Sgt Grit Newsletter - 09 FEB 2012

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• Never Too Old
• Marine Corps Vehicles
• Woman Marines

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"I try to avoid museums, lest they nail my boondockers to the deck and make me an exhibit..."

DDick sends in way too much stuff for the newsletter... so here is a picture... probably taken in 1963, definitely in L Company area at MCRD, SD... that's DDick holding (inspecting) the rifle... will have to dig out and go through platoon books to ID the recruit (I think he was a Squad Leader at the time...)

In This Issue

About finding your buddies, I match up many of you weekly when you see a buddies name and email me. I now have a "Buddy Search" function. Sign up, NOW! If everyone who read this newsletter would sign up NOW, there would be tens of thousands before the weekend is over. A lot of matches could be made out of that many. Do it now! Be proactive like your Drill Instructor taught you.

Do it now maggot! You will never regret finding your buddies.

Sgt Grit Marine Poems page, there are dozens of outstanding poems.

Here we go: Pasta Palace, Dr. Joe was wounded, "corrupter" of 2nd Lt's, in a low growl, BIG surprise, only one dumb enough, having some fun, what you do?, some money involved, not to get snatched, when I was in the Navy, I wanna BREATHE on you!

'Your application for transfer has been forwarded... enthusiastically recommending approval'

'Two good duty stations in the Marine Corps... the one you came from, and the one you're going to"

Sgt Grit

About Had A Heart Attack

I've noticed in the past several issues, articles or notes about Marines on Ships. Attached are some pictures of VMA (AW) 121 when we were stationed aboard the USS Ranger CV-61 from Dec 84 - Sept 89. We flew A-6E Intruders and were part of the Carrier Air Wing, CVW-2. During General Quarters, all the Marines in my unit had General Quarters stations, Hanger Deck, Flight Deck, Ready Room, or their respective shops.

Funny story, I was home on leave in Aug 1988. I was wearing my Dress Blues Deltas for an appointment with my divorce lawyer and some business at the local Air Farce Base. My Mother had just bought a video camera so she was filming me doing some minor drill movements outside and explaining what all the ribbons and badges were on my uniform.

About that time some lady drove up and asked me if I was Mr McDaniel. I said yes and proceeded to get served divorce papers. The lady serving the papers was pretty ashamed of herself to have to serve them to someone in the military. I sat there laughing about the situation.

I met my Dad over at my lawyers office and had the meeting with him. We discussed the divorce and all its BS. After we were done, my lawyer asked me if Marines were pretty tough, I said yes with a big grin on my face. To Quote My Lawyer, "When I was in the Navy, If you could beat the crap out of a Marine, you were pretty tough"

I just smiled back and said, "I'm in a Marine A-6 Squadron stationed aboard the USS Ranger, we teach those squids how to fly!" My Dad had been just sitting there for moral support and about had a heart attack when I said that. My lawyer just looked at me and said "That will be $500.00 upfront with a $75.00 filing fee." I gladly paid the man with a smile upon my face.

Ken McDaniel
USMC 85 - 97
VMA - 121, VMA - 211, VMA - 214

Red Carpet Trips

Sgt. Grit,

In today's newsletter I read a story written by Gunny Dixon "felling a Tree".

Gunny Dixon I believe I served with you while you were the Btry. Gunny for G3/10. My name is Kirk Hallows and I was with Golf Btry from '81 to '83. I was a L/Cpl when I reported in and was Promoted to Sgt. while we were in Beirut. I was an 0846 Scout Observer and when I wasn't out humping with the Grunts (mostly Kilo 3/8) I hung out with the FDC shop (Sgt. "RAT" Racine, Reed, Mays and Poline.)

I remember the Lt. well. He was on my FO team for several months, and 1st Sgt. Wilson chewed me out several times for as he put it "corrupting a fine young Marine Officer". One of my red carpet trips was for having Pizza delivered to OP#2 lucky's mound while we were calling in fire missions. The Lt. didn't think it was a good idea the first night, but the second night HE ordered Chinese and had it brought out to the mound!

We did have the finest Btry. in 10th Marines at the time and I often think back on those times with a smile on my face. It was an Honor to serve with you and the rest of the Golf btry. family.

Kirk Hallows " Fire for Effect!"
Sargent of Marines and "corrupter" of 2nd Lt's.

Dr Joe

I have known the Duer family of Woodward, Oklahoma for years. Dr. Joe Duer served as a Navy Doctor during WWII. He was trained at the Naval Station at Norman, Oklahoma. His first assignment was with the 2nd Marine Division training for the Iwo Jima invasion at Camp Tarawa in Hawaii.

He and John Basilone were in the same Battalion. Dr. Joe was older than the rest and had some difficulty hiking the hills near the Camp. He had great admiration for John Basilone describing him as unbelievable. John would walk back and forth through the column helping struggling Marines. Dr. Joe said he had seen John with as many as five rifles on his shoulders for Marines who needed help. Dr. Joe was wounded on the second day of the invasion, but witnessed the flag raising from a hospital ship.

Of course we all know what happened to John. Dr. Joe is also gone now, but his memoirs remain.

Edward Spence
'54 -'58

Bar Girls At 11th Marines

Here's a couple of the photos. I think the girl on the left is the girl you said got married.


As I remember there were 4-5 of these girls. Only one changed in the 18 months I was there. Must have been a good job. I know that Sgt Kelly (later SgtMaj) got one of the girls back to the USA. I attended his wedding in the ville, Da San. I forget how he got approval to get married, her name was Nancy. Last I heard they had two girls.

The girls would serve us 15 cent soda and beer. There was only one pallet of beer started at a time, so you ordered beer, not brand because there was only one brand available at a time. They had a cooler with ice in it, but the beer/soda was never in it long enough to get cold, so it was almost always warm. To this day I will not drink a Budweiser product. They sent us beer in rusted cans, more than once so it was not a mistake. None of the others brands did. Brands I remember: Pabst Blue Ribbon, Black Label, Schlitz, Budweiser.

15 cent beer, a bad movie, and your best friends ever; it doesn't get any better.

Sgt Grit

Sgt Maj Dad?

My father is a retired Sgt Maj and former Sr. Drill Instructor. I had just completed Infantry Training School at Camp Geiger and been assigned to Headquarters and Service Battalion 8th Marines until 1/8 returned from the Med.

What a gig! Here I was a FNG E-3, LCpl, posted to Guard duty. Day on, Day Off, every other weekend off!

Right outside the "walking gate" was the strip on Hwy 17; the handful of bars / pool joints typical of the time. (You could see Saigon Sam"s from the Guard Shack)

My first pay day weekend and I"m having some colds ones with my friends; enjoying life. In walks a Gy Sgt in Class Cs with Air Crew Wing (MCAS New River) Dad retired from NAS Memphis.

DA (Dumb A-s) me asks: "hey Gunny, you know A Sgt Maj Dad?

The Gunny sets down his beer, describes Dad to a tee along with a reference to his "mean disposition" and asks "Why?, You know him? Meanest SoB I ever met. He was my Senior Drill Instructor!"

I refrained from asking anyone else about Dad.

We're a small family for sure!

Semper Fi,
Sgt Van
Wpns Co 1/8 2nd Mar Div 10/1980 - 3/1984
VMA(AW)-242 IMA AVI 10/1984 - 12/1992

Branson Honors Purple Heart Recipients
April 26-28 2012 in Branson, MO
Open to Purple Heart Recipients, Veterans and their Families

Women Marines

All I ever heard at P.I. in 1981 was Oohrah!

Don't ever hear about "WMs", or come across many. The "fewer, the Prouder". No one ever talks about the Women Marines Association, even though we just celebrated our 50th year in 2010. I've been told "women don't belong in MY Marine Corps, and that no matter what we accomplish, like the same standards, (though not uniforms), as the men, we will never be REAL Marines. Pretty degrading.

I believe I proved I belong. I am just as Semper Fi, Do or Die as any other Marine. And a lot more than some REAL, male Marines I know. Obviously, I was good enough to be Honor Graduate, meritoriously promoted to LCpl, with choice of duty station, out of cook school. Going to 29 stumps, having to wear full uniform in 125 degree heat, while males wore only t-shirts, shows we could hang.

If I hadn't been blessed to have wonderful male And female Marines to serve with then, it would have been worse.

Will we EVER be seen as equal? Pink sequins on Marine clothing does us no favors. My husband had no problem with my being tough and feminine.

Anyone have any help in finding D.F. Mgr. MSgt Gay, Sgt Priscilla Mendez, Corporal Sandra Martin, or any others at "Pasta Palace" chow hall aboard the Stumps? One thing about being fewer, prouder is I can't find anyone I served with. Any help appreciated.

Cpl T Thompson USMC 1981-1985

I can only print what I am sent. So if you don't see a story about your era, your unit, your s-x, your race, your war, your whatever it is your fault. Write me, now! I include most of what I am sent.

About finding your buddies, I match up many of you weekly when you see a buddies name and email me. I now have a "Buddy Search" function. Sign up, NOW

Wacky Racers

Sgt Grit

I was with Support company 3rd Cbt Engr Bn at Camp Hansen Okinawa 1977-1978. Our Motor Transport platoon was called the Wacky Racers. I don't know when the platoon got its name. It was way before I arrived. The name and modified deuce and half was embroidered on our guidon. We marched to the motor pool every day.

I'm enclosing a photo of a jacket that I had made before I left Okinawa. I found the shop in kinville that actually did the embroidery work for our guidon. I couldn't believe it. Would you enclose this in your weekly newsletter? I would like to see how many other Motor T Marines stationed at 3rd Cbt Engr bn remember this. Thanks Sgt Grit

Semper Fi

Fred Coffey
Cpl 1976-1980

Low Growl

There I was... After serving 11 years in our Corps... I made an Inter-service transfer to the Army Warrant Officer program. I, my wife and my son's Aunt traveled to PI to attend my son's Graduation from USMC Boot Camp. I wore my Class A uniform and looked like a Panamanian general. After taking a photo of my son and I, my sister-in-law walked up to us and asked, "Sean, I know what Rank your father is... but what are you?" In a low growl my son responded... "I am a Warrior!" Every hair on my body came to the Position of Attention! After 12 years my son continues to serve proudly. Semper Fi!

CWO3 Jeff Hoebing USA Retired

Squad Leaders Report

Parris Island; February, 1958; L Co; 2nd Batt; Plt 211.

As a platoon we were progressing as well as could be expected, about five or six weeks in. At this point, squad leaders had been appointed, and as such, were expected to give report after we had set ranks, and come to attention.

Private Lynch (about 6'2") was squad leader of the "short round" end of the platoon. No-one in his squad stood higher than this guy"s chest. Pvt. Lynch was a very nice fellow, quiet, very strong, worked hard, but was a few watts short of being a bright light.

On the day in question, Lynch took his position at the front of his squad, just exactly one man further to the right of where he was supposed to be standing. We were called to attention, and the command given for squad leaders to "REPORT" All was fine until Pvt. Lynch had to give his report.

The look of confusion on his face just had to be seen. At that time, there were three fire teams of four men apiece, plus the squad leader,... thirteen. He looked behind himself several times, counted very slowly, and came up with sixteen !

In the most serious voice he could muster, he took a step forward, and made his historical report:

"SIR, the fifth squad has too many men."

Pvt. Lynch was dismissed as squad leader.
The rest of us almost peed our pants.

J Cooke Sgt, '58 - '62

Never Too Old

would love to submit my USMC tat. served 63-67 never too old, never prouder. sempers my friend


Everyone has a little PTSD but mine was delayed 15 years. My transition home was fairly easy because I was fortunate to meet a 3rd Recon Marine in country who came from California a few miles from where I grew up. When I got home, I was welcomed by his family (His dad was a Marine in the 1950s).

It was the mid-1980s when the survivors guilt hit. You know the drill. Why did I survive the rocket hitting next to the Charlie taxiway, the little holes that appeared in the helicopter or the total comm and nav failure at 2:00 am over northern I Corps in monsoon rains with 200 ft. ceiling.

Why did Jim die on a night medevac after just a few short weeks with a new squadron. It was rough for a while but the thing that got me out of it was the memory of who Jim was. If Jim knew I was feeling guilty about surviving, he would have told me to snap out of my sh-t and get over it. He would have ragged on me until I squared myself away. Those we lost wouldn't want us to miss out on life just because they lost there's. This was mild compared to what many experience but I hope it helps.

Wayne Stafford
RVN 68-69


Probably a WC-63 1 1/4 Ton. Used everywhere in ETO served in The Corps from July 1952 to July 1955. Everywhere we went there were four wheeled vehicles called Weapons Carriers. They were almost as common as jeeps.

When we were going through training at Camp Pendleton the FMF Corpsman used to drive a real neat six wheeled vehicle when we went out into the field. We called it a Personnel Carrier. One might say it was like a miniature deuce and a half 6x6. I seldom ever saw any more of those vehicles. When I Google USMC PERSONNEL CARRIER it returns a more modern and amphibious vehicle. Does anyone remember the proper name or nomenclature for the vehicle I'm referring to?

T. Stewart, Sgt (E-4) USMC 1952-55

Sgt Grit,
In your 2Feb2012 newsletter, T. Stewart asked about a truck he called a "weapons carrier". I believe the truck he's referring to is a M-37. I've attached a couple of pictures I found.

When I first arrived in Vietnam, Sept 1966, several of us were told we would spend 2 weeks providing security for a LAAM Battery atop hill 327 in Danang. Our 'hooch was at the base of 327 so we were trucked rain or shine, day and night in the back of a M-37 which we called a PC if I remember correctly, up and down the hill.

I definitely remember that after 2-3 days of up and down the road, more like a path, in the back of the 'PC" I was more concern with surviving the ride than I was of the possible VC attack.

Rick Leach
CWO3 - Retired

Who the h-ll is ddick? besides great stories he has to have one helluva memory or he spent his enlistment writing down everything. ooohrah

To Sgt Stewart (e-4) ??? the vehicle you were describing sounds like the gamma goat one of those great ideas that really wasn"t that great

Google it and you'll see it on you tube. I believe they were phased out around the mid-80s when the hummv made its debut, at least that's the last i remember seeing them. we weren't trained on them in motor t school but when I got to 2/6 we had 3 of the beasts and we got to get trained and licensed to operate them. Don't remember ever taking them on ops or on floats but they were in Okinawa in 86. hope that helps.

Remember your D.I.s referring to you as THING? disappear THING. or the Huge disappointment the Senior D.I. would probably never recover from, if the platoon failed to perform with Jesus h chrst accuracy and perfection? I sure hope McMillan S.D.I 3rd bn Lima co plt 3039 apr-june 85 made a recovery.

Sgt Grit as always your letter makes my thursday, out fn standing SEMPER FI. Cpl Radtke T.A 85-89

Read More Vehicle Stories

Short Rounds

"Six to the front, three to the rear, lean back dig em in and stut, strut, strut"

E. De Lise
Sgt of Marines
Parris Island ' 66, Plt 105ago
Nam: 68-69, 1st Combat EngrBn, 1st MarDiv

Yes the Seagoing Bellhops were decommed in 96 I believe it was. But if my memory is right the current CMC General Amos said he would like to reinstate Shipboard Marines. I have not seen anything else on this!

Jim Beyersdorf

Hey Big Joe, so true...I came from a Marine family, thinking I knew everything about the Marine Corps. I still remember the first thing said by a drill Instructor as I arrived at MCRD in 1970, "I'm gonna give you ten seconds to get off this bus, get on the yellow footprints, and I just used up eight of them telling you about it". My first thought was "What the h-ll did I get myself into?'. But still today I wouldn"t trade for anything in the world...

Semper Fi
Greg Jones USMC 1970-1977

Here is a question for the old timers:
How much blood was spilled by recruits in their first week of recruit training by utilizing the Gillette double edge razor with the Gillette blue blade?

SSgt Huntsinger, 1968-75

In regards to the Capt. who encountered the Navy person wearing USMC shorts the Capt. reply should have been "we are a part on the Navy, The MALE part."
H Miller 51-72 Semper Fi

Hey Sgt. Grit,

I would be curious to hear some stories from Subscribers who were told by their recruiter that they would get a certain MOS that they had requested, however when they arrived at Boot Camp they "received a BIG surprise". Some of the guys I was in The Corps with had some pretty good ones...


Since we are so small, why do I run into so many veterans who have no idea of WOMEN MARINES' contributions and patriotism? Most older male Marines tell me they have never even seen, much less talked to a woman Marine!

To Richard Grayson
Re Superhero flag raising tat:

Hey wait a minute - Cap's U.S. Army, Wolverine is a Canadian Army, and Thor ain't even from Earth! LOL!

Hard to tell, is the Punisher there? What the h-ll, they exemplify the Marine fighting spirit.

Semper Fi and OOH-RAH from a fellow Comic book geek.
L/CPL Lapointe 5811 1981-1985.

Don't recall, or recall that I ever knew, it being a rather personal sort of question to ask an armed man, but in K/3/5 in early '66, one of the platoons (other than our 1st) had a Sgt Norbert last name... a name one is not likely to forget... and he was already on his second tour, having been in some of the very earliest operations... 'Starlight',, and had been wounded... specifically, while seated on a paddy dike, had taken a round to the scrotum, removing one (which one, is the question I was/am loathe to ask) of his oblate spheroid reproductive glands. When we asked why he had volunteered for a second tour so soon, his answer was both simple and eminently to the point: "I'm here for revenge"

Transfer To Navy

Sgt. Grit:

Fear has a way of inspiring acts of great courage. Or stupidity.

I was at MCRD San Diego in June of 1968, Platoon 2019. On a Sunday morning our drill instructors, who I guess had nothing better to do, called us to platoon formation and told us that an order had come down offering boots the one-time option of transferring to the Navy. Anyone who so desired, we were told, should raise his hand so the DIs could begin the process of arranging the paperwork.

Nearly everyone smelled a large rat in this offer and we knew that only our platoon f-ckups would fall for such an obvious trap, chief among them a guy named Pvt. Dean. I remember standing tall and silently praying "No, Pvt. Dean, no, no, no, don't do it." But, sure as sh-t, Pvt. Dean's hand shot up, the only one dumb enough to volunteer. Both DIs on duty that morning broke into evil grins and told Pvt. Dean to report to the duty hut immediately.

The platoon was dismissed and Dean trotted to the duty hut to get his ticket, he thought, out of the h-ll of boot camp. He returned maybe an hour later in a "chastised" and disheveled state. But he must have learned something because he never again volunteered for anything. During the rest of boot camp, however, he occupied a special place in our drill instructors' hearts and minds. He may have spent some time in Motivation Platoon (I don't remember) but I think he graduated with us. I never heard of him again and that's OK with me.

Bill Federman
Sgt., USMC
RVN 1970-71

Colonel Elwin B. Hart

Sgt Grit: Recently sent you e-mail re subj memoir. Neglected to send picture of book cover in event you publish my info. Attached hereto is picture. Also need to inform readers I held all enlisted ranks (Pvt to MSgt 1941-1950) before commission in 1950.

Colonel Elwin B. Hart USMC Retired

Get Him A Coke

My mom signed for me to join the Marines the day I became 17 years old and I arrived at MCRD San Diego in April 1956. One day about half way through boot camp our SENIOR DI! SSGT Henderson gave me a quarter and his duty belt ordering me to go over to the end of the grinder and get him a coke out of some vending machines. The belt would show I was in that area and buying a coke under orders of my DI.

When I dropped the quarter into the machine it did not work and I lost his money. I had absolutely no money to replace his quarter. You can imagine how I felt on the way back to the duty hut. I have been shot at before but I don't think I was anywhere near as scared as I was returning to tell him I lost his money.

I think the only reason I survived was that a Sgt McKeon at Parris Island had some Marines recruits that drowned in a swamp and there was a lot of publicity about cruelty of D Is. Otherwise, I don't think I would have survived his anger at me for losing his quarter.

Although, sometimes I have wondered if he knew I would lose his quarter and was having some fun...

So Off We Went

Sgt. Grit:
I was a young Corporal stationed at MCAS El Toro in 1983. One of the first Marines I encountered was to become one of my best friends for life. He was Sgt. Don Mckay. We lost Don back in 2008 but I always think of him when friends are mentioned. Don was an Orange County Native so he was right at home at El Toro.

It was now Thanksgiving and Don asked me what I was going to do for the Holiday. We all know a Marine Base can be a lonely place on the holiday's. When I told him I was just going to the Chow Hall he replied in true Marine Corps fashion "Bull S--T, you're coming to my Grand Parents house." So off we went .

When I got there I was quickly introduced and found out his Mother Sandy and his Grand Parents Hal and Dede were from the Midwest and the same city where I was born. Needless to say I was now family and remain so today. Up until Don's untimely death we kept each other "in the loop" of the family goings on. We stood up in each other's Weddings and called each other when our kids were born. Thank you to the Marine Corps for bringing me to this happiness. Goes to show you the Marines do make the world small.

Thanks Grit for the chance to sound off!
Semper Fi.

Sgt. Jeff Wolven
Tighten up that shot group

Wrong Reasons

In response to J P Cawthon's email on Wednesday the 1st, concerning the worst thing about boot camp, I'd like to debate.

If ANYONE signs the contract and raises their right hand and swears in for the RIGHT and APPROPRIATE REASONS, they will wake up each morning and look forward to what they have to do for the day. It's that simple. It's like having a job in the civilian world you enjoy going to. You wake up and look forward to going in, breaking your balls getting the job done and clock out and go home KNOWING you MADE A DIFFERENCE.

When ANYONE signs the papers for the WRONG REASONS, THAT'S when they wake up realizing where they are.

I'd say the worst thing about boot camp is getting used to and blending in with the atmosphere in the short time they give you.

I say all this from personal experience. You know how many kids make serious decisions for the wrong reasons? Too many. But, like everyone else, they have to find out THE HARD WAY. By the time they get their sh-t together, it's usually too late.

They're (like me) too old to go back and revisit their decision. Big Joe, not criticizing you at all... but waking up realizing where we are shouldn't be the worst thing in our lives if we WANT to be there.

Semper Fi, Marines
J.S. Elliott

It's Candy

Sgt Grit, I read the Newsletter every week and really enjoy it. It's sorta like a slice of home was when you were overseas and far from home if you know what I mean. Read the post on Feb 2 entitled "Next Question", and I just couldn't resist sending in my own chewing tobacco story. This is the first time I've submitted anything to the Newsletter even though I've meant to several times and just never got around to it. So here's the story...

We were on the '78-'79 WestPac, the maiden voyage to WestPac for the USS Tarawa LHA-1, and we hit a lot of liberty ports because the Brass wanted to show off their brand new Gator-Freighter. One of the ports we went to was Pattaya Beach, Thailand. That's where this story happened.

The first night of liberty a Buddy and I went to this little Cafe'/Bar called the Cafe' Ole' to have a few and get something to eat. The girls that worked in there were nice and they were eager to talk to their new American friends, and very curious about everything we did. After dinner I slipped an empty beer bottle down in the booth beside me, and pulled out a brand new pouch of Redman and proceeded to break the seal on it. When the girls saw this several of them gathered around the booth and said "What you do? What you do?"

I realized at that point they had never seen chewing tobacco so I decided to have a little fun and I told them "It's Candy", whereupon each of them had to taste this American candy, and each one took one tiny little leaf and touched it to their tongue to see what it tasted like, and of course Redman tastes pretty sweet and they were all nodding appreciatively and commenting on the taste.

I guess I should have just let it go then, but I just couldn't so I said "No No ladies, you put it in your mouth like this and chew it like bubblegum", and I proceeded to load my jaw, and of course they all wanted to try that too so they followed suit. Next thing you know we were all chewing away, and somehow or other I failed to mention that you were supposed to spit out the juice.

One by one they politely excused themselves usually after swallowing a couple mouthfuls of the stuff, and made their way to the back room usually holding onto the Bar for support, They were a little unsteady on their feet by then. One of them lasted longer than the others and politely asked to be excused after swallowing very hard one last time and took about three slow, unsteady steps toward the back before breaking into a dead sprint. It was a monumental effort on their part because they did not want their new American friend to think they didn't like his candy.

The Jarheads and sailors in there got a good laugh out of it, and one by one the girls drifted back out into the Cafe' a little paler than when they left. They declined the offer of more candy because they did not want to impose as I only had a small amount of candy left.

That one almost made the Float Book for the '78-'79 WestPac. My 1stSGT on that Float was David Noakes, later SgtMaj Noakes, and our Battalion Commander at the time was LtCol Walter Boomer, later Gen Boomer, also known for being on the observation post with Lt Ripley during the "Ripley at the Bridge" incident that happened in Vietnam and I'm told is still taught in OCS. Our Battalion XO was Maj B. C. Steed who the last I heard had made Col. He was the toughest, and the best Officer I ever came into contact with. Word was he was a SSGT in Vietnam and received a Commission, and was such a good Officer he was never put back to enlisted when the war ended. I can't tell you if that is 100% true but I can tell you he was one heck of a Marine. I did see a story about him in the Newsletter a while back.

Anyway that's my Chewing Tobacco story I hope some of the guys that were there see this and remember the '78-'79 WestPac. Those were good times!

By the way, then 1stSGT Noakes got madder than H-ll about that he said "Those girls were sick for a week!"

Bill Arthur

No First, Second, Third

In 1954 I was at Pendleton (Las Pulgas, Tent Camp Two) and one Friday at roll call our CO asked for 20 volunteers for Sunday to pull targets for a rifle match... Lots of plusses were thrown in... breakfast of coffee and donuts... lunch of horsec-ck and potato salad and more coffee or soda pop. Were to meet at 830 am at company office and added bonus... a truck would take us to the range... didn't even have to run...

Everything went well and we met about 40 shooters... mostly older all with shooting jackets covered in patches from past accomplishments at other matches... lots from Vandalia which was the big shoot at that time....

Assigned to target 14 and the guy on 15 was so busy telling everyone how good he was with a rifle he didn't pay attention... At 1000 yards the first shot on his target hit the bulls-eye dead center which was a 5v shot... V ring was inside black about 6" and total bull was about 10" After a few minutes the range officer yelled on pa system....

"Target 15 please remark your target"... kid pulled his target couldn't find a hole so waved the guy a maggies rag (total miss) again the range officer yelled " Remark on 15... target 14 verify his mark" We finally found a hole about 2" from the marker in dead center of 5v ring... both said Whoa... he remarked it disked it and we went on.

When lunch came the range officer came over asked for guy pulling 15 and ate him out. One of the shooters separated from his group and came over and told the Lt or Capt whichever he was that he would handle it... Explained to the boy that although there was some money involved the patch for winning was more important. He said "I figure it will take a possible (50) to win the money but probably 8-10 v ring hits were required.'

We went on and finished and that afternoon were back scrounging whatever was left to eat and an NCO assigned to the range came over and told us the guy hadn't quite told the truth... Every shooter put $10 up on every line of fire so pot was $350-$400... no first second third... first got it and the patch.

That was the first time I saw an 03 Springfield and wasn't real impressed till I saw them shoot...Beautiful....Semper fi

Sgt Don Wackerly 53-56

Also Inducted

In response to Lee 1960-1964 about volunteering aboard ship.

In January of 1961, I was assigned to L/3/5. In August we boarded the USS Breckenridge TAP(176) for transport to Okinawa. The Breckenridge was a transport ship that carried 3/5, other officers and civilian dependents going to the Orient. We were ask for various volunteers and I volunteered. I was assigned to run the film projector showing movies to officers and dependents. Got to watch movies while enroute.

We were also inducted into the Order of the Golden Dragon.

The picture of MCRDSD brings back memories. The Quonset huts that we were in 1960 were on the south side of the Grinder. The first picture submitted by Ray Ybarra, is facing east. In the middle of the Quonset huts, on the right hand of the picture, sat the mess hall. PLt 276 was around the 4-6th row of huts.

Frank Briceno

Unusual For A DI

I was Platoon 235 MCRD SD in 1959. DI's were ASSgt Greer, ASgt Frye, ASgt Greer and later ASSgt Harrrison making 4 DI's. About 8th or 9th week we were out for Colonel's inspection. The Colonel took my M-1 and while inspecting it very casually asked me how many times I had the front sight off. I was counting in my mind when I saw ASSgt Greer's face fall (something unusual for a DI), which made me remember front sight to be removed only by a Commissioned Officer. I immediately replied never Sir. ASSgt Greer acquired a huge smile and Colonel handed my M-1 back and proceeded on to next Private. Never heard anything more about it.

Cpl (E-4) Farley

Out Of The Way

While stationed on the USS Midway CV41 from Feb 1987 to Feb 1989 we would send a backup team to all the spaces that we had Guards stationed at. We also had a .50 cal mount just under the edge of the Angle Deck that you had to cross a large are of expanded metal decking to get to. (needless to say that if you were afraid of heights you did not like this because you could see right through the deck to the water about 30ft below) For those that were not sent for that you would make sure that you stayed out of the way of the Sailors.

Several years later while on Deployment with the Airwing you would go to your assigned work center and try not to get snatched for a fire party or causality detail.

Gary Lindahl
0311, 6463

Upset One Councilor

One of the most anti-service school districts in Illinois is Park Ridge, the town Hillary Clinton hails from. I remember being sent down to the bowels of the school to set up specifically because no one ever went down there. The school had armed security guards that made sure no students went down there or anywhere else. It was more like a prison than a high school.

I used to do high school visits and when we were not allowed to set up to make Navy ROTC applications available to the seniors, I openly told my partner SSgt Michael Krautner that we needed to leave since we weren't getting to offer anything to the seniors. After all, our mission was success driven and we were needed at other schools where we were appreciated for what we had to offer the students.

This upset one counselor and when he started to get in my face I suggested we go somewhere private to have a "discussion". He went into his office and I followed and closed the door. He got to experience a professional dressing down from one pi--ed off Marine recruiter and from that point on was a lot more hospitable. If I had my way Park Ridge and Berkley would be called in for multiple rounds of HE and WP.

God bless the Marine Corps and to Hades with the anti-everything types.

Julian Etheridge
SSgt '74-'85

From Canuckistan

BGen Regan Fuller (no middle initial, except once, when a 2nLt. Parade Adjutant gave him one while "publishing the orders"...) really loved a good parade. He must have, for at one point in '67-'68?, when he was dual-hatted as CG of Force Troops and CG of MCB Twentynine Palms, we had a hum-dinger... out in town, at Luckie Park. In fact this was a Tattoo... mounted color guard, saluting battery, some Scottish guy (borrowed from the USAF) in kilts dancing over two crossed swords, and three bands... ours, and two that had been borrowed from Canada... The Princess Pats, and the Naden (both still exist)... and part of it after dark.

The General was so taken with the duty tooters from Canuckistan that he arranged to keep the Drum Major from one of the two bands (forget which) for several weeks. His job was to teach our band to do the 'slow step'. It really was pretty sharp... at the time, the band would form in front of their quarters at the NW corner of the parade field, march up the hill, turning right in front of the wind tunnel (Hq Bldg.), and downshift to the slow march to the flag pole, where they would form and play for Morning Colors. This affection for affecting artifacts from the former British Empire extended to acquiring a leopard skin which was draped over the bass drum. It was a stirring spectacle indeed...

And one fine morning, as my boss, the Force Troops G-4, and I, the lowly Ordnance Officer stood there admiring the show, one of us commented, with the other agreeing, that "a coyote skin would be more appropriate" (considering that we had plenty coyotes, no leopards, or at least none we knew of, on the base. We also didn't know that the Chief of Staff was, at the time. standing right behind us...)

BGen Fuller, as a Captain, had commanded A/1/7 under Chesty Puller on Guadalcanal, and later as a Major, had commanded 2nd Force Recon... My boss, Lt.Col Tom Kalus, also having no middle name, because, according to him, he was from a poor Alabama share-cropper family during the Depression when he was baptized... 'names were a nickel apiece, and my folks couldn't afford but one'... he also was a Mustang, communicator, and had been a wireman at the Frozen Chosin in the Freezin' Season... forget which unit. The Canadian Drum Major eventually went home... however... 'our' Drum Major decided to grow one of those toothbrush mustaches, and took to giving commands to the band in his best interpretation of a British accent. His picture, with mace (that's what they call the big club) was the still picture for the little local TV station (KDHI) for years afterward.. and the 2ndLt Parade Adjutant with the extra initial for the General?... he survived... and types sea stories to send into Sgt Grit to this day...

Oh, yeah... LtCol Kalus would oft times drive one of his two sons' vehicles to work, parking in front of the HqBldg (of course...) one was a '56 Ford F150, perpetually in primer gray, lowered a bit, fat tires, Baby Moon hubcaps... it also had one of those horns that sounds like a cow moooing... and a short in the steering column, so the horn might blow at any time in close quarter maneuvering... the other vehicle was a VW microbus... which had a sliding/folding canvas roof, a camouflage paint job, and a pretty good wooden facsimile of a .50 BMG and ring mount on top... try that it today's PC world! Col Kalus is alive and well, lives in Hawaii... got to talk to him on the phone a while back.


Did I Know The Man

I am a police officer at a larger medical facility in the Dallas area. Recently we have been assigned escort duty when someone needs to transports money anywhere on campus. Last week it was my turn and all went well without any problems, which is usually the case. When I was escorting the money person back to her office I spotted a gentleman standing outside the building entrance waiting for his vehicle, which is valet parking only. I noticed he was leaning on a carved cane with both hands and he was wearing a Marine First Sgt. cap. As I approached him I said, "Semper Fi". His eyes lit up. He stood straight, placed his left hand on his cane and gave me one of the sharpest salutes I had ever received and smiled as I returned it.

The lady I was with started asking questions. Did I know the man? I said I did not. She asked why he saluted me, did he know me? I told her he did not know me. She asked what I said and I told her. She asked why I said it. I told her, "Because he was a brother". She looked puzzled so I explained to her that it was a Marine thing. Marines are taught their history and we live by it. That is what makes the bond between brothers so strong, like no other service and we recognize each other in our own way. She understood then. I felt proud when she told me she was glad she had been escorted by a Marine. I told her, "By a Parris Island, Viet-Nam Marine".

John Halpin
Viet-Nam, 2/9

Side note:
My wife informed me that when you're young you look at what a person is wearing and how he is dressed. When you get in your 70's you look at what type of cane a person is using.

Guy Behind Me

I arrived in 29 palms a day early to open my Sons Apt. in preparation of Welcoming him back from the 'Stan, went off to get some grocery's and a case of cold ones and while waiting in line to check out (a young lady in front of me with 2 toddlers and a baby in a car seat. Trying to get all she could with WIC Checks) some goofball behind me kept raising his voice trying to get things speeded up no doubt.

I noticed an EGA on her billfold, and asked if her husband was deployed, and she said yes, she had just arrived from TX, and was trying to get settled in and squared away (He was in the same Unit as my Son.)

Guy behind me getting very upset at this time, so I turned and asked him if he had ever served, he said no what did it have to do with the price of pickles, I quietly told him I was a VN Vet, a Corpsman attached to 1st Mar Div. that my Son and this young lady"s husband had quietly done their duty to give you the right to act like an A------e, turned at that moment and told the clerk to put everything she had on the counter, and bought all she had in it for her, and helped her to her car, the wife of the guy behind me, turned and slapped him hard, and said something about her Dad serving, made my day!

Later when I was at the "T" waiting for my Son to get off the Bus, I got a tap on my shoulder, and received a big hug from the young lady at the store. Made my day!

P/S a Gunny told me once that the Army says HOOahh cuz that's what it sounds like with a mouth full of Pe--r!

Semper Fidelis, Semper Paratus, Fraternitas Aeternus! (Always Faithful, Always Ready, Brothers Forever!)
J. Raymond HM2 '65-'69

More Vehicles

When I was on active duty 1961 thru 1965 we had what I believe were l950s era dodge power wagon vehicles called M-37 personnel carriers that were used for everything from carrying troops and cargo to commo vans. The comm vans were used for radio relay teams where they could be driven (otherwise radio relay teams were inserted into operating site by helicopter or small craft. We had M-37s at Camp Lejeune, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, Cubi Point, P.I., and Various places in Vietnam when I was in country.
Cpl Bill Grimm, 61-65 (RVN 64)

Sgt. Grit,
In reply to T. Steward, Sgt USMC 1952-55 in this issue of your newsletter, the military vehicle he is trying to identify is WWII vintage Dodge Weapons carrier 1/1/2 ton 6x6 Model WC62 or a WC63 if it had a front bumper winch.
Semper Fi, V. Mejias 1497518

I read with interest the letter from Sgt T. Stewart, USMC 1952-55, concerning the USMC Personnel Carrier. I wonder if the persistence and insidiousness of time haven't messed with his memories. I know it happens to me, all the time. Things I would swear to are no more than a warped shadow of the true past. That may be why he's having such a difficult time finding the vehicle he remembers.

Anyway, what we called a Personnel Carrier (PC) during the early '60s was an M37 3/4 ton 4X4 Dodge pickup truck. Mostly used by our unit to transport the Guard Mount. I have to wonder if the vehicle Sgt. Stewart's Corpsman drove to the field might have been a M43 3/4 ton 4x4 ambulance. Produced January 1951 to July 1954, they were fairly common in the Marine Corps from that time forward.

Just offering an alternate reality for your consideration.

Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
Jerry D.

Google "WWII 6x6 Dodge weapons Carrier" for many entries. The Army model number is shown as WC63. Unusual use in Korea '52 was by Grave Regs to haul the dead. I asked Sgt O"Dell (yes, nicknamed Digger) why the obsolete vehicle and he said he could get 4 dead stretched out without stacking them up and in a smaller 6x6 vehicle with a low silhouette.

O. E. Kennicutt, Capt, USMC (ret)
1947 - 1969


Sgt Grit,

I recently acquired my uncle's boot camp book (Platoon 171, graduation Dec 1959) and was browsing it to see how different MCRD SD looked back then from when I was there (1983). I noticed a picture titled "Bucket Issue" and recall him talking about buckets and sand to me when I came home from boot camp. We never had buckets, so I wonder if any old salts out there could elaborate on uses for your bucket. I'd ask my uncle but he's gone to that final duty station. Attached are a couple of the pictures from his graduation book that show the buckets.

Another book he had was from his time with 2/9 during something called the transplacement program. I'm not sure but it looks like sometime in 1961 the 2/5 left Camp Pendleton and arrived in Okinawa then assumed the role of the 2/9. I would assume the 2/9 left Okinawa and became the 2/5 in Pendleton. Can anyone out there shed more details on this? Attached are a couple of pictures from that book.

Semper Fi (and it was Oohrah in 1983),
Mike Winnie
Cpl USMCR 1983-88

Marine Embassy Guard Association

MEGA - The Marine Embassy Guard Association will be celebrating their 15th Anniversary, at the Annual Reunion on April 26 - 30, 2012, at the Sheraton Hotel, Crystal City, VA.

One of the events will include the April - MSG Graduation Ceremony.

For further Information, contact Denny Krause at 405/691-8087.

Stand In Honor

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a military pilot but not just a military pilot, I was going to fly military helicopters. At age 8, the optometrist pronounced the death sentence; eyeglasses for the rest of my life. End of military helicopter pilot aspirations [I'd also wanted to be a cowboy, an ambulance driver, a fireman and a police officer. I managed 3 of the 4 but since I really didn't like horses and/or cows that wasn't completely unexpected.] and I just completely forgot about a military career.

Having 'never been in the service' I suppose that's why I am adamant about trying to be respectful of all veterans, regardless of the branch of service. Be it my Patriot Guard or American Legion vest, I am proud to stand in honor for my veterans. In contrast to the notation in the most recent edition of Sgt Grit, you can trust this civilian that when he says Semper Fi, he means it as an honest compliment and the highest tribute he can offer.

Be safe Marines and thank you. Semper Fi.

C'mere, Boy

Common post boot camp brag (first liar ain't got a chance!) used to be how long after arrival until one was able to evacuate the contents of the colon... "Man... thought I was givin' birth!"...

Then there was the DI of my acquaintance whose inspection of the head routine involved Skippy Chunky peanut butter... he would get into his wall locker stash of snacks, get a bit of PB (no J) on his second (AKA 'social') finger, and proceed to the head, where attention would be sounded, and the recruit in charge would be summoned. "Get that seat up!... is this place clean??! ('YESSIR!)... he would then run his index (first) finger around under the bowl rim... a minor detail that a recruit staring straight ahead would not notice, and come up with the second finger with the apparently incriminating peanut butter on it... sniff at it... and then lick the peanut butter off...

This would set a new world record for speed of scuttlebutt... probably under three minutes for the word to get to all 300 recruits in the series... for the next few days, if this DI happened to see a passing recruit (double-timing, of course), he would call them over, saying "C'mere, boy... I wanna BREATHE on you!" Will guarantee you that the heads started the day surgically clean...

Nissen huts pretty much the same as Quonsets, 'cept Nissen was a Brit invention back in WWI... WWII bunch at Quonset Point base in RI tasked with cheap, fast, etc. shelter used the idea... Galvanizing was added for the Pacific climate. Today, I think, they use something called a "K-span"... rig on a semi-trailer that corrugates, shapes on site from a roll of sheet steel, floor and footings poured last?... and a lot of snazzy soft shelters, according to pictures from the sandboxes.

Had mentioned the A-frames at two-niner trees previously (had something to do with design, early construction, and intend to stay in the witness protection program)... a few years back, had read about the K-span in the MC Gazette. We were at Pendleton for the Division Anniversary shindig, and one of our number, a retired MGySgt, happened to have a Major son who was CO of an Engineer outfit... so we got to visit the unit.

I was asking the CO about the new building system, had told him of my history with the A-frames, inquired as to the build rate? He proudly told me that his first platoon, working up at 29 Palms, was at the rate of one completed building a day... and then commented "here comes the Platoon Leader now"... I had been replaced... by a... red-headed... Lieutenant... of the female persuasion, maybe 5'6" or so... and at one a day, it was pretty obvious she knew what she was doing...



"The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it."
--John Stuart Mill

"The ideal government of all reflective men, from Aristotle onward, is one which lets the individual alone-one which barely escapes being no government at all."
--HL Mencken

" ...when my country demands the sacrifice, personal ease must always be a secondary consideration."
--George Washington

"...the love of my country will be the ruling influence of my conduct."
--George Washington

"It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts...For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it."
-- Patrick Henry

"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself."
--Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC)

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

"Never trouble another for what you can do yourself."
--Thomas Jefferson

You're Bouncin' Girls, You're Bouncin'

Keep your interval!

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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