Sgt Grit Newsletter - 22 SEP 2011

In this issue:
• Colonel's Orange Crapper
• Boot Camp Then and Now
• 9/11 Marines

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Hey Sgt Grit;
Here's a picture of a mighty mite coming down the main road at Khe Sanh in March or April 68.
I never found out what the mushroom cloud in the background came from.
I was a sergeant once, a corporal three times, and the best was a hash mark PFC!
Semper Fidelis
Cpl. Ted Picado

In This Issue

If you have not heard or read the story of Sgt Dakota Meyer. Go to my blog and view September 16. It is an incredible story of how he got the Medal of Honor. It is what makes us all proud to be Marines.

Here we go: Way to go blondie, the Colonels' orange crapper, corporal three times, larger of the 3, Court Street, six Cobra pilots, mouthful of dirt, mauled by, three wheeled Mite, Sir sandwich, 0300 call, Iwo flag, exploding cigar, they had a tradition, it felt good!

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

Sir Sandwich

Here are some pics of my Great-niece, Teresa Rocha, graduating on "The Island", September 3, 2011. Please feel free to use any. She is from Tomball, TX. Went in at 18, about 3 days after High School. My sister, (her Grandmother), and I drove Down from Tulsa to watch.

A lot different than when I graduated, in San Diego. There were 8 Platoons. 6 men and 2 women. More DI's than you could shake a stick at! LOL. Enjoyed shooting the breeze with some of them, including series 1st Sgt. Found out "Sir, yes sir", is no longer used. "We don't use the sir sandwich anymore", a Gunny DI told me. It's now, "Aye, sir". And, they are Recruits, not Privates. And, while walking around the base, you could hear in the distance, a recruit or platoon, "aye, sir".

Thursday, 9-1-11, was visitors day and Friday, 9-2-11, was graduation. It was suggested to be at the gate by 0530. At about dawn, the platoons did a motivational run around the Parade Deck and on one of the streets. All singing a different cadence. About a mile and a half, I was told. After showers and getting dressed, they assemble in a large building. We were up in some bleachers. After some ceremonial stuff, they are dismissed until 1500.What a sight! I can't tell you the number of times I had a lump in my throat. (Both days).

Graduation was at 0930, Friday. But, we had the opportunity to attend Colors at Headquarters. Oh, my! After the Marine Hymn, I mentioned to a Colonel next to me, that after 40+ years, I still get goose bumps when I hear that tune. He said he was there every Friday, and he still gets goose bumps every time, also.

Semper Fi,

JJ Moss
Echo 2/9 & Bravo 1/8

The Colonel's Orange Crapper

Well, the story can best be started with me getting a copy of my SRB a few years ago, and the first thing I looked for was my rating. When I got to Chu Lai by the Sea in September of '67 my attitude was rated very good with my work ethic kind of low.

When I left in January of '69, the scales tipped 180. Worth ethic was high, and attitude was in the toilet, period. A year of electronics school, paid for by the taxpayers, and I got stuck for a month picking up trash barrels, cutting barrels in half for the chitters, running errands for the squadron Sgt. Maj. [who had 30 years in, but convinced the powers that be that he could still be of service if they allowed him to re-enlist] and a whole lot of other things that escape the memory.

The paint job was assigned one day by the Sgt.Maj. to paint the Full Birds personal crapper, with a PFC and L/Cpl who also got stuck with me, a Cpl. E-4. I was told that this was to be a bang up job as it was for the head cheese and it had to be a very good job [knowing the SM would take credit for it]. Looking for the paint, and having found none, we were told to go down to the Utilities Section and get some. All they would give me was left over stuff, so I took everything they had. Did get some so called paint brushes and away we went. Tossed what was bad, then looking to see what we [them 2] could come up with.

Couple of good cans of white and the testing began. All of a sudden the colors start showing up in test batches, and bingo. One of them ask if this would be alright for our precious big shot. Forget now what they mixed but it was the most beautiful orange one could imagine. Mix it up fellows, it will make this little project stand out for what it's worth. "You're nuts Corporal" was the reply, to which I replied, "that has already been decided by more intelligent people then are standing here, so get with it."

They wanted to start at the bottom, but I had learned at an early age to start at the top so any drips and runs could be taken care off as you went down. Now this crapper looked about the same as a back yard shed, so up went a couple of step ladders and the brushing started. Any wood that could be seen from any angle was to have a smooth and even coat, and enough paint so that only one coat would be needed. Even though it was oil based paint, it dried quickly in that heat and the worked progressed, with those 2 doing the work and me checking all that was done.

"Do a good job now fellas, this is for the Colonel" and the reply was "were going to jail, I know it, were going to jail when he sees what we've done." It was a thing of beauty, it really was. Every one walking in and out of the Squadron office went by with smiles [enlisted] or a look of dis-belief [officers] on their face.

Job done, ladders put up, brushes and cans put in trash, cleaned up and seeing as how it was close to quitting time [yeah, right] we disappeared. Next morning went the Squadron office for our next strategic assignment from an E-4, who said the SM wanted to see me, right now. Seems the head man came back to his office after being out in his A4 Skyhawk, bombing all those innocent civilians, and stopped to admire our handy work.

So the story goes, the man said that was the neatest, most well done paint job he had seen in a long time, no drips, no runs, an even coat, no light spots, no bare spots, and the Marines that did it were to be complimented, "but that bright orange has got to go." New paint brushes and new cans of Marine Corps green were brought out, and we started the finishing coat, which took a little longer as that orange was kind of hard to hide.

Done and cleaned up, we had to have the SM inspect it this time, passed with flying colors with the comment, "I don't know why you smart a-ses couldn't have done it right the first time." Nothing to do the next day so we all went back to our regular jobs for one day while they thought of some important for us to do. Waltzing into the shop, I was greeted with laughter from all the other guys, and the shop chief, E.H. Suman [MSgt., lifer, one each] sitting behind the desk just looked up at me and kind of mumbled something on the order of "surprised you're not in the brig."

The word must have spread pretty quick as I passed our 1st. Louie [C.J. Holloway] later, and all he said after returning a salute was "you'll never learn, will you." I was on a roll, even the guys eating in the mess hall at lunch knew all about it. I admit that I would never be one that you would use as an example on the posters they used to put in front of the Post Office, but when given a bunch of lemons, I started thinking about lemonade. The firecrackers on the 4th of July could have gotten me shot though!

Cpl. East, Danny L.
Mag 12 Comm Repair
Chu Lai by the Sea


Sgt. Grit, I am writing this on September 12, 2011, I have notice that there was hardly any mention of the plane hitting the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 at least locally in the Tampa area. So I thought I would share a couple of pics and a story from that day.

I was stationed at Henderson Hall, HQBN, HQMC while undergoing rehab after back surgery at Bethesda. Those of us with laminated light duty chits working at the base gym. I had just watched the planes hit the towers and went out for a smoke when I saw the plane fly over and hit the Pentagon. It was unreal to see.

We helped in setting up a triage area which I don't think was actually used. After that was done we were given our m16 with no ammo of course and posted around base. The next day maybe next couple of days' time was blending together, I was sent down to the Pentagon to help wherever I could. It amazed me all the groups that had come out to help salvation army, outback steakhouse, McDonald's and many others were helping feed amongst other things.

Anyway to what I was actually writing about in the pictures I attached you will see in the midst of all the destruction there was Marine Corps Colors standing tall untouched by the damage. There was a Marine Major who arranged for the crane to lift someone up to get it and then it was brought to the Commandant if I remember correctly. It was really emotional for those Marine that were there to see this standing tall.

Thomas Hunter

Iwo Flag

I'm at the TA truck stop in Sparks, Nevada, formerly Sierra Sids. This flag has been on display here for many years. It no longer has the card explaining that it was taken off the body of a dead Marine on Iwo Jima. You may be able to see the stains on the flag, actually blood from the fallen Marine.

Earl Needham

Tuesday Squad

I understand a Cpl Fred Stupp wrote that he didn't want to perform at military funerals. That is too bad. I was asked to join the Tuesday squad at our Fort Custer National Cemetery. Commands were being given by a Korean vet, but once I told them about how commands were suppose to be given, I was given the job. Now even the National Guard members who present the colors prefer us for the firing squad.

I feel honored to be able to render the last salute to our falling vets; even their dependents. We have been thanked for doing this by the families. Cpl Stupp should get into the act. It is a great way to show support for families; especially in this day of conflicts. I will serve as long as I can hold an M1 rifle.

Semper Fi
Albert Dixon
GySgt, USMC, ret.

Larger Of The 3

Sgt Grit

A few weeks ago while driving through Indianapolis IN.
I saw a pickup truck with 3 window stickers on the back window of the camper.
The first on the left said "My son is a soldier in the US army." The one on the Right said "My son is a sailor in the US Navy." The Larger of the 3 was in the middle and said "My Daughter is a US Marine."

I thought that was cool. Just thought I would share it with you're readers.

M. England
SSgt USMC 74-85

The Gunny - Custom USMC Motorcycle for Sale

I am selling my Custom USMC Motorcycle! I am not honoring the bike and its rich history by keeping it in my garage. When I bought the bike I promised to show it to Marines and pass it on to another Marine.

I don't want to sell it to civilians or thru civilian auctions. It has too many things for me to list but was selected to be shown at the Grand Opening of the National Marine Corps Museum in Quantico and also received a Letter of Commendation from the Commandant. It has appeared in twice and also was custom built by Marines and a Marine Dependant Son.

There is no other USMC Custom bike in the world with so much detail and dedication to the Corps. See more photos and get details on this one of a kind Marine Corps Motorcycle.

Court Street

Sgt Grit,

Just wanted to write it to ask my fellow Jarheads if they have any fond memories or funny stories of Court Street, Jacksonville, North Carolina?

For those Marines who were not stationed at Camp Geiger, Camp Lejeune or New River Air Station, Court street was a famous (or infamous if you will) street off of Highway 17 that ran through Jacksonville. I talk about it as if it was a city or a major place when in fact it was a just a short dead-end street off of the main drag that was loaded with seedy bars, strip joints and tattoo joints, but it was famous indeed. I have not been back to that area since I was discharged back in 1985, but I am told that the place was closed down several years ago.

After ITS at Geiger, I ended up being assigned to Weapons Platoon, Lima 3/8 right there on Geiger and if I did not end up going home on the weekends or for a 72 or a 96, it always seemed that try as we might, we never were able to stay away from that place for long. There were times when we did drive south on Highway 17 to Surf City or other places, but more often than not we ended up on Court Street.

Looking back now I typically laugh at what might have been the draw to those little bars, but for those brother and sister Marines who know the area, you all know that there were simply not many places to go to around the bases that did not involve, beer, dancers or tattoos. Anyway, I do have fond memories of many of those little places because they helped me pass the time away back as a young twenty year old Marine!

Semper Fi to all and God bless all of our brother and sister Marines serving our great country today and for all service men and women!

Semper Fi
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Weapons Plt, Lima 3/8


My two grandsons age 6 and 2 love to wear a couple of old Garrison caps and play with grandpa's old cap guns. They also love to sport the two temporary tattoos I bought when I visited your store a while back. I thought about putting the larger tattoos on their chests but figured their mom might not be happy if I did.

Jim Grimes

Temporary Marine Corps Tattoos

Little Brother

Aiden Pettit, little brother of grand nephew Cpl. Kevin Pettit, worships his big brother. So, when Kevin was married late in July, Aiden dressed in dress blues, to serve as ring bearer for Kevin's marriage to Paige.

Originally, the seamstress who tailored Aiden's uniform was just looking for the correct material, but a local recruiter came through by furnishing a WM blouse. Aiden is wearing a duplicate of Kevin's blouse, even to matching ribbons and marksmanship medals. Kevin and Paige are stationed at Miramar.
Bob Rader
God Bless America and the U.S. Marine Corps

9th Engineers

Sgt. Grit,

Re: ROBERT BAILEY, Capt USMC (Ret) of Lebanon Missouri who went from the ONTOS to 9th Engineer Battalion, please pass on to him and others that the 9th Engineer Battalion has an association and annual reunions. We are always looking for those from our past. Our web site is as follows:

Jim Harris, former Lance Corporal, always a Marine Vice President, 9th Engineer Battalion Association

Mountain Lion

I enlisted in the Corps in March 1964 (Indianapolis), went to MCRD. While there, my older sister passed away and I had to go home. When I returned to boot camp, I was set back and picked up Platoon 345 (an all state from AZ). After boot, they all went home on leave, I went to ITR for guard duty.

The first afternoon I reported to the Sgt. of the guard. As I was walking in, the Sgt. and the Corporal were talking about a Marine that had been mauled by a mountain lion on Post #7 (the ammo dump). The Sgt. Said that they had not found the big cat yet, and it was still around post #7 somewhere. While they continued to talk about the mountain lion, I sat down and waited for the rest of the men to arrive.

After about an hour, the Sgt. gave out the assignments; and that's right, I got post # 7. I was dropped off at the post just as it was getting dark. I walked the post; it was in a canyon. As I rounded a point that had several big trees, I hear a loud thump on the ground about 25ft. away. I turned fired 2 rounds and ran like a rabbit, screaming Sgt. of the guard, Sgt. of guard post #7. When I got to the drop off point, the Sgt. & Corporal were rolling on the ground with laughter.

Doug Crowe
1964 - 1968

Short Rounds

1/7 at 29 Palms would like to know what 1/7's call sign/s were at the Chosin Reservoir.
Anyone know?

Hi Sgt. Grit: The Afghan. Patch is interesting. However, did you know that a patch with Guadalcanal in the center just like the original 1st Mar Div patch in desert color is issued to Army individuals who were attached to elements of the 1st Mar Div in Iraq to be worn on their uniform. Interesting since the Marines cannot wear the patch. This may also be true for Afghan. army individuals. Dave Johnson

Dear SGT. Grunt I really enjoy reading your News letter As I Was reading this one about the Ontos. I believe some are mistaken. The Ontos had 6 106 mm recoil less rifles on it with 50 cal spotting rifles mounted on top As a Former Marine I was in the 106 platoon and we mounted our 106's on the mule or on the tripod or in a Jeep. Semper Fi Cpl R.M. Nelson 1963-1967

Today, Inchon wasn't the best place in the world to be.

Cpl Lloyd McFarland (Mack) is a Marine who served in Vietnam as a mortorman. He was awarded the Purple Heart after losing his right leg from below the knee. Despite his injury he served for many years with the Springfield post of the Marine Corps League performing during several details (during one long one the NCOIC checked to see how Mack was doing and he replied "I can't feel my right foot). On August 30, 1412 hrs he was recalled to his final duty station. He will be sadly missed by his family and all who knew him. I'll end as he always did...
Semper Fi
Jeremy Landis, Sgt USMCR (fmr)92-00

I once ordered a ASH receiver for a R4D. Avionics was having a fit trying to identify the part for the older aircraft. After going through BUWEPS and Yuma, I had to tell them it was an ash tray. Keep your sense of humor SEMPER FI. I have raced the mighty mite, just like a sports car.
Jerry Bryant

Sgt. Grit,
Never want to doubt or question some one's memory but, when I was at P.I. we did not have "troops" we had platoons. Secondly, Physical Fitness Platoon or fat platoon as it was referred to as was for overweight or weak recruits and they were never assigned until after the initial PFT. Lastly, motivation platoon was for those recruits whose brain housing group wasn't quite operating at full capacity. Maybe San Diego had different standards or maybe the writer's memory is cloudy. Anxious to hear other viewpoints.
D.L. Galant
1stSgt USMC (Ret.)

Sgt. McNeely's letter concerning the bucket of "BackBlast". whatever happened to get me a "Bucket of steam from the engine room" and don't forget the left handed Monkey wrench?
John V

In response to your amtrac question, I am sure that you will receive a lot of responses to that question with many being more detailed and entertaining than mine, but the simple answer to the question is that the amtrac on the patch is an LVTP-5. Hope that is some help.

CWO4 M. F. Weaver (Ret.)

I wanted to respond to MSgt Thomas McDonald's letter about Marine vs. Former Marine. The current Commandant of the Marine Corps stated "There are no former Marines just 'MARINES'."

Paul DeLaricheliere
CWO3 USMCR Retired

That patch depicts the P-5 LVT mounted with a 105 mm howitzer. Very effective. The attempt to install the same weapon on a P-7 was unsuccessful. It seems that when fired to either side of the trac the vehicle would roll over, Don't really know if this is true but the story was told to me by a Gunny who had been part of the P-7 development program.

Michael Miller
CPL 1974-1979

"World's Smallest Marine" (YouTube Video)


"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
--British Prime Minister William Pitt (1759-1806)

"Don't worry about avoiding temptation... as you grow older, it will avoid you. "
--Winston Churchill

"Human felicity is produced not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day."
--Benjamin Franklin

"Marines die! This is what you're here for. But the Marine Corps lives forever...and that means YOU live forever."
--(Full Metal Jacket)

Here are some more Marine comments used throughout time.
Frank R.

Comments about/by Marines.

"A Marine will dive into the Jaws of Death and bring back the Jaw Bone."
--WWII era Comedian whose Brother was a Marine

"He shows the Resolute continence of a Marine who just went through H-ll and has lit his cigarette on the tines of the Devils pitchfork."
--A Marine Serving in Iraq or Afghanistan

"We Marines are Truly Blessed. We get to enjoy the Sweet Taste of Freedom because we know its Price."
--Marine Veteran, John Chipura, Survivor of the 1983 Beirut Bombing. (He became a New York Fireman who wrote the above for the 225 Birthday of the Marine Corps. He was killed September 11 at the World Trade Center.)

"The first day I was at Camp, I was afraid I was going to Die! The next two weeks, my sole fear was that I wasn't going to Die! After that I knew I'd never die because I became so hard that nothing could Kill Me!"
--World War I Recruits Bootcamp Comment

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
--President Reagan, 1985.

Six Cobra Pilots

I've been reading with interest about some of the "run ins" that enlisted have had with young officers, or officers who demanded respect instead of earning it, and it brought to mind an incident that made me very proud to serve under 2nd MAW Cobra Pilots... and also caused me to view Naval Officers with disdain instead of respect. The Marine Corps Officers (Pilots) who I served under were some of the finest Marines I have ever encountered, they always had our backs if anyone tried to ruin our day... especially any non Marine Officer!

I had been meritoriously promoted to Corporal while on a Med cruise and it just so happened that I had also been slated to fulfill the dreaded obligation of serving mess duty prior to my promotion. Since I was now an NCO I was assigned to a gravy job in the Officer Country mess decks and put in charge of making sure the Ship's Captain always had a full glass of ice tea, and serving desserts to the rest of the officers... then supervising cleanup after meals.

One afternoon I had a Navy LTJG approach me on his way out of the mess decks and inform me that since he had to go on watch and could not take time for dessert, that I was ordered to save him some freshly baked cookies which he would return for after his watch. I really did not think this spoiled overgrown college student was serious about issuing an order for a Marine to save him some cookies, nor was it possible to tell the other officers that they were not allowed to take the last few cookies on the trays, so needless to say when he returned there were no cookies.

The young Naval officer went ballistic and informed me that I was being put on report for disobeying a lawful order and that those new Corporal chevrons would soon be gone. He demanded to know who my NCOIC was... who my Sgt Major was and who my Commanding Officer was. The Filipino Chief in charge of the mess decks apologized to the Officer and also proceeded to ream me out over the incident... also insuring me that I would be put on report for NJP. Since I was not allowed to leave the Officers Mess I really wasn't sure how far this would go, and I certainly did not want to face my Sgt Major or CO with a charge from some Navy officer, after just receiving a meritorious promotion to NCO. However I did not have long to worry... one of our Pilots entered the mess decks and requested some coffee, and sensing my frustration took me aside and asked if there was a problem.

I explained my situation to him and while I don't recall his exact words he assured me that no spoiled Navy brat was going to ever mess with one of his Marines. That evening six Cobra Pilots entered into the Officers mess deck... walked directly to me and said "Point him out". Then as a group they surrounded the table where he was sitting pointed in my direction and then verbally cut loose on the young Navy Officer. I could not hear what was being said but by the redness of his face and the fact that other Naval Officers were laughing I'm certain our Pilots had the situation well in hand.

The LTJG sheepishly left the mess deck without looking at me or asking for dessert. One of the Pilots smiled, winked, and gave me a thumbs up as they finished their evening meal. I never heard another word about those "Office Hours".

Sgt Weaver, K.W. 1975-1979

Nothing Left

During my tour in 1966 at Chu Lai as an interrogator, we had a practice of taking captives with any knowledge about enemy activities or caches back to where they were captured in the field with the capturing unit. On one occasion while crossing on a paddy dke from one unit's control to another's there was just me, the POW (excuse me, CAPTIVE), and my interpreter we received fire from a ville some distance away.

There were two ONTOS just coming from that area. When they saw we were being fired upon they quickly turned around, began firing, and rolled back to that ville. When they were done, there was nothing left of it. We got up, spit out the mouthful of dirt we had tried to eat (a common occurrence), and continued on. My hat is always off to the crews of the ONTOS. Needless to say, I LOVE them.

SSgt, 9th ITT, Chu Lai, SVN 1966

Guard Duty

I was stationed throughout I Corps in South Viet Nam from November 1976 till July 1969. During that time I was privileged (and allowed) to be assigned to guard duty many times. Seldom were the times that my guard duty was in a rear and/or secure area. Most were while on perimeter watch at company or larger sized units in the midst of ‘Indian Country'.

I feel saddened about the Marine that was harassed to the point of suicide, but I do remember the couple of times that guys dozed off. It is not a pretty sight, the memories to recapture their fighting positions still haunt me, the men that died, the men that died in their sleep, and the utter waste of lives.

There are times that some guys are driven to the point of exhaustion, a good leader, an NCO, can spot these signs and ensure that all pull their fair share of the load. I knew the hard times, the weakness' of men, and I cared for my men enough that I also stayed awake too some times. I never got so big that the smallest and lowest details were beyond my duties. I learned that from an "Old Hard Marine NCO", if you suffer with them, they'll die for you.

I'm really sorry that young Marine died by his own hand, but there are lessons we must all learn, and life, and the Corps, is a hard Master. Every Marine that I know, "has been there, has seen it, has done it, and is alive because of it."

"For God, Country and Corps...." has been my battle cry.
And still is...Dale Payne

Dear Sgt. Grit,
I am a Marine Corps granddaughter and mom. I just welcomed my son back from his 2nd tour at Gitmo a couple days ago, and we spoke about this sad incident about LCpl Harry Lew. (My son and his platoon's Gunny had discussed this before returning to the US as well.) My son explained to me what this LCpl's job was in Afghanistan, and I can understand why Lew's new platoon mates were enraged. He endangered all of his squad and platoon. Perhaps he deserved 30 min of hazing, but not the 6 hours that he got.

I am a mental health professional, and also a Navy junior, and knowing what I know about the Marine Corps, I feel that perhaps Lew should have been sent back to the US for a desk job in the Corps. (I don't even know if his commanding officer would consider that, but it would have been better than the outcome.) After the first couple incidents of falling asleep in his old platoon, maybe he could have been given an psych eval to see what was really going on. His mental state was certainly compromised, probably even before the combat hazing began. Hindsight is 20/20. Just sharing my thoughts...

Thank you for everything you do. Ooh-Rah!

Gently nudge his ear with the muzzle of a .45. Tell him next time I'll blow your #^&@! brains out. That is what makes Dead Marines.

I just read In This Issue about the LCPL who fell asleep, dealt with hazing and committed suicide. The article asks what do I think?

First off, if the LCPL took his own life, he was mentally unfit to serve in the first place. I signed the papers back in 1983 and then went on the DEP. One of the first questions is 'Did I ever attempt suicide?' I don't know what the papers look like nowadays, but I'm sure the questions are similar.

Falling asleep on post is very common in some duty stations. When I was down in GTMO back in '84, the Col. himself gave the newbies the orientation. He DID mention 'falling asleep on post is no joke'. Those were his exact words concerning that issue. Anyone who fell asleep on post just ONCE lost ALL of his stripes, and 15 - 30 days in the brig with hard labor. That was for the FIRST offense.

As for falling asleep on post in Afghanistan, I'm sure the security issues are as severe in different ways. The hazing is up to the Chain of Command. Either they can order it stopped and utilize appropriate military disciplinary actions, or they can condone it. If they condone it, the whole military structure eventually collapses because the UCMJ is not being appropriately utilized the way it was originally designed. If I'm not mistaken, hazing is used for discreet POW reasons.

My questions is... how many times has that LCPL fell asleep on post and what measure did his COC take to help avoid the issue? Again, in GTMO, it took a LCPL to fall asleep 4 times on post until the Pentagon finally shipped him out. What did this LCPL's SRB in Afghanistan entail?

Until these questions are answered, I don't believe anyone can give an honest opinion towards the issue.

As for the story about the 2 snoozers in Vietnam... if I didn't know them, I would've gotten the CPL of the Guard or the NCOIC and let them deal with it. If I knew them and they were a part of my 'family', I would've done the same thing. Reason being, if they attack me the next day for nudging them, the whole platoon would find out I kept the issue within the unit and didn't take it any further. That's called reprimanding within the 'family' without screwing anyone over. Your platoon is your 'family'... we treat them as such.
This is what I think of these 2 issues.

J.S. Elliott
0311 basic infantry 1984-1988

The story about the LCpl is so much garbage. Same thing with the story out of Nam. That Sgt should never have been questioned at all. I remember checking my line in the bush in Nam and finding a young Marine on the line sleeping, he woke to a 45 next to his cheek pointing down range, never went to sleep on watch again. COMBAT IS COMBAT. During WW2 and Korea, young men were killed while sleeping by an enemy that showed no quarter. These kids need to grow up to the real world. And they say they are better Marines than in the past, NO WAY.

SgtMaj Avedisian USMC (Ret)

Note: As usual on issues like this a SgtMaj or MGySgt sum it up.
Sgt Grit

Three Wheeled Mite

The Mighty Mite was a very unique vehicle, it was light weight, quite fast by jeep standards in its day and designed to run on three wheels if needed. In 1964 I was driving our battalion commander, along with two other Marines in a Mighty Mite from Pickle Meadows back to Camp Pendleton. We were the lead vehicle in the battalion convoy. The battalion commander would have me drive to the front of the convoy and fall back to the rear several times, allowing him to make sure that all vehicles were keeping the convoy tight.

The highways around Pickle Meadows have some very steep downgrades, on a particularly steep downgrade we were heading to the front of the convoy, which was spread out for a good distance. We were moving at a good clip, the mighty mite speedometer was pegged, I saw something to my left front shooting across the highway. Our left front axle spindle had broken, the tire and rim, with half of the axle spindle still attached was what I had seen shooting across the highway, leaving the four of us in a three wheeled mite at full speed going down a long and very steep highway. The Mighty Mite, true to its design, remained level, I was able to stop it safely and able to steer it to the side of the highway where one of the wreckers in the convoy took control of it. The Lt Colonel commandeered another Mighty Mite out of the convoy and we were quickly back on our way. The Mighty Mite performed as advertised, the shiny side (actually the olive drab side) stay up and 4 Marines were left with memories instead of injuries or worse! The mite remains one of my favorite vehicles of my youth.

TC Taulbee L/Cpl of Marines 62 - 65


Hey Don -thought you would like this. NHL Officials said this was a first...

Maj Dave Andersen

0300 Call

Back in April of this year I let all of you know of my pride in my Grandson Taylor Chapman, who stated his intention to become one of "The Few & The Proud".

Taylor spent his summer as a "Poolie" in Elizabeathtown, Kentucky. During that time he trained and met the basic physical requirements of my beloved Corps.


September 12, 2011 @ approximately 1100 hours in Louisville, Kentucky Taylor and 14 others were sworn in to the Corps. At 1240 hours they boarded a bus for the journey to MCRD Parris Island.

September 13, 2011 @ approximately 0300 his mother received a call from Taylor notifying her that he and the group of future Marines had arrived.

I think that I rode each and every mile with those young men remembering back 49.5 years to my trip to Parris Island, of course my by train trip included a stop and a the "welcome center" at Yammassee, South Carolina.

My thoughts go with these young men wish them the best.

Updates will continue as information is made available.

I am looking forward to early December for the graduation ceremony.

Semper Fi
Jim Barr
SNCO of Marines
Vietnam Vet

Chrysler Engine

The newsletter I got 9-9 the ontos was talked about. When I was at Dong Ha in 67-68, I was at F.L.S.G.B. and right across from us was a ontos shop. I remember someone said they had a 318 chrysler engine and the mechanics did something to the governor to make run faster. I saw them kinda chug in and zip out so must have been something to it.

I remember the mighty mite and the mule, never thought of it but I guess the country did a lot of experimenting in Viet Nam. I trained and was sent to Nam with the m-14 and one day I think in 67 at Chu Lai we turned them in for m-16's. At the time we called them Mattels. Also at Dong Ha, I slept in a gutted am trac that we buried. Hung our shelter halves up and made a hammock out of. I was sent down to sick bay with a eimco dozer and dug a hole to put 3 conex boxes in to make a operating room underground.

L/cpl j tracy 2192776.

oh just thought about something... my wife has 5 sisters and they were talking about all the crime and nasty things going on in this world and how they lock their doors up tight at night. Carol never said anything and one said don't you lock your doors at night and she just smiled and said nope I sleep with a Marine. Way to go blondie.

Be Safe Sleep With A Marine T-Shirt

Duck Walk

The Marine who was sent to get a bucket of "back blast" reminded me of a similar mission we would send "Boots" on... from our Electronics group (communication gear repair). In our case, if you're in communication you'll understand, it was a gallon of Side Tone that was to be retrieved.

One other thing. I am still looking, in your newsletter, for someone who also learned the fine art of duck walking while at Camp Matthews rifle range during Boot Camp. This was our reward (Platoon 137 in 1954) for winning the competition between platoons.

Semper Fi!
Cpl. "Murch"

Red Light

Hi Sgt,

I just finished reading Gunny Walters article in the Sept. 15, 2011 Newsletter, concerning "To Much Fun" as the driver for the communications officer. Well back in 1961 I was stationed at Marine Barracks Long Beach, Ca. I was the Cpl. of the guard and one day the Sgt. told me that I was being assigned as the C.O.'s (full bird colonel) orderly/driver.

I was in my first week of this new assignment and the Colonel wanted to drive down to Camp Pendleton to see the base C.O. As we were driving through Long Beach and talking, he was in the back seat of course. I turn back to answer him , all at once he yelled "Red Light" and pointed forward. I looked forward and sure as sh-t there was a red light about 20 feet in front of us.

I slammed on the breaks we skidded into the crosswalk and stopped. During this panic stop I heard a "thud sound" coming from the back seat. I look back as the Colonel was getting up from the floor, the cigar he had been smoking was crushed up against his face as if it was an exploding cigar type. All he said to me was, take me back to the base. About one hour later I was back as the Cpl of the guard.

Brian Stack
Active USMC 1958/1962
Forever A Marine

P.S. I was a Police Officer for 35 years, Patrol 15 and Motors 20. My driving was outstanding during that time.

Good Laugh

Sgt McNeely
Don't feel bad. When I arrived in Japan Iwakuni with the 1st Marine Air Wing Mag 13 Mabs 13 Motor T I was out of Boot Camp just 6 months in the Corps was assigned to the welding shop. Anyway an old salty Sgt and Cpl sent me to the main shop to ask the Gunny in charge if he had A HOLE STRETCHER.

The Gunny who was as much as a salt as the Sgt and Cpl sent me back with a 6ft steel bar and told me to ask if this was big enough. If it wasn't he would get a bigger one but that Sgt and Cpl would have to come with the Pvt to carry it back. Like you they all had a good laugh over it was one of those funny times in the Corps.

Vic DeLeon Semper Fi

Never Lost Hope


To: Ms. Elaina Seitz

From: Corporal Seitz, George D.
Re: Appointment to Status of Honorary Corporal, United States Marine Corps


In 1977, Ms. Seitz's parents separated and were divorced, leaving her to grow up with her mother: her father abandoned them and she did not know of his whereabouts for over three decades. As Ms. Seitz grew into maturity, she never lost hope that one day she would be reunited with her father, a former Marine Corporal and never stopped trying to find him.

On the morning of July 9th, 2011, she picked up her telephone, and dialed a number that she had received on Facebook. It rang and rang, finally going to voicemail, and she left a message. While she was doing that, her phone rang, from the same number that she was attempting to contact. She answered, "Hi, I'm Elaina Seitz, are you my father?" "A strong voice replied, "Yes, I am!,", and both of them went incoherent, as they both started crying. Mission Accomplished!

Her constant efforts to reunite with her father in spite of a lot of adversity from her environment, reflects great credit on the United States Marine Corps, in reference to the motto "Semper Fidelis," or "Always Faithful" in staying her course until satisfactory resolution was achieved, and to the concept of "Never Leave A Fallen Marine Behind."

I know these facts to be true, for I am her father, and very proud of her overcoming adversity in order to gain closure, if necessary, and for her beginning to overcome her personal disability which has plagued her for about the same time.

Ms. Seitz entered service on 18 June, 1973 in Oakland, California. Her actions reflect great credit on the United States Marine Corps, and her personal life.

I am very sorry for the pain I have caused her, and will reiterate that until my dying day. I have to close now, as I am crying too hard now, and I can't see the keyboard too well. Thank God for her!

Entered this 12th day July, 2011

Corporal George D. Seitz

Wounded Nature

This past week the IRS approved Wounded Nature - Working Veterans' 501c3 application. I owe a special thanks to General Walter Boomer who spent the day with me and provided me with some sound advice regarding composing our board of directors. As a result of General Boomer's advice, I changed focus on who and where I was recruiting. We now have board members from Google, CSX, Green Mountain Coffee, and Pepsi.

While several companies are working on the details of supporting the boats honoring other branches of the services, I am sorry to report that as of today I have not yet found a sponsor for the Marine boat. If you have a referrals or can think of someone I may have missed contacting for consideration, please send me their contact information.

Semper Fidelis

Rudy Socha - USMC Grunt
Wounded Nature - Working Veterans

They Had A Tradition

My first duty station right out of boot camp (Plt 1120, MCRD San Diego, Dec. 1972) was 29 Palms as a 3531, truck driver, with C company, 1st 8inch Howitzer Battery, 1st Field Artillery Group, FMFPAC. My first time out in the field with this unit I found out they had a tradition, a prank really.

Newbies were required to qualify with an ax. The new person, officer or enlisted, were given an ax, a small block of wood was put on the ground, the person was blind folded and then had three tries to hit the wood with the ax. Fortunately for me there was a brand new 2nd Lt. with us and when him and I were told what we were supposed to do he asked our Motor-T officer if this was true and was told yes.

The Lt. was asked to go first. He was given the ax, the block of wood was put down. Before the blind fold was put on he was allowed a chance to get in a practice swing to get the distance of the wood, then his starched cover was taken off so the blind fold could be put on. When the blind fold was in place and the Lt. was ready to swing the ax his cover was put on the piece of wood and he promptly put three cuts in his once starched head gear. Needless to say when the blindfold was removed and he saw his cover and people laughing, he was livid. Good thing for the instigators that the Motor-T officer was a higher rank and laughing along with the rest of us.

Semper Fi, Stan Bussanich '72-'75

It Felt Good!

I was about to embark on the final stage of becoming a Marine. It's 3 A.M. and Marine Drill Instructors interrupt my beauty sleep by slamming the door to the hut and yelling for my fellow recruits and I to get out of the rack, get our gear on and get outside - NOW! For the past 49 hours, we have had little sleep, little food, and my team and I have endured a physically, mentally and emotionally challenging test. We have been participating in the "Crucible".

After enduring a brutal 10 weeks of basic training, Marine Corps recruits at San Diego Marine Corps Depot must complete the epic "Crucible", a wicked and grueling 54 hours of training in full combat gear, to include a helmet, M-16 rifle, a 60 pound pack, and two meals; and at most 6 hours of sleep. Now it's almost over. By 8 A.M., my platoon will be on top of the "Reaper" receiving the insignia with the symbol of the Marine Corps -- The Eagle, Globe and Anchor.

After all the day and night events requiring every recruit to work together to solve problems, and overcome obstacles such as: the combat assault course, the night fire combat simulated exercises and the dreadful "Gas Chamber". Finally there's just one more hurdle to leap, a nine-mile road march.

At 3:45 A.M., the company assembles. My feet and muscles hurt as I limp into formation. No one quits. Everyone wants to finish. The end is close enough that we can almost taste it. I shoulder my pack, pick up my m16, and put on my Kevlar helmet. Then I check my teammate's equipment. One last slug from my canteen and I'm ready. My platoon steps out at 4 A.M. and form up with the rest of the company. The pace is fast and the "accordion effect" occurs as the 481-member formation marches. Gaps appear and recruits have to step out quicker to close them. The march becomes easier as our sore muscles stretch.

I notice some other recruits, obviously with blisters, try to find a way to walk that doesn't tear at their feet. There is a Navy Corpsmen, carrying at least 50 pounds of gear, checks out recruits who seem to be having difficulty. It's still dark and no one speaks, as if the effort might be too much. An hour and a little over three miles later, the formation stops. As I drop my pack, I notice sweat has soaked through my BDU blouse. I've got a 10-minute break to hit the head, and drink more water. Some recruits sit on their packs and check their feet.

The other platoon takes the lead this time and we really begin to understand what "the accordion effect" means. Drill instructors tell us to close up. "Don't run," they yell. "Just lengthen your stride." It doesn't work. We have to break into a trot to close up the space. Again, there is no talking.

I focused on the pack in front of me as I thought about the day I had arrived in San Diego to join the Marine Corps. I remember a white bus with tinted windows that came to a screeching halt in front of myself and 200 other men. I wondered what was going to happen next; I thought to myself, "Had I made a mistake?" "Could I back out now?" It was too late! The bus doors swung open and a very large man stepped off the bus. With a Smokey the Bear cover on and calmly said, "Get on my bus."

We were like a herd of sheep, all trying to escape from the wolf. We all got on the bus as fast as possible. Once the bus was moving, it seemed like it would never stop, feeling like we had traveled a hundred miles or more. Everyone stayed very still in their seats, too afraid to even make a peep. The bus finally came to a stop. The driver opened the door and the Drill Instructor turned around and glaring. Then he began to speak. "Oh my God, this must be some kind of a mistake," he said. "I can't believe they let you pukes into my Marine Corps. On my command you have fifteen seconds to get the f-ck off of my bus and make your way to those yellow foot prints and stand at attention.

No one here wants to be the last one, trust me!" I came to life like no other time in my life. All I knew was, I was not going to be the last one to those yellow foot prints. I climbed over and through people like a crazy man to get to those foot prints. There must have been fifteen to twenty Drill Instructors now. They were everywhere. Yelling is all I remember. Lots of yelling! Their only motivation was to scare the crap out of us, and it was working! They were constantly in our faces. Letting us know that our life would end if we didn't respond to their every demand. That was by far the most terrified I had ever been in my entire life.

The sky is getting brighter in the east and I know I am getting closer to the end of this torture. A little over six miles into the march, we stop again. I suck down some more water and get ready for the final stretch. It's full light now. I look around and realize where I am. "That's the gas chamber," I think to myself. We've marched past here several times before. I could get back to Main Base with my eyes closed. Everyone exchanges a few quiet words. "We can do it!" "It's not far now," we say to each other.

The sun clears the horizon and motivates us, as we take in the warmth of the sun. Senior Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Soria starts a Jody call. My team and I pick it up. "Hey, hey, Captain Jack, Meet me by the railroad track, with your rifle in your hand, I want to be a killing man." It makes it easier to march and takes our minds off the pack straps digging into our shoulders.

The Jody calls get louder as we reach the base of the legendary incline known only as "The Reaper". The Reaper is a very steep incline that recruits must mentally and physically overcome. I immediately began my ascension as other recruits took a few moments at the base to take one last breather. My 5'9" figure was bent over at almost a 90-degree angle to compensate for the weight of my pack as I climbed an almost 70 degree incline. My heart began pounding, and the same beat began pounding in my legs. The Reaper's summit was only a quarter of a mile away. My heart felt like it was going to pound out of my chest, but I didn't slow down until I reached the top.

Finally, I was at the top, as I looked around it felt as if I was on top of the world. I gathered my composure and begun to fall in with the rest of my platoon. After every recruit had made it to the top of the Reaper, the Drill Instructor yelled, "Attend-Hut!" We stood at attention dripping with sweat, tired and hungry. We knew what was coming next. "We did it!" I whispered to the recruit next to me. We knew we had accomplished something that so few have.

As the Senior Drill Instructor stepped in front of me, I began to swell up with pride. I held my arm at a ninety degree angle, palm up. He placed a small piece of medal in my hand; it was the symbol of the United States Marine Corps, the Eagle Globe and Anchor, and said, "Congratulations Marine." This was the first time in three months I had been addressed other than a "piece of crap, or a no good momma's boy" and I have to tell you, it felt good!

Michael Mairn

Semper Fi
God Bless America!
Sgt Grit

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