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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 07 NOV 2013

In this issue:
• Carbine Bayonet
• Sea Going Bell Hop
• Marine By Choice

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At boot camp at MCRD in San Diego in July 1953, Sgt. Martinez, asked Pvt. Ramos if he was married. Pvt. Ramos said, "yes sir." Sgt. Martinez ask him if he had a picture of his wife. Pvt. Ramos said, "yes sir." Sgt. Martinez said, "I would like to see her picture so I can show the platoon what the stupidest woman in Texas looks like."

Sgt. Martinez then asked me. "Pvt. Albert, are you married?" I responded, "no sir." He said, "Great, because when the Marine Corps wants you to get a wife, they will issue you one."

That happened 60 years ago and I am still waiting. Does it always take that long?

Cpl. Richard Albert 1273xxx

Carbine Bayonet

My father, the late Rear Admiral Christopher S. Barker, Jr., USN, brought home a Winchester M-1 Carbine from Okinawa in 1945. It had a bayonet lug and an adjustable rear sight. I own a 1944 Inland M-1 Carbine and a WW II issue carbine bayonet with a stacked leather handle. My carbine has both a bayonet lug and an adjustable rear sight. These features were added in late 1942. The Corps got many hand me downs. Early M-1 Carbines, 1903 Springfield's, 1917 U.S. Enfield's, World War I issue .45s, etc. They didn't get M-1 Garands till after Guadalcanal (even though they liberated some from the Army). Quite a number of M-1 Carbines with bayonet lugs, bayonets, and adjustable rear sights were issued after Guadalcanal as well. Thirty round magazines and select fire M-2 Carbines were not issued until Korea. All carbines in WW II were semi-automatic only and had only fifteen round magazines.

When I was in Class E-6705, A Company, Field Medical Service School, Camp Pendleton, Summer 1967, we were issued M-14 Rifles. We practiced on the range with excellent M-14s and worn out pre-WW II .45s that rattled like a can of rocks when you shook them.

I hope this message answers any question about the carbine on the Iwo Jima Memorial.

Best Regards and Semper Fi,
Christopher S. Barker III
Hospital Corpsman Second Class

A Few bayonet/carbines made it to Iwo.


I was surprised when I read this article. My dad was in WWII and brought home a bayonet. I have pictures of it. This was the same bayonet I was issued in 1957 with my M1 rifle. What is right is a Marine does not attach the bayonet unless he is out is ammo and is in hand to hand combat. The bayonet is carried on his ammo belt and tied to his leg.

Semper Fi,
PFC Bob R.

Sea Going Bell Hop

Referring to Sgt Chuck Wanamaker going to join the Navy and ending up in the Marines, seems there's a bunch of that going around. My father was a 20 year Navy Mustang including a stint on the USS Detroit and LST landings in the Pacific during WWII.

I, too, went down to join the Navy, even sitting down with the Chief to get the lecture. It was the usual drill of which I was mostly aware since being a Navy brat. That's when the phone rang and changed my life. The Chief got to jaw jackin' until my patience ran out and I walked. He didn't notice I was gone. Across the hall stood a Marine in a sharp uniform and a poster on the wall with a picture of an airplane in the lower right corner. That's all it took. When I broke the news to my dad, his face fell and he asked, "You want to be a sea going bell hop?" He chose not to attend my MCRD graduation, but the rest of the family did.

Today the recruiting office is a Veterans Center, the Chief's office is the manager's, and the Marine recruiter's office is the broom closet and storage room.

Sgt Wayne Stafford
RVN '68-'69

Destination Undisclosed

On November 8, 1956, the 3rd battalion, 3rd Marines was running field exercises at the base of Mount Fuji, Honshu Japan. Early that morning we were alerted to return to base, Middle Camp Fuji, immediately. Even as we were striking our shelter half tents and rolling up our packs trucks arrived to pick us up. Trucks were most unusual being as we always walked back to base in previous similar exercises.

Back at Camp Fuji we were informed the battalion was shipping out, destination undisclosed. Mailboxes were secured and we were instructed to survey any gear or equipment that was not in good shape. Everything, 782 gear, weapons, radios were checked and if found to be in unsatisfactory condition, they were replaced.

Our 1919A4 LMG was replaced despite our gun team's objections. It only had 5 numbers in its serial number (the others had 6) and was a nice salty color of silver as all the bluing had long since been worn off and it worked perfectly.

The crew that served in weapons platoon of Golf Company were even issued Ka-Bars, not a normal issued item at the time. The balance of the 8th and the 9th were spent securing the barracks, packing footlockers (that stayed behind) and packing Seabags and making up Field Transport packs. We were also reinforced by troops of the 9th Marines from South Camp and became a reinforced full-strength Battalion. Officially, BLT 3/3.

On the morning of the Marine Corps Birthday we were told we'd be getting on trucks soon and if we wanted to get anything to eat to straggle over to the Mess Hall and see what was ready. Some of us got a drumstick, but I don't remember even sitting down to eat it. We assembled at the trucks and got aboard. We rode to Yokuska and spent the rest of the day loading aboard the USS Telfair County APA 210. After about 14,000 miles on ship we got back to Japan early February 1957.

Never found out what the cooks did with all the food being prepared for the Birthday Party, but I know they were p-issed.

WR Nicoll

A Special Dinner For Me

I joined the Marine Corps in December of 1958, went to MCRD San Diego. On November 10, 1959, I was aboard the USS Paul Revere for my first Marine Corps Birthday, and my 18th birthday. Here is the menu of what we had that day, the menu was also a postcard which I sent home. I told my parents the Marine Corps found out it was my birthday and made a special dinner for me.


May God Bless Them All. Those That Were, Those That Are And Those That Will Be.

Brian Stack

Marine By Choice

Good morn' Sgt. Grit,

As usual it is 0-dark-30 in my neck of the woods. But this is not concerning the time. Going through Boot Camp, (PISC), - 1959, we, as maggots were taught Marine Corps History. I have just finished reading, "Brute, The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine" by Robert Coram.

I knew that there were quite a few on the hill that wanted to abolish The Marine Corps as we know it, but I did not think that there were official documents to support these facts. I also learned how, until the present, that Our Marine Corps was involved in so much discrimination, or how close The Marine Corps came to being done away with because of inter service rivalries.

Among my gear is a cap/cover that reads, "American By Birth - Marine By Choice".

After reading this book, I have new found respect and admiration for The People that fought to make sure there was A Marine Corps for me to enlist in.

I would recommend this book for reading, and in reading this I also found out the meaning of: "A Message To Garcia".

Semper Fi,
Jim Angelo

Birthday Cake On Hill 65

On Hill 65 with India 3/11, 1968.

Terry D. Campbell
LCpl. 2379xxx

Stop And Pause A Moment

Sgt. Grit,

First of all I must salute you and your staff for all you do. I have been reading your newsletter, and I have ordered from your catalog for a number of years.

I have a short story for you.

My wife and I were fortunate enough to welcome our Nephew and his Battalion home from his tour in Afghanistan last weekend. All the families were anxiously awaiting the plane to touchdown at Ft. Bragg, N.C. after midnight in freezing temperatures. We stood in the cold until the plane touched down, even though the hangar was heated. It was very moving to see the Soldiers march in formation into the hangar. It really moved me to hear the applause from the families and all the HOORA'S.

I had to stop and pause a moment and reflect back when I was returning from Viet Nam. It was such a great difference. When I came home we were told, "It May Be A Good Idea If You Didn't Wear Your Uniform Traveling Home." What a sad thought, after what we as Marines went through to earn the honor not only to wear the uniform, but to be called a MARINE. I chose to wear my uniform even though I had to put up with name calling and some pretty physically tense moments. It is terrific to see the American Citizens backing our military as they do today.

My nephew is an Army Airborne Engineer Lt., and I Am Very Proud Of Him. I was also an Engineer (1371) in Viet Nam, 1st Bridge, 7th Engineers (1965-1967).

I appreciate you letting me get this off of my chest. Keep up the good work.

SgtMaj Charles L. Mowday
USMC Retired 1961-1989

Bayoneted By A Boot

Sgt Grit,

Tomorrow, 1 November, marks the 40th Anniversary of my graduating from Boot Camp in 1973. Plt 2079, E Co, 2nd Bn RTR, MCRD. Senior Drill Instructor SSgt Copp, Drill Instructors SSgt Cyr and SSgt Anderson. Supposedly SSgt Cyr had been bayoneted by a Boot in a previous Platoon and therefore we didn't carry bayonets during any of our training.

Any alumni's out there? I finished up my 20 in 1993. Not as lean, not as mean, but definitely still Marine.

Semper Fi,
Jeffrey M. Howards
Sgt of Marines '73-'77
Captain, USAR '77-'93

Even Got My Mom To Smile

After reading two such letters in the Newsletter, I started wondering how many Marines intended to enlist in another branch when they first entered the suite of recruiting offices?

I know I was one of those... I never really thought about the Marines, each time the service recruiters would come to my high school Career Day presentation I'd only speak with the Army and Navy recruiters. Naturally, since I was an only child (and a girl to boot!) my parents didn't even want me having conversations with any military recruiter. My destiny was supposed to be college – they didn't offer me any other options.

But truly, I was a stubborn child and my goal was to be a journalist, and I realized in my junior year of high school that while college sounded like a good idea; it really wasn't for me at the time. I was in a hurry to put my skills to use right away; not four years later after spending about three of those years re-learning all the things I had already been doing by being a freelancer with the local weekly newspapers and co-editor of my high school paper, plus being on the Year Book staff.

The Army recruiter convinced me to come to the office and talk with him and take a pre-test for the ASVAB. I did that without informing my parents. I apparently tested well and spoke intelligently enough (lol) that he was in a hurry to get me signed up. He said he "thought" I could get journalism as an MOS, but I would need to miss my high school graduation ceremony and head to boot camp in May 1978 (graduation was in June). I didn't buy that, first of all he didn't tell me that my MOS would be guaranteed in writing, and there was no way I was going to miss graduation! We sort of went back and forth for several months and during that time one day I spoke with both the Air Force and Navy recruiters.

That was interesting... although I told them both that I was interested in journalism and nothing else; they tried to steer me towards logistics, electrician, postal and some others I can't recall, but know I wasn't interested in pursuing. They both said my math scores were very good and those occupational fields would be better for me. Even at 17 years old I knew when I was being sold a bill of goods. The Army recruiter ended up speaking with my parents and were told in no uncertain terms by my mother that her only child would not be enlisting in any branch of the military; that she would not sign any paperwork and he may as well just move on to the next prospect. My mom probably should have been a Marine.

One day, about a week or so after that meeting I ran into a Marine Gunnery Sergeant (Gil Sawyer was his name and unbeknownst to me he was the RSS SNCOIC. He retired as a MGySgt. sometime in the 90s) in full dress blues standing in the journalism classroom speaking to my teacher. I was introduced and he asked me what I was planning to do after graduation. I gave him a brief rundown about wanting to be a journalist now, not fours year down the road, etc., etc. He smiled and gave me his card and said he had just the Marine he wanted me to speak with about opportunities to do just that in the Marine Corps. Little did I know then that he was actually sort of dating my teacher. I went down to the recruiting office the next day and spoke with SSgt. Joseph Lees, who later became my recruiter. The Corps was the only branch who was willing after seeing my ASVAB scores to guarantee me the journalism MOS in writing (as long as I did what I was supposed to do in graduating boot camp, and journalism school at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis afterwards). They didn't ask me to miss my graduation ceremony – I reported to MCRD PI about five weeks after graduation. They explained to me how to work on my first promotion while I was a Poolee and mentored me through the process (I took the oath of enlistment on Nov. 23, 1977 so I was in the Delayed Entry Program for about 8 months – left for boot camp on July 25, 1978) so I graduated from boot camp as a PFC. They met with my parents and were very straightforward with them, even got my mom to smile a time or two throughout the meeting; they left with signed paperwork (I was still 17 so it was necessary). Those two Marines being my first introduction to the Corps were two of the best examples of all the tenets of what Marines believe and practice.

While deployed to Desert Storm 14 years after meeting MGySgt. Sawyer, I got a surprise visit one day at the Public Affairs Office at Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia. One of my Marines came in to tell me that there was a MGySgt. who looked like a poster Marine (what the Corporal added was this "you know how we use those pictures of Marines who look like bulldogs – like the ones in the recruiting and boot camp posters? Well this Marine looks like that") and he asked to see you. The Corporal thought I was about to get a piece of some MGySgt' s wrath because of something that was wrong in our publication. What a great honor and surprise it was to see him standing there grinning and asking if I remembered him! Of course I did, but I was more shocked that he remembered me. He said he was reading the base paper (The Brownside Out) and saw my byline and just knew he had to come and see me and let me know how proud he was that I was still doing what I told him I truly wanted to do as a Marine.

During our conversation I shared with him that I had more or less come full circle. Several years before Desert Storm I had served as a recruiter out of that same recruiting office and my old high school was one of the schools I was responsible for recruiting from. I also enlisted several Marines who came in to see the other service branch recruiters but they were out to lunch or had forgotten they had appointments scheduled.

Oh I digressed from my original reasoning for writing this... oops must be the writer in me. I still do wonder though, how many Marines enlisted or were commissioned in the Corps because the other service branch recruiters let that gem slip through their fingers?

Semper Fi!
Jeanette Haynes
SSgt USMC (veteran) '78 – '93

There Is Almost Always Change

Well, once again the newsletter has come and once again it is filled with the stories of Marines who have served from most all time periods. This being the case I thought it might be a good place to ask the question. "What do you think of the new dress cover that the Corps uniform committee approved 7-6?" The thing looks like they took the men's and women's dress covers and somehow made them a single cover. As you can guess from my tone I really do not like it. My son who wants to join the Corps thinks it is really a piece of cr-p. He, not being a Marine yet, but one who loves the Corps is asking why do they want to mess with the best. I agree, the Corps has the best looking uniforms and look the best in their uniforms than any other branch of the military. This also leads to the discussion about how the Corps has changed and how it is currently changing.

I told him that after each war/conflict/combat action when the Corps down sizes there is almost always change, and after a couple of years things settle down. Some of the changes are maintained and some are sent to the round file. He said he wished he would have been able to be in the Corps when I was in. When we were all bad azs and were really tough. I guess my Corps stories need to be toned down a bit. I said all Marines are bad azses and tough as nails no matter when you served. They will always be such. If you look over our history we have changed after these fighting times are over and after any major issue that hits the Corps like the death of a recruit or such. I was assigned to the field just after a Marine recruit was killed. The Corps had come out with SI and PT cards that all D.I.'s had on them at all times to make sure the herd was not over worked or not given PT in the pit when it was too hot. As all good Marines and D.I.'s did, we found ways to get around the cards and get the job at hand done the way it needed to be done. So I told him change happens and Marines learn to live with it, deal with it or as has been stated many times we adapt, overcome and improvise to get the job done. Always have and always will. Some things are a little tougher to get by and one is wearing a cover that looks just plain bad and not bad in a good way.

In today's newsletter Sgt. James Spoon wrote and seemed angry as heck about being a peace time Marine vs. a combat Marine. Any Marine that will look down or treat any Marine differently because they served during peace time does not understand the meaning of being a Marine. They also do not understand the meaning of Brotherhood. Many Marines served during peace time and one of the reasons it was peace time was because of the United States Marines. Including the ones who were serving during peace time. There were many Marines that served during a war/conflict/combat action time period that did not see combat. Many were in country and not in combat. There were many Marines who were on deployment who never went in country. The point is that the Marine was there willing and ready to do his job and if necessary make the enemy give his life for his country. Every Marine who has ever served our beloved Country and our beloved Corps with honor deserves the respect due to any Marine who has served no matter the time period, no matter the duty station assigned, and no matter if they saw combat or not. That is not taking away from anyone who has seen combat because they deserve the respect due a combat veteran. I served during Nam. I am not a combat veteran. I was on deployment off the coast of Nam like many other Marines. I kick myself at times because I did not submit one more request for transfer to go in country that may have been approved. Then I look at it and I say, I was where the Marine Corps needed and wanted me at the time... I was there. Yeah I got my Nam fire watch ribbon; as I call it the Vietnam green and yellow ribbon. I did not get the Vietnam service ribbon because I was not in country for six months or on a ship that was award it at the time I was on the ship. I really would not want it just for being on the ship (Nam service ribbon). We all served during a time in our lives we wanted to serve. We all did our bit to serve this great Country. We all did our bit to serve the United States Marine Corps.

Semper Fi
SSgt Joseph E. Whimple
U.S.M.C. 2-1970 / 12-1976

As a side note, at the time I was assigned to the field all D.I.'s had to be a Nam veteran. It was not stated in country or not in country. It was not stated combat veteran or a non-combat veteran. It just said you had to be a Nam veteran. So since I had the Nam fire watch ribbon I got orders to D.I. school and two years on the field, that due to injury, I was only able to finish about 18 months on the field. I hate that to this day as I feel I failed to complete the job. However the injury did force me out of the Corps.

First Marine Kissed

Sgt. Grit,

Thought I would pass along my first Marine Corps birthday experience which took place in 1960 at MCRD San Diego.

As a member of Plt. 188 we were marched, after evening chow, to an outdoor amphitheater and placed in a location amongst many other recruit platoons. There was a cake cutting ceremony, of which I remember very little, and then we were given the gift of being able to sit there and watch every Marine's 2nd favorite movie, "Gung Ho" starring Randolph Scott. What I remember of that event, other than that the movie was filmed (partially) at MCRD, San Diego, was that "the smoking lamp" would be lit when the first Marine got kissed in the movie. As a non-smoker I could have cared less about that, but for the smokers, they had to wait until the movie was nearly finished.

As I was writing this, I did recall one other thing; in the movie Randolph Scott explains the meaning of "Gung Ho" which accordingly meant "work together". Never did seek to find out if that was an accurate translation, but it seems to have taken on a variety of meanings for lots of Marines.

R. D. Behr, LCpl
Plt 188, MCRD San Diego, 1960
USS Ticonderoga 1961-1963
H & S Co., 1st Service Bn., 1st Mar Div, 1963-1964

P.S. Of course, the most favorite movie was "Sands of Iwo Jima" starring John Wayne... at least it was mine, and still is!

The Barber

Here is this week's Facebook post that attracted some pretty good comments.

Gary Rooney - Been there, done that. I think those guys sheared sheep in their spare time.

Eric Gauthier - Where the spotter with the paper towel to wipe the blood of your dome!... GOOD TRAINING!

Robert McCarver - that's why I'm bald today, the barbers blades were dull and ripped my hair off instead of shaving, LMAO!

Vance Brewer - 40+ years and it still ain't growed back!

Carmen Schroeder - I know a few men that have been through this - moles and all - right guys?

Mike McNamara - Sign in Base barber shop: "If you have what it takes, you don't need hair. If don't have what it takes, hair is not going to help".

Read more of the 189 comments written about this post on the Sgt Grit Facebook Page.

Even After I'm Gone

When I joined Rotary International in 1970, I was welcomed by Lt. Col. Frank Denormandie, USMC and until he died 35 years later he referred to me as "Sergeant". He would take over our club meeting on Nov. 10th every year and turn it into a combined Veteran's Day observance and Marine Corps Birthday. We, "the Marines" paid for the wine. It became my turn to continue the observance and we added the invitation of WWII vets in our section of NH to have lunch with us. A few years ago we started to invite some of the "boys" from the NH Veteran's Home to join us. On this coming Nov. 7th we will have two busses of about 23 guests joining us. Our members will meet them in the parking lot and bring them to the dining room in their wheelchairs and get their meals for them. I walk around the room with a cordless "mike" and kneel down next to each one of them and ask them their name, branch of service, years served and any story they would like to share with us. Sometimes we would laugh until our stomachs hurt and sometimes we would cry with them.

One of them was a Marine who is now 94 years old. He went to Parris Island in 1938, spent time in China, landed on Guadalcanal, Saipan and Okinawa and was discharged in 1945. I took him to Applebee's restaurant two weeks ago and he polished off their "South Western" hamburger and a 16 oz. glass of beer. And we lied to each other for two hours. He said he'd see me on our birthday at the Laconia Rotary Club. We are so d-mn lucky to have these guys, "our greatest generation", around us as an example. The members of my club continue to tell me that it is the best program that we have all year, and some of them say they'll do it even after I'm gone.

God bless you all for your service.

Sgt. Abe Dadian (1952 -1958)
Plt. 462, Parris Island

Cpl. Chuck Lindberg

Statue of Cpl. Chuck Lindberg. Chuck was a flame thrower on Iwo Jima and with the first flag raising group on Mt. Suribachi. He died in 2007. This memorial, in his honor, is in Veteran's Park, Richfield, Minnesota.

Norm Spilleth
Cpl. '60 - '64


Although I am not a Marine or had the chance to serve in the military, I have been in the civilian uniform services for more than 30 years as a police officer, firefighter, and medic. I have two sons that are Marines. My oldest got out a few years ago after several tours in Iraq, and his younger brother insisted on following in his footsteps.

Last year my son missed the holidays with us due to getting his military training. I have enclosed a few pics of our tribute to the Marines last year at Halloween (I am not a real artist). I am extremely proud of my sons for what they have accomplished and forever grateful to the men and women of the military that have given of themselves and allowed me to be a part of the greatest country in the world.

Forever grateful,
Samuel Getz Jr

Old Corps Bragging Rights

As we know, the M1 Garand was loaded by way of an 8-round clip. We also know that a string of fire at the rifle range was 10 rounds. When firing rapid fire this was accomplished by first loading a clip and two rounds. The salts would take an empty clip in one hand and two loose rounds between the thumb and fingers of the other hand, place the two rounds in the clip with the base of the rounds against the bottom of the clip, and give the rounds a quick twist. Thereby locking the two rounds together in the clip. On the command, "With a clip and two rounds, lock and load" the assembled 2-round clip was inserted into the receiver and with a little finesse was now loaded with the aforementioned clip and two rounds. Upon firing the first two rounds of the string the bolt would lock to the rear and with a very distinct "ping" the clip would be ejected from the rifle letting the shooter know it was time to reload with a full 8-round clip.

Ron Sharetts
MSgt USMC (Ret)

Cpl. Bob West, 1958-1964, asked a question about qualifying with the M1 Garand, specifically the command, "with a clip and 2 rounds, lock and load". I also qualified with the M1 Garand at Camp Pendleton early in 1965.

For the 10-round rapid fire score, you would first fire the full 8-round clip, after which the empty clip automatically ejected from the rifle. Then, you had to pick up your empty clip, load the two remaining loose rounds and insert it into the rifle to finish the event.

The M1 clip was basically a 2-sided box, so anything less than a full clip was difficult to handle. The trick was to use your fingers to hold the two loose rounds somewhat in place inside the clip as you re-inserted the clip into the rifle with your thumb.

As a side note, you always knew when you were empty because that clip made a rather distinct, "twangy" sound as it was ejected from the rifle, not to mention possibly seeing the flash of metal in front of your nose.

Bob, I guess qualifying with the M1 Garand gives us "Old Corps" bragging rights.

Wes Kent
Staff Sergeant of Marines
1965 - 1973

Responding to Sgt Spoon

Sgt Grit,

I really enjoy reading and getting the newsletter every Thursday morning, and I must say that I was very disappointed in Sgt James Spoon, in the 31 Oct 2013 newsletter where he stated he was sick and tired of hearing all of those combat stories. Let me just say, Sir I too am a peace time Marine '92 - '96, I entered the Marine Corps on April 28, 1992, I was motivated to join in January during the invasion Kuwait. I wanted to do my part and serve my country, and if I'm not mistaken it is still a volunteer thing to do, so I did. I never went to combat but let me tell you I was ready cause that was why we joined wasn't it, not just for the college fund.

I am very proud and patriotic when it comes to the Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans day. All the stories that I have read from all of the combat Marines from all of the past wars of WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, and all the conflicts that we are in now. All the stories that they have talked about are what has made the Marine Corps, where it has stood the test of time, from the Halls of Montezuma, to the Shores of Tripoli, even our Marines' Hymn is about the history; that to me is what makes up our beloved Corps. I remember during Somalia, I was combat ready, and I was on a third wave to be going out of El Toro, MCAS, and was told that the second wave was told to report back to their regular Platoons that our men and women were getting ready to come back home. It was a sigh of relief and a disappointment cause we were to do a job that we were trained to do, am I upset? NO. I very proud to be a part of an elite branch of the military. The reason I joined the Marines was because of the history and the traditions, and the training that they uphold. If not for the Marines, I don't believe I would be as mature or have that self-discipline as I have today, and to be thankful for it. On that note, this coming week I will be signing and giving a speech at a Grade school, because I have done it every year since I came back to my hometown in '97. I wear my caps, fly my flag, and show my pride on almost everything that I have... even my pickup truck! I love all the combat stories that I read every week, and sometimes when I am reading a story I get a big lump in my throat and fight back the tears, for the ones who made it back home to tell the stories of the ones who didn't.

You sound like a brother who is jealous of his bigger brother that gets all of the attention. I feel like that I have done something with my life that too many people can say that they have done, that is to earn the title of "Marine". Everybody has a story to tell whether combat or not, but we can all relate to the stories because we belong to a great brotherhood that, in my experience, the other branches don't uphold their pride and traditions like the Marine Corps does. To all active or former active, combat or non-combatant, I am not sick and tired of hearing your stories, you are all my Heroes.

God Bless you and your Staff Sgt. Grit, thank you for letting me rant, Semper Fi.

LCpl. Wolfe, Ross ('92-'96)
Kilo Co. 3rd Batt. MCRDSD
MCT-Camp Pendleton
Motor T-Camp Delmar/Pendleton

Sgt. Grit,

It was with a heavy heart and a small amount of disgust that I read Sgt. James Spoon's letter "I am so tired." I enlisted in 1989 under open contract. The Corps saw fit to make me a 3451, Accounting Technician, stationed for my entire enlistment at FMF WESTPAC, Camp Foster. Because I was a Marine, I was the best darned Accounting Tech that it was possible to be... and then some. The pride instilled in me by the Corps would allow for nothing else. As base Marines, we had to be more squared away than operational units. There was simply more time to mess with us, I guess. Nevertheless, we PT'd three times a week, met every week on Thursday night for that old time Marine Corps revival known as field day, qualified on our M16-A2s once a year, PFT for score once a year, etc. Twice a year, we went on operational exercises, some so grungy, it almost embarrasses me to talk about them. Yes, as a 3451 I got to fly around in CH-54's, and a fellow 3451 I went to school with was stationed with 2nd SRI and got his jump wings. At all times, we were fit and well-tuned, ready to charge if called to do so. At no point - then or now - did we ever consider ourselves to be Wannabe Marines, nor were we ever addressed as such. As pogues, sure, but never wannabes. And if this is coming from civilians, who cares what they think? Not I, and neither should Sgt. Spoon. NOTHING anybody can do or say will ever lessen my pride in my service or make me disavow the Corps. The fact that Sgt. Spoon feels the need to do so for such a silly and unimportant reason makes me sadder than I can remember being in a very long time.

LCpl Paul D. Raines
'89 - '93

I was deeply saddened to read the letter from "Sgt. James Spoon" ...saddened, but without sympathy. Someone should tell him that the Corps never gave up on him and the sadness is in the fact that he has given up on himself. Desire and service make a Marine... not posts or duty. I hope that he will someday regain his self-esteem.

Sneaky Pete Dahlstrom '68-'74

I'm surprised you signed your letter as Sgt. Spoon; particularly after refusing to wear your Dress Blues anymore. You are the most Whiney Azs, former Marine I've ever heard of. I served in combat with 2/3 in Viet Nam in '66 and '67, and knew there were plenty of Marines in supporting roles; that would never see combat. Did this make them any less a Marine? H-ll No! We are all "Brothers" no matter the Era we served. And if you truly received grief from any former Combat Marines - A Pox on them.

Please note: the VA doesn't give us Combat Marines very much respect either.

Corporal LeRoy A. Townsend
2nd Bn. 3rd. Marines
RVN '66 - '67

I read the story by Sgt James Spoon. I am sorry that you feel that way, and have such a low opinion of yourself. I served on active duty from 1971-78 and then stayed in the Reserves until 1999 when I retired. I was in during the Vietnam War, but I never was in combat. I was in the Air wing. I received orders to Japan and tried to get stationed in Vietnam, but had station orders so I served my time at Iwakuni, Japan. While serving in the reserves two of the units that I had been attached to served in the Gulf War, one was VMGR 452 and the other was 4th Bn, 25th Marines.

My daughter said to me, "I bet you are happy that you are not over in the gulf war?" I said that my brothers are there and that is where I should be. She did not understand my reasoning.

Even though I did not serve in combat and wonder how I would have handled myself, I never forget that I am a MARINE. I proudly served my God, Country and Corps. I will always stand tall and I tell everyone that I am a MARINE.

I doubt that this is all you remember about your time in the Marine Corps, the discipline that it gave you, the pride that you felt when you were called a Marine for the first time, the companionship and camaraderie that surrounded you, and the way that you stood taller because of this.

I take affront to the statement that you made: "To me and others like me we have been injured in another way, the way Marines and people in general call us want-a-bees." I have never been injured in any way. You should not place everyone that did not serve in combat in the same boat that you are in.

Here are some words that may help you. It is a quote by President Reagan: "Some people live their entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, But Marines don't have that problem."
--President Ronald Reagan

You need to reflect on the Corps values that were instilled in you when you went to boot camp. You need to pick yourself up by your bootstraps and be a Marine and be proud of having served in the Marine Corps.

If you continue to cry in your beer than you will cry alone, but if you stand tall, as a Marine should, then your brothers in the Corps will stand with you.

Paul DeLaricheliere

In your 31 October '13 newsletter a Sgt. James Spoon wrote he "was ashamed he didn't serve in a combat zone..." and went on to say that because of that "you don't give credit to those who served during peace time even though we could have been called upon at any time to give our lives for our country". As a Marine combat veteran, Vietnam, 1960-1970, I am proud of my service, but I hold my head higher and stand taller when I can tell another person that I am a United States Marine without the need to add where or in what capacity I did my duty. Where Sgt. Spoon served, and in what capacity, matters little in comparison to the fact that he served. I thank you, Sgt. Spoon, for defending freedom and serving honorably as a United States Marine, and I would be proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you. You are a Marine... act like one!

David "Bubba" McClellan
Former LCpl, Always A Marine! Semper Fi!

To: Sgt James Spoon

Suck-It "Up" Marine!

Sgt Grit,

In Response to "I Am So Tired" the article by Sgt James Spoon, whereby he is ashamed that he never served in a combat zone, and as a result doesn't feel that he measures up.

I'd like to share my own story, and my desire would be that it might help Sgt Spoon, and others that may feel as he does.

I never saw combat, however I always was very proud to have served in the U S Marine Corps for three years, 1953-1956. I joined August 12, 1953, the actual supposed cease fire for the Korean War was July 27, 1953. My time was spent in California, boot camp at San Diego, Advanced Combat Training at Camp Pendleton, and then I never left Camp Pendleton, serving with the H&S Co, 2nd Inf. Trng Regt, MCB, Disbursing Section, and then transferred to Marine Corps Test Unit #1, also at Camp Pendleton.

A number of years ago, due to my enlistment being a few days after the end of the fighting in Korea, I was not sure that I was a Korean War veteran. I found out that the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, deemed that anyone serving during the period of June 17, 1950 and January 31, 1955 is considered a Korean War Veteran.

As a result I joined the Korean War Veterans of Georgia Inc., in Gainesville, GA. One of the members, J.D. Gibbs, who was a Sgt in the Marines, fought in the battle of the Chosin Reservoir, which if anyone reads the history of this battle they know this was one of the worst battles in history of any war. J.D. Gibbs, when we met and talked labeled me with the name "Hollywood". I was a Hollywood Marine. We became great friends, as did I with all the guys in the Club. They made me Chaplin, and I always felt that my role as a Marine was in the support field, supporting those that had been in battle, and as a result all the guys know "Hollywood". Many of the guys in the club never went to Korea either, many to other parts of the world, serving with other branches of the military.

Last year I was instrumental in getting in touch with the American Korean Friendship Society of Atlanta, who helped us both with financial and friendship to construct a beautiful monument to those that gave their all in the Korean War. The Monument is in our Rock Creek Veterans Park in Gainesville, GA. The Korean Americans have been a great blessing to us, they stay in touch and have done much for us, they appreciate what our Country did for them, as you know South Korea is a free country because of what our country and allies did for them. They too call me 'Hollywood'.

Summing this up, I believe Sgt James Spoon, needs to get a life, if he served in the U S Marine Corps, with all the training, and became a Sgt., He should be a very Proud Marine, we all didn't do battle, but I believe we are special, because the Marine Corps made us that way. They call me 'HOLLYWOOD' and I'm proud of that!

Semper Fi,
Sgt D B Whiting 1953-1956

Sgt. James Spoon,

Do you mean to say the world didn't dare mess with the United States as long as YOU were on watch? Sounds like mission accomplishment to me! (Put that in your pipe and smoke it) Stand tall, Marine!

T. Graf, '82-'88

Good Afternoon,

Another good newsletter as always. To SGT James Spoon about not being in the line of fire while he was in the Marine Corps. SGT you should not belittle yourself for not being in firefight. I know a lot of MARINES in the same situation, ALL of them are proud to have been MARINES and would not have it any other way. Instead of being sorry for yourself, get off your b-tt and find the nearest Marine Corps League Detachment and join it. And also if there is one in your area get involved with the YOUNG MARINES. Now get off your b-tt and quit being a whiner.

Ruben B Scott
SGT USMC Retired
Greater Atlanta Marine Corps League, Det # 647 and General Raymond G. Davis Young Marines. SEMPER FIDELIS!

To SGT. James Spoon,

You are a Marine! Period! You served, you went through boot, you gave Uncle Same a blank check. He cashed it the way he saw fit. There was not war when you were in? OK... So What? We aren't at war all of the time. We also "Keep the Peace"... Marines that don't get that fact and treat you differently don't "Get IT"... How about this one? I was in during 'Nam... volunteered several times... finally got there. [T.A.D.] Spent about a month in Da Nang before I received orders back to Okinawa. Never saw combat nor was I in a fire fight. It seems to me that only Marines feel this guilt of not being in a fire fight. Every other service laughs and pats themselves on the back for missing the sh-t. The other services consider "Skating" a badge of honor in and of itself! Only Marines feel bad if "They Miss The Fight". You don't see non-combatant Sailors, Airmen or Army typse playing down their service do you? They tout it like they were Gen. Patton himself... and that is, as one Army senior officer put it in an article I read, what makes MARINES different from every other service in the world! Because every Marine considers himself to be and is in fact a trained "Trigger Puller"... from clerk, cook, mechanic, whatever, we are all 0311's first and foremost. And as this senior Army officer stated, other services covet their specialties and are quick to point out that specialty if the chance that they may get pulled into a combat infantry situation arises. Not so with Marines... We are first and foremost "Trigger Pullers" that is part of the "GIG" we signed up for. We know that from the get go... that is why the Marines only guarantee "Aviation". Nothing else other than "a helmet, a rifle, and a hard time", and the Corps delivers on all three. Being a 'Nam era Marine but not being "Tested" bugs me. For years I played my service down also, because of that. I realize how dumb that is. A Marine is a Marine is a Marine! Put the bumper sticker on your car, wear the Marine Corps emblem with pride... You Are A Marine! Show It!

Semper Fi!

P.S. BTW, you made SGT. That is no small accomplishment in the Corps, especially in peacetime!

R.L. Mirabile

Your attitude about being a Marine needs some readjusting. Find pride in who you are, reclaim what you have lost... You are a Marine... Your attitude is everything.

Get this motivating t-shirt at:

Attitude Black T-Shirt

Ingested Radioactive Material

Sgt. Grit,

I just read in your latest Grit Newsletter that an old friend and Great Marine, MGySgt Hosea. I served with MGySgt. Nathaniel R. Hosea, Jr. in Nuclear Ordnance in early 1960's. He was one of the first Montford Point Marines to be promoted in a Line Occupational Field. So many memories I have of him. Nuclear Ordnance Teams consisted of six Staff NCO's with an Officer Commanding. MSgt. Hosea was Senior Staff NCO of my team. Upon arrival at Camp Hauge, Okinawa we were assigned a group of Quonset Huts that had been occupied by the Marines we relieved. As others who served at Camp Hauge in the 1960's will remember the dilapidated condition the Quonset huts were in. When we worked, procedures had to be followed and a set of instructions were read by one while the others worked and the Senior NCO officiated. As you can see this could be a very boring situation but with Hosea it was almost enjoyable.

When I ingested radioactive material due to another teams failure to follow procedures, MSgt. Hosea was there doing the screaming for me. I have never met a Marine who fought for his men as MSgt. Hosea did, he was always Johnny on the spot for his men.

Something a lot of Marines that know Hosea didn't know he had serious back problems, his back could sometimes create sever pain for him, I believe he got his bad back while studying Karate.

As I said he was one of the greatest Marines I served with in my 26 years. He will be missed!

Also, I wrote a letter to you and it was printed in your Grit Column 10/16/2013. I was blasting a young Marine for calling the Battle Jacket an "Ike" jacket and put down a date that was about ten (10) years later than it should have been, my finger hit the wrong key. MGySgt. Schroeder called me on it as he should. I thank you MGySgt. Schroeder.

Congratulations on your 25 Years, Sgt. Grit and thanks for the Neat Stuff and who likes Neat Stuff more than a Marine?

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau USMC Retired


I have really enjoyed your newsletters.

Christopher S. Barker III
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class

I Have But One Regret

Sgt Grit,

November 10, 2013, I will celebrate my 49th Marine Corps Birthday as a Marine. There were some that weren't all that memorable, such as my 2nd Marine Corps Birthday (1966) in Vietnam with India, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. The monsoon season was in full swing, causing, as I'm sure most Marines remember, mud filled roads, wet uniforms constantly, and generally real bad attitudes. But that didn't stop India Company from having a celebration. A cake cutting, two beers per Marine, and "C" rations was the order of the day on hill # 22 just south of Chu Lai. I was a young PFC at the time, so where the cake was obtained or how it was kept dry, I have no idea. PFCs didn't have access to that kind of information. However, the oldest Marine (company 1st Sgt) and the youngest Marine (Pvt Walker) both got their traditional slice of cake. Walker had just arrived in Vietnam and had also just turned 18 two days before.

My most memorable Marine Corps Birthday was November of 1969. I was stationed at Marine Barracks, Philadelphia, PA. General Puller's son was a patient (amputee from wounds gotten in Vietnam) at the Naval Hospital. Accordingly, General Puller frequently came aboard the base after visiting his son. In addition to my regular duties as Sgt of the Guard, I also worked as a part time bartender at the NCO / SNCO club. I had the unquestionable professional and personal pleasure of serving General Puller when he visited the club on the Marine Corps Birthday. As I remember, he had only one drink, nursed it for about an hour, and answered questions about his Marine Corps asked by the Marines he so dearly loved. His drink, Jack Daniels - straight up. Needless to say, his drink was on the house. I listened intently to General Puller to the point of neglecting our Commanding Officer's (Col Klebber) request for a drink. The C.O. reminded me about my indiscretion every chance he got.

I have but one regret about that night - I didn't get a picture with General Puller as many of my brother Marines did.

One final comment, please. I will continue to refer to myself and other Drill Instructors as "hats" until someone can unquestionably show me that I'm being disrespectful.

Semper Fi,
A Former "Hat"
GySgt, USMC, (Ret)


Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #7, #1, (JAN., 2017)

I was watching television the other night and a pro-mo came on for the next segment of "American Idol" and it showed one of the judges (Steven Tyler) sitting in the cockpit of a US Navy Fighter Aircraft on the elevator of one of our carriers somewhere in the States. As the skit ensues someone on the set shouts "shut the window or door". BANG! My thought warning light just went on. And, as we used to say it was just like "Deja Vu", all over again. Anyway, it was just like it happened yesterday and all the faces came back and I remembered everything that happened years before. I immediately got up and went into my den and wrote a note about the incident and placed it in the middle of my desk so I could get my story straight the next morning and incorporate it into "the Flight Line".

Well, here we are the next morning and I have a blank copy of the Flight Line chocked up in my word lathe and guess what? Now, I can't remember exactly when it happened, so only some extra thought will help put a time with the activity. A short pause for the cause brings to the surface that the incident happened on the USS Princeton, LPH-5 about 4-5 days before the landing at Chu Lai in 1965. I was a Crew Chief with HMM-161, (YR-19) (the Pineapple Squadron), and we had moved my Aircraft down close to the Port side elevator where we were going to perform one of the timed maintenance inspections, and then on completion we'd be ready to move up onto the Flight Deck. We only had a short time to perform the inspection so we were assigned some extra hands (troops) to help expedite the whole process. It was really hot working on the Hanger Deck and somebody suggested that we open the sliding door between the elevator and the side on the ship. Someone called it a water curtain, and if you didn't really know, then that sounded like what it really could be. After all, it was a metal curtain between you and the water. Well, that's what we all thought. Someone actually found a switch mounted on the bulkhead close to the metal door that said "Water Curtain" and the vote was unanimous that we get some much needed air, while we were working so, "Go ahead throw the switch" all that could happen was that we got our b-tts chewed by the Sailors for "us" throwing the switch, and not them.

Well, how many of you really know what a Water Curtain is? Well, it wasn't what we expected, or got, as we all waited for the door to slowly open, the ships plumbing gave us and everything on the hanger deck a shower, using salt water. This whole incident lasted about 5 minutes, but the b-tt chewing seemed to last forever, along with the laughter. Warrant Officer Charlie Knox could hardly keep a straight face when he was chewing my b-tt for allowing the incident to happen, especially the fact of getting the "Salt Water" wash on board ship. We later had to fly up to Da Nang and get a "Fresh Water" bath and that was also accompanied with a certain amount of humor.

I was asked many times after this incident if I would share my knowledge of "water curtains" with the entire squadron. My comments are not suitable for print!

Financial Limits Of A PFC

In the day (post Korea, pre-VN) parking around the barracks at Camp Pendleton was definitely NOT a problem. Any enlisted Marine below the rank of SSGT who had a car on base was a rare bird indeed. I can think of only two in my first unit, and one of those was a Sgt who had come from embassy duty and a family with money. For the rest of us, it was hoping that waiting in one of the white shelters along the main road might produce a lift into town... that being either Oceanside or San Clemente. Then there was the bus... in 1957-'58, the head signs still might read "Tent Camp One" or "Tent Camp Two"... it would get you into Oceanside, where it stopped at the USO... which is also where it loaded when you had got your white bag of laundry fluff-dried and had seen the war movie at the Crest. For longer trips, there was the ol' grey dog... one way or the other up or down US101... LA on one end, S'Dago on the other... and not a lot to do either place within the financial limits of a PFC... no way was a LCPL going to get written up for hitch-hiking on I-5... for the simple reason that neither yet existed. The inside scoop for a weekend in LA was the Mission... and we ain't talking about historic Hispanic red-tile roof type missions here... more like a 'bum-o-minimum'... actually a charity organization for the down on their luck, known today as "the homeless".

It was probably around 8th and Flower streets, in a storefront, and for fifty cents, you were assured of a safe place to leave your AWOL (small duffle) bag, and your shaving kit... pretty much like home, too... double metal bunks, scratchy wool blankets, clean sheets, and a permanent miasma of Pine-Sol. From there, it was public transportation (buses), and off to Hollywood...



Hello Sgt Grit, Fellow Marines, and Staff! Didn't know where to start in notifying you guys, but wanted to pass along, and felt it is my duty to report that we have lost another Great Marine that served in the South Pacific theater, in that of my dad, Eddy Lee Andrusko. He was one of the last Marines left that was involved in the original landing on RED BEACH Guadalcanal. He fought with Sgt. John Basilone and Cpl. Miller, who were two Medal Of Honor Winners, and also was "Chesty Pullers" Personal Courier in all those hard fought battles. He was wounded 3 times in that Pacific Campaign, and joined the Marine Corps when he was seventeen years of age. Was a great father and family man, a pioneer in the electronic world, a writer, musician, inventor, loved the outdoors, played sports, and a Great Grandfather of which he had 9 great-grandkids. Taught me how to stand up and believe in yourself if you want to achieve your goals and dreams in your life time! My Hero and mentor, that will set me for the rest of my life!

Anyway! If we could all stop for a moment and say a prayer for him, that would be stellar of all of you fellow Marines and family members! After all he TRULY Is Family! Farewell To Our Fellow Comrade In Arms! Edward Lee Andrusko - My Dad! My he Rest In Peace! OOH-RAH! And Semper Fi! For ETERNITY!

1924 - 2013, One Of The Greats!

Cpl. Michael Sergio Andrusko, USMC
1969-1975, Vietnam Vet.
1st. Marine Division, 2nd Marine Division, And 3rd Marine Division-Tank Battalion, 1st MP's, Flsg-Bravo Heavy equipment, Da Nang Air Base, and Chu-Lai, 1/7-LZ Baldy - 1969 - 1970. Let Us Pray!

Sgt Grit,

Johnie Tolan and I were having an adult beverage or three and listening to a pretty good band in a libation station in Irvine,California some time in 1959. Johnie had been in the Corps during WWII riding a Harley 45 as a messenger on some exotic Pacific island when he hit a shell hole and slid on his face in the coral. When he got up and spit out a couple of teeth and some coral, he thought there must be a better way to fight this war. At this time there was a program, V10 I believe, where the services sent men to college. Anyway Johnie qualified and was sent to St. Mary's in Moraga, California and he ended the war flying Corsairs out of Ewa, Hawaii. Johnie was a race driver, national midget champion in 1950 and Indianapolis race driver at the time.

After I returned from Korea in 1951, I decided, like Johnie, there must be a better way so I got a commission and was sent through flight school. After returning from a tour in the far east flying FJ4's in VMF 451 I was currently attached to MASS 3 at El Toro flying anything I could beg from Group or Wing.

As we were enjoying the music and drinks we noticed two young ladies come in, look around, spot us two at the bar and approached us. I thought oh oh, what's this? With my short hair it was pretty obvious I was a Marine and that's what they were looking for. They said their boyfriends, both Marines, had been arrested and jailed in nearby Santa Ana, for some minor offense like fighting or something Marines do. Can't remember after all these years. Anyway they needed $100 to bail them out. I didn't have $100 on me but Johnie peeled off a hundred and handed it to the ladies without batting an eye. After they left I said, "aren't you worried about that money?" He said, "no, it's for Marines."

About an hour later the same women came back, accompanied by two young Marine enlisted men. They thanked Johnie profusely as now they would not be put on report the next morning. They got Johnies address and we bought them all a drink and they left. A couple of weeks later Johnie received repayment mail.

Johnie Tolan passed to his new duty station several years ago and is probably telling jokes to St. Peter.

R.I.P. Johnie
Semper Fi
W F Mitchell

Sgt Grit,

Sgt Philip M. Anderson reported for duty at Heaven's Gate on 26 October 2013. Phil served two tours in the U.S. Marines, serving in Vietnam as a Corporal. He got out in 1970, but went back in 1971 and volunteered for Vietnam so our brother, Cliff, who had just signed up for the Marine Corps would not have to go. Phil attained the rank of Sergeant and earned four meritorious awards.

Jay R. Anderson

It has been both a sad week and a proud week for Marines here in Reno/Sparks, NV. Two Marines have been killed within a single week here doing what Marines are trained to do: Run toward danger, not away from it.

I'm sure most of you have heard about Mike Landsberry, the inactive Marine and active Sgt/Maj. with the Nevada Air National Guard, who gave his life defending his students at the shooting at Sparks Middle School. It, of course, made national news.

What you may not have heard about was the death of Charles Robert (Bob) Sperry, a Marine vet who served in both Korea and Vietnam. A week before the shooting at Sparks Middle School, Bob Sperry acted to interfere with or stop an armed robbery at a local B of A branch and was shot and killed by the gunman (who was captured).

We are, of course, saddened by the loss of two fellow Marines, but we are also filled with pride at their courageous and brave efforts to protect others. They both exemplified the honor and tradition of the Marine Corps with service to both our country and community.

Wm. Reed

Short Rounds

My Marine son died in 1970 and I've been trying to find a buddy of his for 43 years. Tried military sites, what have you but to no avail. Then a few months I had an e-mail from his nephew but no address or phone. But 2 weeks ago I hit the jack pot. Got a phone number & address so I called him. We had a nice chat and said we'd keep in touch. Perseverance wins! A Marine Mom Doesn't Give In or Give Up. I am so thankful to have found this Marine after all this time.

Semper Fi
Ellie (mother of John Whitney)

In 1959, Marines from New River and Camp Geiger were invited to mainside (Camp Lejeune) for our birthday ball and celebration. Entertainment was Woody Herman and The Herd.

Jim Starkovich
Cpl E-3 promoted to Cpl E-4

All of you are sexy as all get out! So just hush and quit fussing about stuff. You all are A#1, in my book! Enjoy the weekend, wink at the pretty ones, stay sober, this gal is proud of all of you.

Semper Fi,
Mary Miller

Sgt. Grit,

Thank you for printing my article about the Khaki Battle Jackets, and especially to Spike Berner for furnishing a picture of one. I hope everyone noticed, in particular, the Battle Jacket, and trousers of the MSgt WERE STARCHED and ironed! I say "trousers", because my Drill Instructor always told me that only Sailors and women wore "pants". And that's how it's always been since then...

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

Sgt. Grit,

I noticed the story about the carbine being wrong on the Iwo Jima monument. The statue of the of the three men at the Vietnam wall is also incorrect. The Machine-Gunner has his rounds facing inboard.

Semper Fi
Ray Kelley

In response to Bill Birge, when I retired as an E7. I was and always remain a Gunny not a M/Sgt.

Bill Rice

Boot Camp, Parris Island, 1945, "Stand fast you feather merchant, I don't care if there's a squad of gnats crawling up your nose and drinking from your eyeballs, you will not move! They have to live too you know! I don't want to see a quiver out of you sh-tbird!"

Semper Fi
PFC John Velar

Your article "Oki to Guam" is deja vu all over again.

We brought the 1st Prov Mar Brigade colors back from Guam to Pendleton in 1950, leaving behind partially constructed facilities and infrastructure for a permanent base near the village of Yona on Guam.

Richard Grim
Sgt. 1947-51

I have a M-1 Carbine marked Inland Div. with serial # to have been manufactured in 1943 and it has a bayonet lug.

Edw, Hoffman #561xxx

The same thing happened to me when I was a Brig Turnkey aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. Late one night an officer entered the brig, I looked up and recognized the ships Chaplin. The Chaplin was checking on the prisoners, I had talked to him before, and he was a low key person. Due to this I did not stand to attention when he entered the brig, big mistake, he spent the next 5 minutes chewing my asz out. Lesson learned!

John M. Hunter
Marine Detachment
USS FRD 1967-1968


Although it is nice to receive recognition for our service, I sometimes can't help but smile and recall the booming response from Sgt. Butler every time one of the recruits made the mistake of saying thank you. "Don't Thank Me, The Government Thanks Me Twice A Month!" The Corps was our destiny, it's a Marine thing.

Frank Johansson


"I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
--Thomas Jefferson

"Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat."
--RAdm. "Jay" R. Stark, USN; 10 November 1995

"They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or we'll blow you away." And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, "Igaralli ahow," which means "Excuse me, I didn't mean it, my mistake."
--Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991

"drop it... and you die by squat thrusts!"

"zero dark thirty - rise and shine hit the deck leatherneck grab your boots 'n socks get in your trousers bail out of that rack make your mark for the day!"

"I eat concertina wire and p-ss napalm, and I can shoot a round through a flea's asz at 300 yards."
--Gunny Highway, Heart Break Ridge

"A toast to our Country, a toast to our fallen, a toast to our past, a toast to our present and a toast to our future... and a toast to Chesty, wherever you are!"

God Bless the American Dream!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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