GI Joe 25th Anniversary Original 13: Grunt

Continuing on with the "Heavyarms saw his picture on the box and was fascinated with the character" meme, we pick up with Grunt. Check out that card art. Grunt's the guy that grabs his M-16 and charges into the firefight. The other Joes got laser guns and bazookas and mortars and missile launchers or got to be commandos. Not Grunt, he just got a rifle.

5 Grunt

How does an eight year old boy reconcile this, though? All the other Joes have some sort of specialty, what about Grunt? I had a friend that actually had the audacity to suggest that "Grunt" was just a grunt. A generic soldier. Cannon fodder. As in, there was more than one "Grunt." A retarded idea if you ask me. GI Joe is the code name for America's highly trained special mission force. There's no room for average grunts there. Besides, Grunt had a real name, Robert Graves. When I was a kid I decided that Grunt was GI Joe's ├╝ber-soldier. He did soldier stuff, and he soldiered like no other soldier had ever soldiered. He did it all, walked point, reported for KP duty, could hold his own in a firefight. Grunt was the member of the team that did the dirty work, from taking watch at 3am to performing flanking maneuvers in the field to walking right up to a Cobra HISS and dropping a grenade in the cockpit.

Grunt, like Grand Slam, did not get a single-card release but instead was another store-exclusive, released in one of the three "Senior Ranking Officers" three-packs available only at Toys R Us. Grunt came with his helmet, knife, handgun, UZI, and a giant M-16 with an underslung grenade launcher, which I didn't like so I replaced it with a cooler M-16 I got from the great folks at Marauder, Inc.