This page contains stories, e-mails, and letters etc. that will stir your heart!




 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 

1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and  why?

 21 steps:  It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which is  
the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?

21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1

3. Why are his gloves wet?
His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.


4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time
and, if not, why not?

 He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.


5. How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes, 
twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.


6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to? 

For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be 
between 5' 10' and 6' 2' tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.  

 They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the 
rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way.  

 After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on 
their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 
400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their

lives or give up the wreath pin.  

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the  top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt. 
There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty 
in front of a full-length mirror. 
The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor 
watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid 
to rest in Arlington National Cemetery . A guard must memorize who they are 
and where they are interred. Among the notables are:  

 President Taft, 

  Joe Lewis {the boxer} 

  Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, the most 
decorated soldier of WWII of Hollywood fame. 
Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for 
guard duty. 



In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching     Washington , DC , our 
US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC
evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the 
hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of
the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They 
respectfully declined the offer, 'No way, Sir!' Soaked to the skin, 
marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding
the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be
afforded to a serviceperson. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 
24/7, since 1930. 

God Bless and keep them. 


The Marine stood and faced God,
 Which must always come to pass.
 He hoped his shoes were shining,
 Just as brightly as his brass.
'Step forward now, Marine,
 How shall I deal with you?
 Have you always turned the other cheek?
 To My Church have you been true?'
The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
 'No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
 Because those of us who carry guns,
 Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
 And at times my talk was tough.
 And sometimes I've been violent,
 Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep.....
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
 When the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear...
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
 I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
 Except to calm their fears
If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
 But if you don't, I'll understand.
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the Marine waited quietly,
 For the judgment of his God.
'Step forward now, you Marine,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
 You've done your time in Hell.'
Author Unknown~


It's the Soldier, not the reporter 
Who has given us the freedom of the press.

It's the Soldier, not the poet, 
Who has given us the freedom of speech.
It's the Soldier, not the politicians 
That ensures our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness..
It's the Soldier who salutes the flag, 
Who serves beneath the flag, 
And whose coffin is draped by the flag.



The Marine Drill Sergeant

The Marine Drill Sergeant noticed a new recruit and barked at him, 'Get your BUTT over here ! What's your name?" 

"Paul," the new recruit replied. 

"Look, I don't know what kind of bleeding-heart pansy BS they're teaching in boot camp today, but I don't call anyone by his first name," the sergeant scowled. "It breeds familiarity, and that leads to a breakdown in authority.  I refer to my recruits by their last names only --- Smith, Jones, Baker.  I am to be referred to only as 'Sergeant.' Do I make myself clear?" 

"Yes, sir, Sergeant!" 

"Now that we've got that straight, what's your last name?" 

The recruit sighed. "Darling, My name is Paul Darling." 

"Okay, Paul, here's what I want you to do ....." 





This is a poem being sent from a Marine to his Dad. For those who take the time to read it, you'll see a letter from him to his dad at the bottom.  It makes you truly thankful for 
not only the Marines,
 but ALL 
of our troops.


We all came together, 
Both young and old
To fight for our freedom,
To stand and be bold.

In the midst of all evil, 
We stand our ground,
we protect our country
From all terror around.

Peace and not war, 
Is what some people say.
But I'll give my life,
So you can live the American way

I give you the right 
To talk of your peace.
To stand in your groups,
and protest in our streets.

But still I fight on, 
I don't fuss, I don't whine.
I'm just one of the people! 
Who is doing your time.

I'm harder than nails, 
Stronger than any machine.
I'm the immortal soldier,
I'm a U.S. MARINE!
So stand in my shoes,
And leave from your home.
Fight for the people who hate you,
With the protests they've shown.
Fight for the stranger,
Fight for the young.

So they all may have, 
The greatest freedom you've won

Fight for the sick, 
Fight for the poor
Fight for the cripple,
Who lives next door. 

But when your time comes, 
Do what I've done.
For if you stand up for freedom,
You'll stand when the fight's done

By: Corporal Aaron M. Gilbert, US Marine Corps 

Hey Dad, 
Do me a favor and label this 'The Marine' and send it to
 everybody on your email list.. Even leave this letter in it. I want this rolling all over the  US; I want every home reading it. Every eye seeing it. And every heart to feel it. So can you please send this for me? I would but my email time isn't that long and I don't have much time anyway. 
You know what Dad?
 I wondered what it would be like to truly understand what JFK said in His inaugural speech. 'When the time comes to lay down my life for my country, I do not cower from this responsibility. I welcome it.' Well, now I now.  And I do. Dad, I welcome the opportunity to do what I do. Even though I have left behind a beautiful wife, and I will miss the birth of our first born child, I would do it 70 times over to fight for the place that God has made for my home. I love you all and I miss you very much. I wish I could be there when Sandi has our baby, but tell her that I love her, and Lord willing, I will be coming home soon. Give Mom a great big hug from me and give one to yourself too. 


A Marine sent this to a fellow Marine to describe what was on his mind.

 With the Marine committed to another major op in Afghanistan, this comes at an appropriate time. 


Meaning of Flag Draped Coffin  

I hope you take the time to read this ... To understand  what the flag draped coffin really means ... Here is  how to understand the flag that laid upon it and is  surrendered to so many widows and widowers.  

Do  you know that at military funerals, the 21-gun salute stands for the sum of the numbers in the year 1776?

Have  you ever noticed the honor guard pays meticulous  attention to correctly folding the United States of America Flag 13 times? You probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but we learn something new every day!

The 1st fold of the flag is a symbol of life.

The 2nd fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.  

The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing the ranks who gave a portion of  their lives for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.  

The 4th fold represents the weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

The 5th fold is a tribute to the country, for in the words of Stephen  Decatur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is  still our country, right or wrong."  

The 6th fold is for where people's hearts lie. It is with their heart that They pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States Of America, and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

The 7th fold is a tribute to its Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that they protect their country and their flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of their republic.

The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.

The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.  

The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of their country since they were first born.

The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.

The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding them of their nations motto, "In God We Trust."

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for them the rights, privileges and freedoms they enjoy today.  

There are some traditions and ways of doing things that have deep meaning. In the future, you'll see flags folded and now you will know why.


Marines Volunteering
You know that step forward thing that so many step back on!
(Story by Winsett)

Societies Definition:
As defined: Volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others without being motivated by financial or material gain. Volunteering generally considered an altruistic (that means selfless guys) activity, intended to promote good or improve human quality of life. People also volunteer to gain skills without requiring an employer's financial investment.

Marine Definition:
Giving back to a great Nation so that we can protect the values of the foundation that our communities where built upon, freedom. To develop sound support to those who serve in the Armed Forces of America and because the Gunny told me to do it!

There is Marines Helping Marines, a common easy to understand volunteer task for those who serve in the Marine Corps who carry their brotherhood skills throughout life.

Then there are those who have endured many hardships in the campaigns in which we are deployed, realizing that giving back to the Corps is a significant part of the cure.

The veteran support systems in place in our society may never be adequate to compensate for bravery, this is why we take it upon ourselves to make an effort to overcome adversity both in the aid of those who serve and the communities in which we live.

In combat a Marine General will "evac" a Private on his shoulders to remove him from harm's way, a Private will "evac" a General on his shoulders to move him out of harm's way. "He ain't heavy he's my brother." We overcome adversity with fortitude. It takes fortitude to volunteer. The compassion we develop from the brotherhood of the Marine Corps develops the strongest of character in many of us.

I personally think people volunteer solely for themselves in an effort to better themselves. That quest, that adamant resolve of empty issues that causes confusion when you see things could be better. The void in one's life that can only be filled by the confidence that you know you helped somebody.

To give things a little perspective, if the 2000 plus Marine Corps League members in the State of North Carolina helped one veteran a year, we have provided assistance to 2000 veterans. By any standard that is a major impact on our society and to those who serve this great Nation. You can only imagine if each member helped one boy scout a year or one other Marine a year.

This confidence is within each and every one of us, you need only take that one step forward to find it. Rule of thumb is 10% of the group does 100% of the work. More people need to take that step forward and change the percentages. Volunteering is not a full time job and it comes with honor not shame.

Never forget the Marine standing next to you, ease his burden, Volunteer.

Semper Fi,
Steve Winsett
A Proud Volunteer