Tag Archives: USMC

The Price of Freedom

Iwo Jima landing

I know my father did his part to secure the freedom I now enjoy — with the 23rd Marines, 4th Division, and the battles to secure Roi-Namur, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima.

What I don’t know is what it cost my father. Dad, like many vets, didn’t talk much about his experience. This week I learned a little more when I received a copy of my father’s citation for his efforts on Iwo Jima. It arrived as part of a thick bundle of papers from the National Personnel Archives that I requested a year or so ago… and promptly forgot about.

What Dad had shared came out in fragments. I’d done some research to learn what he couldn’t tell me. But the citation, which explains what Dad did to earn a gold star in lieu of a second bronze star, helped me piece together more of his story. (Excerpts from the citation appear in italics to differentiate them from Dad’s few quotes.)

Having assumed the duties of operations officer in an infantry regiment during the planning phase, Major Campbell, although confronted with many difficulties incident to the absorption of a large number of replacements and the indoctrination of inexperienced staff officers, placed all units in a high state of readiness for combat….

The “incident… of a large number of replacements” understates the reality. By the end of the second day of battle, the “Fighting Fourth” alone had lost more than 2,000 men. By the end of the second week, half the American forces were dead or wounded. The men who were sent in to reconstitute platoons, including “inexperienced staff officers,” died even faster than the men they replaced. But Dad didn’t talk about that.

…Embarking on a control vessel during the initial stages of the landing attack, he supervised the transmittal and execution of numerous orders issued during the ship to shore movement. With only a limited beachhead established and with the beach area practically untenable as a result of heavy and accurate enemy fire, he landed with the command echelon of his unit and quickly obtained contact with all units ashore, thus rendering invaluable assistance to his regimental commander….

My father began to talk about the war when he was in his 80s, but he was the storyteller who couldn’t get much past the “once upon a time.” The story began with D-Day, when he stood in his roiling landing craft with his first view of the beach:

“From up on the deck of the landing craft, the light was growing. We saw this ungodly ghostly tower rising six to seven hundred feet in the air. It was a volcanic spire, the goddamnedest thing I ever saw.”

Although he’d been ordered hold off by the Beach Master, he saw an opening in the boat traffic and ordered his landing craft to go for it.

“The island was shaped like a pork chop – a volcanic mound with steep sides, honeycombed with caves. It overlooked the beaches we landed on — the Japanese had perfect visibility.  Down at the far end was another escarpment looking the other way.”

It was eerily quiet when the Marines began to land. One of the things that intelligence didn’t know was that the beach was composed of volcanic ash. Small landing craft foundered; men sunk in the quagmire that sucked at their boots.

Then the island came to life. Mortars, rockets, machine guns and artillery cut the men on the beach to ribbons. A Saturday Evening Post headline dubbed Iwo Jima “the Red Hot Rock.”

Foxholes collapsed. There was no cover.

Dad said, “We had one fine officer who took a posthumous award for scooping up men without leaders and taking the key point.  They got all shot up.”

…Throughout the following twenty-five days, Major Campbell was required to assume progressively greater responsibility because of many casualties among leaders and staff personnel….

Dad never mentioned that. But it makes sense. More than a quarter of the original men of the Fourth who sailed out of San Diego in January 1944 became casualties (killed, wounded or missing in action). Iwo Jima was the only WWII battle in which overall American casualties exceeded those of the enemy.

…He made frequent visits to forward areas where his demonstration of coolness and courage under fire served as an inspiration to those who observed him…. 

Dad did tell one story that supports this assessment, but he told it as an amusing anecdote: “Some days later, maybe D+4, I went down to Division HQ. My job was to prepare to take over and I needed to know where everyone was, their weaponry, etc.. Enough of the island had been taken by then that you could move around. I had to walk about one mile to the other end of the island.  In the command post, the situation map was surrounded by officers and I couldn’t see anything.  Then, the Japanese started firing high velocity rounds from their position on a cliff.  Division HQ staff bailed out and I took all of the information I needed and walked out.”

When my father told this story, he smiled that wry smile of his — one lip rising higher than the other.

…His unselfish devotion to duty and superb judgment contributed to the success of the attack and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. — Roy S. Geiger, Lt. Gen., USMC

Like many vets of his generation, my father minimized his role. He turned the spotlight on the front lines.

“Iwo Jima as an overall operation was absolutely petrifying. No doubt about that. But I was not a front line trooper although there were some near misses, but the near misses are a little different. They’re come and gone before you think about it. The danger’s over from that immediate thing, or you’re dead, one of the two. Either way it’s not a problem, I guess.

“It went on a long time….I was not down on my belly in the sand taking fire from some unseen joker a hundred yards ahead. I had enormous respect for the kids that did it. I’m not a hero. But I knew some that were. If there were heroes at all they were the line troopers that actually took the brunt of this thing. That has to take enormous guts and will to go day after day after day of this stuff and your friends getting killed around you. Bad. Really bad.”

It was only when my father uttered these last two fragments that I had a sense of what the war cost him. He closed his eyes and paused. His throat tightened when he said, “Really bad.” The memory, decades later, was still too hot to touch.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Marines and those who serve, Uncategorized

The Last Frost Call?

Scan 2

The first time a “Frost Call” landed in my inbox, I was startled. It turned out to be a death notice from a member of my father’s USMC 5th Reserve Officers Commissioning class — a group of 304 men who became second lieutenants just before the United States entered WWII. Talk about gallows humor, I thought when I looked back to the subject line.

I’d taken my father to a reunion of the the “Fighting Fifth” at the Marines Memorial Club in San Francisco. One of his classmates, I soon figured out, had taken on the role of communicator and regularly sent out “the poop” on gatherings and classmates. I added myself to the email list.

“Frost Calls,” which came with increasing frequency, heralded the passing of another classmate. I debated whether I should tell my father. What’s it like when the only news of old friends is of their death? When they are dropping like flies? In the end, I printed out the emails and gave them to him at the breakfast table. Some were — had been — good friends. He’d say something short like, “Good man.” Then he was quiet. I couldn’t tell if he was remembering his friend, Quantico, wondering when he might die, or refocused on the day’s paper.

Once a year, two lists were mailed out: the long list of Fifth R.O.C. members who were deceased, and the short list of those who were hanging on.

In 2009, the class was down to 38.

In 2011, 31.

In 2012, 28, then 25.

On New Year’s Dad, 2013, Dad’s classmate sent out an email with the subject “Geezers.” He announced that five classmates were 96 years old. I wrote back, asking how he was doing. He responded:

I’m doing OK, hard to get out of chairs, it’s now 14 years of living alone in a big house with pool to tend to, but no complaints.  I purchased a walker with a seat in it, works fine.  I can walk with it because it is something to hold on to, like a grocery cart. So walk with it about a mile every day without difficulty.  Knees bad, have to push with both arms to get out of chairs, and resist all stooping over to pick up things.  Result:  Clutter, but still enough room to get over it, or around it. Driving OK, with license renewal due when I’m 100 in Aug 2016.

I wrote him when Dad died on January 12, 2013, sent him the obit. He sent out my father’s Frost Call on January 15, 2013, adding, “We are all in the zone, and it is another marker for our Quantico Commissioning Class of 29 May 1941.  …Semper Fi!”

Since then, I’ve tried several times to reach Dad’s classmate. I’ve emailed and snail mailed. According to Google, he signed up for a youtube channel seven months ago. No death notice. I sent him a friend request on Facebook. He hasn’t responded.

I went back to the last list of living officers, dated 9 December 2011. As best I can tell from online search, 17 more classmates have died. Funeral notices usually show up high on the list of search results.

Fourteen members of the 5th R.O.C. remain. So few. Maybe that’s why Dad’s classmate stopped sending out Frost Calls.

Meade Whitaker, Harry Guinivan and Henry S. Campbell, USMC 5th R.O.C.

Left to right: Meade Whitaker, Harry Guinivan and Henry S. Campbell, newly promoted to Second Lieutenant, USMC, as part of the USMC 5th Reserve Officers Commissioning class, May 1941

Scan 2

Robert A. Campbell, Henry S. Campbell and J.P. Campbell on graduation day: the caption for the photo at left reads, “A la Pall Mall (cigarette) ads”

Robert A. Campbell, San Diego, CA

Robert A. Campbell (late of San Diego, CA) — the caption reads, “R.A. feeling his oats” (Graduation day of the USMC 5th R.O.C., 1941)

Scan 4

J.P. Campbell on graduation day, USMC 5th R.O.C. The caption reads “iron man of Kentucky.”

Henry S. Campbell, Robert A. Campbell, Joseph Anastasio, USMC 5th R.O.C.

Left to right, standing: Henry S. Campbell, Robert A. Campbell, J.P. Campbell, R.N. Barrett, Bill Bray, Leon Case, Cakin (?). Kneeling: Joseph Anastasio (recently late of Woodbridge, CT). Graduation day of the USMC 5th R.O.C., May 29, 1941

close-to-war officer training, Quantico, VA, 1941

Members of the USMC 5th R.O.C. The caption reads, “between classes.” Henry S. Campbell leaning against the car.

Henry S. Campbell, USMC 5th R.O.C., 1941

Henry S. Campbell, graduation day, USMC 5th R.O.C., Quantico, VA, May 29, 1941

USMC officer candidates training, 1941

The caption reads, “R.O.C. boys watch the candidates march by.” Quantico, VA, 1941

USMC 5th R.O.C., 1941

Getting ready for graduation: USMC 5th R.O.C., May 29, 1941

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

“Warm and Human Soldierly Philosophy”

Henry Snively Campbell 2012

Today and tomorrow, I’m doing reconnaissance of a sort, albeit not of an opposing force. I’m looking for information that will help me understand my father better.

After spending seven years as his caregiver, I thought I had Dad figured out. But almost two years since his death, I remain curious. I was so busy caregiving that I missed the window when he could have answered my questions.

How did he become the gracious man I knew in old age? After hurdling heart disease to support his family, raise four children and be there for my mother during her final illness, he could finally relax. With his fighting years behind him — in the literal and figurative sense — I thought perhaps he returned to the person he was when young. Smart and sensitive, he had been the middle child who empathized with others, particularly his mother, who bore the brunt of his father’s criticisms. His career in the Marine Corps, I thought, explained his emotional distance when I was growing up, his command presence at home.

I’m rethinking that. Watching my brother’s taped 2003 conversation with him, I was struck by my father’s expression when he described the personal connection a leader must have with the troops for whom he is responsible. In his memory, he was back in 1941, soon to be commissioned second lieutenant, preparing to lead men in war. He was 24.

Then I read a passage in General Victor Krulak’s book, First to Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps. “Brute,” as he was known, gave his take on the brotherhood of the Marines. It is embodied, he suggested, in a section of the Marine Corps Manual written by General John A. Lejeune in 1921 called “Relations Between Officers and Enlisted Marines.” In six short subsections, Gen. Lejeune laid out what officers must do to preserve the “spirit of comradeship and brotherhood” that came out of WWI. I saw my father in this:

b. Teacher and scholar — The relation between officer and enlisted men should in no sense be that of a superior and inferior nor of master and servant, but rather that of teacher and scholar. In fact, it should partake of the nature of the relation between father and son, to the extent that officers, especially commanding officers, are responsible for the physical, mental and moral welfare, as well as the discipline and military training of the young men under their command who are serving the nation in the Corps.

At the end of the passage, Gen. Krulak noted this:

“This warm and human example of soldierly philosophy, in addition to its enduring wisdom, implies a lesson for anyone who aspires to lead men. In it, General Lejeune uses the term officer ten times, the term men ten times, and leadership or leader three times, but he never used the more sterile terms personspersonnel, supervision or management at all. Lejeune knew he was talking about warm, living human beings.”

Seems my father didn’t leave the Marine Corps behind at all. Perhaps it taught him to be a better man, a better father, the one he never had.

 

Click here to read General Lejeune’s order in its entiretyIt remains in the Marine Corps Manual nearly 100 years later.

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A Belated Independence Day Tribute

This morning, I arose thinking about the triangular folded flag that I keep on my dresser, the flag from my father’s honor burial at Arlington National Cemetery last August. As I started to write something about it, I wondered if there was a term for it. So I did what all smart writers do and Googled “triangular folded flag.” I stumbled across this excerpt from a flag folding ceremony, something that may be read on special days like Memorial Day and Flag Day:

“The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.

The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.

The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world.

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

The fifth fold is a tribute to our 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 sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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

The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on mother’s day.

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

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

The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.

When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, ‘In God we Trust.'”

Leave a comment

Filed under Marines and those who serve

When the USMC Faced Extinction

The USMC Commandant testified to Congress against marginalizing the Marines

The USMC Commandant testified to Congress against marginalizing the Marines

I could have titled this post, “Dad’s Other War.” Though my father shared anecdotes about some of the back room haggling that went on during discussions about potential unification of the Armed Forces, I had no inkling of the depth of those discussions. During two assignments at Marine Corps Headquarters – the first in 1946 and the second in 1959 – he was in the thick of it.

Then I came across an article Dad had clipped and saved, “The Marine Corps Fights for Its Life,” by Richard Tregaskis, published in the Saturday Evening Post. Tregaskis was one of the first embedded journalists, and his book about the first 45 days on the island of Guadalcanal with the 1st Marine Division ranked on the New York Times bestseller list and was made into a movie.

The article began, “Why are the Army and the Air Force trying to humiliate the Marines by reducing this proud outfit to the status of a police force?”

As sensationalistic as the lede was, it was not hyperbole. Tregaskis reported that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were meeting secretly to consider papers that were later made public when introduced at a House-committee hearing.

The article published this excerpt from a memorandum to the Chiefs of Staff by Gen. Eisenhower (US Army):

The following is proposed for consideration…. (1) That the Marine Corps is maintained solely as an adjunct of the Fleet and participates only in minor shore combat operations in which the Navy alone is interested. (2) That the land aspect of major amphibious operations in the future will be undertaken by the Army, and consequently the Marine Corps will not be appreciably expanded in time of war. (3) That it will be agreed the Navy will not develop a land army or a so-called amphibious army. Marine Corps units to be limited in size to the equivalent of a regiment, and the total size of the Marine Corps therefore limited to some 50,000 or 60,000 men.”

Tregaskis also included an endorsement of Ike’s proposal by Gen. Carl Spaatz, who added that the Marines should be “lightly armed” with its roles and missions only “to protect United States interests ashore in foreign countries and to provide interior guard of naval ships and naval shore establishments.”

In other words, naval police.

The Marine Commandant, Gen. Alexander “Sunny Jim” Vandergrift, asked Congress to save the Corps and pointed out that the Marines have been engaged in nearly every battle since the nation’s founding. He counterattacked with this statement:

“The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. If the Marine as a fighting man has not made a case for himself, he must go. But I think you will agree with me that he has earned the right to depart with dignity and honor, not by subjection to the status of uselessness and servility planned for him by the War Department.”

The Senate and House passed two different unification bills. According to Tregaskis, the House bill guaranteed roles and missions for the Marines and Naval aviation, while the Senate bill did not. When the bills went to a joint conference committee, the consensus was ultimately to preserve the Marines’ role. An unnamed Marine officer was quoted as commenting, “Few Marine officers will ever realize how close the Marine Corps had been to virtual extinction.”

When I interviewed Dad about some of his memories in 2000, he shared this story about a proposal to unify the forces:

I’d been in grad school at Ohio State in personnel administration and training.  I’d been assigned to the Military Occupational Project.   The joint staff at the end of WWII recognized there are people with very highly placed skills who end up being misplaced during the war.  They needed more information about what jobs require people with high level skills and who the people are with those skills.

“They had 300 people working on it, led by Col. Dunn.  Because I’d been to advanced schooling, I was assigned as the Marine Corps’ representative.  The joker is that I had Marine Corps HQ looking over my shoulder.

“The thing got bent around so that they decided to divide people by intelligence, based on their score on a test.  Navy said, ‘We have all the ships, we should have all of the brightest people.’  Air Force said the same thing.  Army said, ‘Bullshit!’  That’s what pulled the thing apart; they couldn’t agree.

“I convened a meeting with one representative of each force.  The Army guy was completely out of his depth.  Rubens [offering a proposal that was a ringer] asked, ‘Can we agree to this?’ If we agreed to the principles to take all the bright guys and give them to Navy or Army, what would the consequences be?  It was apparent this was a trap.  I said, ‘I’d like to say a few words.  Recognize that if we agree to this, we have agreed to everything else.’  All realized they needed to confer.  Rubens offered me a job!”

Postscript: According to the United States Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, the National Security Act of 1947 resulted in coordination of the services without merging them. And discussion continues. Deliberations about implementation of the 1986 Department of Defense Reorganization Act “demonstrated that the services are still distinct and independent, despite certain movement toward unified operations and joint organizations.” The Strategic Studies Institute website page notes: “…the [Department of Defense] must ensure that the services are not so reduced in stature and influence that they lose their motivations and abilities to compete for scarce defense resources and accomplish their other national security roles and functions.”

Dad told me, “You can see why I hated to leave the Marine Corps.  I had an absolute ball.”

Semper fi, Dad. You did your part.

Leave a comment

Filed under Family history, Marines and those who serve

Oohrah for Strong Women

The Major Marches

Not familiar with “ooh-rah”? It’s that explosive sound that Marines use to express enthusiastic approval. I heard it at Friday’s evening parade at Marine Barracks in Washington DC and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

Among the precision marchers on the parade ground and ceremonial hosters were a few women in uniforms identical to their male counterparts. And they looked sharp.

I was saddened, then, when I saw the trolls out on Marine Barracks’ Facebook page commenting on the photo that appears up top:

Thank God I got out of the corps before I witnessed this political crap take place!

It seems that several of the Barracks’ Facebook followers were dismayed to learn that women had invaded the Corps, and in this case, were wearing the male uniform.

A woman Facebooker responded far more courteously than I might have (but knowing online trolls, I like to stay out of their line of fire):

Gentlemen, it’s the prescribed parade uniform for designated personnel at the Barracks. Pls keep your personal attacks/feelings against this Marine to yourselves.

The Major also received support from two men who follow the Marine Barracks page:

I look at it like this. I dont care which uniform of the Marines she is wearing. She a Major and by the looks of it, has had a pretty good career. Semper Fi Major!

I prefer that she wear this one as she carriers herself, the Ladies of the Corps and the Marine Corps well. Semper Fi

I had the honor and pleasure of meeting the Marine they were writing about. And she’s not just any Marine. Major Sarah Armstrong is the first female parade commander of a Friday Evening Parade, a tradition that started back in my Dad’s time as Executive Officer of Marine Barracks.

Those shiny medals on her jacket? They’re campaign and achievement medals. She earned ’em the hard way. At least one of those ribbons denotes her tour in Afghanistan.

My mother was a strong woman. My friends are strong women. My daughter is a strong woman.

In the place where my father served 56 years ago, at a time when only men achieved positions of leadership in the Marine Corps, I’m thrilled to see Major Armstrong doing her thing, and doing it so competently.

As one of the Facebookers concluded:

Ooorah ma’am!

Update:

Per the comment I received from my second cousin John, turns out I’ve got a strong woman in my extended family in the form of Col. Marne Sutten, US Army. She’s married to John’s son, Col. Grant Fawcett. Between the two of them they served five tours in Iraq. They’re busy raising their two children in Tampa, FL. Photos provided by John Fawcett:

Just after Col. Megan Sutten's promotion ceremony, watched happily by her husband Grant via video

Just after Col. Megan Sutten’s promotion ceremony, watched happily by her husband Grant via video

Col. Megan Sutten and Col. Grant Fawcett

Col. Megan Sutten and Col. Grant Fawcett

Col. Grant Fawcett as the last convoys pull out of Iraq

Col. Grant Fawcett as the last convoys pull out of Iraq

6 Comments

Filed under Marines and those who serve, Uncategorized

Marine Corps Wife: My Mom’s Career

That's mom seated at bottom left, and Dad standing at upper right in 1959

That’s mom seated at bottom left, and Dad standing at upper right in 1959

Skimming through Mom and Dad’s photo albums from the late 50s, Dad is pictured at the pinnacle of his success in the Marines. While it was Dad’s obituary that carried the details of his promotions and assignments, in many ways his career was her career.

It wasn’t that she loyally followed Dad as Sarah followed Abraham. She was a woman with a mission. She kept the home front running and deployed her considerable social and organizational skills to the job of supporting Dad in the regimented social environment that surrounded officers’ wives.

Dad said he wasn’t keen on the idea of marrying in the tumultuous weeks that followed Pearl Harbor. Not that he didn’t love Mom. He did, passionately. But he was acutely aware of the potentially abbreviated life span of a Second Lieutenant in wartime, and he didn’t want to see her widowed.

When he shipped out in 1943, soon to join with the 4th Marine Division in the battle for Roi-Namur in the Marshall Islands, he left Mom at home with my brother, Scott, who had been born that November. When the war ended and he returned, he joked that he had to fight for his pants. Actually what he said was that had to fight for his pants every day of their marriage. When the war ended, he returned from the horrors of Saipain, Tinian and Iwo Jima to a home where Mom was comfortably and firmly in charge.

As Dad’s assignments took them from Quantico, to Washington DC, up to Kingston Ontario, back to Washington DC, and then across a country and an ocean to Honolulu, Mom packed and unpacked, settled kids in schools.

Each time they arrived at a new post, she paid a social visit to the Commanding Officer’s wife, calling card in hand, as expected. She joined the Officers’ Wives Club, and knowing Mom, she did an exemplary job of supporting their activities. She loved the social whirl that went with an officer’s life in those days, like the formal party in honor of the promotion of Leonard Chapman to Brigadier General.

In 1951, my Mom found herself running a busy household with a nine year old, a four year old and a one year old – oh, and Nana, her mother. Mom and Dad’s worst fears came to pass when little Midge was diagnosed with leukemia, for which there was no known cure.

As a mother, I can’t imagine how she coped, but it was in character for her to forge ahead, hoping against hope. My uncle, a hematologist-oncologist, came down from Boston to administer experimental treatments and oversee Midge’s care. To no avail. She died October 22, 1953, a few months short of her fourth birthday.

Dad’s orders to ship out for a solo tour of duty with the 3rd Marine Division in Gifu, Japan, were held during the last months of Midge’s illness. Mom had learned, as Midge lay dying, that she was pregnant for the fourth time.

On February 21, 1954, Dad wrote Mom from Okinawa while in transit:

Postcard from Japan 1954

Although it was lost in Dad’s move to California, I remember reading a lengthy letter he wrote from his tour in Japan, sharing the pain of their devastating loss, saying how he longed to be there to hold her.

When my brother Dean was born in April 1954, Dad said, “It was if the sun came out.” That may be true, but now Mom was alone, managing a household with an 11 year old, a six year old, her mother, and a newborn. She was on her own when she had Dean christened:

Eileen Campbell with baby Dean, flanked by Bruce and Scott

In a professional portrait she had taken the next year, her expression is serene but somber.

Eileen Campbell raising three boys, 1955

This summer, we will inter both Mom and Dad with Midge at Arlington National Cemetery. While visiting Washington DC this past week to make arrangements, I wondered if it was fair to put so much emphasis on Dad’s career. After all, the burial with honors is provided because of his service, not hers.

Then I realized that it wasn’t just Dad’s efforts that deserve the recognition. Like most military spouses, she earned it, too. Knowing Dad, he would be the first to say that Mom made it possible for him to do what he did.

2 Comments

Filed under Marines and those who serve, Uncategorized