United States Marine


I, as Web Master, have dedicated this page to my son, Michael A. Coogan who is in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Let me introduce him. He is currently 27 years of age (2005) and he will be discharged shortly as a SGT (E5) from the Marine Corps Reserve after serving for over nine years. He is the Supervisor of Technical Services at the local school district. Technical Services is responsible for all computers, networking and telephony systems.

His interests outside of work and the Marine Corps are focused on military weapons from WW II and before. I hope he will add many items of interest to this web site in the future. The background photo and poem "For All Of Us" (found on the "Poems/Graphics" page) are his.

Below are his submissions to our site.


The Rifle

A Young Marine

If The Dead Could Speak

Marine Sayings (submitted by Paul Kasper)

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    US Marine Grunt                                      LCpl M. Coogan in early '60s uniform/weapon
               Grunt                         Very Early Vietnam
                                                 Light Battle Dress


The Rifle
-Author Unknown-

Do you wonder why that rifle
Is hanging in my den?
You know I rarely take it down
But I touch it now and then.

It’s rather slow and heavy
By standards of today
But not too many years ago
It swept the rest away.

It’s held its own in battles
Through snow, or rain, or sun
And I had one just like it,
This treasured old M1.

It went ashore at Bougainville
In Nineteen Forty-Three.
It stormed the beach at Tarawa
Through a bullet-riddled sea.

Saipan knew its strident bark,
Kwajelein, its sting.
The rocky caves of Peleliu
Resounded with its ring.

It climbed the hill on Iwo
With men who wouldn’t stop
And left our nation’s banner
Flying on the top.

It poked its nose in Pusan,
Screamed an angry roar
And took the First Division
From the Chosin Reservoir.

Well, time moves on
And things improve
With rifles and with men,
And that is why the two of us
Are sitting in my den.

But sometimes on a winters night,
While thinking of my Corps,
I know that if the bugle blew
We’d be a team once more.

A Young Marine
by R. A. Gannon

The young Marine was weary
And he sought a little rest
With his helmet for a pillow
And his rifle on his chest.

He has seen the gun ships fire.
He had heard the cannons roar.
He had seen the Navy’s power
As he made his way ashore.

Then he thought about his rifle
And he found it rather small,
With the gun ships and the cannons
It was nothing much at all.

The efforts of a rifleman
Meant little, it would seem.
Then, as he slipped to slumber,
He dreamed himself a dream.


The man who stood beside him
Held a musket in his hand
And close around his neck he wore
A heavy leather band.

"When I was on Old Ironsides"
The apparition said
"There were cannonballs and cutlasses
Wherever danger led.

There were pistols too, and daggers
At every fighter’s side
When the ships would come together
On the rolling, heaving, tide.

But when it came to boarding,
With the battle fury hot
It was rifles, always rifles
That made the telling shot."


The apparition faded
And standing in its place
Beneath a shallow helmet
He saw another face.

"When we were in the trenches
In the Wood they call Bella
There were mortars, tanks, and cannons,
More than I had ever seen.

But when the final charge was made
To push the Germans back
It was rifles, always rifles
At the point of the attack."


The face changed only slightly
And the helmet stayed the same
But the island that he spoke of
Had a more familiar name.

"They hit us very early
On the day the war begun.
On the wings of all their bombers
We could see the Rising Sun.

Our pilots and our gunners
Who fought and fell at Wake
Wrote a story full of glory
That time can never shake.

But when the enemy drew near
To make his final reach
It was rifles, always rifles
That met him on the beach."


There next appeared a shadow
In a swirl of stinging snow
And it breathed a fierce defiance
And its eyes were all aglow.

"In ‘Fifty at the Chosin
When the big guns couldn’t talk
And the First Marine Division
Took a fighting, freezing walk,

When all the world, except the Corps
Had counted us as gone
It was rifles, always rifles
That let us carry on."


The scene was changed to summer
And the face was hard and lean
And the tired eyes were fired
With the light that says "Marine".

"At Khe Sahn when they shelled us
We were wrapped in rolling smoke
And the thought of our survival
Was a grim and ghastly joke.

But when the waves came swarming in
To finish the assault
It was rifles, always rifles
That called the final halt."


There next appeared a general
As solid as a tank
With three stars on his collar
To signify his rank.

His stature and demeanor
Were the military type
And in his hand he carried
A stubby little pipe.

His jaw was squarely chiseled
His eyes were clear and keen
And his bearing left no question.
He was a Marine’s Marine.

"The message they’re conveying"
The burly General said
"Is that through our troubled history
The rifles always led.

We’ve had cannons, tanks, and mortars
We’ve had weapons by the score,
We’ve had battleships and fighter planes
To complement the Corps.

We’ve a most impressive arsenal.
That’s obviously true,
But the final thrust for victory
Has always been with you.

It was rifles, always rifles
When the Corps was sorely pressed
And the rifle that you carry
Must meet the final test.

So sling that rifle proudly,
For everything we do
The mortars, tanks, and cannons
Are just an aid to you."


The young Marine awakened
And put the dream aside,
Though now he clutched his rifle
With a certain touch of pride.

And then he chanced to notice
That lying near his hand
Was a stubby little pipe
And a heavy leather band.



If the Dead Could Speak
From the May 7, 1945 edition of The Daily Telegram, Eau Claire, WI.

"I wish I could join you in this celebration.
 I wish I could fall down on my knees, as many of you are doing, and thank
God that it's over in Germany- at least the worst of it.
Yes, I'd like to throw my hat in the air, like the rest of you, and drink a
victory toast, and sing in the streets that this is V-E Day.

But I can't because I'm not with you.

Oh, don't stop what you're doing. I never was a killjoy, and believe me, I'd
join you if I could.
You're entitled to a little time out after the first half- or the first
quarter, if it turns out to be that.

But don't let it last too long, will you?
The other side- the other enemy, you know- isn't taking time out. The Japs
have nothing to celebrate...unless you give them something.

I'm afraid I won't be around for the rest of this war. You'll have to win it
without me...without quite a few thousand of us.

We didn't mean to let you down, dying the way we did. We sort of hoped to be
in on the finish- to laugh and pray and maybe cry a little on the big V-Day,
the real one.

Well, you'll have to take our places, you the living.

The guys in uniform are on the job already. Some of them will be joining us
before this V-E Day is over.
You'll be back on your job tomorrow, won't you, bright and early?

I thought so pal, we'll be looking for you."


USMC Sayings

Save Water, Shower With A Marine

Grunts Can Do Anything

Marines Always Welcome, Relatives By Appointment

Good Night Chesty, Wherever You Are

Marine Sniper -- Visualize World Peace

Marine Sniper -- You Can Run But You Can't Hide

What Part of Marine Don't you Understand?

We Don't Care How You Do It In The Navy

Be Safe Sleep With A Marine!

To Boldly Go Where A FEW GOOD MEN Have Gone Before

Heros Get Remembered, Legends Live Forever

When It Absolutely, Positively Must Be DESTROYED Overnight -- Call The USMC

Heaven Won't Take Us and Hell Is Afraid We'll Take Over

There Are Two Types of People: MARINES and Those Who Wish They Were

It Ain't Braggng If YOU Can Do It

We Deliver More Destruction Overnight Than Those Who Deliver Overnight

Deadliest Weapon In The World -- A Marine And His Rifle

If You Weren't There Then Shut Up!

Marines Never Die -- They Just Go To Hell And Re-Group

For Those Who Fought For It, Freedom Has A Flavor The Protected Will Never Know

The Impossible Is Done With The Lord's Help And A Few Good Men and Women

Nobody Ever Drowned In Sweat

Marine Pilots Are Plane People With A Special Air About Them

I Love The Smell Of Jet Fuel In The Morining -- Marine Aviation

USMC -- Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

USMC -- No Promises, No Shortcuts

USMC -- America's 911 Service

More Sweat In Peace, Less Blood In War

USMC Is Part Of The Navy -- The Men's Department

Do Draft Dodgers Have Reunions?  If So What Do They Talk About?

To Err Is Human, To Forgive Is Divine Neither of Which Is Marine Corps Policy

Marine Artillery -- The Grunts 24-7, 911 Rescue Battery

Women Marines -- Fewer and Prouder

Every Marine Is A Rifleman

One Shot, One Kill

Forget Smith and Wesson -- This Property Protected By A US Marine

When In Doubt Empty The Magazine

Force Recon -- Penetrates Deeper, Takes Longer And Carries A Bigger Load

Pain Is Only Temporary, Pride Is Forever

Where In The Hell Is 29 Palms?

USMC -- We Do Not Promise You A Rose Garden

B.A.M. ~ Beautiful American Marine

Pain Is Weakness Leaving The Body

Combat Engineers -- When It Absolutely Must Be Destroyed Overnight

The Marine Corps Doesn't Build Character, It Reveals It

USMC Infrantry -- Taking Out The Garbage

Not as Lean, Not As Mean, But Still A Marine

And On The Seventh Day When GOD Rested,
We Overran His Perimeter And Stole The Globe,
We Stole The Eagle From The Air Force,
The Anchor From The Navy,
The Rope From The Army,
And Have Been Protecting Our Shores Ever Since.

"You earned the title "Marine" upon graduation from boot recruit training. It wasn't willed to you; it isn't a gift.  It is not a government subsidy.  Few can claim the title; no one can take it away.  It is yours forever."
Tom Barlett - Leatherneck Magazine

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wonderng if they made a difference. The MARINES don't have that problem."
President Ronald Reagan - 1985

"Marines are about the most peculiar breed of human beings I have ever known.  They treat their service as if it was some kind of cult, plastering their emblem on almost everything they own, making themselves up to look like insane fanatics...."
by an anonymous Canadian citizen

The US Air Force Chief-of-Staff would never be called -- Airman
The Chief-of-Naval Operations would never be called -- Sailor
The Commanding General of The US Army would never be called -- Soldier
BUT the Commandant of the Marine Corps would be proud to be called a -- Marine

United States Marine Corps
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!

No Former or Ex Marine here!
Just a Marine no longer on active duty.

"Once A Marine Always A Marine"

"It's not the stars or bars you have,
not what you wear on your sleeve or shoulder,
that determines what you are.
It's what you wear on your collar-
The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor-
It is The Title you earned, MARINE
That puts you in the Brotherhood of the MARINES.


"If you enjoy your freedom thank a Vet, but hug a Marine."

You can take the Marine out of the Corps..
    BUT, you can't take the Corps out of the Marine!

I was that which others did not want to be, I went where others feared to go and did what others failed to do, I asked nothing from those that gave nothing and reluctantly accepted the thought of eternal loneliness should I fail, I have cried, pained and hoped; but most of all I have lived times others would say are best forgotten. At least one day I can be proud of what I was and will
ALWAYS be..."A United States Marine!"