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Puller Park To Change Memorial Stone For "Chesty" Puller
Southside Sentinel ^ | 28 Aug 03 | Larry Chowning

Posted on 08/29/2003 4:51:38 AM PDT by gunnyg

Puller Park will get new memorial stone; fund established to pay for it

by Larry S. Chowning

A new stone honoring Lt. General Lewis B. (Chesty) Puller will be placed at the Lewis Puller Memorial Park in Saluda, and it won’t include the term “soldier” in describing the most decorated U.S. Marine in history.

The park was dedicated last year and is sponsored by the Middlesex County Museum. It is located across the street from the museum on Business Route 17 in Saluda.

The words across the bottom of the current stone that honors LtGen Puller reads: “Patriot,” “Proud American,” “Soldier.” The use of the word “soldier” on the stone is inaccurate, contend many Marines, and many have called for the word to be removed.

In a nationwide effort, Marines have emailed Middlesex County and museum officials and the editor of the Southside Sentinel calling for the word “soldier” to be taken off the stone. Many have offered to help pay for a new stone.

The Marines point out that the U.S. Marines are a branch of the U.S. Navy and “soldier” is a word usually associated with the U.S. Army. Also, the Marines contend, a soldier is someone who carries a gun on his shoulder and is an enlisted man.

Marine (Ret.) Bob Means of Urbanna has led the effort to have the stone replaced. Means said he met with Middlesex County Museum president Mavis Mangum last week and they agreed the Marines would purchase a new stone to replace the one currently at the park. Means said he has already ordered the new stone, which will have the word “Soldier” replaced with “Marine.”

The new stone will cost $1,466, all of which will be paid through donations, said Means.

“It will be absolutely no cost to the museum,” Means emphasized. “We want everyone to know that the Marines across the nation appreciate what the museum has done to create a beautiful park to honor the greatest Marine of all time.”

Mangum had earlier noted that before the current stone was installed at the park last year she had members of the Third Marine Division in Northern Virginia approve the verbiage. She also said Puller’s daughters and their husbands, both Marines, also approved the words on the stone. However, she said it would not be a problem from the museum’s standpoint to have the word removed.

The Marines have set up a fund to pay for the stone. Means said any Marine or anyone else wishing to contribute can do so my sending a check to: Lt. Gen. Lewis B. Puller Detachment, Marine Corp League No. 890, 3043 Rivermont Drive, Front Royal, VA 22630. Make the check payable to Lt. Gen. Lewis B. Puller Detachment and mention that the funds are for the Puller memorial stone, he said.

Means said he believes more funds will be collected than will be needed to pay for the stone. The extra funds will be used to enable families to visit Marines who are hospitalized due to serious injuries suffered in Operation Iraqi Freedom, he said. “These young men are still far from home and away from their family members, who do not have enough money to come and visit. We are going to use the extra money to enable these families to visit. I think Chesty Puller would want that.”

Means also noted some excess funds may be donated to Toys for Tots.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Virginia; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: chestypuller; frontroyal; history; marinecorps; marines; monument; usmc; veterans
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Chesty Puller, LtGen USMC (Ret): "Patriot, Proud American, Soldier..."
1 posted on 08/29/2003 4:51:39 AM PDT by gunnyg
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To: gunnyg
Count me in!
2 posted on 08/29/2003 5:13:22 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: chesty_puller
3 posted on 08/29/2003 5:15:04 AM PDT by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: gunnyg

4 posted on 08/29/2003 5:15:11 AM PDT by New Horizon
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To: gunnyg
Also, the Marines contend, a soldier is someone who carries a gun on his shoulder and is an enlisted man.

I have no problems with changing the word to "Marine", but even Marines know the difference between "gun" and "weapon" or "rifle". And Army officers are also "soldiers". GEN Omar Bradley was called "the soldier's soldier", which is high praise, indeed.

Let's just say that that sentence could have been put together a bit better than it was.

5 posted on 08/29/2003 5:26:48 AM PDT by 300winmag (All that is gold does not glitter.)
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To: gunnyg
A Marine is not a soldier. A soldier is someone, usually enlisted, who is part of the army. The word marine means from the sea and Marines are indeed "from the sea." In a general term, soldier can mean someone who has mastery of the skills of warfare and in this sense, Chesty was a soldier and a damn fine one, too! However, the term Marine is much more discriptive of what Chesty was.

Semper Fi!

6 posted on 08/29/2003 5:29:40 AM PDT by FLAUSA
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Marines' sites and bulletin boards on the Internet are nothing short of amazing regarding what many do not know about Marine Corps history and traditions. There are numerous cases where Marines--some of them even senior enlisted Marines and officers--post and respond to downright erroneous information demonstrating a definite lack of knowledge on various topics of Marine Corps interest. I have addressed several of these individual topics elsewhere on Gunny G's.

Perhaps, some independent study would be in order--better start at the top.

One random example, among many I have noticed, are several items lately where Marines are lambasting someone or other on the subject of one's having dared to refer to a Marine, or Marines, using the term "soldier."

With righteous indignation they scream that they are Marines, not soldiers, and they decry those who call them such! And rightfully so, in some cases, where the media or an individual, whatever, is using that term within an inappropriate context.

Of course, they (both the writer and the Marine) are acting out of their own lack of knowlege. The user of the term "soldier" is not aware that he should generally refer to all Marines as "Marines"; and the Marine is very likely ignorant of the fact that the word "soldier" is also correct, in some cases.

Members of our sister-service, for example, the U.S. Army, are soldiers, that is their name, but Marines are not soldiers in that sense at all. I am referring to Marines as soldiers in a much broader, higher sense, as a class of soldier that goes to the root of what a Marine is and does.

Reminds me of an oft-times repeated story of a U.S. Army major visiting the wounded in a WWI French hospital in 1918. As the story goes, the major asked a young soldier if he was indeed an American. "No sir," he replied, "I'm a Marine." (Ref US Marine Corps In World war I 1917-1918, Osprey, by Henry/Pavlovic, 1999) Such it is that Marines have always exemplified the inherent pride in their identity as a member of the MarineCorps.

But, many Marines seem to be unaware of the fact that the Marine Corps itself, as well as individual Marines, has long referred with pride to themselves as soldiers. To be sure, we are, each of us, a United States Marine, that is our TITLE, earned and claimed by us all as the capstone of that which we are. But somewhere within that coveted title lies the soldier referred to in the following examples.

One dictionary defines the word Marine as, an infantry soldier associated with a navy. No doubt there are many references to the Royal Marines as soldiers back through history. But we need not go back that far. Our own U.S. Marine Corps has a long listing of examples supporting the notion of Marines as soldiers.

A U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting Service poster, dated May 1866, announces that it is seeking MEN for its ranks; it then goes on to refer to such recruits as SOLDIERS no less than six times, and not once using the word Marine or Marines! (Ref the book, The Marines, by Simmons/Moskin, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, 1998)

And there is the USMC Recruiting Poster of more recent vintage, shown at the top of this page. And, in the book, Marine Corps Book of Lists, by Nofi, Combined Publishing, 1997, the following.

"The Marines are both soldiers and sailors, a part of the sea services." (Page 154)

"Some Marine Wisdom on Soldiering" 'To be a sergeant, you have to show your stuff. I'd rather be an outstanding sergeant than just another officer," -GySgt Dan Daly (Page 159)

"Soldiers trained in the ways of the sea," -CMC, BGen Benjamin H. Fuller, c. 1934 (Page 181)

"A Dozen Nicknames For Marines" 2. "The Soldiers of the Sea, a traditional term for Marines dating back at least to the seventeenth century." (Page 180)

"The finest soldier any captain could wish to have," said of Dan Daly by BGen W.P. Upshur (Page 182)

The book, "Soldiers of the Sea: The U.S. Marine Corps," by Col Robert D. Heinl USMC (Ret.), Annapolis, 1962

The play, (and later, two films) "What Price Glory," by Andersen/Shillings, 1926, has numerous references to Marines as soldiers.

"He turned down the gold bars of a second lieutenant. 'I'm a plain soldier,' he said, 'and I want to stay one.'" -GySgt John Basilone (Ref John Basilone --Italian-American Hero

Chapter XX, page 69,The United States Marine Corps in the World War, by Major Edwin N. McClellan, USMC,1920, Historical Branch, HQMC, Wash, DC
"In recent years the Marine Corps has devoted a great deal of time and energy to rifle practice, believing that one of the first requirements of a soldier is to know how to shoot...."

And, finally, the more recent (2001) book,"Chesty The Story of Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, USMC," by Jon T. Hoffman, LtCol USMCR, in which he named Chapter 1, "Making a Man and a Soldier" Genesis of a Marine.

And many more references can be found, but suffice to say, for the purpose of my little spiel here, that these few examples should establish that the use of "soldier" was long commonly in use in the Corps.

And so is the use of the term "soldier" valid? Yes, I think all of the above has shown that it is, but please consider this information within the context which I have presented it. At the same time, however, I agree that the use of that term has generally fallen out of use, but not altogether. It may be that its decline began at the end of WW II when the Marine Corps was fighting for it's continued existence when Congress, and the US Army, was seeking to severly cut back the size of the Corps and/or eliminate it altogether.

Marines are also very critical of Marines, and others, who use terms that were in use before their own time, or perhaps terms they never really understood in the first place, like ex-Marine, preferring "former Marine" in its place. In some cases, they even now consider certain terms to have been derogatory in nature, although not the case to begin with.

These things come and go; Semper Fidelis was shortened to "Semper Fi" by WW II Marines--and it's meaning even replaced at that time. Many of today's Marines resent some of these terms mainly because they have little knowledge of the finer points of our own history, heritage and traditions, falling back onto whatever they now perceive to have been the truth of their Old Corps.

Their present explanations, opinions and beliefs regarding many of these things are invalid. For those with the mind for it, there is much in the way of information on these topics on the Internet, books, etc. It's out there if anybody wishes to take the trouble to research and find it!

The U. S. Marine Corps has a long and glorious history. There is no need to be "touchy" as to being referred to as a soldier, even when the person speaking is not totally aware of all involved in the fact he is alluding to.

Rather, be yourself informed of what is so and what isn't, through your own research and studies. Nor is it of any benefit to deride those of other services, as is a common practice-- doing so merely reveals your own ignorance, and it belittles our Corps.

As one old recruiting poster states, "Be a Marine!"

Semper Fidelis
Dick Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
GyG's Old Salt Marines Tavern
Sites & Forums

7 posted on 08/29/2003 5:42:41 AM PDT by gunnyg
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To: gunnyg
Marine vets might also consider joining their local Marine Corps League Detachment. And if you don't have one, consider contacting your state detachment and starting one in your area.

The MCL provides info on benefits you earned, scholarships for young men and women, support for sick vets and their families, promotes Corps' values in the community and comraderie for members. (A visit to an aging WW II Marine vet living alone can really brighten his day.)
8 posted on 08/29/2003 6:39:04 AM PDT by sergeantdave
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To: New Horizon
That's the painting hanging in the lobby of the BOQ at Camp Lejeune, if I'm not mistaken.

There are various versions of Chesty's report from Chosin:

"The enemy is on our left flank, our right flank, our front, and in our rear. They won't get away this time." (My favorite)

"We're surrounded. We can shoot in any direction we want now."

And di he alos say "Retreat, hell! We're advancing in a different direction!" (which was true)
9 posted on 08/29/2003 7:03:10 AM PDT by Glock22
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To: gunnyg
Nice post!
10 posted on 08/29/2003 7:07:28 AM PDT by Chancellor Palpatine
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To: Vic3O3; cavtrooper21
Chesty Puller OOORRAHHH Ping!

Semper Fi
11 posted on 08/29/2003 9:14:23 AM PDT by dd5339 (Lookout Texas, here we freaking are!)
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To: gunnyg
Means said any Marine or anyone else wishing to contribute can do so my sending a check to: Lt. Gen. Lewis B. Puller Detachment, Marine Corp League No. 890, 3043 Rivermont Drive, Front Royal, VA 22630.

BUMP for the correction of a typo and a good cause. I've contacted the local branch of the Marine Corps League that meets at my VFW post with this info.

(And as a proud former squid, I feel compelled to add "Most of them can read") ;)

12 posted on 08/29/2003 9:18:57 AM PDT by strela ("Each of us can find a maggot in our past which will happily devour our futures." Horatio Hornblower)
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To: gunnyg; dd5339; cavtrooper21
Chesty Puller, LtGen USMC (Ret): "Patriot, Proud American, MARINE!


13 posted on 08/29/2003 9:31:50 AM PDT by Vic3O3 (Jeremiah 31:16-17 (KJV))
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To: gunnyg
As is obvious, there are several problems w/facts both in the letters to the editor, and other information here....

Southside Sentinel, August 22, 2003

Bestowing the greatest respect

To the Editor:

It has come to my attention that the Middlesex County Museum had the dedication stone in Puller Park inscribed with the word “soldier” in reference to Lieutenant General Chesty Puller, United States Marine Corps.

While I am greatly appreciative that Middlesex County, Virginia, has dedicated a park in honor of the famous U.S. Marine Corps General Chesty Puller in recognition of his contribution and service to this great country, to make reference to him as “soldier” is inappropriate and possibly even disrespectful, especially in light of this particular American legend.

The term “soldier” has routinely and historically been widely recognized and accepted as a reference to any member of the United States Army, with its own proud history, customs and courtesies.

Lt. General Chesty Puller and all others who have ever earned the distinctive title of being a United States “Marine” are appropriately referred to as “Marine,” not “soldier.” Referring to any member of the United States Marine Corps as “Marine” bestows the greatest respect possible. The title “Marine” carries with it, our own proud history, customs, and courtesies.

Middlesex Country has already dedicated a park to a man who deserves nothing less than all of gratitude and total respect, in all forms. I would suggest the county give serious consideration to correcting the dedication stone to accurately reflect General Puller’s military service affiliation and his heritage as a “Marine.” If doing so is constrained by fiscal limitations, I am confident that those of us who have served in his footsteps would assist as necessary to correct this situation.

Semper Fidelis!

CWO4 Steven E. Butland, USMC (Ret.)

He led “Marines”

To the Editor:

It has come to my attention that the memorial stone in Saluda for Chesty Puller indicates “Soldier.” No offense to the soldiers in the Army, but Chesty would roll over in his grave if he knew. He is thought of as a “Marine’s Marine,” winner of five Navy Crosses while leading “Marines.”

Although he was a “Soldier of the Sea,” I think the term Marine should be prominent on this memorial.

Terry Moore
Parkersburg, W.Va.

To the Editor:

I was stationed at the Marine Barracks, Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, from 1971 through 1973. LtGen Lewis B. Puller USMC (Ret) lived in Saluda, which was about an hour away. Our installation was the closest Marine unit to the Puller home and thus we took care of military administrative matters and such for General and Mrs. Puller.

Sadly, while I was there, he died. Our unit, along with members of the ceremonial units from Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., and all the living commandants were at his funeral at Christ Church.

The barracks at Yorktown were later named Puller Hall.

During my time in the Corps (1958-1991) I learned of, or served with, many Marines. I don’t know of a single one in our Corps’ list of real heroes that is better known than LtGen Puller.

While I have deep respect for many very fine Americans that served in the United States Army . . . and thus would bear the title “soldier,” I believe that General Puller deserves to be identified on his memorial marker stone in Saluda as “Marine.”

Would you identify a member of the Army as “sailor”? I didn’t think so. Please do the right thing.

Semper Fidelis.
LtCol William C. Curtis USMC (Ret)
Mission, Texas

Local News | Classifieds | Business News | Sports | Fishing | Events | Civic | Columns | Church | Letters

All design and content on these pages ©Southside Sentinel 1997-2003

14 posted on 08/29/2003 11:03:43 AM PDT by gunnyg
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To: gunnyg
Marines, as well as most Americans, have learned that they can band together in e-mail campaigns to bully any foe, usually a commmercial organization, into submission of their demands.

Most will roll over in the face of a mail/news campaign against them just to get them off their backs--no matter the demands are founded on facts or ignorance. In this case, General Puller was clearly identified as a United States Marine on the stone in question. Additionally, he was indicated to be a Patriot, Soldier, etc.

This was not a case where some newsman in a printed article, or someone on the street had erroneously referred to a Marine as a Soldier. The term was obviously used in its broader, higher sense when used in reference to a Marine.

15 posted on 08/30/2003 4:46:41 AM PDT by gunnyg
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To: gunnyg; Sunshine Sister; chesty_puller; 11th Earl of Mar; New Horizon; 300winmag; FLAUSA; ...
General Puller is a true hero but his daughter in-law is a leftist putz. The fact that such a great man shares the last name of such a pro-tax, pro-abortion hack of a politician saddens me & probably the General, too.

Support Chris Braunlich to throw Toddy Puller out of the Va Senate!
16 posted on 09/02/2003 6:45:40 PM PDT by VaFederalist
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To: gunnyg
Marine Online Poll...
17 posted on 09/27/2003 2:05:59 AM PDT by gunnyg
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To: gunnyg

I wonder if the original stonecutter was an ex-squid?

Worthy cause BUMP - forwarded article to local Marine Corps League branch.

18 posted on 09/27/2003 2:09:14 AM PDT by strela (Will Tom McClintock have to "make a reservation" to pay back all that Indian money?)
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To: gunnyg
Awesome post GunnyG. I was in the 82nd Airborne Division as a young trooper. I remember going to Cherry Point to catch a hop on a C-9 to the West Coast. I felt umportant having had a Marine version of the Bell 212 give me a lift there from Simmons Army Airfield.

I went into the latrine and changed from my nomex and SPH4 flight helmet into my class A uniform complete with maroon beret, two sets of wings, expert marksman badge, Fourragere, bloused jumpboots, etc. I walked into the waiting room where two Gunnies were sitting waiting for the same aircraft as myself.

One spotted me, nudged the other and said, "They must be getting ready to board us, there's the doorman." That comment took my young, fancy uniform inflated ego down a peg. ;-)

19 posted on 09/27/2003 2:27:03 AM PDT by bicycle thug (Fortia facere et pati Americanum est.)
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To: gunnyg
             Chesty Morgan (the other Chesty)

20 posted on 09/27/2003 3:22:50 AM PDT by wolficatZ (_________\0/_________/|_________"shark!")
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