Sgt Grit Newsletter - 16 JUN 2011

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• Marine Corps Refreshments
• More Habu Snakes
• C-Rats

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Newsletter Archives

What I Wore... on my steel pot was a M-16 round. I thought it looked pretty cool. About 2 minutes after I attached it to my helmet, the company Gunny knocked it off my head. I quickly learned that through the scope of a g--k sniper, I might look like a new lieutenant which would be a great target for the enemy. It was not important what I put on my helmet. However, it was very important what I put my helmet on.

GySgt John D. Foster
Echo 2/9 (H-ll in a Helmet)
1967 & 68

In This Issue

Call signs, what do you remember using. 'Lang Dale, Coffeetime, Teetime, Basketball Base, Bombay' are a few I remember. We changed them periodically, so I used several different ones during my tour. Send them to me and I will use them in the salutations.

A lot of good stuff on Sgt Grit's Facebook and the Blog. Take a look.

the Sgt Grit Facebook the Sgt Grit Blog

Here we go, pints of refreshment, honesty or ignorance, more Habu snakes, drilling Women Marines, assault the tank, pork fried rice, suddenly stiffened, two prior services, three telegrams, C-Rats,

Keep your interval!
Gung ho
Sgt Grit


Sgt. Grit

I can only speak for myself, but when in Bootcamp, MCRD San Diego, Plt 3302, Oct 67. to Feb, 68 (I think that's right), our Drill Instructors taught us of the love the Marines had, and have, for Our Brethren, the Corpsmen (Corp-ssss-men if you are the President). But we were also taught to love our Sea Bees almost as much, as we were told of the Sea Bees that were out there in Nam, building our bases and our runways and such, with Marines riding on the Cats with them to guard them.

So, I have always held those Navy Sea Bees in high regard. But it was made clear to us that they, and our beloved Corpsmen were the ONLY other servicemen that rated a Marine's love. And THAT is how I was taught in Bootcamp.

Chuck Brewer, Sergeant of Marines FOREVER, Nam 1969-1970, MOS 6511 Aviation Ordnanceman

Pints Of Refreshments

GySgt Santiago and fellow Marine at the Portsmouth train station in 1947 Gunny Rousseau:
Exactly right about the changes to the rank structure. When I reported to my first duty at MB Portsmouth, NH in '46, the SNCOs had both types of chevrons. We differ on the Battle Jacket. I thought it looked sloppy. It was comfortable though and the bloused bulge was convenient for stashing cigarettes and other goodies such as half or full pints of refreshments. This picture was taken at the Portsmouth train station in 1947. Two of us were leaving for Pendleton. I'm the 'Feather Merchant' on the left. Notice my belt buckle, we no longer had the leather belts. It was a sad day when we lost them.

On a personal level. Were you in 6th Mar. at Pendleton between 1947 and 1949?

Right on about no bad lookers among the WMs at Harrison St. I was there for a few months with the Escort Detail in 1951. Maj.Gen. Noble was CG. San Francisco was a first class liberty town back then.

P. Santiago
GySgt. (Ret)

Honesty or Ignorance Prevails

Little story on my experience shortly after making Corporal back in 1946 at Camp Lejeune. My first detail with my brand new stripes, was to take a 6 man working crew to clean up one of the many warehouses on the base. After assigning the troops to there duties I wandered around like any Marine with his new established authority. I looked behind a stack of boxes, and Alas, there lay a Japanese sword. Immediately I started pondering how I was going to steal this thing of beauty, not even considering what I'd do with the d-mn thing once I had it. I pondered all day on this problem until we secured. I figured I'd get the detail the next day so I lay awake plotting my first major theft. Unfortunately, the next day another NCO got the party and I was spared the future of a life in Leavenworth.

At evening muster, I saw the work detail marching up the street, and low and behold I spotted one of buddies marching up with MY sword on his shoulder. I ran over to him and informed him I knew where the sword came from and he was going to the brig for stealing it. He replies, "Steal it h-ll; I spotted it and ask the Gunny in charge of the warehouse if I could have it and he says, "H-ll yea take it. It's been laying there since '44 and you might as well have it." So much for my ignorance and his honesty.

Sgt Clyde Fortner

Note: I have a liberty card from 1946. Not quite as old as the 1944 but a lot older than the '60s and '70s.

Chosin Few Custom Shirt


What is it that gives off the look of a Marine? Back in 2002 as I stood next to the wall to allow police officers to enter the department for shift change, one stopped and looked at me. "You the applicant?" he asked. I told him I was. He looked at me again and smiled, "Your x-military. I bet a Marine." I just smiled back. How did he know?

After ten years with the department I have a reputation as someone you can, "...always count on and who will be there when you need backup" as one officer puts it. Marines do things like that.

In June 2011 I became very sick and my wife took me to the ER. Test were done to find the problem. A doctor did a test, called me on my cell phone while I was in recovery and told me, "We got the biopsy back. You have cancer. I'll call your wife." My trip for life began. A fantastic surgery team was located and surgery was done, however, the cancer was in Stage 4 and to close to some major blood vessels.

A few weeks later I returned to work because I wanted to set a standard in the department that will never be broken. In February 2011 I turned 70, the oldest working street cop in the department. Several people said I would never be back to work. A couple of my friends told them, "You forget one thing. John is a Marine and nothing puts down a Marine. He will return and he will be better than ever. Marines are funny that way. They improvise, adapt and overcome" I returned to a very surprised department and continued my patrol duties while receiving 12 Chemo treatments.

In March 2011 I went back in for another operation and this time they got it all. The doctor told me I did good because I was in pretty good shape, he thought I was around 58, and I had a very good attitude. I told him that Death smiles at everyone - Marines smile back. He told me he thought I was a Marine. How did he know?

How does one know if you are a Marine? We are spotted when we are standing, walking, sitting and just about everywhere else. I had nurses come in to draw blood and they ask if I am ready. "Just go for it" I tell them. "Oh, you must be a Marine." Another smile.

I am back at work now, still to the surprise of a few. I lost a total of 90 pounds, down to 160 and I have put 20 back on since this trip began. My strength is not back to what it used to be but what can I say for a 70 year old. Even this thin I am still spotted as a Marine. That is something I will always cherish and accept with pride. The Corps builds a glow within ones heart for his fellow brother that can be seen on the outside by some. Is it the statue of a man, the look, the walk, his determination to proceed no matter the obstacle? Whatever it is I will always be proud to be spotted as a United States Marine.

But, just how do they know??

John E. Halpin, Sgt.
Viet-Nam 1966-1967

USMC Cartoon by freddie

USMC Cartoon by Freddie

Habu Snakes on Okinawa


I just finished reading this week's news letter, and the story about the Habu Snakes on Okinawa brought back some fond memories of my time there. I did two 13 month tours there in '76 and '79. I was stationed at camp Foster-Sukeran (not sure of the spelling). One of the things that I did in my off-hours, on the weekends, was to drive a base cab on Kadena air base. It gave me a bit more "good times" money, which I seemed to go though extremely fast in those days!

One night, while I was waiting for my next passenger from the officer's club, I needed to relieve myself. So, I pulled to the back of the parking lot, where the ground sloped down a hill into the dark. As I stood there getting my relief, I heard something coming up the hill through the grass. I could not see what it was, but decided quickly that I was finished! I jumped back into the cab and had just closed the door when I heard a loud thump on the side of the car. I grabbed my flashlight and shined it out the (closed) window. And I could see a Habu next to the car. He then attempted to bite the car four more times, slamming his mouth against the door hard enough that he put dents in it. I was sure glad that I had not waited to identify the sounds in the grass!

I don't know if it is true or not. But, I was told by my company First Sgt that the Habu is one of the most aggressive snakes in the world. We all know that First Sgts NEVER lie! And he said that he had been told that one of them actually chased a person for almost a quarter of a mile through the bush once!

Love the Newsletter. Keep up the good work.

Semper Fi,
Phil "Akabu" Coffman
Sgt '72 - '82

Old Mementos

Boot Camp Seperation article clipping Sarge,
I ran across the attached while thumbing through some old mementos of my time in The Crotch. My fiance (later to become my wife) sent this to me some time after I graduated from Parris Island.

I thought it might give you a laugh. The fact that the principles lived in Oklahoma City is an uncanny coincidence.

Semper Fi
Rich Young (Sgt. '54-'57)

I had the opportunity to visit PI a few weeks back. I got the grand tour by a full Bird Colonel. Boy, has that place changed.

Drilling Women Marines

Sgt Grit,

I was reading the comments about the Women Marines having male Drill Instructors in recent Newsletters and I am here to say "I was One".

After putting thru 14 platoons at MCRD PI in January 1971 to March 1973, I was transferred to OCS Quantico for the summer programs but as luck would have it The Printing Shop at Quantico was civilianized that summer so I had to spend the rest of my tour as an Instructor at OCS and also at the SNCO Academy. I was the NCOIC of Casual Plt for some time. After SNCO Academy and as my last duty before receiving orders back to my MOS, I was sent to the OCS Women Marines Company where I taught drill to the last Company of Women Marines before they were to begin training with the male Marines or so I was told.

I taught ALL basic drill movements and then the 2 Women Marine Platoon Sgts would take over and drill them to perfection. My duties consisted of teaching other subjects such as Rifle Salutes, Customs and Courtesies and awards and metals.

I was to have no further contact with the female candidates unless I was accompanied by another permanent personnel female from the company.

While I was at Parris Island one of the Senior Drill Instructors of one of my first platoons went over to the Women Marine Battalion to teach drill to all the women recruits.

I will say it was very rewarding and an experience to be able to train the opposite s-x and to know you taught them the same way the males were trained.

I attended the 24th Annual Drill Instructor Reunion on Parris Island in May and would personally like to "Thank You" for the donations you made to the success of the reunion. It was a wonderful reunion and one of the largest I have attended. While there I did take pictures of Battery Creek where the recruits were drowned in 1956 and thought I would send along a picture or two of the location and what it looks like today.

Swamp Area around Parris Island Swamp Area around Parris Island

All the Oleanders that used to be alongside the causeway has been removed and now there is a better view of the swamp areas around Parris Island and much easier to see if there are anything out in the area alongside the road besides alligators. HAHA

Semper Fi and keep up the good work you and your Staff are doing.

MGySgt Billy J. Russell Ret'd
Once A Marine, Always a Marine

Assault The Tank

Sgt Grit,

I never thought I would ever be considered one of the old breed. My 1545938 serial number was way boot, especially when there were still a lot of 6 digit serial numbers around back then. By the time my serial numbers was getting salty, they changed to SS#. With many WWII and Korean Vets running the show, we wandered around in awe, for the stories told when sipping some brews were why we joined the Corps... As the saying goes "time goes by so fast" and before you know it, not everyone knows there were Fuji Camps.

I joined the Corps in 56 and went through Parris Island that summer. In November of 56 I arrived at South Camp Fuji, Japan, my first duty station. There were three Camps, North, Middle, and South and they were located just south of Mt. Fuji. They were the home camps of the 3rd. Mar. Division. I joined A/1/3, 2nd Plt and was generously made a BAR man in the second fire team, second Sqd. I carried the browning automatic rifle (BAR) for about six months, then became the scout (point man) and finally a fire team leader. Believe me I was one happy camper giving up the 19.5 lbs BAR, loved firing it though, for the 9.5 M1. With our 782 gear issue, we were also issued leggings. The Corps at that time issued one set of boots and one set of boondockers. Yes, and the shoes were brown, but we dyed them black. Shoes, boots, and boondockers were spit shined, we also had liberty cards and Geneva Convention cards.

Now a story I want to relate happen during a training exercise in the training area at the base of Mt. Fuji. We were running squad formations against dug in aggressors. We had moved to about 200yds of the aggressors position, when a tank came up to enforce the position. Our Plt. Leader, a young Lt. gather us around to give the final battle order. Our plt. would be the assault plt and the first platoon would lay down the base of fire, with the third plt held in reserve. Now our squad was given the order to assault the tank. The third fire team laying down a base of fire and our team was given the order to assault the tank with fixed bayonets. After the Lt. left our Plt. Sgt, a SSgt who was a Korean Vet shook his head and made one classic remark that I haven't forget to this day. He said, " What the f&*# does he think our M1's are, can openers"!. The SSgt's name will remain anonymous.

Semper Fi
Ed Emanuel
USMC (Ret.)
1956 - 1985

Pork Fried Rice

I remember those old brown shoe days. We used to dye our brown dress shoes black and then spit shine them with kiwi mahogany shoe polish until they looked like patent leather. In the sunlight they appeared very deep brown, almost black. They looked great.

I also have a lot of memories of Camp Hague (57-58), the Okinawan base workers lining up at the messhall with buckets at the GI cans, chug-a-lugging those big bottles of Asahi and Nippon beer in New Koza, 200 yen for a short-time ($1.85) then taking those penicillin tablets when checking in with the duty corporal, picking up great tasting "pork fried rice" to take home from our favorite restaurant later to find it closed for serving dog meat. Where else can you get thumped by a trio of MPs (and Sps) from three different branches of the service at the same time? Annoying working parties for false typhoon alerts until Super Typhoon Faye made a direct hit on the island in Sep '57 and d-mned near blew us away.

Getting shipped out every three months or so. Two great R&R trips to Hong Kong, sailing around in circles in the South China Sea for thirty days in an LST on water and food rations taking salt water showers. Fighting with the swabbies at the EM club in Subic Bay then spending the next six months in the field on Luzon. Operation Strongback. Yep, those were the good old days. Lots of fun and experiences that have lasted a life time.

Rich Szabo, Cpl (E3), Hq Btry, 1-12

Have Your Backs

113 years and counting! WE still have YOUR BACKS!

That time of the year again folks! Memorial Day is here and time to remember and thank those that have gone before us. For me it's time to start thinking about a birthday coming up in a few weeks. For 113 years Leathernecks have been able to breathe a little easier, knowing that help was just a shout away.

On 17 JUN 1898 the Hospital Corps came into being. We've been right there with you ever since, Belleau Woods, Iwo, Inchon, Hue, Kuwait, Fallujah, Bagdad and Afghanistan.

As a "Doc" I wouldn't have had it any other way. I know in garrison we're those PITA's (Pain in the A**es!) Shot records and such, but you earned your title, we earned ours (DOC). So raise a glass, say thanks or cuss us out. We STILL have your backs! Happy Birthday Doc's current and not so current! Semper Fi!

Steve Goodrich
Hm2 (FMF)
Nec's 8404/8506
17 NOV
1986 - 12 NOV 1996
Once a Doc, Always a Doc

Short Rounds

In reference to Woman Marines having male drill instructors. I arrived at Parris Island on August 8, 1973 and we had 2 female drill instructors (Sgt. Hilliard and Sgt. Doman)and 1 male drill instructor (SSgt. Laythe). The only time we saw SSgt. Laythe was for drill practice.

Lillian (Robinson) Evans
Cpl USMC 1973 - 1975

I have never seen anyone write about Anglico units. I was a 0849 Shore Fire Control (Naval Gun). After reporting to Air Naval Gunfire Platoon HQ Battery, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines 1st Mar Div. we were trained in Artillery and Forward Air Control. I have only been able to find one other Marine Dick Lancaster. Are there any others out there? We were a rare breed. Semper Fi.
Seaside 14 and 26.
W. Parfitt Cpl.

SSgt. Marion Stults wrote he never was issued a Liberty Card when he was in the Corps from '42-'49. I was in from '42-'46 and was never issued such a card either.
Billy E. Fox 423###.

Don... idea for a story starter... got to wondering the other day about cargo nets (for embarkation and debarkation)... I don't think they're used any more, and I wonder what unit can claim to be the last to use them for a landing? (can tell you Kilo and India 3/5 used nets off Pickaway, APA222 in '66, and there were many SLF ops after that... gotta be some stories out there...

Thought the old Sarge might enjoy these photos I took during my tour. Vietnam Pix '68-'69 (YouTube Slide Show)

Semper Fi
Tom Bryant

Sgt Grit,
The topic of telegrams to the families of wounded or KIA, When I got wounded the first time, my Mom got a telegram delivered by a taxi, not by any Officer or noncom, So I have to side with the Gunny on this one. by the way I still have the telegram.
Sgt Larry Walker
nam 67-70

I am honored to report that on 27 May 2011 Leo Houseman, 95, Pharmacist Mate, USN WW2 was interned in Lynhaven Cemetery. Leo passed on 06 DEC 2010. Leo served with the Marines on Peleliu and Iwo Jima. Performing Honors were members of Houseman-Tanner Post 1603 and Butts-Clark Post 204 American Legion, and Lincoln Post 1483 VFW. Semper Fi Doc! God Speed!

Steve "Doc" Goodrich
Hm2 (FMF) Commander Post 1603


In 1975 I was heading back to Hawaii, we were in the Philippines, for some reason I sent my folks a telegram. Well let me tell you there was h-ll to pay for that move. My mother informed me not to ever send her a telegram. When she saw who was at the door she did not want to open it. Just thought I would share that with you.
Semper Fi, Ron Morneault

never say never... My folks received a telegram delivered by a taxi driver in 1953 stating I was WIA and a letter would follow explaining details. I still have that 'gram but not the letter. from the "Old Breed" 7th Marines... Sgt J.

All These Years

Dear Sgt Grit

I just read your recent newsletter. In it, was a letter from Sgt Bean, of 3/26, and a copy of the Memorial Service on Hill 55, in late March 1969. Here lays a story I must now tell.

Back in the early 80's I was making a habit of drinking at our local VFW, and on many occasions would drink with a retired Gunny, who retired from "tanks" early in the 1980's.

We both drank two fisted, and even though we both knew each other had been in combat, we NEVER discussed "who" we were with. This went on for over a year. One day, an old Marine stepped up to the bar and began to talk about Vietnam. He asked me who I was with, I responded India 3/26. Gunny said "What did you say?" and I repeated, "India 3/26 ".

Gunny began to cry. He then said to me "I've been waiting 30 years to find a brother from Nam and you have been here for over a year and I didn't know it". I said "Gunny, of course I'm your Brother" And Gunny said "No I mean a brother from 3/26".

I said "Gunny you was in tanks" and Gunny said "No I was Recon. I was assigned to India Company as a sniper in 1969, after Nam I switched my MOS to tanks."

With this information we are both in tears at this point. A few minutes later he pulls a folded paper from his wallet, and you could tell it had not been unfolded for several decades. He unfolded the papers and said "Here is our Memoriam Service from Hill 55, I've kept it on me all these years in hopes of sharing it with someone that was there with me" Sgt Grit, I can't express in words what "Semper Fi" meant at that moment.

I now have several copies of this Memoriam, and have passed several along to other 3/26 members in the past years. War is sometimes the hardest thing to talk about, and here was a shining example of two Marines stuffing the bad times deeper with each beer we drank together, not knowing we knew we walked the trail together 30 years earlier until that night.

Thanks Sgt Bean for sharing our "true" unit patch with the world of Grit's Marines. Many don't know we were attached to the 1st and 3rd Divisions, and was a unit of 5thMarDiv activated for some real crazy experiments in jungle warfare.

RC Trussell, Cpl,
Killer Team call sign IndiaOneAlphaOne
India 1st Platoon 3/26 01-69/04-69
Plt 294 MCRDPI 13Sep68

Suddenly Stiffened

Sgt. Grit,

In reply to the former-enlisted "Officer of Marines" (in American Courage #253) who is "irritated" because he did not experience a ceremony involving the emblem when he graduated:

I guess I'm undoubtedly "Old Corps" now, because there was no emblem ceremony for any of us officer candidates back in 1963, when we graduated from the PLC Junior program, or in1965, when we graduated from the Senior program.

At the conclusion of the Junior summer, we did participate in a ceremony in which we passed in review. Prior to our marching off, the general who gave the graduation speech called us "Marines" for the first time, instead of what our instructors had called us (the nicest of which was "maggots"), and a band (may have been from 8th & I) marched us off by playing "Semper Fidelis" before going into the "Hymn."

(When the first few notes of the "Hymn" were played, I swear that we were all struck by some invisible pride-inducing electric shock to our system, because our backs suddenly stiffened into a straighter posture.)

I don't remember a graduation ceremony in '65--probably had one, but not as memorable--but we were allowed to wear summer service uniforms with corporal stripes (our pay grade that summer) on the flight home.

Semper Fi!

Tom Downey
Once a captain, USMCR; always a Marine

Still Couldn't

I was with Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 12th Marines, in 1968 and 1969. In June of 68, we got hit pretty bad at LZ Torch. They sent us to an Engineering Battalion in DaNang to have our guns rebuilt. While there we had some liberty at China Beach and the Big PX. Our 1st Sgt. not wanting us to buy liquor at the PX, cut that section of our ration card out. When we got to the PX, we couldn't buy anything because we didn't have a complete ration card. He had to issue new ration cards and this time he just put a big X through that section and initialed it. So we still couldn't buy any liquor.

Cpl. David Hannah
C/1/12, RVN 68-68

Raisin Jack Cocktail

We celebrated Happy Hour in Korea in 1951 with a Raisin Jack Cocktail. Recently found the recipe on Wikipedia and thought I might share it with you. I think they may have added some Medical Alcohol to ours! Did you guys have this great Cocktail in Nam?

Raisin Jack Recipe Raisin Jack USMC Style Health Label

Bob Gordon Cpl Marine Corps

Two Prior Services

Dear Sgt Grit

It took me 7 years and two prior services, Navy as a gunner and Army as a Cav Scout before I stood on the yellow foot prints. I have relatives near P.I. so I had been there before, I had worked on Hilton Head as a security guard, got my hair cut in Beaufort at Ron's. So I knew a lot of the DI's. Anyway when the bus rolled on to P.I. at zero dark thirty I laughed and said well old horse you've really done it this time.

Onto the yellow foot prints and my name was called when I responded, someone said where the f... you been we been waiting two days for you to show up. Fun and games time begin. Being 27 years old and having been a SGT, Marine Corps boot camp was very interesting. A couple of days before graduation my Senior Drill Instructor told me to give him my class A uniform. I thought oh sh-t now what, come graduation morning he gave me back my uniform with my three rows of ribbons and two hash marks on my sleeve, wow the man did have a heart. Never saw him again.

SEMPER FI, Ron Morneault

Three Telegrams

I have read some of the telegram controversy and will add this. I served with Hotel Co., 2/4, 3rd MarDiv 1967-68, and was wounded at Dia Do on 2 May '68

Recently my Mother gave me the THREE telegrams sent home when I was wounded dated the 16th, 17th, and 19th. The first one said I was wounded, treated on the Valley Forge, and transferred to the 249th in Camp Drake, Japan. The second simply stated that I was wounded in the leg and neck. The last one reported that I had been transferred to Portsmouth Naval Hospital, and was in good condition.

I don't know who wrote the telegrams, or why they took so long to arrive, but included was a card from the Navy & Marine Corps Reserve Center in Louisville, with the name and phone number of 1stSgt G.E. Coulter that was dated May 5th. He showed up 11 days before the first telegram. That's my Marine Corps!

Keep your interval
David Goodman

Deer In The Headlights

There has been a lot of publicity lately about people posing as Marines. I've found the simplest way to bust one is to ask their MOS. Units and duty stations can be researched and faked, but no Marine forgets his or her MOS, and very few outside the Corps know what an MOS is.

Several years ago, while working for an insurance company, I was on my way to make a head call. My route to the head took me past the Claims Manager's office, and a personable appearing young man was waiting outside the office. I stopped and chatted for a bit. He told me he was there for a job interview. He said he had just gotten out of the Marine Corps and needed a job. I told him, "I'm a Marine. What was your MOS?"

In response, I got that blank "deer in the headlights" look. I wished him luck and went on my way.

Upon returning from the head, I noticed the young man was not around. I stopped in the Claims Manager's office and asked, "What's new?"

The Claims Manager said, "There was supposed to be a young man here for an interview, but he never showed up".

The guy bailed out without even staying for his interview!

Semper Fi!

Gene "Goose" Gausman
SSgt. 1953-1963


Greeting Sgt. Grit,
Please note, the Grateful Dead quote in your newsletter #254 should read "when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door..."
thanks & have a grateful day!

Best Regards,
Lance Corporal Bill Dolbin
HMA-269 MCAS New River

Obviously I'm not a big rock and roller, or a dead head.
I hope the dead head comment is accurate.
Thanks for the heads up.
Sgt Grit

Left Handed

Here is my story about saluting 2nd Lts.
I was stationed at FLC (Camp Books) in Vietnam 7/1969 to 7/1970, originally assigned to Supply Co. motor pool. Sometime in late '69 I was TAD to Provisional Rifle Co. running security patrols outside the fence. We returned from a 3 day patrol and several of us were heading back to our hootch. Dirty and in need of a shower, our gear slung over our right shoulders, and guess who is approaching head on? Right, a 2nd Lt. all clean and polished. Well, we saluted him left handed and he went on about 10 paces, turns around and calls to us , 'Marines, did you just salute me left handed?' To which I replied, 'Yes Sir, that's how we were taught to salute 2nd Lts. while in boot camp.' He replied, 'Very well, carry on.' We did and he did and we had a great laugh.

Semper Fi,
H. Holden, Cpl USMC '68 - '72, VN '69 - '70
P.S. Great store and customer service!

Note: I think it is time for some stories from 2nd Lt. Specifically about the brilliant, all knowing, genius actions of 18-19 year old PFC's and L/Cpl's that they witnessed and had to deal with.
Sgt Grit

Camp JHP

Sgt Grit,

3 Old Liberty Cards Here are a couple of old cards. The bottom left was issued when I arrived at Wpns Co, 3Bn,2ndMar in March of '51, following Boot at PI. The one above was issued at Camp JHP, Little Creek Va in June '51 while there for Amphib trng and the other I got at Lakehurst NAS, Lakehurst, NJ in '52.

Incidentally, I would like to hear from anyone who may have graduated in Plt 19 in March '51 at PI, or who may have been in Wpns Co, 3rd Bn, 2ndMar in '51.

Jim Black
Semperfijlb @ snip .net (no spaces)


6/9/11: in Korea, Pfc. Alexander Marchese, (Baggs) as we knew him was KIA. We were moving up to a new line of position, and the g--ks had this one knoll, preregistered for mortars and as we were crossing, they let loose, and out of one machine gun squad, (of 8) there were three of us not hit that day. And not only was he hit, the round physically hit him before the ground, so one can imagine what the results were, and we saw it.

To BAGGS, we remember and are

Norman Callahan
Korea 1950/52
Chesty's last regimental command

Camp Lejeune Reserve Support Unit

Sgt. Grit,

Camp Lejeune Reserve Support Unit (RSU) is having a reunion June 24-26, 2011 at Camp Lejeune, NC. We will have dinner on Friday, a cookout and activities on Saturday, and brunch on Sunday morning. There will also be door prizes Friday and Saturday. Rooms are generally available on base at Camp Lejeune or at Little River, if desired, and there will be plenty of free time to visit old haunts on base and off. All personnel of any rank who served with the RSU are welcome and encouraged to attend. For more info contact Maj. George Metz at 912-506-5694.

I know that time is short, but any help will be appreciated.

Semper Fi!

Miles F. Weaver
CWO4 (Ret.)
65-69 Active
74-06 Reserve

See this and other reunions on the reuions page

My Favorite

I started my Marine life when I enlisted in August 1949. The "Old Corps" still existed. My favorite salutation was "Rise and shine, it's Grunt time". But that was then and I have no idea what it is now. Try the "Rise and Shine" or how about "Rise and Shine', 'It's Grunt reading time"?

My platoon was 70 of the 2nd battalion. An "Honor" platoon that we were told was the first platoon ever to be 100% qualified on the rifle range. Drill instructors were: Buck Sgt. Suggs, Buck Sgt. Foxworth and Corporal Laben. Suggs had 4 hash marks, Foxworth had 3 and Laben had none. The fruit salad on the chest of Suggs and Foxworth was 4 rows of 3 per row.

As "a Boot" I knew only one ribbon and that was for "Good Conduct". All three DI's had that one. At that time the Corps had about 70,000 members. Just the minimum and we were made to remember that. Mess up and your gone. Two were gone when caught smoking in the barracks. And two were gone for trying to swim off the island because of the "Marine Way". In the last 62 years I have seen only 3 of the guys from Parris Island. The first was a Recon Squad Leader. The second was On the USS Consolation in Inchon Harbor and the third was at Great Lakes as The Admirals Aid. I dumped or lost all my transfer papers so have no names.

I have only one complaint about my time in the Corps. Just one. Although I am qualified to have the Good Conduct Medal I have never received it. My records were complete enough to cover the Korean stuff and a couple others but the Good Conduct Medal was out of stock and I was told to start the paperwork all over again. I did it and followed the second try by righting the Commandant of The Marine Corps. Not an answer from there but a letter telling me that the records were out of file.

What I am getting at is that I totally enjoyed being a Marine. So "Rise and Shine. IT'S GRUNT Reading Time".
Russ McCrimmon


Sarge, I currently have three, still banded cases, in my basement, under the stairs. I have been offered up to $200 for each case... unbelievable. I remember on board ship (Okinawa/Inchon) we would go out and "play". Upon our return, unused C-rats were discarded in a large pile on the hangar deck for disposal. The Swabs would then pour all over them, taking much of what was there for themselves. They loved the stuff! Peanut butter was popular with them.

I didn't smoke, so I traded mine away for fruit cans. To this day, when I go into a grocery store and shop, I grab a can of peaches off the shelf. My wife accepts this harmless quirk of mine and says nothing, anymore. I have a lot of peaches at home, needless to say and I still love 'em. My two kids also will eat a full can each.

Out in the field if we didn't have Tabasco and it was getting to be a long stint out there, we would improvise. Bugs, dirt and greens. Seemed like the bigger the bug the better, as we all hollered and encouraged the one who ate it, mashed into whatever delicious meal he acquired.

Neil Miller 1971-78

C-Rats always had to have Tabasco sauce on them, except for Ham and Lima Beans (aka Ham & MF's). Ham and Lima Beans did best when thrown away before eating. For lack of heat tabs, we always made friends with the combat engineers, they're the ones who had an unlimited supply of C-4 which would heat up a canteen cup (yup, remember those days, when real men drank out of real metal cups) of coffee in 15 seconds. The bread in those old C-Rats were quite tasty when the old a few holes were punched at the top with a few drops of water poured in and then heated. As good a yeast roll as any restaurant would make. Also, a can of peaches over the shortcake made for a good dessert.

John A. Whitfield, CPL, USMC, 0311, 1966-67

Semper Fi
Welcome Home Marine!
Sgt Grit

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