Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Hero Passes

I was once dispatched to a medical at an assisted-living facility. An 86-year-old man had keeled over and was unresponsive. I did CPR while the ambulance crew did their thing, but to no avail. I tried to recite the correct platitudes to the son, who happened to be there, and I left.

I learned later that the old guy had served in the 4th Marine Division during WWII. He fought as an infantryman on Roi-Namur, Saipan (WIA), and Tinian, and was in the first assault wave on Iwo Jima. All these landings were savagely opposed at the beach by the Japanese. Over 10,000 Americans died and over 32,000 were wounded in just those four campaigns.

These places are holy ground to we Marines who came later. We stood on the shoulders of men like him. It was an honor to have been there in his final moments. I'm sorry I couldn't have done more.

Marines and the Battle of Roi-Namur

Marines and the Battle of Saipan

Marines and the Battle of Tinian

Marines and the Battle of Iwo Jima


Grumpy, M.D. said...


lbparker said...

You did everything humanly possible, sir. It was his time to go.