Sgt Grit Newsletter - 28 MAR 2012

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• A Dance with Chesty
• FighterTown
• Love Those Grunts

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In 1962 I was discharged from the USMC. My husband was with I & I in Chicago, Ill. We went to the Marine Corps Ball at downtown Chicago. Chesty Puller was there. I asked him to dance and to my undying surprise he said YES. I told him I was a former WM (we were called WM's Women Marines in those days) and I danced on air. I then told him I had just had a son on October 18th and that it looked JUST LIKE HIM. He jumped back and said, loudly, IT WASN'T ME! What a sense of humor! I've been walking on air since '62! Can you IMAGINE, CHESTY PULLER?! GOD is GOOD!

Tanya L Ladika

In This Issue

GriTogether Save the date: 9th Annual GriTogether
09 JUNE 2012 from 10am-2pm
Free Food (this year: Indian Tacos, corn dogs, and smoked turkey sandwiches) and lots of fun for the whole family! Face painting, tattoos, Marines from all over the U.S. Paintball shooting station. DJ. Kabar will be here. River Valley rifle detachment with a 21 gun salute. After party that evening. More details to come!

Here we go: were almost edible, commission in the Navy, anybody with a "Purple Heart", Such eloquence!, other creepy crawlies, looking after a Corpsman, Garden of Eden, the Bald Headed Squid, Teeny Weeny Airlines, cooks were fishing. Plus more great AmericanCourage stories!

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit


MAG 13 Taxi

I was in MAG-13, VMFA-115 Ordnance at Chu Lai in 69/70 and the group was all F-4s. Except for the HAMS Hummer, a C-117. There was a sign on the taxiway side of the revetments that said MAG 13 FIGHTERTOWN. Don't let the sign fool you. We were mostly close air support though.

Richard Brown

Love Those Grunts

While I was in VietNam (1967-1968) I experienced the true meaning of Semper Fi and how Marines take care of Marines.

Marines in Vietnam standing next to truck I was a dump truck driver with the 7th Engineer Battalion, Service Co. I was in a large convoy leaving the An Hue Combat Base with my friend Tyrone Jones heading for Hill 55, then on to DaNang. Tyrone had a new guy with him in his dump truck. I also had a new guy riding with me. (I can't remember the new guys names) The convoy had two tanks with it. One in the front, the other in the rear.

About halfway to PhuLoc 6 the rear tank hit a command detonated land mine (I.E.D.) The convoy stopped, the front tank went back to help the blown up tank. We all jumped into the ditches and started shooting into the tree line. We received a few sniper rounds. The undamaged tank blew-up a hootch and the grunt next to me blew-up a small cement structure with a LAW. We got the all clear from the convoy commander and headed for Hill 55. Little did Tyrone and I know that what just happened was only the beginning of a very scary and exciting day.

When we arrived at Hill 55, the convoy broke up, everyone headed out for their own units. One of the Lieutenants stationed at Hill 55 told us that Route 5 hadn't been swept for mines since morning and to careful. It was late in the afternoon when Tyrone and I left for DaNang with our two new guys. We were driving really fast heading north on Route 5. We had traveled about 10 miles when Tyrone decided to give me a little scare. He came up and bumped the rear of my truck.

Just as his truck touched the rear of mine, he hit a land mine. The blast lifted my truck about three in the air. Tyrone's truck flew way up into the air and way out into a rice paddy. His truck hit the rice paddy so hard that it threw the two of them out into the rice paddy. Tyrone had concussion and his passenger was unconscious with his right thumb torn off. My passenger and I were not hurt, just a loud ringing in our ears.

We thought that he hit a command detonated mine and that we were all alone in the middle of nowhere without a radio. After the dust and smoke cleared we realized that we weren't the only ones hurt. A truck carrying nine Marines was driving by us just as the mine went off. They got hit with shrapnel, wounding most of them. Also there was two Vietnamese civilians pushing a cart alongside the road. The woman was wounded and the man was dead.

We started treating the wounded as best as we could. I told the Marine riding with me to get his rifle and watch the tree line in case the VC ambush us.

A couple of minutes later he yelled: someone is coming, I think it's VC. Tyrone looked up said: don't shoot it's Marines! I can honestly say that we were scared until we saw the grunts coming(ya gotta love those GRUNTS)

The grunts were on patrol and saw the smoke. That squad of Marines (loaded down with all their war gear) ran over a quarter mile as fast as they could to help us. They called in a MedaVac chopper, set up a defensive perimeter and helped with the wounded. After the chopper left, I thanked the squad leader. He just slapped me on the back, smiled and said: Semper Fi Marine.

Don't forget we are all Marines. Even the door gunner on the chopper hollered: Semper Fi

Always a MARINE : Tom Madigan

A Bit Laid Back

Reading "once a Marine Mom's" letter brought back memories. My son, Mike, was in "The Corps" at Texas A&M as an NROTC midshipman. I thought at that time that he was a bit laid back for our Corps and that he would commission in the Navy. Early in his first semester we went down to Collage Station for a football game and were met by Mike who was in uniform. I swear, he looked like Sad Sack from the funny papers. Later that term I picked him up at Love Field, Dallas so he could go to home coming with his girlfriend. He walked right by me and at first I didn't recognize him, the transformation was so amazing. Well, Sad Sack is now a LtCol. Of Marines and soon to take command of VMFA-112. Proud? You bet!

J. M. "Mike" Jeffries
Capt. USMC Ret.

Didn't Stay Down

Grit; While assigned to Marine Corps Air Squadron 4, 1962-63, at MCAF, Santa Ana, then deployed to MCAS, Iwakuni, 1963-64, we ate at the station mess hall, staffed by Japanese cooks. Some of the re-constituted foods were almost edible; green eggs, and the milk was horrible.

As part of the training, the squadron deployed from Iwakuni to a mountain top, overlooking Kaohsiung, Formosa. Getting to Formosa took 2 LSTs, for all of the squadron's gear. Departing on a Tuesday afternoon, from the Iwakuni are, the Navy cooks aboard the LST that I was on, fed us greasy pork chops (I know they must have delighted in that); needless to say, that after we got underway, the pork chops didn't stay down very long... I subsisted on crackers the entire time it took us to get to Formosa on the following Sunday... did manage to drop 10 pnds on the trip, though.

Those pork chops made the c-rations look good...

Semper Fi,
James R. McMahon
Hendersonville, TN
Gunnery Sergeant of Marines (1949-1970)

What Happened

Sgt. Grit,

In September, 1954 having survived Platoon 339 at PI, I was transferred to Camp Geiger. While there I served with the 8th motor transport BN. and the 2nd 155mm Howitzer Bn.

Last year for the first time, I returned to North Carolina and made the trek to Camp Geiger. What happened to it? When did it become a training base, without any of the Battalions I remembered there?

Sadly it was a disappointment, to see all of the places I knew, no longer there. I guess the old adage is true "You can't go back home"

Semper Fi,
Thomas Shanahan, Cpl. 1405xxx

Beautiful American Marine

I read of the stories with WM's. I want to relate to anyone that would dis or make fun of them. My mother was a Beautiful American Marine and she was darn proud of it. God help the person who had a problem with that. She was a wonderful woman and both my brother and I served. Nobody was more proud on the day of my graduation. If you come from a Marine family you know that you only leave a small family to join the larger on of Marines. Semper Fi

Sgt. Floyd Reece

Here Comes That Urge

OOOOHRAH! Sgt Grit and a loud and vigorous OOOOHRAH! to Cpl Wright/Weaver WM and all you other highly motivated Devil Dogs. Finally a response from a Woman Marine, I'm certain that im not the only one who would like to hear more about your tour.

Anyone else do any time at the Northern Training Area on Okinawa? I was tdy from 2/6 for 6 months april to oct 1986. Our CO was (at the time) Capt. Starnes one of the best d-mn officers I ever had the privilege to serve under. I later saw him in an interview on TV about Desert Storm, he was a Lt Colonel by that time. NTA was a training camp towards the northern end of the rock, teaching land nav. rappelling, jungle training both day and night, a real fit for the Corps kinda place, lotta snakes Habu and accamandas lizards and many other creepy crawlies that can make the hardest Jarhead squirm.

Somehow I got lucky enough to serve as one of the motor t maggots at NTA for 6 months, at 19 yrs. old I learned allot about myself and what it meant to be a good Marine by and from some of the best NCO'S and SNCO'S in their fields.

Another small part of my life that made a very large impact on the way I looked at, and treated other people. Every Marine that's served under positive leadership hopefully has been able to use it in their everyday life and pass it on to others. I know I try to, and I thank God and Chesty every morning that I was allowed the privilege to serve in our beloved MARINE CORPS.

Here comes that urge to spit shine something.

SEMPER FI and stay hard. Cpl Radtke T.A 85-89
cover, align to your right, aaaaaadjust.

We Played With

Morning Grit,

I've been seeing a lot of chatter in the newsletter about amtracs in Viet Nam lately. January 1st, 1969 at the ripe old age of 18 I found myself serving with the 3d Amtrac Bn. "A" Co. 3d Plt. 1st MarDiv. FMFWestPac. in the republic of Viet Nam. Our Battalion Area was on the beach at Marble Mountain. 3d platoon operated in that area known as Arizona Territory/Dodge City, Charlie Ridge, Hill 10, Hill 37, Hill 55, Hill 65, Liberty Bridge, and sometimes around An Hoa.

Color photo of Marines at Liberty Bridge Color photo of Marines at Liberty Bridge

I'm sending a few pictures taken at Liberty Bridge showing some of the outstanding Marines I served with and the 37 ton tracked amphibious vehicles we played with. Hope they bring back some fond memories for your readers.

Semper Fi
Randy (Beast) TALBOTT
SSgt. 1968-1977

What's That Tag

The state of Mississippi authorized a car tag for those who had been awarded the Navy and Marine Corps medal. As soon as I heard about it, I applied and got number 3. (By the way, I have never run across any others.) One Sunday morning I was returning home from preaching in a nearby city and was just plain going too fast. I topped a hill and there he was! Too late to make myself legit. The lights came on and I pulled over.

I saw him look at my car tag as he walked up. He asked for my license and I gave it to him. Then he said, "What's that tag?" I said, "It's a Navy and Marine Corps medal tag." He said, "So, who'd you serve with?" and I answered, "I was a Navy Corpsman attached to a Marine Corps infantry company in Vietnam." He handed me my license back and simply said, before he walked away, "Slow down, Doc."

He didn't say it, but I assume it was a case, once again, of a Marine looking after a Corpsman out of appreciation for his service.

Robert E. Hays
D 1/4, 3rd MarDiv, RVN, '68-'69

Whom She Detested

In response to Sgt Tarsa's query, it has been my privilege to have been married for 32 years to the daughter of two WWII Marines, SSgt Joseph E. Schaefer, Jr '40-'50 and Sgt Birdie Anne (Gaul) Schaefer '43-'45. My father-in-law served most of his time during WWII aboard the USS Augusta (CG-31) while my mother- in-law served at HQMC, Decorations and Medals branch until her marriage in '45.

Their stories and perspective on the Marine Corps were fascinating to this (at the time) young Marine. Particularly interesting was my mother-in-law's less than flattering opinion of Pappy Boyington, whom she detested. Evidently, it was not unknown for Boyington to prowl the halls of HQMC, "chasing skirt" (her words) while drunk on duty, and, in one instance, used a trash can at the side of a young WM's desk for a urinal. She lived with my wife and I prior to her transfer to Heaven's Gates and had the opportunity to meet another Marine, Cornelius (Duke) Goggin, who also knew Boyington and had a much higher opinion of him. Their bickering about Boyington at a local watering hole was quite humorous to all who witnessed.

Anyway, the union of these two Marines produced two soldiers and my sailor, CTACM Denise (Schaefer) Button, who should have been a Marine (she made Master Chief, not frocked, in 18 years.)

I would be remiss without acknowledging my own father, Cpl Orville L. Button (Leroy) '43-'46, who served with the 1st and 3rd Marine Divisions and remains my inspiration these long years after his passing. He might never have heard the phrase "Improvise, adapt, and overcome", but he lived by that credo. It may have been a "sea story", because Dad could tell a good story, but he told me he was promoted to Cpl four times. I have no reason to doubt it and I that's the way I like to remember him. I am comforted to know our service will allow us at Heaven's Gates, because Dad and I wouldn't get there by any other means.

I enjoy your newsletter. Thanks for letting me share a bit of my story.

Semper Fi,
George M. Button MSgt USMC 2571/2621,29,71,91

Incidentally, one of my mother-in-law's favorite expressions, which I have yet to see in your letters was: "You can always tell a Marine, but you can't tell them much."

Short Rounds

IN March of 1969 I was with Mike Co; 3rd Battalion 4th Marines, 3rd Division. We were on the DMZ, in the RVN. In our C-rations ham & eggs for me was the worst you could ever eat. The best was beef & potatoes. I would cut the lid with my p-38 and fold back the cover. Put the beef patty on the lid and cook it with C-4. For dessert peanut butter & pineapple preserves on cracker.

Donald W. Burrell
Mike Co. 3rd Batl 4th Marines
RVN, March thru Nov. 1969
USMC 1968-1970

I'll never forget the time I was stopped for speeding in Framingham, Ma in 2000. The policeman approached my vehicle cautiously. When he asked for my license and registration he also asked if I was in the Marines. I said "yes sir" Then he said "anybody with a "Purple Heart" should be able to drive a little faster."

L/Cpl Tom Breeds
D1/4 68-69

My favorite, if it is in fact possible to have a favorite mess hall I think would have been Marble Mtn. RVN . Not too great in '67 (vmo-2), but not bad either. Improved greatly in 69-70 (hml-167) . Had some great chow . Charlie med did good, the a/f mess (s) at DaNang were great also.
Ssgt. foley USMC

Sgt. Grit,

My Senior Parris Island Drill Instructor had a way with words which in itself should not be surprising. We were standing at attention when a fellow recruit flinched while a sand flea took up residence in his nose. The D.I said "I'm going to punch you so hard your teeth will exit your a_s h_le in a column of twos". Such eloquence!

Harvey Saffron
1955-59 USMC

Also pray for me to an Old Marine from Dec 9, 1941, in C-1-7 and HQ-1-7 1st Marine Division

Hey Grit,

Don't remember where I heard it or who said it, but here's one: "I'm not sayin' I'm salty, but when God said let there be light I was on Fire Watch and flipped the switch!"

Kirk James
Corporal of Marines 0341
March 1959-March 1963

I've heard through the wind and the grapevine and I need to know how much is scuttlebutt and how much is true. Is the USMC doing anything officially with the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge? It is a remarkably flat shooting round that reaches out and touches the target much faster, with much less recoil and much less expense than the .338 Lapua, and is more efficient than the 7.62 (.308) that has been used for decades in snipe situations. It comes in a variety of platforms that makes it an almost perfect recon or special shooters weapon.

Hey, When I went thru P.I. those old wash racks were prototypes!
L/CPL John Malone 1528675

. German Shepard at grave site. Can't get out of my head. Memories Balling like a sh-tbird. Cpl Jim Hanson cffr mag 36 mabs 36. Oohraa

Jim Hanson

How about, when the old man said let there be light, I had the duty, so I threw the switch. Also had guard duty at the Garden of Eden.
Robert Woods

Sgt. Grit, I was stationed at El Toro, as a Mech. with VMA-311, than assigned to VMA-451. What happened to VMA-451 when we returned from Atsugi, in 1962. ??
Dcasinodave E-4 Cpl. 1959-62.

Hi Sgt Grit,
My poor old 81 year old memory must be fading. The Marine Helicopters at Kaneohe in 1954-55 were Sikorsky-HRS-1. I must have been thinking about Chosen.
Marine Helicopter Squadrons had earlier proved the feasibility of using Helicopters for transporting troops in a method called "vertical envelopment". This was long before the Army discovered this. The Fourth Regiment at Kaneohe spent a lot of time experimenting and practicing with the HMR Squadrons.
Jim Reed, S/Sgt 1948-52 and 1954-55

Sgt. Grit,

In response to Sgt. Bill Craig, USMC 1965 - 1969, inquiring about ITR personnel recognition:

According to NAVMC 2922, 1st ITR and 2nd ITR permanent personnel were awarded MUC(Meritorious Unit Commendation) for service dates 1Jan65 - 30Jun71.

Semper Fi.
Cpl. James D. "Boone" Myers
H&S Co., 2nd ITR(Chaplain Asst.)
Camp Pendleton Sep70-May71

Love the Marine action figures. This old Marine is all the action figure this town can handle. Doing a new book on Nam to be given away May 31-June 4 when the Moving Wall will be in Clifton, TN., about 10 miles from my home. Can't wait. Am to be one of the guest speakers even. We have other women vets in the county but alas none are visible or vocal like this Nam era WM...

I am not sure which was the worst for me. The mess hall at Camp Schwab, rifle range on Okinawa. The hamburgers were green and like moldy or something. You get hungry enough, you'll scarf one down. Montford Point, N.C. where the cook school was at that time. It was pretty bad too. Ah, such memories. I was a "Milk Man" then and was promoted to PFC one day when the mess Sargent handed me my warrant. No formation, no ceremony. Just handed it to me and told me to go to the PX and buy my chevrons.
FJ Breck

Hey Sgt Grit. Don't remember where I saw it, but it is great. "God made Corpsmen so Marines could have Heroes." OOHRAH

Chuck Brewer, Sergeant of Marines FOREVER!

Owls And Eagles

I remember when my Unit (1/5 Wpns. Co.) and I were at Camp Hanson, Okinawa in a Platoon Formation in the Summer of 1999. Gunny Machado was out in front of us and he says, "Alright Devil Dogs, so you wanna hoot with the owls huh, well tomorrow you're gonna soar with the eagles. (5 second silence) Hooting with the owls is staying up late, drinking, partying, and having fun. Soaring with the eagles is running and training real hard... cause eagles are some bad Mother Fu__ers.

So you wanna hoot with the owls, well tomorrow you're gonna soar with the eagles." That night, at the E Club, a lot of Marines bought Gunny Machado a lot of free beers, got him so drunk, the next day he fell out of the morning run, ha. Leadership by example.

Cpl. Seppanen, Lonnie, J.

One Of Those

Sgt Grit,

In response to Grandle Starling 59/63's comments about Former Marine's forgetting their Platoon Number and DI's NAMES. I enlisted in our great Corps in 1945 and I can't tell you my Platoon Number nor any of my DI's names that I had. Also can't remember the date that I graduated from Boot Camp (P.I). Guess I'm one of those just lost for memory.

Karl R. Leech, SSgt. USMC(ret)
Enjoy reading your weekly newsletter over the past four years.

M-1, M-14, M-16

I have seen a lot of good stories here and enjoy them all. Not too many coming out of the Marine Barracks. A lot of us grew up in the Corps while serving time at a Marine Barracks. In the first years I qualified with the M-14 then the M-16 but in 3 years at Marine Barracks, McAlester, Ok. We only had the M-1. I will tell you after carrying the M-14 in boot camp and the M-1 in ITR the M-16 in VN. I liked the light weight M-16 for all day every day packing the thing around, But for qualifying the M-1 beat the rest hands down. A lot of us did time at a Marine Barracks. At one time I could name 42 Marines that married McAlester girls.

Brian Gelvin

Bald Headed Squid

Sgt Grit,

In 22 years with both Corps, Marine and Hospital, I had the pleasure of serving in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Marine Divisions. Both Corps have taken me around the world and let me see the sights from the greatest, The Marine Corps Memorial, to the lowest, Baidoa and everywhere in between. Seeing the continuation of the fighting spirit of both my Hospital Corpsmen and the Marines in the latest "Persian Excursions" made me proud that our traditions continue on. To me the only thing that was missing was me.

Even though I have done my "30 and out" When the h-ll broke loose I wanted to go back in. My proudest and happiest times, except when I came back from deployment and saw my beautiful wife, were when I was with both Corps. I may be closer to social security than I am to the day I enlisted, but just like any old warhorse, I have heard the guns and would go in a minute. To all out there that have served and are still serving, Semper Fi.

Doc Higgins (FMF/SW)
the Bald Headed Squid.

Teeny Weeny Airlines

Let's see if I can help clarify some of the discussions about which Air Group did what and where.

MAG-11, 12, and 13 were all "fast movers" with MAG-11's F-8's and A-4's at Da Nang... MAG-12 was mostly A-4 squadrons flying from Chu Lai, along with MAG-13 which consisted of F-4 squadrons, also flying out of Chu Lai.

The two helicopter groups were MAG-16 and MAG-36...MAG-16 called the air facility at Marble Mountain home, while MAG-36 started out in Chu Lai, but moved up to Phu Bai in the fall of '67.

MAG-15 remained at MCAS Iwakuni to host all of the rotating squadrons as they came back for repairs and reorganization, before returning back to RVN...VMGR-152 was part of MAG-15, and was spread out between Iwakuni, Futema, and Da Nang (Teeny Weeny Airlines).

All Marine Air units were out of Vietnam by the end of 1970, but when Gen. Giap and his boys began their "Easter Offensive" in the spring of '72, squadrons from MAG-15 and MAG-12 headed back down south to Bien Hoa and Da Nang for a few weeks, before consolidating as Task Force Delta in Nam Phong, Thailand, better known as The Rose Garden... Task Force Delta ~ MAG-15 (REIN) consisted of VMFA-115, VMFA-232, VMFA(AW)-533, H&MS-15, and MABS-15, with supporting units from 3/9 and 3rd FSR...MAG-36 supplied a det of CH-46's for SAR, and VMGR-152 supplied a det for refuel...

The next few months consisted of the last two operations of the conflict, Operation Linebacker I & II... The Viets finally returned to the peace table in Parris, and we ceased operations around the end of January 1973... But it would seem that we weren't through just yet, and in March 1973, TF Delta began flying missions in support of the Lon Nol government in Cambodia, and Operation Steel Tiger and Barrel Roll missions in our "secret war" over Laos... But all good things came to an end, and the Congress pulled all of Tricky Dick's funding for the South East Asian War Games on 15 August 1973, so we packed up, and returned back to MCAS Iwakuni once again.

I haven't covered all of the squadrons, such as the A-6's and the J-1 squadron, but they were inter-mixed with MAG-11, 12, and 13 as the missions demanded... I hope this clears up some of the questions and perceptions that I've been reading about the last couple of weeks.

Jim Mackin
MGySgt (Ret)
1964 - 1987


Regarding Cpl. Maskill and his CID interview. Yes, it was Marine CID! Marine CID never was nor ever will be NCIS!! When I first extended my enlistment for a CID assignment, what is now known as NCIS was ... ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence), then changed to NISO (Naval Investigative Service Office), then NIS (Naval Investigative Service) and finally after I got out... NCIS... Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

For the purposes of this email, I will simply refer to them as NCIS. As far as I am concerned and most Marine CID personnel were concerned they were a bunch of civilian pukes from podunk police departments (read Tony Dinozo on the series) and just as untrained and incompetent. On the other hand Marine CID investigators were trained at the U.S. Army CID School at Fort Gordon GA. For their 8 week course which was considered at the time second only to the FBI Academy for Investigative Technique Training.

In addition my understanding was that Marine CID had jurisdiction in I Corps, III MAF over "NCIS" because the civilian pukes would not go into the "bush" to follow up on an investigation, but wanted Marines to do it and then hand over the case to them. The CG said no to that b.s. and stated that if Marines initiated a case in the field that Marines would do all follow ups. Marine CID investigators were choppered, drove, or hitched a ride to just about every sh-thole in 'Nam including Con Tien during the siege.

NCIS couldn't connect with Marines on any level. They were civilians and as such thought like civilians and talked like civilians. Marines talk to Marines, talk like Marines and Marines understand Marines and know Marines. Even Marines who pulled some serious b.s. and had to be written up on charges or apprehended had a grudging respect for us, as we were Marines and knew the score and so did they. That is something no civilian can ever grasp!

When serious offenses from drugs to murder were investigated by Marine CID... the Marines involved got an even break and most of them understood that. They didn't like it, but they got it. Today NCIS requests Marine CID investigators to fill their ranks and the Marines are said to be the best of the best by the NCIS brass. It is no surprise; Marines do whatever they are assigned to do better than anyone else. My understanding is that Marine CID is depleted of accredited investigators and that the Corps is thinking of expanding the numbers. I understood that there were about 500 of us during the 'Nam years and is less than 100 today... many may now be with NCIS... so, please don't ever refer to Marine CID as NCIS... NCIS (Dinozo) are as far as I am concerned still populated by too many civilian pukes that have no business investigating Marines.

Semper-fi...Raymond l. Mirabile
Sgt. USMC(K) 1963-1969...
Criminal Investigation Division - 1967-1969...

Phone Message

Most people send me emails, some letters and others leave a message with the girl when they place a phone order. Here is the latest from a phone order message:

Sgt Grit,
Your service number is probably larger than the national debt of Pres XXXX.
Peter Thermos
11th Marines
Semper Fi!

Holding It Up High

I can relate somewhat to Cpl Robert Maskill (1684158) re: his story of the missing M1 rifle. Except I did not have to pay out any money in the summer of 1958. But I lost my freedom!

I had just received word in the morning that I was due for annual rifle qualification. As such I headed over to our battalion armory to draw out an M1. Since I was our company Radio Telegraph Communications Operator I normally carried a 45 for a weapon. When carrying the old GRC-9 radio equipment and its GN58 hand-cranked generator (nicknamed 'cannonball') it would have been difficult handling an M1.

Anyway, I signed for the M1 and returned to the barracks to clean the piece. A clean weapon was essential as everyone should remember. My new issued M1 was coated with cosmolene (sp) after being wrapped in some sort of waxy paper in the wooden box. I had just sat down on my foot locker with my cleaning gear spread out when someone came in and hollered that there was an emergency formation for our company and that everyone was to fall out immediately, if not sooner!

I quickly stuck the M1 in the rifle rack and slapped a spare combination lock on the piece. We all fall out for the formation and wait for whatever the word was to be. We stood at ease for approx. 30 minutes while the company commander read off various info for all concerned etc...

Upon completion of the formation we figured we would be dismissed and return to our normal garrison duties. But lo-and- behold the company gunny strolls out in front of the formation carrying an M1 rifle. Holding it up high he recited its serial number and asked for its owner to step forward. After a few minutes no one stepped forward. Finally the gunny announced that the M1's owner better come see him in the CO HQ 'ASAP' before the day was done...! We were dismissed and I went back to my business of cleaning the newly issued rifle to me.

When I walked to the rifle rack I realized that the rifle the gunny was holding up had been mine. Now I am really getting scared and nervous. I quickly double-timed to the gunny's office in the CO HQ. He was sitting there with a look of real disgust, probably knowing that I was the owner of the rifle he had held up at formation. For the next several minutes I received the worst A--Chewing I ever had to endure while in the Corps.

When he stopped long enough to ask me why my rifle was in such terrible shape, and I explained that I had just drawn the weapon an hour or so earlier and was in the process of cleaning it, he started in on me again explaining that there is no excuse in all of mankind's history on earth or in the United States Marine Corps history for a Marines rifle to ever be dirty.

That was that, I was guilty, I had no excuse. Nothing to do but wait for the punishment. The punishment turned out to be two weeks of barracks restriction and all the S--t details that he and the nightly Sgt-of-the-Guard could drum up for me daily.

At least I qualified 'Expert' again with that "dirty" rifle on the range the following week. The Gunnery Sgt, prior to enlisting years earlier, was a former detective with the Chicago police dept. He was one h-ll of a "by-the-book" Marine.

Robert L. Hammershoy E-4
1665628; MOS 2533 1957 - 1960
Comm. Platoon, H&S 1/5 1st MarDiv FMF-Pac


We are having a Marine Detachment reunion from the USS HORNET (CVS-12) July 2012
Please contact Ruben Preciado: ruben105 @ sbcglobal .net

Doing It At Attention

Plt. 347, P.I. Dec 1958, 3Rd. Btl.

We had the distinction of having the oldest recruit at 25 and the youngest at 16 at that particular time on the island.

We were in the 3rd. week when Pvt Carr advised me that he was only 16 and could not take it anymore. {He was a very young 16} He said he was going down to the DI's hut and tell them. I was the Right Guide and I had no idea of what to say to him. I peeked out the hut as he centered the hatch and all I saw was a body being yank inside and heard a lot of screaming and noise- cussing, etc.,. A few minutes later Captain Terrell showed up and a lot of yelling took place. This was in October.

Fast forward to December 27th. Final field--our dress greens were not ready so we had to take the parade field in our utilities. Of course our utilities were showing wear and had faded a lot and was starched. Pvt. Carr was still in our platoon and we made sure he was super ready for inspection and his M-1 was perfect.

The inspecting Colonel was aware that platoon 347 had a 16 year old that had not been discharged yet. Pvt. Carr smartly presented his M-1 with the bolt rammed back properly. As the Coronal was inspecting the weapon he looked down and saw Pvt. Carr utility trousers turning dark.

The Coronal said to DI SS-GT Truex is that man peeing his trousers and without hesitation SS-GT. Truex said yes sir and he is doing it at attention. The Colonel said this is the cleanest rifle I have ever inspected. The Colonel side stepped to the next recruit without any more comment.

I was watching this from my position of right guide so I could see and hear the action as Pvt. Carr was four men down in the front file. What was then the next amazement was that we won Final Field.

David A. LeVine, Cpl. 2531 1690001

Two Movies

Sgt Grit,

Just read the 29 Dec 2011 newsletter and it brought to mind my last few days in Parris Island boot camp. Platoon 317, March to June 1959. We got to see two movies during my time there, one while out at the rifle range (which has a story for a later time) and one at Mainside. Submarine flick with Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster. Every time they dove the sub the routine was; " Lookouts below! DIVE ! DIVE !" and then the klaxon would give out with; "AH-OO-GAH, AH-OO-GAH" Guess what the salty 18 and 19 year old almost Marines of Platoon 317 were repeating until graduation. You guessed it. Could be that klaxon was the originator of "OORAH." Never heard it after that for the rest of my tour, March, 1963.

Kirk James
Corporal of Marines

I Didn't Know

Sgt. Grit, after serving for a little over 4 years, I started my GI Bill college experience in Sept 1967. The community college where I enrolled had some Marine vets from WWII, Korea, and pre- Vietnam era on staff. At first I didn't know this and thought all the folks there were non-vets. Only after a few months did I begin to know the financial aid officer was an Iwo Jima vet, the dean for students had been at Saipan (later I worked for him, great mentor), and the admin support lead in the Community Service program, was an old first sergeant, Korean War era.

Dave (the old Top) had an expression which I always remember - it was "There is the right way, the wrong way, and the Marine Corps way."

Mike B
Sgt. 1963-67
VN 1965, 1966-67

Heart Was Pounding

Set sail from Moorehead City, NC and headed to Viegas, PR. All gun ho and ready to go ashore with the 34th MAU, full scale Air, Land and Sea for Operations and live fire Marine Air on the north shore of the island. Even though this was merely practice, my heart was pounding as a young boot Lieutenant, I made my way to the "Ready Room" cranked the heat up sweating our fanny off, singing the Marines Hymn, Star Spangled Banner, and Prayer, we headed to the landing craft.

LAV's created smoke after they began to swim, CH-46's, Cobras', and Sea Stallions 53's landing and taking off in waves, battle paint ready, weapons ready. You all know the story, as we departed the ship readied for departure, I looked up and to my amazement, what did we see? The cooks were fishing and catching the evenings dinner from 5-7 stories up the side of the LHA-4, USS Nassau. something was wrong with that picture. We are headed into harm's way so to speak and the cooks were fishing?

Wow, every time after that it was expected to see that. Espirit de Corps to my "Band of Brothers!"

Semper Fi Scott A. Hernon, Captain 6th Marines

Some Day


Several years ago, I stayed a couple of days at the home of my best friend during my enlistment in the Corps. I spent two thirds of my enlistment stationed with Tom so there's no doubt in my mind he served. We were jackin' our jaws as usual and I asked him what his boot camp platoon number was. He couldn't remember. He had to go dig out his platoon book before he could answer me.

Until that time, I had been very critical of those who couldn't remember details of their enlistment, S/N, Drill Instructors names, platoon number, etc. No more. I've contacted guys I went through boot camp with that couldn't remember the Drill Instructors names without some prompting so maybe a little more tolerance is in order. Someday it may be us.

Jerry D.

D-mn Monkey

YES SGT. Wackerly..

We had T-Bones in the Corps. Here are 4 pics from 1968 "B" Brty 2nd LAAMS Chu Lai. I can be plainly seen cooking T-Bones on my Field Grill... 88 men in the Brty, 54 steaks per box...the leftover, unfrozen steaks went... maybe back into the Black Market? maybe for the ice cream I served.

Mark's Photos - Mark cooking t-bones on his field grill, Hawk Launcher at 3,2,1, fire, Ignition, and Gone! The other 3 pics, shot with my Minolta 16... as fast as I could slide the film advance and hit the button... about 2 seconds for all 3 pics

1) Hawk Launcher @ 3,2,1 - FIRE

2) Ignition + one second

3) Gone!

L/Cpl Mark Gallant

I have a lot of pics of men I can't remember names of, can't even remember the name of that d-mn monkey that bit me where the sun don't shine.

For The Pistol

In your last newsletter you had a story written by Dwight Lang who was an instructor at MCRD in '65-'66. I was there in early '66 and so he must have taught me to use the 1911A1 pistol. The question I have is that back then I remember getting a medal for qualifying with the M-14 but I don't remember getting one for the pistol. Didn't they give medals for the pistol back then? If they did, how do I find out where I can get mine. Thanks Dwight for teaching me to use the 1911A1. I carried it in Vietnam when I was a radio operator on a forward observer team.

R. W. Hoffman
Charlie Battery 1/13

Cut To The Chase

Sock name tapes... for Jim Schneider... your DI "SUGGESTED"? name tapes for your socks? Should I assume you are a PI grad, not a SD grad?... 'suggested', my aspidistra!

Clothing marking was a real challenge... for the DI's. For starters, in the day, there was a thing called a "MarKit"... purchased in the bucket issue, or possibly in a very early PX call (yeah... I know... it's a MCX... but we called'em PX's anyway). This was a plastic box, about 3" X 4", hinged, red top, black bottom., Emblem on the cover. Inside there was an ink pad, a black rubber extrusion used as a handle and a couple sheets of molded rubber letters. These had to be cut apart carefully with a razor blade (double edge Giillete Blue, type, one each), and slid, in proper order and right side up into the rubber handle. A test stamping was made and then checked by the DI's, as whatever the ink in that pad was, it definitely met the definition of "permanent". To prevent upside-down-ness, we would have the prives cut a notch in the handle where the right thumb should be (of course... there had to be some 'lefties' in every platoon... just to complicate things. "You just became right-handed, maggot".

The most egregious boo-boo a marker operator could make, besides being upside down, would be to forget to wipe the edges of the handle after pressing it hard into the ink pad... this would result in "railroad tracks" (and we ain't talkin' Captain's bars here...) bracketing the name when stamped... hopefully, right side up... and I would suggest to any reader who thinks this is a simple matter, to get a new, unmarked web belt, (Grit's got 'em) a name stamp, a recent male high school graduate, and a footlocker to kneel behind (becomes a workbench, y'see), and explain to this individual that after trimming the belt to length (razor blade again) that he mark it, two inches from the cut end... so that if an inspecting officer were to roll the belt, while being worn, from the top toward the officer, that the name would be correctly, and without railroad tracks stamped there... Greens, of course, having dark green inner lining, were to be marked with white ink... fortunately, this part came along later in training, and involved a different stamp, with smaller letters... which was also used to stamp name tapes to be sewn onto socks, said sewing of which would guarantee that eventually there would be holes appearing in the socks at the ends of the tapes (socks stretched... tapes didn't)

For several years there was an 'aftermarket' picture of a J-O-B available at the PX (not for recruits)... full color, not exactly by the book (LPM? I forget... may have been a MCO), but neat, spiffy enough to gladden the heart of an obsessive- compulsive, Sgt rank, names stamped just so... J. Terrell. "Smilin Jack" Terrell was my 'Den Daddy' in DI school, and when a certain Corporal would fall out for the every morning inspection wearing the one necktie that was too long (they came in sizes back then)... with the front falling just where it should be, and the back being about 2" too long, and would be cleverly camouflaged by being double folded and secured with the tie clasp... Smilin' Jack would tug on the back... and note "tie too long"... I graduated anyway...

The last time I saw (by then 'Gunner') Terrell was in the early 70's... he was assigned to the Test Branch at the Boat Basin (Del Mar) at Pendleton, had come up to 29 Palms on a test shoot of the LVT-P7 version of an 'E-model"... line charge throwing version. Base magazines don't deliver... but we had his line charges stowed, and he needed a huss getting them to the range, so a deal was cut. We would quietly use our commercial ton and a half stake bed (not supposed to leave the pavement) to haul the things out there... provided that my ammo techs got to come along and watch the show... cut to the chase, and never mind the 'bada bing, bada... etc... it was a most satisfying 'boom"...


Plt 347 Reunion


Cpl. William (Bill) McDermott 1806632
Plt 347
3rd BN
Parris Island 3 October---27 December 1958

Thanks for the opportunity to have my weekly laugh, and locate members of my platoon.

I would like to plan a reunion on 3 October 2012 at Parris Island.

I live and work in Mexico, so email the best contact for me. bill.mcdermott @ ors-group .com (no spaces)

Thanks Sgt.

Twilight Zone


March 23 rd will be the 40th anniversary of the day I went into boot camp at the Island and my old Sr DI Doug Wildenhaus is one of my friends on face book.

40 years ago today March 22nd, 1972 I took my first plane ride to Charleston, South Carolina. Sitting around airport was about 75 other guys when someone yelled "Get your a--es on the bus NOW ladies". Trying to be a gentleman I started to look for the women, and then found out he meant us. Guy can't tell men from women he really needs to get out more.

He said we were to begin the last part of our journey to Parris Island. Now some of the guys were exchanging in small talk, introductions, smoking cigarettes, some were sleeping after the long plane ride, some were sitting back quiet scared of what was about to happen.

On thru the night we traveled in the pitch black, not knowing where we were till we went thru a gate and a Marine waved us by. We strained our necks to look out past the gate and bridge to catch the last glimpse of the free world as we knew it, when the bus came to a stop.

40 years ago today those doors opened up and I saw his ugly mug for the first time when he jumped on our bus and yelled "Get you a--es OFF my bus now ladies". move, move, move. Last one off is a dead man... another one who can't tell s-xes. Make up your mind pal first ya want us on the bus now ya want us off the boss... Sitting way in the back I thought he was the bus owner who somehow just caught me putting my butt out on the floor and sticking my bubble gum under the seat adding to the existing pile. "Your journey here to Parris Island is ended".

About this time I'm thinking we must be in Hollywood somewhere. We have guys all looking like they're trying out for a Smokey the Bear part in a movie or we were being used as extras in a Rod Sterling movie. "Picture a man about to start a journey. You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension. A dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. Your moving into a land of both shadow and substance of things and ideas you don't understand. You just crossed over into the Twilight Zone". And the three main characters are SSgt.Wildenhaus, SSgt Hart and Sgt Smith.

Except it wasn't even twilight it was zero fre-king dark thirty on March 23rd, and somebody just jumped on a bus and rudely woke us up with his yelling. The nerve of some people. Somebody better have a good reason for waking us up. Then he starts with his" get your a-ses on my yellow footprints. This guy must own everything. His bus, his footprints, his roadway, who the heck is this loud mouth anyways. Must be some big guy with a booming voice that loud. Then I see him, I see who is behind that loud mouth and I'm thinking no way can that booming voice come out of that little guy about 5 ft 7 inches tall. You're that tall right Doug?

This guy who claims he is the Senior DI, then proceeds to have us walk thru this door and form two lines around a table all the time yelling like h-ll... I can hear you pal shut up. He then has us empty our pockets of all contraband that could get us in trouble. They moved us like cows going to slaughter thru the barber shop. I guess saying just a trim and a little off the sides wasn't the best words one could say. Hope that guy doesn't try to be a barber in the real world, can't understand the customer, 6 seconds ... done bald. There's a reason they tell you to shave off beards and mustaches before boot camp. You get guys like this that are comedians and have you dry shave it off.

We then get our initial issue. Smokers get your cigarettes. "You are given a tooth brush hold it up" "You are given tooth paste hold it up" "you are given soap, hold it up". Over and over for everything they gave us, I think he didn't know and he wanted us to bail him out on what it was they gave us. We are all doing this wearing winter jackets inside a building no less. You will now sign your name that you received these items, the name your mommy and daddy gave you not the words I just called you.

We are then made to shower, get every bit of civilian life off our scuzzy bodies. We're then poked, stabbed, probed, x-rays, medical checks, hearing test (miracle we passed that from all his yelling), eye test, god am I glad I didn't wear glasses back then.

Now they proceed to have us go thru the initial clothing line, We are measured, foot sized, handed out stuff so fast we could barely hang on to it and what do they have you do next? Back to the dam table again... you have been issued 6 pairs of skivvies hold them up, put 1 pair on, opening to the front and put the rest in your sea bag, Hurry up d-mmit. You have been given 6 t shirts, hold them up, good, put one on and the other 5 in your sea bag, Here we go again telling this guy what each article is. Shirts, green woolen socks, hold them up... These are not pants, pants are worn in the civilian world. These are called trousers... huh?

Now we are all dressed up, sateen's, green woolen socks inside of tight unbroken in combat boots, like having wooden 2x4's on our feet, wearing field jackets, and have a white towel wrapped around your neck inside a heated building and they give you a piece of paper. You will now write a quick note home to mommy and daddy that you arrived safely here at Marine Corps recruit depot Parris Island and you are being treated nicely.

They finally let us get some sleep, pick a rack and go to sleep ladies, reveille comes early.. 15 minutes later at 0430 here they come beating the crap out of a metal trash can with a night stick. That is why to this day NO metal trash cans are allowed at my house.

Get up get on your feet, move move move you have 2 minutes to get dressed and ...wait your already dressed... Fall outside on my yellow footprints. Oh my God it wasn't a bad dream I had. Here we go again, everything is his. We're going to the chow hall. "grab a metal tray, hold it up in front of your chest, I want to see belly buttons to butts"... Whoa I like this guy in front of me but not that much... move move move find a table, do not sit down until I tell you too is that understood... Sir YES Sir! Sit ladies, Eat, that's enough fall out now move move move. Still chewing thru the first bite and we're kicked out. No wonder why Pyle stole a jelly doughnut.

PT now there was a good one... his famous words "We will stop doing PT when I get tired"...ok then how come you're the only one NOT doing it??

Sand fleas and DI's... "They are not biting me so they should not be bothering you" Found out few years ago when a buddy was a DI what the secret was. He would call here and order a case of Avon skin so soft from the wife. The DI's would rub a 50/50 mixture of skin so soft and rubbing alcohol to their bodies in the morning before coming out of the DI's hut. The alcohol evaporates fast, taking away the smell of skin so soft but leaving behind the protection it gives from sand fleas. Your busted!

The rifle range now there was a fun time. We walked for about an hour to get there it seemed in the pitch black of night at a fast pace. Couldn't see stars never mind where the guy in front of you was. Just to find out when we graduated that the range was maybe 1/2 mile away from 3rd Battalion where we were? What's up with that Doug?

I bet you took us out Wake Blvd to Yorktown Blvd, out to Lexington Blvd, to Cuba St, over to Chosin Res. Blvd to Shanghai St, cut down Bataan St to Farm Rd out thru the woods and around the backside of our running track so we wouldn't know we were walking in a big circle for the last hour onto wake Blvd again and onto the range. Or maybe out to Elliot's Beach and back we wouldn't have known anyways. Always wonder why SSgt Hart gave us the compass and map reading class

Been 40 years since boot, would I do it all again if I could? H-LL YEA... Thanks for the memories, Happy Anniversary 334... SEMPER FI

Mike Redfern


During 2nd phase at PISC with platoon 2065 I had my dope books in my left hand while trying to hold my rifle at port arms. It did not work out well. My DI, who's name I remember but will omit for him, grabbed the four stock of my M16A2 while yelling something about, "Is that how we taught you to hold a rifle recruit?"

Only problem was he shoved hard towards my face and the front site post drilled me just outside my left eye tearing a chunk of skin off in a perfect 1.5 inch prison like teardrop. Two days later I was called to the Series Commanders office and asked if I feel I had been mistreated in any way.

Though I stood there with a weeping wound on my face I answered in a loud voice, "Sir, no, Sir." That particular DI, whom I really liked was never seen again so I figure another DI saw what happened. I am not sure what happened afterwards as I was flat on my back watching the clouds. To my DI, this was platoon 2065 in the summer of 1988, I did not feel you did anything wrong. It is what I expect of Marine Corps training and would do it all over again without changing a thing.

Thank you.

Fogger Jeep

Boot Camp, Parris Island, July/Aug. 1962, Platoon 10A (known as the Irish Platoon do to many Irish Lasses in the Platoon) We had a special guidon made for our guidon with a shamrock on it. Close to the end of our time in boot camp we were given the privilege of a "Garden Party" around the Women Marines Headquarters. We got into our lovely PT gear (Yucky beige button down blouse with matching shorts that had flared legs to look like a skirt (not). During our "fun" time of mowing with a rotary mower, raking, etc. I was at the back of the building which opened in the back to the Gymnasium where we did our PT.

While raking I looked down the road and could see a (Male) Marine who walked guard duty around our compound, and behind him the infamous bug fogging jeep. No one liked the Jeep. As the Jeep got closer so did the guard. I ran into the Gym to get away from the fogger. The fog came into the Gym and I ran out, in a fog, knocking down the Marine walking guard duty. I told him I was sorry. He just jumped up and mumbled under his breath (I think he swore) and kept walking. They were not allowed to talk to us.

P.S. to the guy who wanted to know if we had Butt Buckets, the answer is no. We had a metal dust pan and had to smoke in the shower room, we also had to field strip our cigarettes. I started smoking in boot camp, dumb thing to do. My Dad thought I had lost my mind.

Delores "Litke" Beckham

Pilot Stomp

Thetis Bay, CVHA-1... a 'jeep carrier'... elevator amidships at the stern, might've had another midships (it's in Google)... H&S 2/1/9 was aboard, having loaded at Okinawa, and being bound for one of the Fuji camps, was somewhere in the Sea of Japan (hey... snuffies didn't get a daily brief on where we were)... we had trained and trained and trained on the wooden mockups of helicopters, but hadn't done a whole lot, if any, flying in actual helos.

One of the things hammered into us was the ditching drill... if one of the pilots, who sat well above the troop compartment in H-34's stomped twice on the cockpit deck, that was the signal to prepare to ditch... item one was to jettison loose gear, and item two was to 'assume the position"... bend forward, put the head between the knees, lock the arms together behind the knees, and standby... so to speak. If one had been standing, this would have been the infamous 'hook-through", which is where you hook your elbows behind your knees, bend through and kiss your a-s goodbye... but we were seated (no seat belts)

It was a balmy day, and the first flight (ever) for some, and the crew chief had left the compartment door open... no door guns yet in those days. We were the last bird to lift off from Thetis Bay, and as we rendezvoused with the choppers ahead of us, our HAC decided he was too high, so he dumped collective (snazzy term, sounds good, don't have the foggiest if that is what they really do)... and the big fan up there made that whomp whomp whomp sound, as the helo descended somewhat... guy setting directly across from the door took that for a pilot stomp... and threw his helmet, then his M-1 out the door, and assumed the position.

We could, for a moment, see the M-1 gracefully tumbling end over end, linseed oil glistening from the lovingly hand-rubbed stock, as it went towards the briny deep. No glimpse of the helmet, as it had probably reached terminal velocity faster, and was also some distance behind us by now.

He of 'the position' stayed that way for several moments, until curiosity go the better of him... if he had died, either heaven or h-ll seemed to be a lot like the inside of a CH-34. As he looked up, everyone else in the compartment was looking at him... too noisy to hear, but from reading lips, I think he got a lot of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?... with or without the 'over'.

The Bn Commander, Lt.Col Ike Fenton, reportedly let him pay for the rifle... something like $92 in 1959... more than a month's pay... and the real price he paid, over and over, was the comments from his squad mates any and every time a helicopter was heard in the area "awright... there's a chopper, somebody be sure Schmuckatelli's got a grip on his rifle"... or similar. It had to have been a looong tour for him.

I recall standing firewatch on volcanic black sand, in heat, humidity, and amidst voracious mosquitos, in the middle of the night, under a hot poncho, and being able to look up and see the lights on the ski huts in the snow on Fuji... wishing I were up there.



I am sorry to report that my Father-in-law Corporal (E-4) George O. Barnett has passed on. In the 24 Years I knew him he exemplified the code and Honor a Marine is expected to show... not for looks or pomp, that was how he lived his life. He had 6 children and 13 grandchildren 4 of which were mine. And Dad showed them how to live a good, hard working, God fearing lives but, most of all he showed them how to be Honorable with their deeds, words and actions. I am proud to have known this man, a true Marine to the day he passed. May he stand watch from above as he did here.

He will be missed by Mom and all.

God bless a Marine (once and always)

Larry and ladies with the LA Veterans Quilt Project Grit,
I save everything, including all the t-shirts from every National Veterans Wheelchair Games since 1997. I wasn't sure what to do with them and when the LA Veterans Quilt Project came to my VA last year I asked Karen Van Den Brink if she could possibly make a quilt from my old shirts. She said absolutely and handed the project over to Linda Leibon who did and 'AMAZING' job! She had it for over a year and just presented it to me Tuesday 3/20/12. Something I will treasure forever and money can definitively not buy. I cannot thank the ladies enough!

They even put my 1/9 shirt at the top, nice touch!

1st Battalion 9th Marines 1979 - 1981
Semper Fi,


Naturally all of us cannot be United States Marines!

My father in-law (now 87), was in WW11 - and never spoke about it at all - we asked him repeatedly where he went or what he did - and never answered.

My daughter was asked as part of a school project to interview grandparents or older folks and write a story. She borrowed my tape recorder and sat with her grandpa and asked him questions about his war experiences.

I could not believe the tape. He told of going to Europe in a convoy, ships being torpedoed, and men left in the sea (that were not picked up - because the helping ship could be torpedoed as well). Fighting on Sicily, which was a wild affair. Last the monastery used by the Germans to call in cannons and mortars on U. S. Troops that was high in the mountains in Italy, (that the pope wanted us to leave alone- I remember we eventually took it out.) He was blessed by the Pope in Rome as well.

While he was not a Marine and this is not the Army Times- I find the story worth mentioning.

I spoke with an English friend who grew up in America, born in England, and was in the U. S. Army - he never knew what his father did in WW11 either. After he died and were going about sorting his belongings that found out he was a glider pilot and was shot down and became a prisoner of war, as well as medals for valor.

My point is just because you see an older gentleman- your father - uncle - or neighbor they may have contributed in some way in younger years!

My Aunt lived in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and one neighbor was talking to me back in the late fifties telling me in his youth about wanting to join the Cossacks in Russia - he needed a horse to join, and couldn't afford one - so he told me he stole one- and fought in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905! Again, he was an overweight bear of a man in his 80's.

Again - just a note to let my fellow Marines know We all have some secrets of our past, and should not hide past experiences.

Respectfully Submitted

Bruce Bender

My Dad served in Vietnam & has always given us an example of a fine Marine to follow. He taught me how to run distance by running backwards & chanting when I thought I couldn't run anymore. Classic leadership stuff.

But one of the best stories has to be his "black op." It was the late 70s & we were living in suburban Ohio. It was a nice neighborhood, but not fancy.

One summer our neighborhood began waking up to a disaster on the morning after garbage night. Week after week hooligans were dumping & spreading trash everywhere. The police were called but it continued.

My Dad began sleeping with the window open...

One night he heard them coming down our street. He vaulted out of bed & gave chase in his skivvies with his dog. I should probably tell you my Dad was 6'2" & 220lbs & carried himself like a Marine. It must have made those guys crap their pants to see him coming at them in the gloom of the streetlights!

He caught one pretty quickly & his fellow vandal hid in the bushes. My Dad offered him a chance to get his buddy to come out but the coward wouldn't. So this guy had to clean up the entire street alone while my Dad watched.

We never had another problem!

And my Dad didn't tell us about this - my Mom did. Thanks for keeping us safe in many ways! We love you guys.



As a Very Proud Marine Mom, I know the majority of active duty Marines are young and BUSY, however, I was thinking maybe RECRUITERS could have poolees visit VA hospitals for MOTO on weekends.

That may be a quicker way to start the ball rolling, and come to think of it, when the Marines start having their youngin's visit the veterans, this might be a way (especially after deployment) to get the young ones to open up about their stresses and have hope for the future, a salve for healing those internal wounds festering underneath.

The veterans help the young, the young help the veterans.

Just an idea.

Thanks for listening.

VPMM of LCpl having just experienced his first major dust storm in Afghanistan.

Mary Hampton


"Nothing is easier than spending public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody."
--President Calvin Coolidge

"A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one."
--Alexander Hamilton

"Republic ... it means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose."
--John Wayne

"When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - When you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - You may know that your society is doomed."
--Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957

"Unlimited power is in itself a bad and dangerous thing. Human beings are not competent to exercise it with discretion. God alone can be omnipotent, because his wisdom and his justice are always equal to his power. There is no power on earth so worthy of honor in itself, or clothed with rights so sacred, that I would admit its uncontrolled and all-predominant authority. When I see that the right and the means of absolute command are conferred on any power whatever, be it called a people or a king, an aristocracy or a republic, I say there is the germ of tyranny, and I seek to live elsewhere, under other laws."
-- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America [1835]

"I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom. Until we can reestablish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very severe and distinct curtailment of our liberty."
--President Calvin Coolidge

Welcome to the Suck.

Eat the Apple F-ck the Corps.

Big green Weenie

A warrior of the Jarhead tribe

Sgt Grit

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