Dong Ha - CHU LAI AN HOA PHU BAI HUE CITY
Vol. 17, Issue 2
President's Message by Barney Barnes
I trust this newsletter finds you all well and in good spirits. First and foremost, this edition of our Golf 2/5 Newsletter, is in Honor and Loving Memory of our fallen brother, DENNIS CLAUDE STUDENNY, who passed away June17, 2004. Stu was to me, as well as most of ya'll, not only my true friend but my Brother in the Corps. I will miss him greatly. Because of our loss, the Golf 2/5 Family has gained a much stronger love, respect and bond for and to each other.
There were eight of us, Stu's Marine brothers, (Chuck Meadows, Mike Ervin, Tony Cartlidge, Don LaJeunesse, Dale Roberts, Mike Copeland, Larry Ortiz, Barney Barnes, Bill Rogers & J B Redus) who were able to come to Tulsa to pay our respects to Terry and his family and then say good bye to our brother.
A few of us got up and spoke at his funeral, myself included. Most of us spoke not from some planned speech or thoughts but simply just from our hearts. I could not even tell you what I said other than I closed my remarks with this poem that was left on my desk at work by a co-worker who knew I was hurting and struggling with the loss of Stu.
I DID NOT DIE
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints in the snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle Autumn's rain
When you awaken in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush, of quiet
Birds circled flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night
So do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there...I did not die.
By all means, we need to remember Terry in our thoughts and prayers. She is one of us. What a strong lady. A true trooper if there ever was one.
I would also ask that we remember our brother, Ruben Garza. Write to him if at all possible, this is a chance to reach out and help in the smallest way one of our own who has fallen on hard times.
I had planned to include Ruben's letters to me in this Prez Message, but to be honest, my heart and mind are just not in it. I'm, in my own way, still grieving from the loss of Stu. Ruben's written words are of such magnitude and power, I would not want to slight him by not presenting them so as for each of you to get an insight into who this brother of ours truly is.
Hope you understand.
Take care, my brothers, may God bless each of you and your families. And as always, Love & Respect to all. See you in DC!!
Memories of a Hero by George Haught
On June 6, 2004 a highway was dedicated to a fallen hero. Pfc. Melvin E. Newlin, although Melvin was not with Golf Company he was a fellow two-fiver. Melvin served with Fox 2/5 and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
His citation will appear later in this article as written by the Medal of Honor Society. It paints a true picture of courage and devotion to Corps.
For me it is a whole lot more personal because Melvin was my cousin and best friend. We grew up together, and played war games with the other kids. We learned a love for this great country and we learned to love the flag and to honor it. We like the generation that we grew up in said the pledge of allegiance and meant it when we said One Nation Under God.
We talked with the veterans of other wars and were not afraid to listen to them. We hung on their every word and we respected them. For us then as teenage kids these were true heroes. We saw the movie versions and like most young people thought that all Heroes were like John Wayne. Tall, indestructible men that could move mountains and never get hurt.
We come to find out that was not so, most of the veterans that we knew were not that big. But we never doubted their bravery or their stories.
Melvin was that way, like most of us he was not tall not athletic, he was 5' 9 tall and weighed in at a robust 140. But what he did on July 3, 4, 1967 was that of a man with the Heart the size of himself. The feat is written here for you to see for yourselves.
The citation only tells about the incident for which he was awarded his Medal of Honor, but it started well before that. I remember the first letter that I received from him when 2/5 was first deployed in March of 1967. The battalion was engaged in firefights on a daily basis and was getting really tested by the VC and the NVA. While I was in boot camp I got a letter from him telling me of a very pitched battle in June of 1967 and how his company CO reacted and acted that day. Melvin told me about how brave he was and how much of a Marine he was; he was killed that day saving the lives of his troops. He would later be given the Medal of Honor also, but Melvin would never know that. He, like I did and like countless others that I have talked to, only would wonder out loud to me in the letter, when the time comes I hope that I am ready.
The CO was named Captain James A. Graham, in looking at the Medal of Honor recipients I happened across his name and citation. In all 2/5 had 3 Medal of Honor recipients, besides Captain Graham and my cousin. The other was one from Golf Co., Gunny Allan Jay Kellogg who received his award on March11, 1970.
I could fill this newsletter with memories that my friend and I shared over his too brief life, but memories sometimes lend to sentimentality and tears.
I will share with you though some thoughts and reflections from doing research on the Medal of Honor, and other medals also. If you are a Marine you are held to a higher standard and the medals do not come cheap. We do not receive bronze stars for meritorious duty, only with V for valor. If you win a Medal of Honor in the Marine Corps you win it at the ultimate sacrifice.
In Viet Nam there were 245 Medal of Honor recipients, of those 57 were Marines 4 corpsman and 1 Chaplain.
There are only 132 living recipients 52% of which earned their medals 50 years ago, WW 2 (50) Korea (18). There has been one Woman awarded the Medal in the Civil War, Dr. Mary E. Walker.
Ronald Rossur (at left) is one of the living Medal Of Honor recipients that I had the pleasure to meet and talk with. He was the key speaker at the dedication ceremony representing the Medal Of Honor Society. He is a Korean War Veteran.
My cousin's Medal of Honor Citation:
NEWLIN, MELVIN EARL
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF. Place and date: Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, 4 July 1967. Entered service at: Cleveland, Ohio. Born: 27 September 1948, Wellsville, Ohio. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a machine gunner attached to the 1st Platoon, Company F, 2d Battalion, on 3 and 4 July 1967. Pfc. Newlin, with 4 other marines, was manning a key position on the perimeter of the Nong Son outpost when the enemy launched a savage and well coordinated mortar and infantry assault, seriously wounding him and killing his 4 comrades. Propping himself against his machine gun, he poured a deadly accurate stream of fire into the charging ranks of the Viet Cong. Though repeatedly hit by small-arms fire, he twice repelled enemy attempts to overrun his position. During the third attempt, a grenade explosion wounded him again and knocked him to the ground unconscious. The Viet Cong guerrillas, believing him dead, bypassed him and continued their assault on the main force. Meanwhile, Pfc. Newlin regained consciousness, crawled back to his weapon, and brought it to bear on the rear of the enemy, causing havoc and confusion among them. Spotting the enemy attempting to bring a captured 106 recoilless weapon to bear on other marine positions, he shifted his fire, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy and preventing them from firing the captured weapon. He then shifted his fire back to the primary enemy force, causing the enemy to stop their assault on the marine bunkers and to once again PFC Melvin Earl Newlin attack his machine gun position. Valiantly fighting off 2 more enemy assaults, he firmly held his ground until mortally wounded. Pfc. Newlin had single-handedly broken up and disorganized the entire enemy assault force, causing them to lose momentum and delaying them long enough for his fellow marines to organize a defense and beat off their secondary attack. His indomitable courage, fortitude, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of almost certain death reflect great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
The citation tells the story of bravery and of being that most rarest of rare, a Marine's Marine. I will always remember with the fondest and most loving memories a TRUE HERO!
Note: As reported in the Columbus, Ohio Morning Journal on 21 May 2004, WELLSVILLE It's been a long time coming for supporters of Melvin Earl Newlin. But at 3 p.m. on June 6 at the 4th Street gazebo, supporters of the Congressional Medal of Honor recipient will get their wish when the 5.3 miles of state Route 7 between East Liverpool and Wellsville (Ohio) is dedicated to Newlin during a formal presentation. Ron Simmons, commander of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 47, said the formal dedication has been a long time coming, and will finally satisfy those who have been waiting. A lot of people have been asking (about the dedication), Simmons said. It's really been a long time coming. The 5.3 miles of highway, named Melvin E. Newlin Memorial Highway, was officially named in December 2001 after Senate Bill 21, sponsored by Sen. Greg DiDonato, was signed in Columbus. It took a long time to get through that process, he said of the signing of the bill. Owe started this whole thing in 2000, so it's taken quite a long time for everything to get finished. The two roadside signs were recently installed in March nearly two years after the bill was signed. It's been red tape, government, that's held this up, Simmons said of the signs.
George, thanks for sharing these very personal recollections about your cousin and friend A TRUE AMERICAN HERO!
. . . the editor
Secretary/Treasurers Report by Rick Mack
Greetings Golf 2/5 Marines
The month of June most certainly had its ups and downs for me. On the uphill side I had managed to slip in a ten day vacation at which time I headed to northern Indiana to visit my brother. On the downhill side and while out of the area I had learned of the loss of Brother Dennis Studenny. He will most definitely be sorely missed and my thoughts and prayers are with him always as well as with his family. May he rest in peace until such time we are all together again.
Our treasury is looking well and has stabilized somewhat with only an occasional dues renewal coming in. We have also had a few new members sign on recently and to them I say Welcome Aboard. According to my records our numbers for paid up members is Extremely low at this time with a total count of 97 with this year being more than half gone already. If you have not done so as of yet please submit your 2004 dues and/or any past dues owed as soon as you possibly can as our numbers should be much higher than what they are at this time.
I would also like to bring your attention a simple task that would certainly make things a bit easier on me with regards to keeping our records straight when sending payments. There have been quite a few that have simply submitted a check without the dues notice stub enclosed or a note of any kind. Common sense tells me that your $10 payment would therefore be applied to the current year dues and that is not the problem I have been running in to. Those that send in additional funds over $10 has me confused without a note of some kind explaining what the additional funds are to be applied to as in: Past dues owed, pre-payment for the next year or a donation. Therefore, it would certainly assist me in keeping the records straight if you would kindly slip in a note with an explanation of what the additional funds are for. Your cooperation regarding this matter would most definitely be appreciated.
Thus far it appears as though I will be strapped with a lot of family business to take care of with little Samantha and all and it saddens me that I will not be able to attend the upcoming reunion in September and to all of those that will be there I can assure you that my thoughts will be with you all. I would like to personally thank Mike Ervin for all the work he has been putting into getting this off the ground for us and I am looking forward to reading all about what took place there in the next newsletter. Speaking of newsletters, I would also like to thank Larry Ortiz for all that he has done currently and over the years for making sure that we are informed of what takes place within the association by putting together a great newsletter. Let's not forget our association's information officer Tony (aka, Limey) for all that he has been doing with keeping us up to date on various information through emails. Thanks to all of you for your dedication and sacrifices.
I wish for all of you the very best this summer season and please keep our troops around the world in your thoughts and prayers.
GOLF 2/5 Reunion 2004, by Mike Ervin (Association VP and 2004 Reunion Chairman)
When: 2004 Golf 2/5 Association Reunion is set for 24th, 25th, and 26th of September 2004!
Where: Washington D.C.
Hotel: Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington VA 22202 (703-271-5226).
Some other hotels close to the Crystal City Marriott are:
* Courtyard by Marriott Crystal City, 2899 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arl. VA 800-321-2211
* Days Inn Crystal City, 2000 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arl. VA 800-329-7466
* Embassy Suite Hotel, 1300 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arl. VA 703-979-9799
* Hampton Inn & Suite, Reagan Int'l Airport, 2000 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arl VA 703-418-8181
* Holiday Inn, 1489 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arl VA 800-465-4329
* Holiday Inn National Airport, 2650 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arl. VA 800-465-4329
* Hyatt Regency Crystal City, 2799 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arlington, VA 800-233-1234
Any one with questions can call Mike Ervin @ 703-354-1473 or email email@example.com.
Friday Day/Evening 24Sep04 - General Grab-Ass Session, informal introductions, meet and squeal - location will probably be in an adjoining hospitality suite. Specific information will be provided in handouts at check-in.
Saturday 25Sep04 - 10am - 3pm
1. General Membership Meeting (30 minutes) to discuss:
(1) G 2/5 Assn. can't continue to expect to have bi-annual reunions without benefit of $$. It's either higher dues, those that do attend reunions bear the expense, or reunions go by the wayside.
(2) Increase in annual dues.
(3) Where to hold next reunion.
b. Speaker (30 min. to 1 hr) - currently have one speaker (Bill Buchanan). Will probably try to schedule Bill in the AM (Topic general 2/5 and G 2/5 data 65 era).
c. Break for lunch.
d. Speaker (30 min to 1 hr) From VADC to speak about PTSD then and now
e. General Grab-Ass session
2. Dinner in the Terrace Restaurant - Buffet Style (that's what's currently in the works).
Sunday 26Sep04 - retrograde
In Our Thoughts and Prayers
Dennis Studenny As Barney reported in his Pres. Message, we lost a good friend and fellow Marine, suddenly, unexpectedly and shockingly on Thursday, June 17, 2004. Stu's wife, Terry, called the next day to inform me that Stu, as we all called him, had passed away. I had already left for work and my wife, Melba, received the call. She called me at work to tell me the bad news and it felt like I had just been kicked in the stomach. How could this be? As luck would have it, Stu had called me on Tuesday night, a little over 36 hrs. before he died.
Stu, or Stud which was his real nickname in Nam, was the first Association President. I remember we'd talk and he'd tell me of all the former G 2/5er's he had tracked down or found out other information about them. He remembered which city many of our friends were from and he'd call information in that city and get numbers for as many people with that same last name as he could and he'd start making calls. Sometimes he'd actually end up calling the right person. Other times he might be lucky and reach a relative of the Marine he was looking for and get their number that way. Many times he'd call and he'd tell me he did find out about the Marine he was looking for but that he had died some number of years after he got back from the Nam. It took a lot of time and he ran up many expensive phone bills trying to locate G 2/5er's but that's how important his brother Marines were to him.
When a close family member or close friend dies, you hope you have no regrets. Unfortunately, I do have some regrets at Stu's untimely passing. We spoke occasionally by phone every few months and I have to admit that most of the phone calls were initiated by Stu. The night he called, he had just come from a bar where he had a few drinks with some of his friends. During our conversation, he kinda' chewed my butt a little about not staying in touch more often. At first I was in no mood for a lecture but I listened to him and acknowledged he was right and our conversation turned immediately from his being a little upset with me to a conversation between two good friends and brother Marines. We talked a good long while and it was really good to talk to him. I now regret I did not stay in touch with him as often as I could have.
Stu was also the Golf 2/5 historian. Whenever we got together at reunions and at other times, Stu could relate dates, names, the Operation we were on and all manner of facts whereas most of the rest of us remembered these events but not with the clarity and detail Stu did. I have been thinking about writing a book about my Nam experiences some day, probably when I retire. I've thought about taking a trip to visit many of my vet friends I served with to talk to them and help me piece together some of the details that are slipping away. I envisioned visiting Stu first, having a few, or several drinks, and recording our conversations to get a good recollection of many of the facts and events that he remembered so well. I regret that I no longer have that opportunity.
I learned a very important life-lesson from Stu's untimely death. I learned that I should value daily the presence in my life of my family, friends and loved ones. Life is certainly unpredictable and fleeting and you never know when tragedy might strike. I learned that I need to express to the people I care about and love that I love and care about them now before it's too late and I might not have taken the opportunity to let them know that.
I like all Stu's family and friends miss him terribly. He was a good friend and one HELLUVA Marine! I guess those drinks will have to wait.
Semper Fi, my friend rest in the peace of God's love.
The following is reprinted from the Program at Stu's funeral:
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings:
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
By John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
In Loving Memory
Dennis Claude Studenny
June 29, 1949
Suffern, New York
June 17, 2004
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
10:00a.m. Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Stanleys Memorial Chapel
Rev. Paul Taylor
E. Farrell Dixon
Marine Corps Hymn Into The Mystic
I'm With You Rondeau
Dan Dunn Bill Stoneley Mike Gregory
Mark Dupra George Tooma Barney Barnes
Floral haven Memorial Gardens
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Jerry Ortiz recently underwent quadruple bypass surgery. I'd like to ask the Association members to keep my older brother in your thoughts and prayers for a full and speedy recovery. Jerry accompanied me and three other Golf 2/5er's back to the Nam in 1998 and he and his wife, Terry, have attended a couple reunions with me and my wife Melba. Many of you know him and all your good thoughts and wishes will be greatly appreciated by me and his family the editor
From Walter Kaczmarek This letter is to let you know that one of H-2-5 passed away recently. He was Alan MacDonald of Jacksonville, Fl. Alan had a silver star and was one of the Marines that raised the flag at Hue city. He had stomach cancer for a few years. I last saw Alan two years ago at the Hue city reunion. He will be missed.
From James Zak Michael L Trombley (KIA Aug. 1967)
Mike and I enlisted together, and we stayed together through boot camp, but after that he went to the 1st. Mar. Div and I went to the 3rd. We were big fans of the Detroit Red Wings and played a lot of Ball together when we were kids. Even after all these years, I still miss him. But I have honored him by naming my son after him.
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. So if you knew him or if anyone else out there knew Mike, drop me a line.
*Lest We Forget. . .!
*HM3 John C. Blake (Corpsman) KIA 3/21/70
*Lt. Nicholas P. Huth II KIA 7/12/69
**LCpl. Thomas R. Moore KIA 2/22/70
Cpl. Henry Gleaves Crigger KIA 11/15/67
LCpl. Gary Lee Jenks KIA 8/12/70
Cpl. David H. Warner KIA 2/17/68
Correction: In the April 2004 Newsletter, LCpl. Regis P. Debold was listed as KIA 10/12/68/ the correct date was 10/12/66
*Thanks to Hm2 "Doc Jeff" Lippincott, 3 rd plt corpsman who served with Golf Company, 2/5, 1stMAR DIV, RVN, 6/69-6/70 who provided these two names the editor
**Thanks to Gary Dickerson for the information the editor
Let us also not forget our brave Marines, Soldiers, Airmen
and British and Italian allies who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan and on Operation Iraqi Freedom!
From Joy Doc Higgins Joy attended the 2002 2/5 Reunion in Branson, with Doc, where all G2/5 vets received a Reunion T-shirt. She and some of the wives felt a little left out and Joy has taken on the self-appointed task of designing T-shirts for all the wives and significant others who are going to attend the forthcoming reunion in September in DC. The T-shirts will have two red hearts intertwined on the front with Vietnam Veterans Partners in a circle around them. On the back, Veterans of Golf 2/5, Proud of their service and sacrifices, with the Golf 2/5 emblem and maybe the Marine emblem, all sizes I hope. They will be 12 dollars each and they will only come in white sorry. Joy needs an accurate count of those who would like to purchase a T-shirt. Please call Joy at: 402-486-1772. Please leave message on answering machine, and it will ring for a long time, sorry. You can also contact Joy at: Jjhiggjo@aol.com.
The G 2/5 Association would like to welcome three new members, Walter Wally L. Kubicki, LaGrange Highlands, IL, and Robert Shinkle, Kingsland, GA, and John Royer, Clearwater, FL all dues paying members! Wally, Ed Benavidez, Ted Armijo, Larry Hardaway, and Ron Johnson some of our Chu Lai Veterans have also advised that they are planning on attending the DC reunion. We look forward to seeing them there the editor.
From Lucia Viti Hello, my name is Lucia Viti and I am the daughter of Dr Tom Viti who served as the Second Battalion, Fifth Marines Surgeon in An Hoa in 1967. I am writing a memoir about his service, as well as those who served with him - if you have any information please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. Thank you kindly. Kindest regards, Lucia Viti
I had the opportunity to speak with Lucia and she is very interested in hearing from anyone that may have known her father (who has since passed away) and served with him. Please contact her at the above e-mail address if you knew Doc Viti. . . . the editor
From Sue Warner-Bean My big brother, David Warner, served in Golf 2/5 from August '67 until he was killed in action in Hue on February 17, 1968. For 35 years I had known very little about Dave's time in Viet Nam.
Sue is very interested and anxious to hear from any G 2/5 vets who may have known and served with her brother. If any of you out there may have known David, please contact Sue at the following E-mail:
Or, you can contact me and I can provide Sue's phone number to contact her directly the editor
Missing In Action
We have lost touch with the following G 2/5 vets. Their last known city of residence is also provided below.
Baker, Ferrall L. Laguna Niguel, CA
Crilly III, Thomas J. Iselin, NJ
Coltri, Jr., Bruno R. Lyons, IL
Dillenburg, Clyde St. Joseph, MN
Dima, G. E. Spokane, WA
Faircloth, Michael E. Deatsville, AL
Gates, William L. Gainesville, FL
Graham, James M. Gibsonia, PA
Huber, Jim Charleston, MD
Jasper, N. J. Vinton, CA
Lippencott, Jeffery Wilmington, DE
Lucas, Larry Beattyville, KY
Marsden, Richard W. Camdenton, MO
McColloch, James H. Charleston, SC
McGuiness, John C. Anthony, FL
McNeil, Mike A. Iowa City, IA
Moore, Dave H. Herndon, VA
Moore, John H. Payson, AZ
Robinson, Arthur T. Bronx, NY
Schaefer, R. A Walkerton, IN
Sutton Jr., Horace Lumberton, NC
Woggin, John A. Hilton Head, NC
Note: After the last newsletter mailing, I received two returns with no forwarding address. These new MIAs are listed in bold above. If any of you know any of these individuals and have a current address for them, please send along to me. . .the editor
April 2004 Newsletter, by Larry Ortiz
I took over the position of G 2/5 editor about 5 years ago. Our Secretary/Treasurer/Editor, Lance Machamer was having some health problems and could no longer keep up all his duties with the Golf 2/5 Association and asked for a volunteer to take over the position of editor. I took this position for many reasons but primarily because keeping the G 2/5 Association going as a viable organization was very important to me and the newsletter was and is our primary means of communication. Through the Association, I have been able to reconnect with many of my friends and fellow Marines I had the privilege to serve with in Vietnam. My position as editor of the G 2/5 Association has been primarily and foremost, a labor of love for me.
Secondarily, I had several professors in college who believed I had some talent for writing, however modest that might be, and encouraged me to pursue it and it's always been something I have enjoyed doing.
In a recent article submitted by Stewart Brown, he wrote a short but poignant article I included in the Dec. 2003 newsletter. In Stewart's article, he wrote about how, for the most part, he is able to keep the demons at bay but every once in awhile those feelings and emotions about losing friends in the Nam come uncontrollably flooding into his consciousness. He hoped in his short article to achieve a catharsis of some sort by writing about those feelings.
During my five year tenure as the editor, I have written many editorials relative to my personal experiences in the Nam. A third reason I accepted the editor position is because I, too, hoped for a catharsis through my writing about my Nam experience and the struggles that continue 36 years after that experience. I don't write the articles as a selfish act. I know firsthand from keeping in touch with many Nam vets how they, how we all, struggle from time to time with these issues. My hope and attempted goal was to write about my feelings which I believe are feelings we all share and to hopefully help some of our Association members by letting them know they are not alone, that we all are going through these same kinds of feelings and emotions and there are ways to get help either professionally or through contact with other Nam vets.
There was no job description for G 2/5 Association, Editor. I looked forward to receiving the newsletter when Lance was the editor and in fact, I have saved every newsletter since the Association was formed. The only stated topic I recall Lance addressing in one of his newsletters is that the newsletter would not be used for providing information relative to Veterans issues such as legislation affecting Veterans and other related Veteran's topics as there are many sources available to obtain that information. So, I have changed the format of the newsletter somewhat but have tried to follow Lance's lead in concentrating on trying to include news from and about G 2/5 veterans.
After each newsletter I've mailed, I always receive a handful of comments, mostly via e-mail. In all cases they have been to tell me that they enjoyed the newsletter, to thank me for the job I have been doing as the editor and in keeping us connected. I am, however, not naive enough to believe that that is a 100% opinion of all of the Association members.
At the Feb. 2003 Hue City Memorial in Mayport, Florida where Gen. Peter Pace, Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was the keynote speaker, I had an opportunity to introduce myself to him at the picnic held the day before the Memorial service. I was in Golf Co. at the same time then Lt. Pace was the 2nd platoon commander but I was assigned to 3rd platoon and never served under Lt. Pace during his tour as 2nd platoon commander. When I introduced my self to Gen. Pace and shook his hand, I told him I was the editor of the Association newsletter and the first thing he said to me was, thank you for keeping us connected. That comment meant more to me than anything else he could have said to me and that has inspired me to continue in this job as long as the Association President and officers want me to continue as the editor.
In the April 2004 Newsletter, I included a photo of John Kerry with Jane Fonda and a direct quote from Kerry that he made when he testified before a Congressional hearing in 1971 as a leader in the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. After the newsletter mailing, I again received several positive comments from some of the Association members. However, Barney Barnes, our Association President, and I, received the following e-mail from one of our members: Ortiz, your an idiot. WHO says you can use the Golf 2/5 newsletter as your own political forum? I have noticed this before and this time I need to speak up. We are not all of your political thinking as you assume we are. Your KERRY bit is about to put me over the edge and to say the hell with 2/5. Pay my dues to let you run your personal diatribe? Screw you. Resign. I love 2/5 but this is the shits. Vote for that draft dodging silver spoon Bush, you got to be kidding! KEEP THE NEWSLETTER APOLITICAL! WAKE UP! I feel you need to apologize to the membership. I'm sure I am not the only one who feels as I do on the above.
(name withheld), maybe former member.
Needless to say, after I received this e-mail my first inclination was to fire off an e-mail in reply and advise this Association member just where he could place his $10 membership fee heavily sprinkled with many combinations of swear words I learned while in the Corps. But I resisted this knee-jerk reaction and thought about the point he was trying to make and not his vitriolic response to the Kerry piece. I did reply to this individual and since this was the first time any of the Association Officers had ever heard from him, and he's never attended any of the G 2/5 reunions, I asked him if he would like me to include his e-mail to me in the next newsletter (much as I do with almost all the occasional e-mails I receive from our members). Barney also responded to his e-mail and followed up a couple of times after his first response. Well, neither Barney nor I have heard back from this individual so I have included his e-mail message, exactly as he wrote it, without his name.
Additionally, a few days later, I received a two page letter from a friend who also was assigned to 3rd platoon as I was who also took exception to the Kerry piece; however, in a much friendlier way. He agreed with Kerry's testimony before Congress that there were atrocities committed in Vietnam. He stated that one of the big reasons for the Vietnam War and the Iraq War was to line the pockets of big business. He also commented indirectly about an article I wrote in a past newsletter as to whether I would do it again (where I said I would) if I knew then what I know now about the Vietnam War and how it turned out. He states, Why would anyone in their right f - - - ing mind want to do it all over again. He also pointed out that the photo I included of Kerry with Jane Fonda was not an actual photo but a manufactured photo. I also learned from our Information Director, Tony Cartlidge, that the photo was a fake. Just goes to show you, you can't believe any photo you see anymore except the ones you've taken with your own camera! I responded to my friend's letter rebutting some of his comments and in return received a seven page letter amplifying on the points he made in his two page letter about Kerry and today's political climate. I was able to understand his passionate positions in an objective way and actually agreed with many of his points but not all. Just goes to prove that we can agree to disagree.
I would like to take the opportunity to explain my reasons for including the piece on Kerry and the photo. First of all, I knew nothing of Kerry other than he was a heavily decorated Vietnam Vet who was a Senator from Massachusetts and only a little about his participation in the VVAW when he became a Democratic candidate for President. I didn't know early on in the primaries the extent of his participation in the VVAW and what he had said in his testimony before Congress until he became the front runner candidate and I started learning more about him. He (Kerry) accused you, and he accused me, of committing all manner of atrocities in Vietnam. He defamed you and he defamed me. He lied about you and he lied about me I found these facts unconscionable and unforgivable and he, like Hanoi Jane, has never apologized for or retracted those statements. I, as the editor, made the decision, as our media does, that it was the right of the public to be informed and if they still wanted to support the man it is an individual choice. Nowhere in that short piece was there any reference to Pres. Bush nor was there any endorsement or recommendation to vote for him.
Further, in 1971, John Kerry coauthored a book with fellow Vietnam Veterans Against the War titled The New Soldier where the front cover is a photo of Kerry and fellow VVAW's in a mocking pose of the Marines who raised the U. S. Flag on Mt. Suribachi. I know this to be a factual photo as well as a photo of Kerry sitting behind Jane Fonda during an anti-war rally at Valley Forge, PA in September 1970. I can understand his right to protest the war but mocking the Corps' most sacred representation . . . ? why was that necessary?
I naively believed I was not making a political statement because I was not endorsing the other or any candidate merely providing information. After reading the above e-mail and after I calmed down and overlooked his venomous attack and understood his actual point, I have to admit I agreed. I can see now that that piece on Kerry cannot be removed from the realm of politics because he is a political candidate. I also agree that the G 2/5 newsletter is not the appropriate venue to express political viewpoints and I do apologize for that misjudgment. I also regret including a photo that I had not thoroughly researched to determine its authenticity.
Additionally, in the e-mail from the Association member who didn't like the Kerry piece, he made this accusation I'd like to respond to: Pay my dues to let you run your personal diatribe? I'm sure we all understand the meaning of the word diatribe' but I'd like to give Mr. Webster's definition: Ò1 a prolonged discourse, 2 a bitter and abusive speech or writing, 3 ironical or satirical criticism. Before I respond to that accusation, I'd also like Mr. Webster's help with the definition of two other words: editor a person who writes editorials. Editorial a newspaper or magazine article that gives the opinions of the editors or publishers; also: an expression of opinion that resembles such an article.
I can certainly agree that my editorials might fit one of the definitions of diatribe a prolonged discourse. Most of my editorials are lengthy. After I received the above e-mail, I have gone back to review my previous editorials to see which others may have had a political slant to them. I did come across two where I mentioned Clinton in an article I wrote after 9-11 and an article I wrote soon after the Iraq war began. I will also try to refrain from political commentary in any future editorials.
My goal as the G 2/5 editor has always been to publish a minimum of four newsletters each year. I have never been able to achieve that goal for two reasons: 1) I have a full-time job that is pretty demanding, and 2) I do not have enough material' to publish more than three newsletters each year. I have always solicited input from the membership and include any and all I receive. But, there still remains only a handful of the membership who, like paying their dues, contribute something for the newsletter. Therefore, as the editor, I frequently write an editorial as filler and because it's the prerogative of the position.
I, as the editor, welcome any and all comments on the newsletter. It's always been great receiving the positive feedback after each newsletter mailing. But, I also welcome any comments such as the two I received after the April newsletter mailing. However, as fellow Marines, I would ask that if anyone wants to express any unfavorable comments, there is certainly a more professional and respectful way to do that rather than to start with a personal attack. I again also invite any of our Association members to submit anything they'd like to contribute to the newsletter at any time.
Finally, I'd like to respond to his call for me to resign as the editor. I certainly didn't think that piece on Kerry was such a grievous offense requiring my resignation. However, I discussed it with the Association President and he also agreed it was not a resignable offense. At the upcoming reunion in Washington in September, all the Association offices will be up for reelection. I invite this person who has never attended a reunion, to join us to interact with, and enjoy the company of, his fellow veterans and to cast his vote at the Association meeting for the election of Association Officers.
Larry S. Ortiz the editor
Famous USMC Quotes:
"The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle" General Pershing, US Army.
"Hard pressed on my right, My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking!"
"So they've got us surrounded. Good. That simplifies the problem! Now we can fire in any direction, those bastards won't get away this time!"
Colonel (later General) Chesty Puller, USMC.
"The more Marines I have around the better I like it!"
General Mark Clark, US Army.
"Sometimes it is entirely appropriate to kill a fly with a sledge-hammer!"
Major Matt Holdredge.
"A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons!" Admiral David Porter, USN.
"The Marines have landed and have the situation well in hand!"
Richard Harding Davis.
"Casualties many. Percentage of dead not known. Combat assessment: We are winning!"
Colonel David M. Shoup, USMC
"I can never again see a United States Marine without experiencing a feeling of reverence."
General Johnson, US Army.
"The raising of the flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."
James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy.
"Come on you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?" Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Daly, USMC
"We're not retreating, Hell! We're just attacking in a different direction!
General Oliver Smith, USMC
"I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!"
General Douglas Macarthur, US Army
"Teufelhunden! (Devil Dog)"
Nickname, German Soldiers, WW1 at Belleau Woods.
"We have two companies of Marines running all over this island and thousands of Army troops doing nothing!"
General John Vessey, Chairman of Joint Chiefs (About Grenada).
"Retreat hell! We just got here!"
Captain Lloyd Williams, USMC.
"The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. Lord, how they could fight!"
Washington Post Correspondent
"Panic sweeps my men when they are facing the American Marines."
Captured North Korean Major.
(My personal favorite. . .the editor) "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
President Ronald Reagan.
"Marines are about the most peculiar breed of human beings I have ever witnessed. They treat their service as if it were some kind of cult, plastering their emblem on almost everything they own, making themselves up to look like insane fanatics with haircuts ungentlemanly short, worshipping their Commandant almost as if he were a god, and making weird animal noises like a band of savages. They will fight like rabid dogs at the drop of a hat just for the sake of a little action and are the cockiest SOB's I have ever known. Most have the foulest mouths and drink well beyond a man's normal limits. But their high spirits and sense of brotherhood set them apart and generally speaking the United States Marines I have come in contact with are the most professional soldiers and the finest men I have had the pleasure to meet."
Anonymous Canadian Citizen 1969.
"The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!"
Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945.
"THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS . . . is over 225 years of romping, stomping, hell, death and destruction. The finest fighting machine the world has ever seen. We were born in a Bomb Crater, Our Mother was an M-16 & Our Father was the Devil. Each moment that I live is an additional threat upon your life. I am a rough looking, roving soldier of the sea. I am cocky, self-centered, overbearing, and do not know the meaning of fear, for I am fear itself. I am a green amphibious monster, made of blood and guts, who arose from the sea, feasting on anti-Americans throughout the globe. Whenever it may arise, and when my time comes, I will die a glorious death on the battlefield, giving my life for Mom, the Corps, and the American Flag. We stole the eagle from the Air Force, the anchor from the Navy, and the rope from the Army. On the 7th day, while God rested, we over-ran his perimeter and stole the globe, and we've been running the show ever since. We live like soldiers and talk like sailors and slap the Hell out of both of them. Marine by day, lover by night, drunkard by choice, MARINE BY GOD!!!
Golf 2/5 Website Address
Sign on at:
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P.O. Box 367
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Larry S. Ortiz
7064 Scripps Crescent
Goleta, CA 93117
P.O. Box 3007
Riverside, CA 92519-3007
2231 Surf Road
Ochlockonee Bay, FL 32346-2626