Sgt Grit Newsletter - 29 JAN 2015

In this issue:
• The New Marines' Hymn 1956
• Korea Prisoner Exchange
• A Discernible Pause

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1956 business card with New Marines' Hymn printed on back

Thought you might like this hymn that was printed on the back of a business card of Calvert Studio, Ocean Side, CA in 1956.

The New Marines' Hymn

In answer to President Truman's Speech of 5 September 50

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli
We'll police our G-d D-mn Navy
As long as they're at sea.

First to fight the Army's battles
and to win the Navy's fights
And still our old friend Harry
Tries to louse up all our rights.

Our flag's been flown from every ship
Since the Navy's start
A Marine detachment in their midst
Kept the fleet from falling apart.

Uncle Harry says we're just police
and he should really know
We've arrested wars since we began
and dealt the final blow.

We have Honor, we have Glory
We're the finest ever seen
But still our propaganda
Is a second rate machine.

Harry's Army and his Navy
Never look on Heaven's scenes
Cause they know the Angels are all in love
With United States Marines.

Marvin Haverkamp

Korea Prisoner Exchange

Korea prisoner exchange pic 1

Korea prisoner exchange pic 2

Hi Sgt Grit,

I thought you might like to see a couple of old pictures that I took in Korea. This was the prisoners exchange. I was there and want everyone to know that they took off all their clothes do to thier shorts and threw them at us. They did not want to go back looking like they were taken care of. This was a long time ago...

Sgt. Bob Holmes, 135XXXX

That Is Six Years People

Sergeant Grit,

There is one thing about the Reserve that most people never think about. We live where we train. That is we are normally all the same age, went to all the local schools, and have a history with people that others in the unit know. We are, in a very loose sense, really a "band of brothers, sisters". For a minimum of six years we serve with each other, get to know what it is to be around each other, and put up with all of the particularities of unit and the Corps. That is six years people. You do anything that long you have a real sense of what to do and how to get it done.


2015 St. Patrick's Day T-shirt Special

Luckily I Was Not Injured

The most harrowing moment while I was in the Nam was during a rocket attack. They were trying to hit the 11th Marine battery on Hill 34. My company, Comm Support Co, 7th Comm Bn was the berm guard for the artillery stationed on the hill. The rockets managed to hit about 5 duds among the guns, hit our Bn supply, put at least two in our softball field, & through a water buffalo (not the animal, but the kind which was pulled by a vehicle.) I was the 7th Marine in a two man fighting hole, and so was the top-most one in the hole. The last rocket landed about 25 feet from this hole, and in front of our observation tower, throwing a lot of dirt, gravel, stones and who knows what else on top of me. Luckily I was not injured. Aside with pulling bridge guard duty on the Rt 1 bridge over the Cau Do river, the Bn did not do any jungle fighting. Of course, we had radiomen spread from the DMZ to Hoi An with the Korean Marines there, to whatever unit needed communicators. The only other bad time was when the DaNang ammo dump exploded on 30 Apr 1969. We were trapped on Hill 34 for two days, along with a USO show with falling ammo (mostly duds) falling on us. These duds hit our CO'S jeep, and put holes in the roofs of our hooches. I was glad to rotate back to the world some three weeks later.

Sgt J.T. McAniff III
1964-1972, '68-'69 Vietnam

I Wear It With Pride

Hey Grit,

I received your desert twill jacket and when I wore it, I got a lot compliments on it. The jacket is very good and I'll be wearing it to all my Veterans meetings. Some people asked me where I got it, so I told them from the Sgt. Grit magazine that I get. So I gave them your address and told them your toll free phone number so they can call you and order one if they want. I just love this jacket and will wear with Pride. Thanks for the good service, and the good service from your staff. I think the person was Jessie who took my order. So, could you thank her for her service and for placing my order. She was a very good saleslady.

Thanks Again,
Tony Packowski
FR. Manitowoc, WI.

Marines Wool and Poly Reversible Jacket

My Parents And The Corps

I moved here in Anderson, SC, about a little over four years. It blew my mind when I saw so many men who said they were in the Corps, were not only wearing their covers inside, but at the dinner table. Before I came in the Corps, my parents taught me that you don't wear your hat (cover) inside and you sure don't wear it at the table. Then The Marine Corps confirmed what my parents taught me. I was raised up being taught the South had the best manners of all, then when I got here in the South, it was a real shock to see the men wearing their covers inside and at the table. Can't believe these men get out of the Corps then forget their manners.

Warren Parris
Vietnam 1967-1969

Gen. Mattis' Next Mission

Destroying the PTSD Victim Myth
By William Treseder
Military 1 Advisor

Retired Marine General Jim Mattis, the most beloved and feared military leader in modern history, is not happy with the state of the nation. Last Wednesday night, at San Francisco's Salute to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, he explained why.

The appropriately nicknamed Mad Dog took aim at a dangerous moving target: Post-Traumatic Stress. "You've been told that you're broken," said Mattis, "That you're damaged goods" and should be labeled victims of two unjust and poorly executed wars. The truth, instead, is that we are the only folks with the skills, determination, and values to ensure American dominance in this chaotic world.

The alternative is something so obvious that it is pathetic we don't talk about it more. "There is also Post-Traumatic Growth," Mattis told the crowd. "You come back from war stronger and more sure of who you are."

Read the rest of this article at Destroying the PTSD Victim Myth.

A Discernible Pause

"The Marines' Hymn" I had here it played and sung hundreds of times, but the first time that I truly heard "The Marines' Hymn" was at the end of my first parade on the grinder at MCRD in San Diego in 1964. It was at the end of the Friday afternoon parade, and I knew in my heart that I was going to be a Marine. I realized that this was my "Theme Song". It was a glorious moment... a true epiphany. I truly cherished this moment.

Years later, I was with my girl and some friends at Madison Square Garden... Ah h-ll, let me tell you the whole story. It was 1968, and the country was in the toilet. There were riots and demonstrations against the Vietnam War every day. I was asked by Corporal Jim Duffy if I would like to go with a few other Marines and their wives to see the British Royal Marines at Madison Square Garden. At the time I was a Lance Corporal and this kind of invitation didn't come that often. I readily agreed.

On the appointed night, at the appointed time, we all met in civilian clothing. The place was packed and the show was wonderful, but the true high point of the evening came after the intermission. The entire British Royal Marine Marching Band came into the arena. They were marching only to the beat of their drums. The Beautifully appointed drum major signaled for the band's attention and on his downbeat they played the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard's anthems. Each was played beautifully, but their was no apparent break between each of the anthems. So they sounded like one continuous piece of music. At the end of the Coast Guard anthem there was a discernible pause. In fact, it was long enough to command the attention of everyone in the arena. Suddenly the silence was broken, all of the instruments of the entire band thundered "The Marines's Hymn". At the first note, Corporal Duffy bolted to attention. I was a heartbeat behind him, within a second Gunny Jenson was standing with us. Then all of the other Marines in our group were standing with the wives and girlfriends. As I looked out across the arena men and women were standing in groups and alone. Hundreds of clusters of people stood at attention as our "Hymn" echoed throughout the vast arena. Only our blessed "Hymn" could be heard. At its conclusion everyone sat down. Not a word was spoken. There was only silence. It was as if we all were in a church. There are certain truths and symbols that men hold sacred... the "Marines' Hymn" is one of these. It is the very lifeblood of our beloved Corps.

In word and music, it focuses all of the history and the mission into a sacred prayer. In that arena, standing in the silence with my fellow Marines, I was touched by the blessing of the sacred brotherhood... I was a Marine with Marines. There is no greater honor and privilege.

Lance Corporal R.L. Graziano
Platoon 294 "A Stelling Star"
2nd Bat / 25th Marines '64-'68

The Senator's Wife

Sgt, Grit,

My Mother was a Nurse that took care of Older TB cases. One of her Patients was the Mother of Denver's Premier Lawyer, Later a Republican Senator from Colorado. I had Got out at the end of WWII and went back in a few months later, a while Later, was in Quantico going to Ordnance School. One day I was told to report to the Sgt. Maj. I went into his Office and he said; "What's Your B-tch?" I said, "I have no B-tch, Why?" He said the Schools Commander wants to see you and promptly took me in to see him. When I was escorted into the Office, the Lt.Col. Said; "What's Your B-tch?" I was shook and replied, "I Have No B-tch, Sir!" He said, "why is a Senator coming to Visit you?" At that moment I was so d-mned mad at my mother because I knew she had a finger in this some how! I told the Col. that the Senator was a Friend of the Family, ONLY! The Col. Laughed and the Sgt. Maj. laughed and I was told which Conference Room we would meet in and any thing we wanted, all I had to do was tell the Steward.

About that time a Limo with 81st Congress License Plates pulled up at Headquarters and the Col. said "Go greet him! I met the Chauffeur at the door, He Said Mrs. Millikin (the Senator's wife) wanted to see me, I went to the Limo and met Mrs. Millikin, she asked to see my family. I went back and told the Col., he said you've got liberty for the rest of the day, GO! Now unless you were familiar with Quantico at the time, Off base housing wasn't the best and the house my family lived in also had Rats and Mice that ate through the Walls and wooden boxes to get at your food. We had to buy a tin box large enough to put our food in, we only had one child at the time and I knew my wife wouldn't be to Happy seeing anyone in her one room home with tin cans nailed to cover the rat holes in the floor and walls, but what the H-ll I was Stuck.

The Chauffeur followed my instructions and went to where we lived, I took Mrs. Millikin, quite probably, into the worse house she had ever been in and got her a chair near the table, my wife was nursing the baby. It all ended on a good note, Mrs. Millikin would report to my Mother that we would be leaving Quantico shortly. I think she knew not to worry my Mother.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired

Broadcast 1938

Sgt Grit,

In a previous blurb I made reference to "The Lady From 29 Palms", which, by coincidence is playing right now (0925, 21Jan15), and you provided a link for YouTube watchers. But, this time around, I found a version of "The Marine's Hymn" on YouTube, that very few, if any, of your readers have ever heard. It was recorded at Columbia Records, in 1942, by Kate Smith, on a 78 RPM disk. Again, the words of the version which she sings do not match the ones that all recruits have to sing in the gas chamber, but it will still give you goose bumps!

"Marines' Hymn" by Kate Smith 1942.

"God Bless America" by Kate Smith 1938.

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

More Luck Of The Draw

Sgt Grit,

My two cents worth in response to J Kanavy's​ comments about distinguishing between Viet Nam Vets and Viet Nam Era vets on grave-markers. I served from '73-'77. I was not "in-country" but I served and was willing to go. My brother did two tours in-country with the Army. While I was at K-Bay, our sister squadron deployed on a moment's notice for Operation Frequent Wind and the evacuation of Saigon. Some have had to stay "in the rear with the gear", but not always by choice. I also spent Desert Shield/Desert Storm in CONUS with the Army teaching USAF and USN pilots how to defeat a specific Iraqi Air Defense system. My parents - both Marines - spent WWII at El Toro overhauling F4Us. Both their grave stones proudly say WWII. They did their part. I did mine, and so did every other Viet Nam Era Marine. Even though I never left CONUS for either war, my grave stone will still say VIET NAM-DESERT STORM.

Jeff Howards
Sgt, USMC '73-'77
CPT, USAR, '77-'93

Regarding the submission by a former "Hat" in response to the submission by Mr. Bender, as to who is and isn't a VN vet... I have the highest regard for Mr. Bender's service, and for the Hats combat service and subsequent wounds. I agree with everything he said except the last statement, that we all are VN vets.

Does that mean that anyone who was in the Corps in 1983-84 is a Grenada vet and a Beirut vet? Is anyone who was in the Corps in 1991 a Desert Storm vet? If a person with such a distinguished record as the Hat tells you, you are a VN vet, then you will really start to believe it. Once you believe it, the next step is to place an order with Grit for all the appropriate clothing items that proclaim you as such, hat, shirt, jacket, etc. You will proudly put on your new clothes, puff out your chest, and go downtown, where you will eventually meet a VN vet. The conversation might go like this.

VN vet: Hey brother, when were you there, what outfit? Where were you based? and all the other questions that vets ask each other.
VN-Era vet: Well, I wasn't actually in VN.
VN vet: Oh? Where were you? Thailand? Laos? Offshore?
VN-Era vet: I was stationed at (pick any stateside post).

What might the next line of this conversation be? The VN-Era vet might be letting himself in for some embarrassment and verbal abuse. Back in April 2013 Grit ran a letter by me about "They also serve who only stand and wait". I said anyone who served performed his duty, no matter where it was. He can be a proud veteran. But maybe not a VN vet. Just my opinion.

Paul Lindner, Cpl. 1959-1963​

Sgt. Grit,

After many comments I have seen as well as one or two statements I have made as well - I have come to a final conclusion as to how I feel after reading many comments pro and con! My final conclusion is as follows:

I have served with one Marine who went to Vietnam as I stayed out of Asia - I would have served honorably no matter where I was sent - as I am a Marine!

I had a very close buddy after I was discharged an Army friend who served in Vietnam.

I met a Marine who serves in Afghanistan and Iraq - was in 8 years.

All of us had the discussion over I am considered a Vietnam Marine - even if I did not serve in the Asian Theater. All 3 said they considered that if I served in the Marine Corps during the (conflict-War) I - to them I am a Vietnam Marine whether I was over there or not - as if I was prepared to die for my Country, I am entitled to the respect of this Honor as a Marine. I have a t-shirt that says Vietnam Era MARINE!

I have been told by World War II and Korean Veterans as well that I am entitled to this accolade as well. It seems that a few of you out there are going to get upset - but I have to live with myself as I enlisted to serve my Country and had no choice where they sent me - as they sent me where I was needed the most at that particular time in my duration of service.

May the Lord above keep those Marines in harms way safe, and may all Brothers who serve return home safe and sound. Sadly, I have seen Marines killed in training and non-combat zones too!

Bruce Bender
Cpl USMC 1963-1967
Vietnam (Era) Marine

All the debate about Era versus Combat, all the debate about combat MOS versus support MOS, all the debate about Peacetime versus Wartime is sadly wasted. There is only one status that will ever matter. The sole issue is simply this : can you honestly say "I am a Marine"? If you can, we will never question anything else.

Pete Dahlstrom '68-'74
and (daughter) Khat Dahlstrom '98-'02
Semper Fi

Biggest Explosion

Sgt. Grit,

I arrived in-country in November 1967. While waiting for assignment we came under a mortar attack while at III MAF Transient Center in DaNang, a day later I was assigned to MAG-12 in Chu Lai and everyone staying in DaNang or going further north to Phu Bai and Quang Tri told me how lucky I was to be heading south instead of north. Then on January 31st, 1968, we came under rocket attack for over an hour with rockets and mortars hitting our flight line and taking out some parked aircraft as well as killing some Marines in the MAG-13 living area. Some landed in the fuel farm, but the biggest explosion came when they hit our bomb dump. The explosions in the bomb dump went on for over 48 hours until one of our aircraft dropped a 1000 lb. bomb in the middle to finally end the explosions. When the they hit the bomb dump it was like a massive earthquake rocking the entire base from the southern-most end to Americal Division and the NSAD Sand Ramp to the north. I wear hearing aids today as a result.

Semper Fi!

​Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC Retired
Author and Historian

"Bees Join Marines To Dump NVA" - May 1969

Marines in Vietnam have gone into battle in tanks, trucks, tractors, jeeps, bulldozers and now a giant earth mover. Two MCB, 62 men, EOCA Tommy J. Giddons and EO1, C.M. Vail, are responsible for this latest innovation in combat transportation.

The two equipment operators were working at 62's Cam Lo Bridge project when "B" Company 1st Bn., 9th Marines, received a call for help from a reconnaissance team nearby. The recon team was engaged in a fire-fight with the enemy and needed reinforcements. When the Marines grabbed their weapons and began looking for transportation to the battle site, the two Seabees volunteered theit TS-24 earth mover. The Marines scrambled into the scoop of their new assault vehicle and, with the Seabees driving, off they went.

EOCA Giddons at the controls took the Marines to the edge of the fighting and waited there for their return. The enemy forces withdrew when the reaction force arrived. EO1 Vail went into the bush with the Marines to assist them in getting back to the earth mover for the return trip. Staff Sergeant W.W. Miles, leader of the Marine reaction force, said, it would have taken us at least 35 to 40 minutes to get there on foot, but the Seabees got us there in five minutes, and they drove us close in toward the fire-fight.

Captain K. E. Junkins, commanding officer of "B" company commented, "The Can-Do attitude of the Seabees and the working rapport of the Marines and Seabees has proven that they are a winning team!"

Juke Box

Summer 1968 MCRD San Diego, CA. What a wonderful time it was for platoon 2046. I don't even have to look up what the platoon number was – it's somehow right there in my brain housing group ready for quick access, similar to my service number (Sir My Service Number Is: 2414XXX, SIR).

I can still recall hearing my favorite band (the Animals) music coming across the grinder from Mainside. It must have been Sunday because we were normally pretty busy with other activities to notice any music from that distance. Living in those Quonset huts with no creature comforts sure didn't seem fair to me when the rest of the world was going on as usual. All we had to do is look to the east across the freeway and see those houses up there with life going on, cars whizzing down the freeway going somewhere, anywhere. But here we were, doing our best to please our drill instructors (not D.I's). Maggot this and Maggot that and what is your major malfunction seemed to be all we could accomplish. Well, it must have been my love of music that brought about the next incident in the continuing parade of events that helped me turn from a pathetic civilian to a United States Marine.

I kind of thought I was chosen at random for this next activity, but now I know that God has a plan and purpose for everything. Private, come here. Get in that wall locker and when you see a coin come through the air vent – start singing. Next thing I know, there I am crammed inside that dark wall locker with just a little light streaming through the air vents at the top of the door. Next I hear my Drill Instructor talking to the Drill Instructor of the platoon next to ours about his new Juke Box. My Drill Instructor asks for a nickel from the other Drill Instructor and I can see the nickel dropping through the air vent at the top of the door. I just remain quiet. My Drill Instructor becomes noticeably upset because of the silence. The language that follows is not really suitable to repeat, but let me just say that I was motivated to action. I didn't even know that the things that were proposed were even possible for a human being to experience. I've heard talk of what it sounds like to be in a 55 gallon drum, and that day I got a good idea with all the punching and kicking on that metal wall locker. Well, the next nickel comes through the slot and the only song I can think of is "Mary had a Little Lamb". Not exactly the kind of song that one Drill Instructor wants to play on his Juke Box for another Drill Instructor. Oh boy, I was pulled out of that "Juke Box" pretty rudely, beat severely about the head and shoulder, and told to get away and never come back. The other Drill Instructor must have liked my singing though because he was carrying on and laughing that could be heard all the way over to mainside. I wonder if that Marine listening to the Animals over on mainside heard what was going on over in the Quonset huts?

Semper Fi
Sgt. A. 2414xxx (1968-1972)

Sgt Grit's School Circle

70th Anniversary Iwo Jima Flag Raising Parade Flyer

To all Veterans & friends,

On Saturday February 21st at 0830, the annual parade in Sacaton, Arizona to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima, will begin with a flyover of a B-17G Bomber (Sentimental Journey) accompanied by Marine Corps V-22 Ospey & Marine Corps AH-1Z Super Cobra (not yet confirmed).

Over 150 entries from all across the United States, will be in line & on display for all who attend, to see. There will be Iwo Jima survivors, Code Talkers & Native American Veterans Groups from New York to Florida to Oklahoma up to Michigan & Wisconsin. From Washington to Montana & the Dakotas. Kansas, New Mexico, And all over Arizona. Representing many tribes. American Legion Posts, VFW posts, Marine Corps League Detachments. ROTC groups from all branches. Veterans Motorcycle Clubs, Bagpipers and many other groups to honor this day. I hope that you have the time to come & see history.

It is something that your children & grandchildren should be a witness to. I have participated in this event for the last 14 years. And once again, I will be supplying vehicles for the dignitaries. I am looking for volunteers to help drive these honored Veterans & Elected officials.

Please contact me by calling or though the post. I hope to see all of you there.

Get more info at:

Frank V. Aiello
(480) 619-8672


Yesterday GySgt Merrill "Hootch" Henry, who served with VMM-261, VMO-6 and HMX to name a few from 1946 to 1967 received his orders to stand his post at Heaven's Gate. To those who served and have preceded him in taking their post, Hootch is on his way crack open some San Miguel's.

Spencer Sikder,
Proud nephew-in-law

Short Rounds

Sgt. Grit,

There will always be Marine Aviators -- just rearrange the letters for Marine!

airMen reMain

An original from Sgt. Max Sarazin, 1194xxx

This is my rifle. This is my gun. This is for fighting. This is for fun.

Jim Connor
Sgt 1955 - 1959 Proud Marine


P.J. O'Rourke quote

"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you d-mn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences."
--P.J. O'Rourke

"The United States does not need a Marine Corps mainly because she has a fine modern Army and a vigorous Air Force... We [the Marine Corps] exist today--we flourish today--not because of what we know we are, or what we know what we can do, but because of what the grassroots of our country believes we are and believes we can do."
--Brig. Gen. Victor Krulak, USMC​

"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

"I love the Corps for those intangible possessions that cannot be issued: pride, honor, integrity, and being able to carry on the traditions for generations of warriors past."
--Cpl. Jeff Sornig, USMC; in Navy Times, November 1994

"Leader of men, teller of tall tales, legend in his own mind, U.S. Marine extraordinaire, stream fordable, air dropable, beer fueled, water cooled, author, history maker, lecturer, traveler, freedom fighter, defender of the faith. Wars fought, tigers tamed, revolutions started, bars emptied, alligators castrated. Let me win your hearts and minds or I'll burn your damn hut down!"

"Gangway! Make a hole!"

"Stand by to fall out!"
"Aye, aye, sir!"
"Fall out!"
"Aye, aye, sir!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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