Sgt Grit Newsletter - 10 APR 2014

In this issue:
• That's My Gunny
• Brutality In Boot Camp
• Rubbed A DI The Wrong Way

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LCpl Bill Schell and daughter

Lance Corporal Bill Schell (Marines 1983-1986) taking his "Major Princess" to the VA with him. Like father like daughter. Semper Fi Marines!

Bill Schell
LCpl '83-'86

Get this motivated little devil pups outfit at:

Digital Woodland Major Princess Dress and Bloomers Set

Digital Woodland Major Princess Dress and Bloomers Set

Infant's Marine Red Beanie

Infant's Marine Red Beanie

That's My Gunny

Hello Sgt. Grit,

My retired Gunnery Sgt husband always looks forward to the day all of the stories come in so he can read them and at times show them to me. Now mind you, he is a 2 tour Veteran of Vietnam and he likes to say that when he started his first tour in 1969 I was but a 3 year old baby of which that happens to be quite true.

I write to you because he showed me the cute letter entitled "Young MARINE Wife" and it made me wonder why I did not meet my man so much sooner than when I did. I am so thankful for him and so proud of how he feels when he goes to his American Legion meetings or has anything to do with helping a Veteran, especially these kids that are coming home from the Middle East. He proudly wears his Vietnam Veterans ball cap that by the way came from Sgt. Grit, and he has his rank, the U.S. flag, and the gold Eagle, Globe and Anchor on it. He is proud to the point that he stands a little taller and throws his shoulders back a little better whenever the National Anthem plays, and heaven forbid there is any noise when the MARINES' Hymn is played.

I recently accompanied him to "The Wall that Heals" which is a traveling version of the Vietnam Wall, and as much of a man as he is every time he pointed at a name he cried like a young boy. I understand now how hard it was for him and all those other boys back then. However I am so thankful that they all did what they did to preserve our freedom and to make certain we were all safe.

I recently asked him what if he was 20 years old again, what would he do, would he join the military or stay a civilian. He stood up board straight and said "I love my country, I love the freedom we have, and regardless if I was 20 or 60+ as I am now, I would take a bullet for her and if I was called to active duty right now the only thing I would say to you is, I'll be back."

That's my Gunny!

Kathleen Morrison
Semper Fi

Marines On The U.S.S. Indiana

Marine on the USS Indiana in 1911

Here's a picture of the Marines on the U.S.S. Indiana in 1911. Note the Sailors (I guess) sleeping on the right foreground. Interesting and note the belt, looks like the same belt I was issued in the 1940's and wore until I retired. As you can see the picture has a couple small problems BUT the sleeping figures always threw me.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired

Marine Corps Statues

Brutality In Boot Camp

One afternoon we were sitting on our buckets cleaning our rifles when the Senior Drill Instructor approached one of the recruits and ordered him to attention so that he could inspect his rifle. The Pvt. jumped to attention and came to inspection arms. The senior Drill Instructor snatched the rifle and while looking at it asked the Pvt. "is this rifle clean?" The Pvt. responded "ya," and was instantly butt-stroked to the ground. After standing back up the question was again asked to which the Pvt. Shouted "Sir, yes Sir!" He was handed back his weapon and the Senior Drill Instructor went to the next recruit to inspect his rifle. No one else ever made that mistake again! Every one had learned a valuable lesson at that Private's expense. We received a new Senior Drill Instructor shortly thereafter, but we never knew if it had to do with that incident.

I was stationed with that S/Sgt. later but never had the guts to ask him if he was relieved for that butt-stroke. The first night on the road we were told that if you screwed up bad enough the Drill Instructor would kill you and your body would be buried alongside the runway fence by the rest of the Platoon! He told us to look around and see if there was anybody that we thought would turn him in. I was absolutely sure he meant it, and was also sure that no one would rat him out. I always conducted myself with that in mind.

I noticed that in the Sgt. Grit catalog there is air freshener for your car, maybe if they made it in Brasso, Kiwi shoe polish or Hoppe's scent they would sell a lot more... I never get tired of those smells!

Question: When did we go from brown dress shoes to black? All I remember is that we were given detailed instructions how to change to black, but most of us just went to cash sales and got a new pair of black ones along with a new frame cover.

CPL. Selders

Served In Running "O"

Regarding Marine Bill McDermotts' comments: I remember Captain Holmes very well. I went to ITR in 1960 and served in Running "O", my seabag still has Running "O" inscribed on it. Yes he did have a green Cadillac convertible which was parked outside of the quonset hut at ITR. Reveille went at 0430 hours... you were awaken by the playing of the Marines' Hymn followed by the National Anthem. Then it was falling out for the morning run. Capt. Holmes always took the front position and would take the backpack and weapon from one of the Marines while also carrying his T/O weapon, the .45 cal., and we ran and ran. The Capt. always kept the pace and watched out for his Marines.

I remember one day we had fallen out for inspection in the heat of the summer with spit polished shoes (Old Corps) and waited for hours for the Inspector General to arrive. By the time he arrived the polish on our shoes had melted, and when the General showed up Captain Holmes chewed him out for having his troops stand for hours in the hot sun of the Carolina's. Captain holmes would also stay after hours to help or address any problems us lowly recruits were having. He was a true Marine's Marine and all that served under him would have followed him anywhere. He was a true Marine leader of the Marine Corps which the present Commandant seems to ignore due to political correctness.

Frank Viggiano
Cpl, USMC 1960 – 1964
USMCR 1970- 1974
3rd MarDiv, MCLFDC Quantico

Adopted Her Into The Corps

Picture of Stroke Victim and Physical Therapist

Sgt Grit,

Enclosed is a picture of a stroke victim who lives in Chandler, AZ, and is 34 yrs old. I met her one day on one of my many walks in the neighborhood. She saw me wearing one of your t-shirts and asked me to purchase one for her. She wears it when she takes her physical therapy. It's been a motivational tool for her and her therapist. I thought I would pass this on to let you know your product is being put to good use. I adopted her into the Corps!

Christopher Barus

Get this motivational t-shirt at:

US Marines Pain Is Weakness Gray T-Shirt

US Marines Pain Is Weakness Gray T-Shirt

Go To Confession

Sgt Grit,

In 1958, Parris Island Boot Camp this actually happened:

One of our Drill Instructor's came into the barracks Saturday night and said:

"Give me all of our "Catolicks" you have to go to confession (not voluntarily). When we got back from confession he fell us out to do some hard azs PT. His comment was that since we had committed sins we had to get his forgiveness. God had forgiven us, but he hadn't. (our Junior Drill Instructor was Sgt. Norman Centers who, I learned later contacted Agent Orange in Viet Nam as a Grunt. I learned he passed away in the 90's from his disease). God rest his soul.

Cpl. L.J. Sullivan
Semper Fidelis

Rubbed A DI The Wrong way

I thought I'd weigh in on the brutality/hazing discussion that's been in the newsletter lately.

I'm Fall 1961 Parris Island vintage. In my training, which spanned 2 Platoons since I was set back, I only saw a DI hit a recruit once. I saw it because for a brief while he was my bunky. And a scr-w up. In my platoons, punishment was of the creative group variety, whereby if someone did something stupid, against the rules, rubbed a DI the wrong way, we all enjoyed the reaction. Once in awhile it was individually targeted.

In this case, this guy's timing was always off. Too slow to listen, too slow to act. I don't remember why he got hit. By a whack, I mean light slaps to the face, not hard enough to make a mark, but to make a point. It was in the squad bay and we were at our bunks, which is why I was there. Our Senior was really p-ssed off at him about something he didn't do. But, what got him in the spotlight was, so we were told, lying about his medical condition, which they suspected was purposely done to set up a disability. That got him a lot of attention, and it wasn't long before he was gone.

Any discussion on brutality depends on one's definition of brutality, which these days seems to include being hollered at, demeaned, etc. Well then, I suppose by that definition we all saw some, like every hour of every day. But seriously, no one I knew thought of it that way, actually we expected it. It was our rite of passage.

This was 5 years from Ribbon Creek. Ribbon Creek must have been disruptive as all get-out. If you were a recruit or a Drill Instructor at that time, life must have gone nuts. I know it changed a lot of things, but by the time I arrived, that's all we knew.

Personally I think Post-Ribbon Creek taught DIs to be crafty and creative. We either were told or intuitively knew you weren't supposed to be hit etc. Be that as it may, I thought they had ball busting down to a fine art... the height of which was to mess with your mind and body without laying a hand on you. I think I'd rather take a quick shot to the gut then have to hold my bucket straight out with my thumbs for 2 eternities dripping sweat in that South Carolina heat and humidity, or how about just assuming the pushup position, body rigid, arms straight, but don't do any, again for eons. We did do something called "air raid". That's when the DI was displeased with Platoon performance on the drill field, hauled you back to the squad bay and you all got under your bunks (2 of you) and they stomp on any part of you that showed.

But, Ribbon Creek was still around. I recall one of our DI's telling us to be aware of strangers... who may be in uniform... who may be overly curious... and telling us stories of CID guys being planted in platoons to spy on DIs... and how welcome you'd be in other platoons should you make a complaint and be reassigned... and from day 1, if anyone, ANYONE not from the platoon, regardless of rank, came into the squad bay... the 1st recruit to spot them would holler something like... "Squad Attention!" and everyone would repeat it. Our DI's did not like surprise visits, and you trusted no one outside the platoon.

I've written earlier of the day we were marched into a room and given a survey to fill out by a Navy guy. The DI had to leave the room. We were instructed to fill it out etc. and that the Navy was studying our series all the way through our service time. In a way this to us was by now a very bizarre scenario. We never were by ourselves. A quick poll determined no one would fill it out. It could be a trick. Just to see if we'd do something one of our DI's didn't order. When the Navy guy came back and found us all at seated attention, with blank forms, he was amazed. He had to have our DI come back in & tell us it was OK, fill it out.

What was more interesting, and I don't know if this was boot camp SOP, part of this study, or someone was gunning for our Sr DI, but we were marched over another time to a Naval clinic, hospital or some such. This was about 2 weeks or so into training. We were interviewed by a shrink. He tried to "unboot" me, relax, just having a talk, no need for the military stuff. I remained stiff as a board, yes sirred him to oblivion. He spent about 5 minutes or so with me, where am I from, how am I doing, do I like it (really who wouldn't) and then alarm signals went off when he asked what I thought of my Sr Drill Instructor SSgt xxxx. Up to now, per above I view him with a jaundiced eye, but when he dropped that little gem of a question I didn't trust him. The real answer was that you didn't want to get on the wrong side of my Sr DI and his voice made my blood run cold. But my mom didn't raise a fool so I told him he was a good guy, liked him, wouldn't harm a flea etc. That concluded the interview, he pushed back on his wheeled stool, and said Private you're full of it. He's a sadistic bastard and dismissed me. Nothing was said to us, and to this day I don't know if this is part of boot camp, or it was an investigation. Nothing came of it as far as I know.

Now in ITR I did see a squad leader turn round and flat out deck a guy who refused an order. But that's a different story.

Semper Fi
Don Harkness

Paper Or Plastic

Question for those who were around long enough to have used base commissaries... does anybody else remember 'commmisary boxes'?... these were fairly stout cardboard boxes (no tops) maybe 24" long, 12" wide, made with outward sloping sides, and with hand holes in the ends. The 'baggers' (usually dependent kids of high-school age) who worked only for tips, put your grub in them. The boxes were for sale at the checkout, $0.10 each, if you hadn't brought yours with you and hauled them around in your shopping cart (known as either a 'trolley', or a 'buggy' here in TN) until you got to the checkout.

The boxes would handle heavier items quite well... canned or bottled, never ripped, and although they required two hands to transport the grits into the castle, could be used over and over... you just got in the habit of loading your nested stack of 'commissary boxes' in the car when headed to the commissary... made sense, and this was before the EPA was invented. These might have been a west coast phenom, but recall those for both the Stumps and the big Navy commissaries in the San Diego area.

Granted, the common 'tee-shirt" disposable bag has its benefits... among them is some secret effect on the arm muscles... I find that I can easily carry $100 worth of groceries with one hand with the plastic bags... couldn't have done that with 'commissary boxes...

Old one, but useable in areas where you may still get the choice between "paper... or plastic?"... I just tell'em... 'doesn't matter... I'm bi-sacksual'...


Still Try To See Some Humor

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I was at Cherry Point and not all of us were squared away? I digressed a few times like some of my other Marines - and still got a Good Conduct Medal and an Honorable Discharge, and a few other medals and ribbons - and so did a lot of others - but I could always go to sleep at night with a clear conscience - as I was not deceitful or sneaky like some of the ones I served with!

Two clowns were short-timers and convinced some struggling Sergeant with a few kids and bills to pay that they would pay him a lot of money if he drove them to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. He agreed as he needed the money and they got a travel allowance and back leave pay! He drove them to New York City and at the port authority with heavy traffic and the police asking the driver to move the car... these two sh-tbirds jumped out with their seabags and ran into the port authority and left the good Sergeant with a lot of out of pocket expenses and a lesson that the Good Sergeant will never forget?

Or the practical jokers! One Marine who was a real numnut - left some papers on top of a set mousetrap and asked some tight aszed S/Sgt to take these papers to the Captain for signatures. Naturally, another said I am going to the office and I will take the papers - some innocent nice guy got hurt?

We had short-sheet enrichment for the drunks who came back from the club a little under the weather! And, we had other tricks to play on others - but all in clean fun - and never did anyone get hurt.

The ones who laughed the loudest at pranks - were naturally the sorest of losers when you got even.

This is life - and don't get mad - get even! The bucket on top of the door trick, and the grease on the deck trick - I saw them all - and wondered how someone did not get seriously hurt - but we were Marines!

Or the night at the Base Theater when the General was there with his family - and some clown shouted out some raunchy comment - the lights went on and the M.P.s arrived and we were asked to leave the theater! Oh Well, all of us Marines lost a dime as we were thrown out - saw the movie the next night for another dime - and that was life on base?

I e-mailed these tidbits to a friend over in Thailand - and he gets a good old remembrance of our past as we have to look at the humor and weird sh-t to keep out some unpleasant memories that we all experienced!

To the Few - The Proud - and to us who are able to still try to see some humor in our enlistment!

Semper Fi
CPL Bruce Bender
Vietnam Era Marine

Utility Sleeves

Bob Mauney may be having a little trouble with his memory -- as I do mine from time to time -- regarding rolled up utility sleeves. Of course, some uniform regs can be modified by unit commanders and he may have been in a unit that did not permit the utility sleeves to be rolled up. I entered active duty at PISC in June 1965 and have numerous photos, including in our platoon book, of the utility uniform sleeves rolled up. If there was a time when it was not allowed, it was before 1965.

M. F. Weaver
CWO-4, USMC (Ret)

Grief And Misery

I have been reading with interest of the boot camp tales regarding "thumping" so I will share one of mine.

I graduated with Plt. 275, an Honor platoon, MCRDSD on 13 Dec 1961. All three of the drill instructors were Korean War vets. We had a t-rd in the platoon that would fall out on most every run by running with his down, getting sick, and fall to the side of the road and throw up, which caused the rest of us a lot of grief and misery.

In the 7th week we were firing at foxtrot range Camp Matthews and Wed. afternoon on the way back to the tent camp area as we were double timing up the second hill the ranks started to close up and since I hadn't heard a command I was dumb founded as to what was going on. Being short of stature, I was the next to the last man in the port rank and the t-rd was in the next rank, third man. He had fallen in the middle of the road and everyone was kicking him as they passed by. The Plt. Commander was in charge that day and he turned us around and we ran over him again after which we were brought to a stop and given an about face, at ease. The Plt Commander drug him to the side of the road and executed one of the best right jabs to the jaw I've ever seen. He called two recruits to the side of the road, one to stay with the t-rd and the other to go find a Corpsman after which we were brought to attention and continued our double timing to the tent camp area.

I never saw the t-rd again. I was thumped on three occasions all of which were my fault and I have the utmost respect for all three, none of whom I ever saw again.

In my opinion we had three excellent DI's who were fair and hard nosed, but not sadistic.

S/Sgt K R Thomas, 1957xxx
USMC '61-'66
USMCR 73-81

Worst Spaghetti Ever

Sgt. Grit,

I wanted to submit this story to see if any brother or sister Devil Dog can support it. The other night the wife and I were talking about how she wanted to spice up her version of spaghetti and meatballs and she said to me, "you must have had some of the best spaghetti ever in your time over in Naples, Italy." I replied that the spaghetti I had in Naples was far and away the worst ever!

I made two MED cruises on our way to Beirut back in '82 and '83 with 8th Marines, and anyone who made MED cruises back then knows that the first liberty port was Naples. Our first night there, Tim Wheeler, Danny Wilson and Thor Dellerson and I went to a small restaurant down off of one of the small side streets not too far of a walk from the docks. We picked what looked like a "classic Italian restaurant (boy were we stupid) and ordered ourselves a large portion of spaghetti which the four of us shared. What was delivered was a plate of under-cooked noodles and reddish water which we had to pour onto the noodles. My buddy Dellerson, a New Yorker and the group's resident smart-azs, says to the waiter, "hey dude where's the meatballs?" The waiter, in his broken English accent replies, "what... meatballs... that's an American thing." Danny Wilson adds, "Well, what about some cheese?" The waiter says, "what's this cheese?" Danny says, "You know sprinkle cheese." The waiter replies, "we have no cheese, I give you bread?" That meal was the worst helping I have ever tasted. The noodles were slimy and the "tomato sauce" if you want to call it that, was nothing more than watered-down tomato juice. I have never been as disappointed in a meal as I was that night in downtown Naples. On the flip side, one of the best meals I ever had was Lamb (I think) Sheesh-cabob in Antalya, Turkey! Semper Fi Sgt. Grit and thanks for the great newsletter!

Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima, 3/8, Weapons Platoon


Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #8, #8 (AUG., 2018)

Several weeks passed and the "when and where" questions that I had at the end of the last issue were answered. First the "where" portion of my inquiry was answered, and it was to be in the village of Clark Fork, Idaho. Here again the question came up and, I had to ask, "Where the h-ll is Clark Fork?" Well, a quick check of our trusty map finds it to be on Idaho Route 200 and on the border between Idaho and Montana. As for the time, well, he'd let me know in a day or two, but that it would be within-in a week. This was my cue to get my gear ready to get on over to Idaho. I should also say that we were staying in Yakima, Wash. around this time because I was about to leave my job at the State and we were involved in building our newly purchased Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge. Yes my day's of "fixin and flyin" helicopters were slowly coming to a close. In fact, this might be my last job before I become a "Night Club Owner." Only time will tell! This all was taking place sometime in March or April of 1980 and winter up in the hills of Idaho was not quite over yet. If I remember correctly this was also just before the eruption of Mt. St. Helen's which was on the 18th of May 1980 and ironically (I just looked) today's actual date is the 13th of May (Mothers Day) 2012. I guess your wondering what that has to do with all of this. Well, we were on vacation and that meant that I only had a weekend to do what my customer wanted. We actually couldn't get it all accomplished in that short a period of time and we opted for a second weekend to get what he wanted done!

A plan was made as to where to meet and then it was off to Clark Fork, Idaho and another one of my life's adventures. We met our customer and he told us where we should stay that night and it was in a cabin along side a mountain lake just outside of the village of Hope, Idaho. We had the place all to ourselves and it was as quiet, peaceful and beautiful as one could ever imagine. The next morning we met our client out in front of the Grocery store in Clark Fork which was down the road about 6 miles. We followed him out to an "old welding shop" where the UH-1B was sitting inside and all torn apart. We quickly unloaded our gear and got started with the task of preparing this aircraft for some log hauling. The weather was still cold enough to have a fire built in the big "pot bellied" stove on the one corner of the shop and keeping that going was enough to keep one person busy the entire time that we were there.

I'm going to move forward here faster then I normally would to try and finish this before I run out of space. We wrapped up our rewire and modification job and pushed the Helicopter outside in a "Snow Storm" for the "Test Hop" only to find that it wouldn't start.

Wait a minute: I just looked and the space that I have left is really not enough to finish what I've started so, that being the case I think that I'll just continue on with what I started and end it where ever. But, the problem at hand is not paper space it's getting this bird into the starting and mission operational column.

Let's put our thinking caps on and get to figuring what's wrong and get it fixed, OK!

Jump On Possible Deployments

'Long 'bout 1980 or so, twas' decided way up there somewhere that we (pretty much all of DOD) really needed to get a jump on possible deployments in the far reaches of the world, especially in the area of equipment generally too heavy to transport by air, at least, economically. Don't recall what the Army's participation was, but from our little button-hole window out there in the Mojave Desert (29 Palms), it did involve the Corps, the Navy, and the Air Force.

This plan, called "Maritime Pre-Positioning" started out with at least seven ships to be loaded and kept at Diego Garcia. Lots of conferences, meetings, confabs, computer runs, guessing, and so on. The major equipment and supplies were sized to something like a MAB... Marine Amphibious Brigade. At the time, when one spoke of 'The Brigade', one usually meant the Regiment (-) Reinforced, out in Hawaii. Until VN, this had pretty much been the Fourth Marines, plus attachments. The ships, however, were not amphibious shipping... Navy owned, civilian crews, and some of them "Ro-Ro"s (Roll on, Roll off... stern ramps intended to be used at a pier or quay... somewhat new designs at the time)... Others were tankers for fuel and water, and an ammunition ship)...

Ships were being loaded on both coasts... the supply folk on both coasts had been busy running a 'mind meld' of useage data for Class IX (repair parts) for both coasts... blending it into one... a few pounds of IBM print-outs. (more on that, anon). There was a conference of Maintenance Management Officers held at Albany to review the equipment issues as loading had already started. One item, (actually two...) that had been hotly debated involved batteries and fuel in Motor Transport assets, and that had four parts. 'Wet' batteries... or 'dry' batteries, and 'wet' fuel tanks, or 'dry' fuel tanks. This had gone on so long, and in so many heated discussions on both coasts, that a General got involved, and decreed "Dry fuel tanks and wet batteries... and get it done!"...

Now, for many years, in about any Ordnance manual covering trucks, etc. one could find directions on building a rig, just the thing for moving a vehicle into storage under its own power, and then 'killing' the engine with 'snuffing oil'... really just two five-gallon fuel cans, joined with a common pipe that had two quarter-turn valves, and an outlet that connected to the engine... pretty simple... start/run the engine with the fuel in one can... and when in place, switch the valves, shutting off fuel, and running 'snuffing oil' into the engine. This would stop the engine... and at the same time, coat the cylinder walls, pistons, valves, etc. with a preservative oil. It worked... and had been working since at least WWII (This ain't rocket surgery...) OTOH, the batteries were another question... and when we were told that the batteries would be new, that the vehicles would be driven into position in the holds, then batteries would be disconnected... and would be ready to go when called upon, however many (unknown) months later... there was near-mutiny amongst the greasy-nailed, begrimed knuckles LDO and WO attendees... who, effectively, with all due respect, stood up and told the Colonel from HQMC... "that won't F-ckin' work, Sir!" The response from the Fort Fumble on the Potomac team was, "well, we checked with the battery manufacturers, and THEY said"... When things calmed a bit, I asked if they would take another qualified opinion? Dunno why, or have forgotten, but just happened to know a Marine Major Smith, who at the time was a Liaison Officer to TACOM (Tank&Automotive Command Warren, MI...) the Army is the daddy rabbit for all things Armor and Ordnance (Army considers Motor T to be "Ordnance"....go figger...). I got Smitty on the Autovon (phone), told him we needed to talk to THE battery guy... knowing that the Army had, had a gazillion pieces of equipment in what was called POMCUS in Europe... for over thirty years. We gave him what we knew about temperatures in the ship's holds, etc. He came back on the line in a few minutes to tell us what we already knew... that under those conditions, most of the batteries would be dead in sixty days, and all of them in ninety.

We reported that back to the main group... and some GS-unbelievable from Installations and Logistics went to a phone, called somebody back at the head shed... and directed that new, dry batteries, for everything, along with electrolyte in plastic bottles and cardboard boxes would be rushed to the ports and put on the vehicles... to be filled, and connected when needled.

The supply guys were proud of their work... they had listed every pertinent part and sub-assembly supporting the equipment on the list, that had been drawn in the last six months, on either or both coasts. The initial equipment lists included fifteen each of three different sizes of rough-terrain forklifts... pretty key items when unloading ships, so we started looking through the lists... no spare/replacement tires. The 6,000Lb RTF had around a hundred feet total of 5/8" hydraulic hose on it... by the NSN for hose, we found 18"... and no repair fittings, or screw-on couplings... just a couple of examples... but IMHO, too much reliance on computers can get you killed. We heard later (un-confirmed, but with our FESNOS confirmation bias, believable) that the AF supply types had loaded much of the ammunition ship with real heavy paperweights... hadn't asked the ordnance guys... who knew that lifting shackles, tail fins, nose fuzes, etc... all have their own separate stock number) (FESNOS = Former Enlisted Swine, Now Officer Swine)...

And the cause for gratitude? Desert Storm vets can be thankful that we had years to get that act cleaned up before the gear had to be unloaded and used for real... I had big hopes at the time of getting the assignment as the OIC of the Maintenance Detachment that would be with the ships... ten or so Marines, uniform of the day to be shorts and boots, two-man rule to go into the holds at Diego Garcia because of the heat (estimated to be in the 140 degree Fahrenheit range), and while only six months, counted as a full-year unaccompanied o'seas tour... got beat out by an Engineer Maintenance CWO, name of Ashe... brother to the tennis player, Arthur. In the years since, Blount Island has been developed, along with regular down-loading, up-dating, inspection of the gear, etc. (or maybe not... that was the program before Iraq/Afghanistan?)...

Oh yeah... when you hear "with all due respect'... you can count on it... the next thing you hear will be disrespectful...


Lost and Found

Ask Me What I Was Poem

With H 2/7 OCR '68 to Aug '69, my name is Joe Urban looking for Marines who remember me.

Semper Fi
Joseph Urban

Sgt Grit,

I try to read all your newsletters, can you help me. I would to get in touch with fellow Marines that were in the same platoon 18 Sept 1967, Plt 1045, Parris Island. I know there must be a few buddies that stayed in and live in my area, Jacksonville, NC. Our Senior Drill Instructor was SSgt Anderson.

Gunny O


Do any of you remember the names of our DI's in Platoon 68 at Parris Island between July to Sept. 1950? Also did anyone serve at Henderson Hall in the guard detachment from 1951 - 1952 and pulled Pentagon and Navy yard duty, and went to Japan with the 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Div. and also went on a manuevers to Iwo Jima?

Semper Fidelis Marines!



Marine Air Groups Reunion
WWII to Present
Branson, Missouri
October 1-4, 2014

James Jordan, james.m.Jordan[at], 417-535-4945
Bob Miller, mbobsue13[at], 636-327-5854

Thank you,
Bob Miller (Sgt USMC) (MSgt USAF-Ret)

Short Rounds

Thank you for putting the link of my book in your newsletter. The book's link is


Dave Duchesneau

My congratulations and "a job well done" to SSgt Larry LaBahn with his beautifully restored M37.

Semper Fi
W F Mitchell

When I was stationed at NATTC Memphis attending AT School, us Marines would go downtown to the Baptist Hospital. We would sell a pint of our blood for $10. Back in the 50's, the $10 would make for a really nice liberty weekend.

Jim Starkovich, CPL, VMO-1, 1957-60

As we young recruits arrived at Parris Island during the Korean war, I am reminded of a popular song of the time, "You Belong to Me", by Jo Stafford. It wafted from a building behind our welcoming committee of angry and surly Drill Instructors. How prophetic it was. There was also a chorus of "You'll be sorreee!" coming from other recruits who had come before us. A welcome to the Corps indeed that I still remember to this day.

Jack Strumpf
Former Sgt of Marines

When we had our blood "typed". Mine came back as AB-. That was on my dog tags. I have donated over 6 gallons of blood after leaving the Corps. My blood type is A+.

Sgt. C.Jones
'63 - '67
RVN 1966


"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 the defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat."
--RAdm. Jay' R. Stark, U.S. Navy

"If I were King, I'd close Army entry training and send all future Infantry grunts to the Marines. The Corps still produces trained and disciplined soldiers who still know how to fight and make it on a killing field."
--Col David Hackworth, USA Army (Ret), one of Americas most highly decorated soldier

There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
--Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

"You can take a man out of the Marine Corps; you will never take the Marine Corps out of the man."

"Didn't I tell you people you had your last laugh the first time you laid eyes on me?"

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

"Today, you people are no longer maggots! You are Marines!"

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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Oklahoma City, OK 73179
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