver-all of it-down my throat. I had asked for it.

Two weeks later I again entered the chow line. My eyes lighted up again, but before my tongue could start salivating, I instructed my glands to hold on for a moment. I saw the cutlets, and as I came in front of the server, I asked-very quietly-and almost in the manner of a ventriloquist-"is that liver?" The server nodded "yes,"

And I nodded "no," waving his serving spoon off. It was one of those little "survival" moments we had each day on the Island. The next server saw that my tray's meat area was empty and he gestured forth with a spoonful of potatoes. I nodded approval. He quietly said, "more." I nodded "yes." The next server held out the gravy spoon. I said, "lots." He complied. I do love mash potatoes and gravy-but not as much as I love pork cutlets. Still, I looked forward to a good dinner.

I stood at attention, and I sat down when the order came. Prayer read, I piled into the potatoes and gravy. Oh, my God! Liver gravy! That night bunk time did not come soon enough. After saying the Lord's Prayer, I gave another thanks to God, that somehow I had survived another day at Parris Island.

Boot Camp Stories from 1963, Lessons for Life

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

Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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