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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 25 DEC 2014

In this issue:
• Commandant's Christmas Card
• Intelligent Sand Fleas
• Cosmoline

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Sgt Grit and Staff would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Take time to remember all of the brother and sister Marines that are not at home with their families this Christmas and pray for their safe return.

Semper Fi

Semper Fidelis Through And Through

Hello my name is Jennifer Kenyon and my husband Justin is a Marine. We had this photo taken with our son when he was only 2 weeks old. I really wanted to share it with you because it's just a great picture! I was hoping maybe you could share it with others by putting it in your newsletter or magazine. Thank you and have a great holiday!

Jen Kenyon

Hi Dad

I would just like to send a story to all the family members who read and purchase items from Sgt. Grit. My wife arranged for our son L/Cpl Bradley Antkowiak (Okinawa, Japan – Camp Hanson) a MP with the 3rd Law Enforcement to fly home (Philadelphia, PA) for a surprise Holiday visit. This was all done without my knowledge. When I came home from Christmas shopping and our son surprised me with a "Hi Dad", I was in total shock. This was the best Christmas gift I ever received in my life, having our son home with us again. Our boy has been gone from home for 13 months and hearing his voice and seeing him in person just made me cry. We all missed him dearly last Christmas when he was away and we are all making up the lost time together and missed holidays more than ever. We are proud of our son and support not only him but all our troops in this unsettled world. May every family member of a soldier that is away from home have the joy that we had when we first saw our boy again after being away for over a year.

God bless all our service men & women. And God bless the USA.

Fred & Angie Antkowiak
Proud parents of a US Marine​

Commandant's Christmas Card

Earlier this year, I inherited the personal items of my paternal grandfather Sgt Oscar S. King, so I sent a few of the photos to you. Here is another set from his collection. Both of the men pictured served with my grandfather in the 78th Co. 2/6.

The photo of the Marine sitting is Cpl. Haas, and the second is Sgt. D.B. Hill, from Crowley, Texas. This man and my grandfather were good friends and remained in touch many years after the war. If there is anyone out there who knew these men, let me know.

The last photo is of the 1919 Christmas Card each Marine received from the Commandant.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my Marine brothers and sisters.

Semper Fi,
Stephen King
Sgt. of Marines
1976 - 1982

USMC Man Cave

We wanted to share our MANCAVE with you. We are addicted to your products for obvious reasons.

Semper Fi,
Nicole Baptiste-Patterson and SSGT Darian Patterson


I read with great anticipation MY HEART ON THE LINE in this weeks newsletter. Frank's story held me until, "If the idea of the immorality of the Vietnam War was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to volunteer for military service once that war was done?" I thought Frank was being sincere and truly had his eyes opened. However, I as a Vietnam Era Veteran find it hard to buy his story when he used the statement... "immorality of the Vietnam War." Was Frank sincere? I do not believe so.

Sgt. T. E. Kinsey

Mr. Kinsey,

After reading your submission concerning Frank's story, I felt the need to respond. I am not a Vietnam War veteran, missed it by about 28 years; however I am a Global War On Terrorism veteran. I only have a limited understanding of what it was like to be in the Vietnam War or what is was like for all veterans of the war to return home to an ungrateful nation. But, from what I have learned through talks with Vietnam War veterans and those who failed to answer our nation's call to duty, civilians/draft dodgers/protesters did not agree with the war and thought that it was evil, wicked, not needed (immoral). "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know." - Anonymous.

Since Mr. Frank didn't serve during the Vietnam War era, I think that he is just saying that now since he has a son that serves, it has opened his eyes and revealed to him that his thoughts of the past were incorrect. As he stated "If the idea of the immorality of the Vietnam War was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to volunteer for military service once that war was done?" Since this is how those who did not serve thought back then, he is just saying... if we thought that the Vietnam War was so bad and wicked, why did we not encourage our children to serve once the war had ended and we were once again at peace as a nation... This of course is just my take on it.

I don't think that he meant any disrespect or harm by his statement, but what do I know... I'm just a boot.

Merry Christmas brother and Semper Fi!

J. Williams
Sgt USMC '00-'07

Intelligent Sand Fleas

When I was at my first duty station (MCAS Beaufort) as an MP it was our duty to raise the flag in the morning and lower it at night. We had very intelligent sand fleas there. At first call to colors they made a circle around the flag pole (Bldg 1), it was so thick you could see them. They hovered until reveille/retire colors at which time they attacked. They must have had training from Parris Island because they did it with such precision. Of course I got a tip to invest in Avon's Skin So Soft with a little bit of Rubbing Alcohol to keep from being the snack of the day, but only after I suffered the first time to acquaint me with my new friends.

Theresa Gilreath

Inner Strength

As I read Frank Schaeffer's letter about his son I experienced a wide range of emotions. First I was offended by the family's social status that would preclude them from something so petty as defending our country. And he is right, since Vietnam, the upper classes have felt that the military is something that only the lower and middle classes should participate in while they go about their business of making sure their careers are successful. Mr. Schaeffer's friends or acquaintances who questioned his son's mental stability for joining the Corps makes me sick to my stomach.

I believe that we all have instances in our lives where we suddenly realize that what we once did or what we once thought is absolutely wrong. We are faced with the reality that we are human and that we erred, sometimes very badly, but that we must move on and commit to a different and better path. I commend Mr. Schaeffer for his new view of our Marine Corps. And then there is his son. What inner strength he must possess. To take the path he chose in light of the opposition he surely encountered at home and in his personal life. Perhaps he is a part of a new "greatest generation" as his father stated, but I like to think that he is just like all Marines of the past, totally dedicated to their country and fellow Marines. Semper Fi to this Marine and thanks to Mr. Schaeffer for a wonderful letter.

Merry Christmas to all Marines around the world!

Sgt. C

Divine Wind Corrections

I want to forward a slight correction to the story submitted by Ddick. He stated: "'divine wind'... relates back to a victory in the Russo-Sino war of very early 20th century."

Actually the history behind the term Kamikaze is:

"The Japanese word Kamikaze is usually translated as "divine wind" (kami is the word for "god", "spirit", or "divinity", and kaze for "wind"). The word originated as the name of major typhoons in 1274 and 1281, which dispersed Mongolian invasion fleets under Kublai Khan."

Both times, large fleets from China and Korea, gathered off of the Japanese coasts. And while Samurai gathered to repel the invaders, both times a strong typhoons pounded the heck out of the massive fleet and ultimately resulted in the invasions being called off.

Here is a link for more details:

Mongol Invasions of Japan

Bob Vandenberg
7208 1st Lt.
1980 - 1985

In regards to "Kamakazi" (Divine Wind), it is NOT from the Sino-Russian war in early 20th century. It goes WAY back farther into history, to 1274 and 1281 actually. When Kublai Khan was attacking Japan with a huge armada, a Divine Wind (tsunami) destroyed and sank the fleet, saving Japan from the Mongol invasions.

Rev. M.K. McKay, RN
HM3 1970-72​

Old Corps Photo

The Marines shown in this photo are MGen A. Vandergrift, Col M. Edson, 2ndLt M. Paige, and Plt Sgt J. Basilone.

Semper Fi,
David Bushlow

Luck Of The Draw

Spent last night with very good friend (known him for over 40 years) discussing over the Vietnam Era as to if you were NOT THERE are you considered a Vietnam Veteran? Interesting topic and more interesting answers as I have asked many this question - to my surprise many more have said if you served during the Vietnam War you are a Vietnam Veteran because you had no choice where you were sent? Luck of the draw so to speak! Interesting answers from many people - especially after so many years!

Respectfully Submitted Sir!
Bruce Bender
Vietnam Era Marine
1963-1967 CPL​

Christmas Joke

Three Marines died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.

'In honor of this holy season' Saint Peter said, "You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven."

The LCPL fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. "It represents a candle," he said.

"You may pass through the pearly gates" Saint Peter said.

The young Captain reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, "They're bells."

Saint Peter said "You may pass through the pearly gates."

The old Master Gunnery Sergeant started searching through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's panties.

St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, "And just what do those symbolize?" The Master Guns replied, "These are Carols."


Sgt. Grit,

In a recent letter to you I mentioned that we had to clean some .50 Caliber Machine Guns and some .30 Caliber Machine Guns to send to the front lines in Korea. I was thinking about that a bit later remembered when I was being sent to Korea. At Camp Pendleton, we were issued our 782 Gear (Packs, Cartridge belts, etc.) and our M1 rifles. When World War II ended there was a lot of surplus weapons that were put into Cosmoline (a tar like substance) for storage.

Each man received his rifle and had to clean it and prepare it to sight in and fire for record. We found the easiest way to clean our rifles was to strip them down and get into the shower with our M1's and use the hot water to rid the rifle of cosmoline, then oiled them down and rubbed down the stock with Linseed oil and rubbed and rubbed until the Linseed oil was in the wood and the stock was not sticky or oily. I bet there are some old Marines that cringe at the word "COSMOLINE".

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired

Assorted Nuts

Sgt Grit and your great staff,

Happy Holidays to all and Happy New Year! Thanks for your help through out the past year with some of my purchases; greatly appreciated.

In response to the 1944 Christmas Menu at MCAS Cherry Point: "Assorted Nuts"? I thought the assorted nuts were there to enjoy the meal? LOL!

To all those serving and to those who have done their duty to our great Nation, Thank You. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Semper Fi,
Bob Applegarth, Sgt, 1965-1971

SOB By Presidential Proclamation

Reading that short story about a past president, Harry Truman in the last newsletter, reminded me of my Truman story. In the summer of July 1951, when the Korean War was running on all eight cylinders, Truman as president, called the Marines SOBs. That kind of ticked me off as I had always dreamed of being a Marine and to be called an SOB by our president seemed a bit far fetched, but it did happen. Twenty-two months later, I hit the beach at Parris Island to become a SOB, I guess, by presidential proclamation.

Be that what it may, in May of 1953, I received my "for further transfer," orders i.e., Korea, when I was with the 2nd Tank Bn. at Swamp Lagoon. Frankly, as a young hot dog PFC trained to be a warrior, I was looking forward to getting into action as my young, innocent, naive mind led me to believe that I could single-handedly stop the Communist onslaught that America feared at that time. I had my last leave time before heading west to enter the Forgotten War, so I went home to be with my family for about a week. Leaving the safety of my family on the Vermont dairy farm on which I was raised, I went to New York to catch a plane to Treasure Island, CA for said further transfer.

Walking around Times Square in New York City before heading to the airport, my young, innocent, naive mind made me walk down a side street right off the Square. As I passed Sardi's Restaurant (by the way, the owner of Sardi's had been in the Corps in WWII), two well-suited men stepped out onto the street followed by a man in his famous fedora hat being followed by two other well-dressed men. It happened: I ran smack into HST, knocking his hat off his head and before the Secret Service agents could draw down on me. Fortunately, they recognized a young Marine in uniform who was either on his way over there or had just returned from there, and no action was taken (thank God)! I kept on running and hearing no shots fired, I counted my blessings that one or more of those Secret Service guys had to have been a Marine.

Chris Vail
Sgt., 1952 - 1958

Dirty Laundry

Sgt. Grit,

Remember in boot camp the scrub brush and the soapy water and the tables we scrubbed our clothes on. Some guys did this in Camp Geiger too! I went home after Camp Geiger on a bus from North Carolina with my sea bag and dirty laundry.

My mom went apesh-t when I emptied my sea bag on the Persian Living room carpet! She made me take it to the Chinese Laundry around the corner. Major cities had these Chinese hand laundry's - that did predominately linens - table clothes - and shirts. The old Chinese gentleman spoke little English and gave you a receipt with Chinese characters on it for a stub. He weighed the sea bag - and bowed to me. Two days later I went to pick it up - and my mom paid back then like $20.00 (which was very expensive for those days - when a regular laundry would cost less than $5.00.) The Chinese guy went berserk yelling and screaming and pointing at me - the guy's wife came out of the back to quiet him down - and calmly explained to me that my skivvies and utilities were so dirty I clogged the pipes when they cleaned the dirty clothes. My utilities were now sparkling - and my skivvies were bright white - rough socks were smooth to my skin. A rare treat for a Marine after boot camp.

Went to a few nice restaurants and met a nice girl at a military dance in the great city of New York - then alas - my leave was up - went to the Port Authority Bus Station in New York City - and the Marine went into survival mode carefully watching his wallet and his gear aboard the bus - as we trusted only other Marines to watch our backs.

Bruce Bender

Like His Son

Hello Sgt. Grit, employees, and readers,

I feel the need to address the article submitted by Mr. Schaffer. Like his son I come from a place where wealth is not uncommon. A lot of kids get cars for their 16th birthday and people go to Ivy League colleges. The idea that entering the Marine Corps is a fault of the young man or his educators really makes me mad. I was born with a host of things that kept me from serving my country; however before I was aware of their extent I fully intended to join the Corps. I was planning on attending college after serving but I felt a strong need to do my part. In part because I could not serve I entered the education profession, working to help people that way. If joining the Corps is what a person wants, it is neither a mistake or a fault but a choice to admire.

Thank you for your time,
Jack Wier​

Radio School 1965

This was our class, at radio school, C & E Bn. MCRD San Diego. Christmas season of 1965 some of us made up a song that went to the tune of "The Twelve Days Of Christmas." We called it the, "Twelve Reenlistments." Her it is...

On my 12th reenlistment, my General gave to me...

12 Honorable Discharges
11 Bouncing Betties
10 Rusty Bayonets
9   B.A.R.'s
8   Three point fives
7   Booby Traps
6   Forty-fives
5   M-14s
4   Bursting Bombs
3   Amphibious Tractors
2   Sherman Tanks
And a 106 Recoilless Rifle.

Semper Fi & Merry Christmas,
Dick Martell
Cpl 2141---​


(Vol #12, #4)

Merry Christmas and Semper Fi to all of you Boots!

I joined the Marine Corps seven months after I graduated and Mary didn't graduate until June of 1948. She decided to take a one year hiatus between high school and college. She went to New York City to live with her Aunt Jenny and work towards becoming a model. She soon found out that it wasn't a very nice profession - but she had an advantage - she didn't have to pay rent. She said it soon could be seen why so many young girls were drawn to the pulp magazine end of the business. If they had to pay rent they had little choice. Mary stuck with it for most of the year - and when she was ready to quit - and move on to college - she hit pay dirt - she got a one year contract with Prince Matchabelli Perfumes. It paid $1,000 a month and she would be in their Life magazine ad once a month. She really enjoyed doing this and would probably have continued with P.M.P. except they wanted her to change her jet black hair to either red or blonde - without a guarantee of a contract renewal - and she would not do that.

She had been coming home each weekend by Greyhound - down Friday evening and back on Sunday. Then, when I bought the 1949 Hudson, I would go from Camp Lejeune to N.Y.C. on Friday night, back home on Saturday morning, back to N.Y.C. on Sunday afternoon, then back to Camp Lejeune. Mary slept with her aunt in a king size bed but they had a sofa bed in the living room that I got to sleep on for four hours - 0200 to 0600 - before heading for home. Her Aunt Jenny was a grandmother with kids in Boston and Providence. Once a month she would visit one of them - and her grandkids - on a weekend and Mary and I would sleep in the big bed. Aunt Jenny asked Mary once if I had not come up that weekend. Mary told her that I had. She said "You must not have changed the linen on the sofa." Mary told her "He didn't sleep on the sofa. He slept with me." Well, Aunt Jenny told Mary's parents and they told her that we were living a 'Platonic lifestyle' and slept together in Mary's bed whenever they were at their house. Aunt Jenny learned something new. She told Mary "If it's okay with your parents it's okay with me." And I told my Mom "I hope that is the way you will look at it, too."

I asked her "What did you think of your lunch?" She replied "I loved it. I will have to bring Dad here sometime." We returned home. It was almost 1500 and I would be leaving for Camp Lejeune in about four hours. We sat in mother's favorite room - the kitchen - while she prepared dinner. I asked her "What are you fixing?" She said "I'm not telling you. It's a surprise." Well, it wasn't a surprise for long. I could soon smell the odor of Yankee Pot Roast. It was one of my favorites. She wanted to send me off with something I was quite fond of. Dad had spent the whole day at the Olds dealership. He said, "I 'almost' bought a new car - but didn't - because my next one is going to be another Buick." (Dad had owned several Buicks - starting with a 1939 Century Touring Car and a decade later one of the first Roadmaster Rivieras)...

Happy Holidays and Semper Fi to 'You All' from The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.

Short Rounds

One small correction to Bob Lonn's assessment of Harry Truman. The Pusan perimeter is on the SouthEAST coast of South Korea, not the Southwest. The letter itself was spot on: HST despised the Corps!

Gary Nash
Former 0302

I'm proud you exposed the latest phony. I'm glad a real Marine "jack him up".

B/1/9 '67-'68

After seeing the picture of this fat piece of cr-p wanna-bee, I nearly lost my breakfast. These t-rds need to be knocked down, and that uniform stripped off them in public, and let them run away naked.

I am sick to death of these punks. Many of my brothers died that others may wear that remembrance. I wear only one stripe, with crossed rifles, and two ribbons with pride, because it is all that I earned.

Semper Fi,
Edwin O'Keefe
L/Cpl. of Marines
'61 - '64

I also lost my beloved Marine soulmate, but that does not stop me from ordering from the catalog nor reading the newsletter. Please remind Barbara of one of the newer slogans: "Once a Marine Wife, Always a Marine Wife." That slogan is on my American Legion hat and I proudly wear the Marine wife necklaces in memory of my beloved husband.

Karen Balske

I was reading Cpl. Bradshaws article on the red flac. It sure brought back memories of me at PI. In Sept. of '57 in platoon 266. It was still hot then. All I remember was the red flag. When we saw that up we knew no drill on the parade field. But it didn't stop our D.I. from drilling us in the barracks. Like push-ups, squat thrust, or rifle drill. I think it would have been less torture to go out and be drilled in the heat!

'57 / 60​

For Marine Paul Murtha, we called utilities "dungarees" when I was in ('53-'56).

Semper Fi,
Bob Rader, Sgt

July 1960 we had tye-tyes for laundry, also wore utilities. I also remember 8-man squad drill along with the LPM drill. For final field we had to be proficient in both. When and why did it stop?

Jim Logan 1831xxx

Merry Christmas Sgt and Thank You for everything you do for the Corps. The 1st picture was taken at this years Marine Corps Ball in Boca Raton, Florida, it is of my wife and I. The 2nd picture is of a Gunny, a Navy Chief Corpsman, and a beautiful woman.

Chuck Stark

Here are a couple more pictures from Cookies Tavern in South Philly on 10 November 2014. The 1st photo is of the two WWII Marine Veterans and the 2nd photo is of the Marine Corps League colorguard.


"It behooves you, therefore, to think and act for yourself and your people. The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail."
--Thomas Jefferson, A Summary View of the Rights of British America, 1775​

"There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. 'Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard."
--George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

"Be the hunter, not the hunted: Never allow your unit to be caught with its guard down."

"Come on, you sons of b-tches! Do you want to live forever?"
--GySgt. Daniel J. "Dan" Daly, USMC near Lucy-'le-Bocage as he led the 5th Marines' attack into Belleau Wood, 6 June 1918

"Gone to Florida to fight the Indians. Will be back when the war is over."
--Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson, USMC in a note pinned to his office door, 1836

"I' m here to finish a job no one ever started..."

"I came here to chew gum, take names, and kick ass... I'm outta gum, and my pencil's broke..."

Don't get p-ssed; re-enlist!

USMC or 'U Suckers Missed Christmas'!

Merry Christmas
Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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