I want to thank Lynn Lam and everyone at Sgt. Grit for all their great help and assistance with ordering the custom stickers for our light covers on our buggy. My husband is very pleased with how well the USMC Marine Corps stickers have dressed up our buggy. Once I cut them out and put them on they look awesome! Here are some pictures.
Want to get something designed that is Marine Corps related and unique to you? Call Lynn our Custom Order Specialist and let her make your idea a reality! Call her toll free at: (888) 668-1775 ext. 108, or at (405) 261-0808.
To pick one thing the Corps taught me is tough.
5. Obey Orders
6. Wise azs
It's hard picking one above the others and I know I've left off other traits to choose from, but I have had the American flag and the USMC flag flying off my front porch since the 80's and I think back a lot about my 4 years in the Corps from '61 to '65 and my kids always want to hear other stories of my time in the Marines good or bad (mostly good). So, I've asked them the same question and the vote came in with what I would have chosen:
Semper Fi my brother's and sister's!
L/Cpl J.T. Lacey
2533 NGF 10th MarDiv '63-'65
I was just reading the Sgt. Grit newsletter ( Aug. 15, 2013 ). "Camp Hauge". I was with M-4-12 in '59-'60, and the name Sgt Major Richard R. "Big Red" Ebert was talked about. Fourth Battalion 12th Marines was the worst Battalion in the 3rd Marine Division, no discipline, crappy attitude. You name it, we were famous for doing it.
I was on guard duty at the Batt. Hq. one night, (acting Cpl. Of the guard) the Sgt. of the guard told me that I had to go and wake our new Batt. Sgt. Major, at 04:30, and don't be late. He emphasized the "Don't Be Late Part". At 04:15 I got in the duty jeep and headed for the S/NCO quarters. At precisely 04:30 I started to knock on the hatch, I heard this foghorn of a voice informing me he was already up. In about two minutes this huge man step out the hatch (he scared the cr-p out of me). I was standing by the jeep and I started to get in on the driver's side, but Top in his foghorn voice informed me he would drive. That was the first time I met Sgt. Major "Big Red" Ebert. I knew that things were about to change in 4th Battalion, 12th Marines, and boy that was an under-statement.
A few week later I was duty driver for the Battalion HQ. I had just returned from Kadena Air Force base, where I picked up two brand spanking new butter bars. We had just pulled up to the Bn. HQ, and I was helping with all the gear. Here comes "Big Red" and with the smarts of a ROCK this brand spanking new 2nd Lt. Says, "Hey! Top don't you salute officers?" I just about sh-t. The Sgt. Major turned and with his "FOGHORN" voice, and informed the Lt. that when he got as many of these on his sleeve as he had he would salute him. He was pointing to his hash marks. And he just walked away. That was Sgt. Major Richard R. "Big Red "Ebert.
You'll Make It
What is the one thing being in the Corps taught me. To constantly strive to be better tomorrow than I am today.
After 1 week at PI in Jan '66... I knew there was no way I would become a Marine; I didn't have what it takes. I must have lost between 30-40 pounds in one week in Fat Body. My D.I.s screamed at me so loud, and hard that I nearly drowned from the sweat off their brows. Running up & down the flights of stairs so much that I had to use a mop bucket to get up all my sweat. My gut became rock hard from the "short shots" by Sgts Jones and Petty. But, the day at the pool, when under orders to swim and not stop... I swam till I sunk to the bottom, and Sgt Petty pulled me out and said... "you'll make it". And I have been making it ever since.
Before the Army, I was in the Virginia Army Nat Guard, 276th Combat Engineers and made rank fast because I completed every job I was given... and I turned down OCS 3 times; I was NCOIC of demolitions, and having a BLAST!
In Army Basic at Ft Knox (TANKS) they made me an Asst. DI when an SFC was taken off status for 30 days for slapping a recruit; I took over the worst platoon in the company... in 30 days I gave that SFC back the BEST Platoon in the company. They marched like Marines and they followed orders without question, and I was respected by all the other Real DIs.
I am 100 percent Service Connected Disabled P&T... and I thank the Lord I am a Marine, I am educated because even though I am a high school dropout, I completed college, because I am a Marine.
In '97 - '98, I attempted suicide a few times... couldn't seem to do that right though. My oldest son just became a Chiropractor and the youngest works in oil leases, because I instilled in them to succeed. And I wake up every morning happy that I kept passing out before pulling the trigger.
I have more friends than I can count; and in 1986, 56 members of the MCL gave me the name 'RAMBO'... because I am a Marine in good standing and can complete any job given me.
I need to thank my Senior DI SSGT Martin, Sgts Jones and Petty for showing me I did/do have what it takes.
Mark H. " RAMBO " Gallant Sr.
USMC '66 - '69... Chu Lai '68... L/Cpl
VA Army Nat Guard... '75 - '79... Sgt
US Army '80 - '82... Sgt
Semper Fi to all
Make Sgt Grit your one stop shop for all of your Uniform Supplies such as medals, ribbons, and mounts. Mounting orders may take up to 7-10 business days to ship.
Rocket And Mortar
To Vic DeLeon
I hate to disillusion you but Airwing duty was not what a Grunt's idea might be great duty, it was dirty, greasy, smelly, loud and just generally uncomfortable duty. Yes, we had hooches and cold showers, but we worked 12 on 12 off 7 days a week, of the 13 months I was there I never got R & R and only 7 or 10 days off, never together and sometimes got pulled in to work on those days. There were also rocket and mortar attacks sporadically so getting a goodnight's sleep amongst flight ops was a rarity. I guess to a grunt in the field that might have been great duty, but to the airdale it was just hard, dirty work that went on day after day. The Airwing was not as generous with R & R or off duty days as the grunt divisions were.
Former Airwing L/Cpl Brown
April '68 - May '69 at Chu Lai and Da Nang
I was in Washington D.C. the weekend of August 3, 2013, for my niece's wedding. I went to the various memorials with my son and his wife. At the Iwo Jima memorial we were there at the right time. A bunch of Marines of all ranks and grades showed up to promote a Staff Sergeant to Gunny. I introduced myself as a 1966 Vietnam, E5, 0311 Marine. They called me a "Trigger Puller". I liked that. They then requested that I participate in the promotion ceremony. What an honor. Once a Marine, Always a Marine.
3/26 I Company
CAP PAPA 2/4
I was station at Naval powder factory Indian Head, Maryland, 1953 to 1954. I seem to recall a village outside the main gate. I don't recall any bars at that time. I thought it was a dry county. We had to go to the next town to drink.
I was stationed on Okinawa 1955 and 1956. We were in Quonset huts on I think the north end of the island. In the typhoon season we had to put wooden pallets down to walk from one hut to the next. We stayed there for five or six months. They then moved us to Sukerran on the Army base. I remember some of the villages we pulled Cinderella liberty in and some of the alleys, if you remember. I was with How Company, Third Battalion, 9th Marines. I tried to find my old company, but it no longer exist. Sign of the time I guess.
Former Sgt of Marines
Brief Exchange Of Fire
The company (Golf, 2/5) had been humping the bush for a few days and was getting short on supplies. So we set up a CP and defensive positions in this tree line so that the CO could call in resupply coppers. Once we were told that it was "in-bound", my Platoon Lt. volunteered a couple of us to off load the thing. The first one came in and kicked up a lot of dirt, pebbles, and anything else that happen to be on the ground. I know y'all know what I'm talking about. Anyways, (beings Marines) we decided to protect ourselves from this onslaught of debris by holding up a sheet of plastic from the first supply copper. Well it worked just great until the second copper suddenly took off before we could get the supplies off. Again, being Marines that we are, we started using our new words that we had learned since Boot Camp. Then all of sudden we heard that different sound that an AK-47 makes (crackâ€”crackâ€”crack). Apparently, a VC sniper thought it would be a good idea to shoot us while we were just standing there yelling behind that sheet of plastic. Any Olympic coach would have been impressed by how fast we ran and how far we jumped in order to get into that always present bomb crater. After a brief exchange of fire, the VC must have ran out of ammo or decided that we were too difficult to hit because they broke off the firefight and left.
You never appreciate a bomb crater until you need a bath, need to cool down, need to fill up your canteen, or a quick defensive position. The good news was that the VC didn't qualify during boot camp or that day, and of course the bomb crater was dry. I just realized, I don't remember anyone trying to tell us about the sniper shooting at us. I guess they figured that that sheet of plastic would protect us from "everything".
Robert H. Bliss,
Former Marine Sgt.
3 Inch Spikes
When I was stationed at Hunters Point naval Station right after the end of WWII. As our duty was mainly gate sentries. I noticed some not too glaring differences with the uniforms of the Marines stationed there for some time. The Green trousers had "Spikes" 3 inch spikes in the trouser leg bottoms which gave a slight bell bottom look. The pockets were sewed shut (Marine Green trousers at the time had only front pockets), shirts were pressed with three creases in the back and two in front. The barracks cap had the twist so that it dipped on the sides and looked almost flared in the front with a spit shined bill and only barracks caps were worn on duty.
Shoes had an additional 1/2 to 3/4 inch on the soles, with horse shoe cleats on the heels. The shoes were spit shined and bright, woe be it unto any Sailor that stepped on the Marines shoes whether accident or not. Holsters were spit shined and the duty belts had been soaked in Salt until they were almost white. Blues were issued for Burial details and ceremonial purposes. The blouse was taken to a tailor shop in San Francisco where the buttons were taken off and gold plated, (we paid for all this on our $50 a month salary), with small clips mounted on the back of the buttons. The button places on the blouse were stitched holes where the buttons could be removed and polished as need be. White belts were scrubbed till they were white as were the Barracks cap covers. Each Marine was issued 2 pairs of gloves and they were scrubbed white. Uniform trousers were starched inside at the crease with a starch mixed by hand and smoothed on the inside of the crease (this ended when too many trousers were being surveyed with the front creases worn through). All uniforms could be surveyed if damaged or worn so Marines used them and kept them clean to a degree until they were to be surveyed.
Dungaree jackets were worn outside until (it was reported that General Leroy P. Hunt's wife thought Marines would look neater with the jacket tucked inside the trousers) and we tucked the jackets in as required. The Commandant came around (or tried to) every year, when he came to Hunters Point and the Marines came to attention. They smacked their heels and snapped up to empress the Commandant.
Another interesting thing about Hunters Point Naval Station was when WWII started they needed more room to enlarge the base so they took over several hundred feet of land in front of the front gate. Now before they took over the land there were two bars or so called houses of ill repute, which had to be moved outside the new confines of the base, they moved to a space on the road outside the base and retained their names. Now the old buildings that they had occupied were then used as the Base Police station and the Marine Guard House. On the ground floor of the Guard house was the Corporal of the Guards Desk and the Supernumerary's post in the front of the building and the rear of the ground floor was the Guard Quarters with bunks. On the second deck were the quarters for the Officers and Staff NCO's of the Guard. Each room was a crib from the old house and were just what you would expect, about 10 foot square, I don't remember just how many rooms were up on the second deck, but it was quite a few for the size.
GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired
On October 10, 1966, over 700 Officer Candidates stepped off the buses at Quantico, VA into the welcoming arms of the equivalent of Boot Camp Drill Instructors to begin the 42nd Officer Candidate's Course. Ten weeks later, approximately 500 were commissioned 2nd Lieutenants. Because of the "needs of the Marine Corps", 144 of those Lieutenants were sent directly to Pensacola for flight training vice The Basic School where all Lieutenants are supposed to be trained to be infantry Platoon commanders. The remainder were divided into the three companies, Golf, Hotel and India of The Basic School Class of 4-67.
Fast forward to October, 2013 when services will be held to dedicate two memorials to the 44 members of that class who fell in Vietnam over the next three years. Eleven of these were aviators from those who went directly to Pensacola and another thirty-three from TBS 4-67. The idea to place these memorials was conceived in early 2012, just prior to the 45th reunion of the class of TBS 4-67 and a request for funding these memorials was sent out to its members. As this goal was reached, there came the realization that instead of a memorial for only 33 of our TBS 4-67 classmates, that the true forging of a Lieutenant of Marines was during the ten weeks of the 42nd OCC, not The Basic School. After some extensive research, we identified the 144 Lieutenants who went directly to flight training and when compared against the names on The Vietnam Wall, we further identified the eleven who were killed, bringing the total to 44.
As planning continued to design and emplace these two memorials, a bronze plaque already in place at the Marine Corps Museum (see attached photo) and a granite monument at The Basic School (will be completed this month), it was further realized that while our 44 classmates have made the supreme sacrifice, it was the families left behind that should know we had not forgotten that sacrifice. Literally hundreds of hours were spent on the computer and telephone tracking down every clue from casualty reports, cemetery records, and other rather novel ideas. We were successful in locating 41 of the 44 families. Over 70 of those family members will attend the services, including 10 from one family and eight from another; another 70 or so of our classmates will also attend. Every immediate family member, child, widow, parent or sibling will receive a personalized plaque similar to the one that was designed for Lt. Cullinan (also attachment) either at the ceremony or mailed to them.
A Trade Was Made
Recent issues have had articles relative to Marines at Lejeune going to the circle for the purpose of getting a ride to different places up and down the East Coast and used the term "swooping". I was in 2/8 from Oct '61 to Oct '62, and while I went to the circle every weekend I could I don't remember ever hearing that term. One writer mentioned that the circle was near the Gym. I had forgotten about the Gym, but I do remember that the circle was to the rear (east) of the 2/8 area and near the outdoor theatre so I'm sure we are talking about the same area.
One of the things I remember is that most of the guys would be heading to "The City" as if New York was the only city. Those guys would turn down or accept rides based upon which street the driver was going down whereas I wanted to go to the Nashville, TN area. My normal ride was with Roger Sovine (son of the singer Red Sovine) but on those weekends when he wasn't off I was happy to get a ride as far as Knoxville which was only 190 miles short of where I was going. On those weekends I would get out at the Knoxville Greyhound station and ride a bus home. Sometimes I would only have a one way ride, but would go back to the same place on Sunday afternoon as drivers who were short a rider or two would stop by to pick-up the extra $5. For some reason I went back thru Atlanta one weekend with another guy and the meeting place there was a large service station across from the Varsity Grill which was and is next to the Georgia Tech campus. Made many a trip during that time and never was late checking in. That however was more to luck than planning.
My most memorable trip occurred sometime in late summer '62 and I had received a longer pass for firing sharpshooter. Got up to the circle around 0800 and figured I would be there the rest of the day looking for a ride going to TN. To my surprise the first vehicle I saw was an old Station Wagon with Nashville, TN plates. I remember it was knocking quite a bit but the driver assured me that the louder it knocked the better time he made. We got as far as Rockingham (I think) North Carolina when it threw a rod. We coasted into a filling station which had an old car setting out front that the owner wanted $85 for. Oil gauge didn't work but we were assured that the pressure was OK. Anyway, a trade was made and we only lost about 60 minutes on the trip. Made it to Nashville with only one flat, and once the driver had to get out and tie the hood down with his belt. It was a one way trip as the driver had Leave rather than just a weekend so I don't know how long he was able to keep it running.
I forget what the mileage limit was for a weekend pass, but it was a heck of a lot shorter than what most of us traveled. In my case it was 700 miles one-way. I remember that at morning formation one Friday that the Company Gunny or 1st Sgt reminded everyone of the limit. Told us that if we did go beyond the limit to try and get back within "bounds" before we called in and not do as a couple of "idiots" had done the week before and call in from Canada. Those were the NCOs who remembered what it was to be a young Marine and wanted to help you stay out of trouble.
In thinking back I don't recall myself or any of the other guys I knew having anything but good experiences on those trip. Everyone was in the same boat and we all took care of each other.
The Whole Point
I was a PFC stationed at Kaneohe MCAS from '61 to '63. A PFC didn't make enough money to buy a car back in those days, so the only way to get to Honolulu for liberty call was in a taxi cab. The taxi cab was actually a fleet of used hearses owned and operated by a local civilian company that provided exclusive, non-stop, round-trip service over the Pali mountain to Honolulu. Only 50 cents, the cab/hearse held nine guys and didn't leave until it was full. It left from the ball field behind the barracks, drove through the Pali tunnel, and stopped on Beretania Street in old Honolulu.
Now, Beretania street was only a block away from Hotel Street, our first introduction to the pleasures of the South Pacific. Of course most of us didn't go much farther. We knew it as sh-t street back then. It was a street right out of "From Here To Eternity". Old two story, wooden buildings with bars on the ground floor and dance halls or massage parlors on the second floors. Filled with Sailors and Marines on weekend liberty and patrolled by teams of HASP, Hawaiian Armed Services Police, in jackboots and billy clubs. There was the Singapore Bar with the King ballroom upstairs. The King ballroom had a Filipino brass band providing music and Filipino girls providing fifty cent dances. I spent fifteen bucks there one night in about ten minutes before I realized that the band only played two bars of a song before going to the next fifty cent song.
Then there was the Hubba Hubba Club where Gina the Italian volcano danced. Gina was a stripper with long red hair. She was married to a Honolulu cop who she shot one night in her dressing room. Another night on sh-t, I thought I'd get my fortune told by a gypsy who had a table in a doorway on the street. I wasn't as much interested in my fortune as I was in the gypsy, who had a low cut dress and lovely decolletage, not to mention a tattoo and a gold tooth with a silver star mounted on it that she flashed when she smiled. So, I popped in to have my palm read. Somehow she found out I was from New Jersey. She told me my girlfriend was waiting for me back home then she told me there was a terrible snow storm in Newark and people were starving. She pointed to a can with a slot in the top on a little table and told me to put money in there for the poor people in Newark. "Wait a minute", says I, "I might be dumb, but I'm not stupid", and I got up and walked through the curtains, back out on the street. She came running after me, shaking her fist, yelling "I put a hex on you, you gonna be a big crook. You gonna be another Al Capone." All because I didn't donate to the poor people in Newark. Well, I never had the luck to be another Al Capone so I guess gypsy fortunes are not what they seem to be. But I did get a good peek at that decolletage, which was the whole point.
We had a S/Sgt who was picked for 2nd Lt., and a Gunny who was promised M/Sgt if he extended for another 4 years - Gunny retired - so 2nd Loo was OIC in charge of warehouse where I worked - I was a Cpl and complained that everyone had a title except me? We got requisitions for supplies to the warehouse and some came addressed to us as our name went on the completed requisitions with our rank. Soon I got memos and requisitions to my attention with the title NCOICON??? I asked Lt. Miller what is this ? Your new title "sweets" - Non Commissioned Officer In Charge Of Nothing "Bender!"
He was a funny, sarcastic guy, but a lot of laughs. We had deliveries from people for cash - paid out of Imprest Fund - cash kept on hand in safe, and in a locked drawer in safe. Also, we had firearms at the warehouse - Lt. had a .45 in his desk and a shoulder holster. One driver, a wise azs D.C. punk with an attitude and a short nasty temper, mouthed off to the Lt. He pulled a switchblade and told him, "I will cut your azs up." Lt. ran in office from warehouse, got the .45 and released the slide and ran back into loading dock and pointed the .45 at the punk and said, "how would you like another asshole?" The Gunny turned white and looked like he was going to faint - I was laughing my azs off and Sgt Collins a real nice southerner from North Carolina did not look like his brain was absorbing what was transpiring?
I found out after I was discharged that the 2nd Lt. and the Sgt both were guarding the Pearly Gates, as both of them passed at young ages. I still e-mail the Gunny and another Marine who is slow to responded to my e-mails. I hope that the others I served with in the Corps have the ability to live to a ripe old age and find peace and happiness after the 1960 to 1970 era of the forgotten War!
Cpl. Bruce Bender
I have Platoon books that I have found and have bought. I collect them and give them back to who ever has lost theirs by flood, ex-wife, or fire. So far I have return 6 Platoon books to Marine and still have 138 Books left.
My email for them is marinecorps1955[at]yahoo.com. I have information on our site about how to find their books. I would like to find them a home.
William E. Pilgrim Jr.
U.S.M.C. '72 TO '81
The Parris Island, S.C. Books I have on hand are:
Platoons 3056, 3057, 3058, May 18, 1999 to Aug. 5, 1999.
Platoons 4040 & 4041 Oct. 4, 2000 to Dec. 22, 2000 (Women Platoons).
Platoons 3108, 3109, 3110, Sept. 25, 2001 to Dec. 14, 2001.
Platoons 2084, 2085, 2086, July 10, 2001 to Oct. 5, 2001.
Platoons 4024 & 4025 May 21, 2002 to Aug. 9, 2002 (Women Platoons).
Platoons 1088 , 1089, 1090, August 10, 2004 to Oct. 29, 2004.
Platoons 3012, 3013, 3014 Nov.12, 2006 to Feb. 9, 2007.
The San Diego, C.A. books I have on hand are:
Platoons 3069, 3070, 3071, May 1, 2001 to July 20, 2001.
Platoons 3049, 3050, 3051, Sept. 26, 2006 to Dec. 15, 2006.
This is the final release of Platoon Books that Mr. Pilgrim has in his possession. If you missed out on one or more of the releases, please feel free to email Mr. Pilgrim at: marinecorps1955[at]yahoo.com.
Hub Of The Wheel
To Ed Giddings, Sergeant of Marines: Oorah and Semper Fi brother! It's great to hear about other young NCOs having to deal with boot officers. I'm sure every NCO has had their fair share of run-ins with wet-behind-the-ears butter bars. Obviously that young Lieutenant was asleep the day they taught the lesson about who is the backbone of the Marine Corps. Even the Commandant knows the Marine NCO is the hub of the wheel. We take all the crap from "on high" and translate it into common sense English, and then make sure it gets done. Everyone knows the orders I'm referring too. The ones that start at the General then get mutilated as it's passed down the line by the "gentrified" officer corps, only to eventually land on the desk of the 1stSgt, where finally it's communicated to the ears of the NCO. Needless to say, the order has lost something in the many translations. But fear not, the NCO will manage to interpret the original meaning and see to it that the mission is completed. Not always "by the book," but the mission is always accomplished.
Question: What's the difference between a 2nd Lt and a PFC?
Answer: The PFC got promoted... once.
And lastly, to all our Vietnam era brothers: Welcome home and thank you for your service.
'78 - '84
Toys For Tots
Semper fi, Sgt. Grit,
This is an urgent call for service. The last Marine unit (Stead) in the Reno area was pulled out this summer. The responsibility for the Toys For Tots program now falls to the Marine Corps League; the Battle Born Det. #672.
There are a few younger Marines in our detachment who served in the Middle East, but most of us are Vietnam Era or earlier: i.e. older guys. We have Marines who served with Chesty in Korea and even a few WWII vets. The Toys For Tots is a big program, and frankly, we could use some more bodies to help handle the immense project. We need any Marine vets living in the Reno area (Washoe County) to step up and contribute to the project. Docs (Navy corpsmen who served with the Marines are also welcome - our current Chaplain is a Doc.)
Not only do we have the Toys For Tots this year, but we also maintain the Marine exhibit at the Veteran's Mem. Cemetery in Fernley, support the Devil Pups Program (youth fitness, leadership & guidance), the Fisher House, our Scholarship program, meet and greet service men and women returning from overseas and other programs for Marine vets and all vets.
Most importantly now, is the Toys For Tots. The Marines have always handled the project and done so admirably. Let's make sure no one can say the Marine Corps let the kids of Reno down this year!
My E-mail address is - wreed47[at]charter.net, and my home phone is 775-852-4432 if you are interested or have any questions.
E-4 Cpl. 1966-'69
Nam - '68-'69
Pride And Honor In The Corps
2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines
Messages from the CO
28 October 2009
Sometime tonight our first main body flight should be departing Manas Air Force Base in Kyrgyzstan in route to Hawaii. They will be followed, hopefully in short order, by the remainder of our main body flights as we return home. We are making every effort to communicate with our personnel in Kaneohe to provide as up to the minute information as possible regarding flight manifests and times. Occasionally higher priority missions result in reassignments or flight changes, please be assured that we will make every effort to get that information to Kaneohe for distribution as quickly as possible.
This is a bit of an odd update I'm afraid. It isn't my intention to talk about Afghanistan or our mission here, but instead to address just what incredible men your Marines and Sailors are. I doubt that I will ever be able to express the extent of the respect and admiration I have for your loved ones in this Battalion. I can use words like dedication, courage, honor, but in the end words don't quite cut it. So let me tell you what I have seen:
I saw a LCpl bring in his buddy's gear following a horrible IED strike and practically beg to go back out so he could get back in the fight. I saw a Marine leaning out over the edge of a roof in the middle of a firefight, leaving himself in the open purposefully in order to tempt an enemy RPG shooter to break cover in order to end him. I've seen numerous Marines standing a lonely post in the pre-dawn hours, keeping watch carefully and correctly even though no one would know if they cut a corner, but doing it right because they were responsible for their buddies' lives. I watched a Sailor calmly grab his gear and run out in the open to a casualty who needed him, he never asked "How bad is he hurt?" or "How much enemy fire is there?", the only thing he asked was "Where's the casualty?" then he went. Because Corpsmen always come when they are needed, always.
I watched 19 and 20 year old men, who a mere few years before were undoubtedly typical self-centered teenagers, earnestly try to make a young child who has only known poverty and war smile. I even saw a very imposing Marine in this Battalion who, frankly, scares the heck out of me, see a little girl off to the side of a group of kids with nothing in her hands so he very seriously went around saying "Somebody give me a teddy-bear, who has a F-ing teddy bear?" until he found one and presented it to her. The only person there with a bigger smile than the little girl was the Marine. He then went right back to chewing on his squad to keep their dispersion and move faster.
I watched FST medical personnel try every desperate measure to keep a good Marine with us, to the point of opening his chest and massaging his heart for what seemed like an interminable time. At the same time I saw a line of Marines and Sailors and Soldiers forming outside to donate blood, we had enough donors to transfuse all of Hannibal's elephants but they all wanted to do something and at that time the only thing they could do was give some of their blood.
I watched an NCO very patiently sum up all the complex nuances of counter-insurgency warfare to a young Marine while both were being pummeled with stones and physically knocking intruders off our wall from a mob threatening to breach the walls of our police station; "They want us to shoot them, so then they can make us all look like bad guys." So we didn't shoot, even though we had more than sufficient justification, and in the end what could have been a horrible incident broadcast around the world actually became a positive as the locals started talking about the restraint of "their Marines" and became angry with the rioters for their "un-Islamic" behavior.
I watched a Marine, with excruciating slowness and superhuman patience, lead an Afghan Policeman through a patrol brief. And I saw the pride in the ANP officer's face when he lead his patrol out the entry control point, in his town and in front of his people, with the Marines trailing along behind in case he needed some help. I also saw an Afghan Policeman's face when I told him that the Marines thought highly of him and had told me that "Spider" (his nickname) was a good guy to have alongside you in a fight. He sputtered a little bit then said something short and stared at me very intensely, the linguist told me "He says he is just so very proud that the US Marines think that". Once Spider was sure that I understood that he meant it, he strutted away like he had just won the world's highest honor. And perhaps he had.
I know that for the rest of my life I will cherish this period in which I had the honor to spend my days among such incredible men. And I know that it has been your sacrifices that have made it possible. I thank you for allowing me this time with your loved ones.
We are coming home.
All I Can Say
Sometime in Oct. of '66, I had the pleasure of attending Regimental Schools under Hiram Walker. He was a Captain at the time. His job was to get Marines back in shape. He was a strange and funny fellow and could out run most of us. He got me back in shape and ready for staging battalion. Soon I was on the way to Vietnam. Served with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines '66 through '67 and the last Company Commander I served under was Captain Joe Gibbs. Several years later Joe Gibbs and I had a conversation about Mr. Walker, and come to find out they roomed together. All I can say is Mr. Walker was a MARINE because he wanted to be one.
Santos Juan Salinas
Enjoyed The Outing
A Little Walk With The USS Curtiss AV-4 Atomic Marines.
When we were on operation Castle one day the Marines took a walk around an island while we were waiting for the atomic testing. Seeing the Marines do not have a Corpsman or Dental Corpsman. I was a DT3. A SGT Murphy that we were friends asked me a day or two before if I would be their Corpsman for the day. I asked my Dental Officer if I could and he said okay. Be sure to wear my right shoes. I packed my First Aid Kit and drew a Canteen. So I was a Fleet Marine for one day. I really enjoyed the outing. The Marines in that march on the Island were all in good shape. I did not have to use my First aid kit at all that day. I also made some good Marine friends. I must say also the Marines sure were loaded down a lot more than I was with just my First Aid Kit and Canteen.
B. Bruce Snider, President
USS Curtiss AV-4 Association
Former DT3 USN
What Marines Do At The Beach
Funny Marine Corps Stories
From the Sgt Grit Facebook Page.
Donovan C. Weik: Back in '03, we had a MGySgt Brickman that at the time had been in for like 30 years already and was the reason for the incredibly high cutting scores in Heavy Equipment. He was crusty as h-ll and always walked around in his skin tight chocolate chip cammies from Desert Storm in his hard hat, while carrying invisible briefcases. His entire job description was to drink coffee and f-ck w/ junior Marines. After this went on for a few months, the invasion and war in Iraq was deemed "over" by President Bush. Our group General, BGen Coleman came to our camp to give us a big pep talk a few days later. As a couple buddies and I were trying to get thru the crowd to get to our PLT's formation, we encountered MGySgt Brickman on a mission to do the same thing. He was hoopin' and hollerin', "move your f-cking aszes, devildogs!" After making his way thru a bit, he came to a short, black Marine and from behind him, Master Guns yelled "devildog, you better move your azs!" At that time, that Marine turned around and revealed that he was BGen Coleman. He told Master Guns to learn his rank structure and popped his color at him. Then surprisingly, Master Guns simply chuckled as he looked him up and down, then called the BGen a devildog again as he went around him. BGen Coleman stood there looking shocked... as were we. It was one of the craziest things I ever saw... MGySgt Brickman just didn't give a flying f-ck at that point in his career! Yut!
Jeff Underwood: This other recruit was coming out of the shower with nothing but a b-tt towel and flip flops, when in walks the Company Commander. I never seen him, because I was facing the other direction, but I had seen the recruit out of the corner of my eye. Immediately the recruit snaps to and salutes the CO, announcing "Attention on deck!" The CO was about to salute, when the young Marines' towel falls off. Lol. The CO raises his hand and says, "bahh". With a hand sign for the recruit to F-ck off! Funniest thing ever.
Mark Jennings: Here's one for you. Let's see should I start this "Once upon a time" or "Listen up this is a No sh-tter"? Well there I was a young hard charging Lance Corporal and I come diddy boppin out of the chow hall with my field jacket unzipped, left hand in my pocket and smoking a cigarette with my right hand... for some reason I did not have my BC (Birth Control) glasses on... and I failed to notice that the Marine approaching me was not only wearing some hardware on his collar he was wearing a star... the ADC. Well needless to say he had already seen my ragity azs slimin' down the sidewalk... I however was rapidly trying to unF-ck myself (square my sh-t away)... and render a proper salute... BGen Bain McClintock proceeded to chew me a new azsh-le... Having my nomenclature he proceeded to dismiss me with words to the effect that this was not the last I would hear of my indiscretion... I got to the shop and the OIC wasn't around. I start working and after 15 or 20 minutes he walked into my office.... and I quote.... "Lance Corporal Jennings... I don't know exactly what you did to p-ss off the General but please don't ever do it again" and he walked out. That was the last I heard about it... I fully expected to get at least an Article 15... maybe even a summary courts martial... never heard another word... Needless to say I squared my sh-t away and reenlisted... went to Barracks duty then Okinawa... SOI Camp Pendleton... Overseas again... HQMC... you get the picture... Thank You General McClintock and Lieutenant R. C. Meckel.
Craig Bowden: My favorite was when I was a team leader and our LT was riding along on a mission.
Normally I did the navigating for the squad since I was in charge of the lead Humvee. Well, our LT in his college brilliance decided he'd take the reins.
We were old school at the time (no blue force tracker & gps not issued so it was mass map & compass).
He couldn't figure out how we kept ending up so far from checkpoints.
Finally, I had enough & spoke up.
"Excuse me sir."
"Well sir, the compass is magnetic correct?"
"Well sir, the Humvee is made out of metal. It would work better if you stepped out to get your reading."
Silence the rest of the patrol.
I was stationed there in 1972/73. Shortly thereafter it was turned over to the local government and turned into housing. My last tour on Oki was 1991 and there was nothing remaining of Camp Hauge.
SgtMaj Carlton USMC/retired
I arrived at Camp Hauge, and joined 1st CommSuptCo, Hdqts. Bn., 3rdMarDiv on 8/18/64. At that time, Camp Hague was all WWII Quonset huts... personnel, chow hall, company offices, etc. Eight days later, I transferred to shipboard duty on board the WWII USS George Clymer APA-27. On 9/3/64, I transferred to the USS El Dorado AGC-11, and joined the 9th MEB. On 8/2/64, the Gulf of Tonkin incident took place. On 1/10/65, we proceeded to Subic Bay, P.I., boarded a C-130, returned to Camp Hauge, (the Quonset huts were still there), and began loading up the 3rdMarDiv for Vietnam.
s/ Dennis D. Krause
Per Mr. Kennedy's submission in the Aug. 15th newsletter, Camp Hauge was the staging area for those headed for Viet Nam in the early years so I can only assume that's where we stopped for three days on the way over in August of 1965. Does anyone know if transit barracks for those returning from Viet Nam in 1966 (August again) was also at Camp Hauge? If not, where was the transit barracks? Was there only one area for returning Marines? That information was flushed from my memory shortly after I got back so now that I want to remember, any help would be appreciated.
And which camp was 2nd ITR at Pendleton in 1962? Was it Camp San Onofre? That kinda sounds right to these aged brain cells.
Kudos to - A Former "Hat" - GySgt, USMC, (Ret) - I've said for years that your Marine Corps is different from My Marine Corps. Everyone's Marine Corps experience differs depending on - When you were in - Who you were with - Where you were stationed. Sometimes in small ways, sometimes in very large ways, the Marine Corps has changed over the years. Some changes were subtle, others not so much. It's silly to insist that you are correct, everyone conform to your Marine Corps experience and anyone who doesn't fit your criteria for a tour of duty in the Corps is a poser. So Semper Fi Mac. No, Semper Fidelis Mac. No, Gung Ho. No, Ooh Rah Devil Dog. Aww jeez. Just pick one will ya.
In response to newsletter of Aug.14th you have answered a question for me that has been on my mind for 55 years... After reading the letter from Gy. Sgt/CWO/Capt. Ret'd Sam Gordon I now have the answer to my question... While serving with K/4/12th Marines at Camp Hauge in 1957/58 we were called on to build a tent city across from Camp Hauge after we were told another outfit would be coming in soon... When we started it was nothing more than a dirt field with coral underneath... We set to work with jack hammers building roads, laying water lines, and putting up electrical lines... once it was finished we started setting up all the tents... We just called it tent city... No idea who was coming to move in... The worst part was soon after it was finished a huge Typhoon came in and blew away all the tents, blew down electric lines and leveled the whole place...
Before the tent city could be rebuilt it was time for me to rotate back to the States and for all these years I've wondered if it ever got rebuilt and what unit moved in, and what the base was called... And thanks to Gy. Sgt. Sam Gordon I now know it was rebuilt, and it was the 9th Marines who moved in, and it was called West Camp Hauge... When he said it was a mud hole I know exactly what he means... While we were building it was hot, humid and muddy most of the time... So thank you for answering a question I've wondered about for all these years...
Howard W. Kennedy
K/4/12th Marines '57/'58
If anyone should have pictures of the old West Camp Hauge I'd sure love to see them...
Riverside county... know that area, can be rough terrain... the bros got their work cut out for them... gonna be some nasty flooding if they get heavy rain this winter... once got rolled out of bed by a phone call from my Col boss, director of logistics, etc. at the stumps, with directions to round up as many dozers and operators as I could, and get our young b-tts to Palm Springs toot de sweety... six dozers (most from SP Arty batteries, one or two from our resident 7th Eng. Bn Co). and off we went... 9 operators, and my Gunny and me... met up with our liaison, a PS cop, in the wee hours, and wound up at the foot of Frank Sinatra Drive... close by the wastewater plant. (due to posse commitatus, we could only help with public property... and that sucker was about to wash away due to rain up on San Jac)... jumped the first dozer off the lowboy, asked the cop if it would be OK if we pushed up a dirt berm to unload the rest... OK by him, so, "Gunny... make it happen!"... first pass in the sand cut a buried 400 pair telephone cable... we worked the next 32 hours straight, pushing wet sand back up against the banks of the perc ponds... fuel came from a contractor's oiler truck... driver thereof kept a couple sixpacks in his Igloo jugs... our dozers were Euclids and Terex's... the real cat-skinners working in the same creek with their D-8's and '9s wanted to know where we got 'them doodle bugs'... thing was, ours couldn't move as much on a push, but they backed up twice as fast, so even with inexperienced operators vs. pros, we were holding up our end... we eventually got things more or less under control, and were taken to a Travel Lodge that had a Denny's attached... the Mayor of PS met us, told the duty manager to "feed'em"... I took him aside, warned him that these were 18 and 19 year old land sharks, and if steak and lobster was on the menu, they'd order two a piece... fine by him... we got some sleep, went back to work. The wastewater plant manager saw our presence as a chance to get some of his dry perc ponds cleared of brush... and I figured that would be good practice for our 'skinners' (and quickly proved to all and sundry that wearing oak leaves don't make you a skilled operator)... one of these ponds was said to have a major electrical line running under it, but it was said to be well buried and capped with 18" of concrete... it wasn't... we managed to knock out the power to about half of the south side of Palm Springs... including an ice cream plant... one of the more interesting weeks of my peacetime Corps time... And we all got 'attaboy' letters from the civilian powers that be a few weeks later... BTW... there are two things that will survive the trip through sewers and waste water treatment plants... one of those is Tampax applicators... and the other is tomato seeds... am told that most percolation ponds will have 'volunteer' tomato plants growing on the banks... This was 1979 or thereabouts...
P.S. the Gunny was MSGT Robert Anderson, USMC Ret, last seen as NCOIC RSS Bakersfield, and a classic... usually about two days ahead of me... "Gunny, we need to (do,X,Y, Z)... usual answer was "took care of that two days ago, Major..." would love to hear from him... wife's name was Bernice, (from memory...) B B, of K/3/5 in the day, is a retired FD Captain... spent a lot of his fire career fighting those fires you see on TV... edit, salt/pepper to taste, your call... S/F, D-ck (sh-t like this is why I miss it (the Corps, or more specifically, Marines) every day...
Lost And Found
Hi! Just wondering if any of the other readers are in this old boot graduation pic. We graduated boot camp in August, 1957 at MCRD, San Diego, platoon number 156. Our head DI was T/Sgt. C.A. Love, who had participated in the movie, "The DI", and he had us watching this movie a lot toward the end of our tour at MCRD. The other DIs were Sgt. W. R. Bechtol, who I ran into in Vietnam years later, and Cpl. R.T. Dooley. I am in the center of the 2nd row from the top.
former Sgt. E-5
India Co 3/7, "Band of Brothers" November 8 - 12, 2013, Washington, D.C.
If you need to contact me, here is my contact information:
Roger Villarreal, USMC, Reunion Chairmain 2013
201 Ember Lane
Deer Park, TX 77536
Email Address: marine.1[at]att.net
Organization name: "Band of Brothers", India Company, 3/7, 1stMarDiv "Band of Brothers" Vietnam '69-'70.
Dad was a Navy Doctor attached to the 1st Marine Division FMF, 1951 Chosin, Korea. He saved countless lives from frostbite and wounds serving as a "frontline combat surgeon" during his 2 years in Korea. One of the "true" "Frozen Chosin"! Semper Fi dad and rest in peace.
Lt. Don Murray
1st Marine Battalion
In July 1958, I was in Platoon 166, C. Company, 1st Battalion, MCRD. On the hike from the range at Camp Matthews back to San Diego we passed thru a large open area where I saw a young woman astride a white horse. She had on a long white robe and had long blonde hair. Does anyone who was there at this time remember seeing her?
I was a successful salesman for almost forty-years due to my time in the Marine Corps. I didn't graduate from college, but learning to get along with the people I met in the Marine Corps taught me to get along with the eventual customers I'd meet in my professional career. I should also mention that nothing caught peoples' attention more than letting them know I was a former Marine.
RVN 4-68 to 12-69; 5th Comm
Anyone know what the requirements for the PFT in the above years were, or where I can find out about the PFT?
As to what the one thing I learned from the Marine Corps, it has to be "Discipline" which would encompass all the things you learned and do as a personal trait, like; Honor, Dignity, Courtesy, Professionalism, and the deep hatred of all things stupid!
GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired
"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle, is a species of vice."
--Thomas Paine, 1792
"H-ll, these are Marines. Men like them held Guadalcanal and took Iwo Jima. Bagdad ain't sh-t."
--Marine Major General John F. Kelly
"We signed up knowing the risk. Those innocent people in New York didn't go to work thinking there was any kind of risk."
--Pvt. Mike Armendariz-Clark, USMC; Afghanistan, 20 September 2001 as reported on page 1 of the New York Times
British General Wellesley
"Carry On, Marine!"
"Stay Motivated Marine!"
"Semper Fi - Do or die."
"No guts no glory, ooh rah!"
"God Bless the American Dream!"