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The Surgeon Who Did Not Want The Medal of Honor

The Surgeon Who Did Not Want the Medal of Honor

Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.
General George S. Patton, Jr.

David Taft was a young boy at the movies in Ames, Iowa with his father and brother John watching "Sergeant York" when the bombing of Pearl Harbor took place on 7 December 1941. He vividly remembers the distress and anger that emanated from his father's reaction to the unprovoked attack.

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Chief of Staff

Chief of Staff

We are always on the Anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things.
Henry Ward Beecher

I still chuckle about my chance encounter with Colonel Amor LeRoy Sims, USMC, almost 60 years ago on Goodenough Island. I don't think as a Private I had ever seen a full Marine Colonel, let alone been "addressed" by one. I had been in the Corps less than one year. In my 19-year-old mind, a Marine Colonel was sort of like the Vice President of the US.

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Raise the Banner

Chaplains corner

Raise the Banner
Victory Over the Enemy

Formosa (now called Taiwan) was the original mission objective, but at Admiral Mitiz's recommendation, the invasion was changed to Okinawa to allow more rapid movement for the Allies toward the Japanese mainland. We who made the landing on April 1, 1945 expected the same kind of deadly Japanese reception as at Peleliu-an intensive, life-and-death struggle on the beaches. Instead it was a relatively peaceful landing.

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The Alphabet Men of C Co. First Tank Battalion

The Alphabet Men of C Co. First Tank Battalion

Fate is the same for the man who holds back, the same if he fights hard. We are all held in a single honor, the brave with the weaklings. A man dies still if he has done nothing, as one who has done much.Homer in The Iliad, 800 BC

At Camp Elliott in San Diego after Boot Camp in early 1943, we were "volunteered" alphabetically, A, B, C & D, for Marine Corps tank training at Jaques Farm. The Alphabet Men, of whom I was one, were Alvarez, Atkinson, Backovich, Bahde, Barwick, Brenkert, Christensen-and many others too numerous to list. Even today, almost 60 years later, I continue to ponder the mysterious fate of being thrown together with some of America's finest, only because of the alphabet.

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The Gyrostabilizer

The Gyrostabilizer

The men who followed Him were unique in their generation. They turned the world upside down because their hearts had been turned right side up. The world has never been the same. Billy Graham

After an accelerated wartime seven week Marine Boot Camp in early 1943, hundreds of us in our new green uniforms and our equipment packed in khaki-colored sea-bags were sent by ten-wheel trucks to Camp Elliott on the outskirts of San Diego for infantry training. Camp Pendleton had not opened yet. In other chapters I've told how after initial infantry training, we were "volunteered" alphabetically for tank school. I sometimes wonder what would have happened to me if my last name was Zaring! As new prospective tankers we were sent off to Jaques Farm, an old fruit orchard, for training. Never mind that some of us were well over six feet and could hardly squeeze into the 15-ton light tanks of that day.

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The Black Angel

The Black Angel

Do not remain neglectful of hospitality to strangers, for by it some have entertained angels without knowing it Hebrews 13.2

He spotted me on the crowded ward of the hospital ship, USS Solace. This black man, clad in his clean, blue Navy dungarees, appeared to be a member of the ship's crew. He made his way through the crowded bunks of wounded Marines and sailors, came up to me with an engaging smile, stuck out his hand and said: "My name's so & so– good to meet you. What's your name and where are you from?"

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Twenty-Five-Night Ambush: Confessions of a Vietnam Vet by Sgt Robert Boardman

Twenty-FiveNight Ambush: Confessions of a Vietnam Vet

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5.17

A letter from a Vietnam veteran to a WWII Marine. As surely as Spring follows a bitter Winter, hope can emerge from the pain, tragedy and suffering of war and its aftermath.

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