A Quiet Hero

A Quiet Hero

I would like to discuss A Quiet Hero!

I paid a visit a few weeks back to someone whom we all know but seldom hear anything about in the media chaff which so intrudes in our lives.

This was my third visit to see the gentleman- and he was definitely an officer and gentleman. He’s not much for talk but his place of abode takes the need to talk away anyway. I said my usual few words of greeting and salutation and told him how he had always been an inspiration to jarheads like me and that he held the dubious honor of being the first Marine to address the Muslim Terrorist Threat. He did it with a flourish, with only seven Marines and a ragtag group of Tripoli natives and saved a bunch of squids while he was at it. His act of heroism added a word to our history and our Anthem as well as a hilt to a sword- the word is “Tripoli”. The country he defeated in battle is now known as Libya.

You guessed it – I was in the Kentucky State Capitol – Frankfort, KY and visited the final resting place of Lt. Presley O’Bannon in the Frankfort Cemetary. It is a beautiful place and a fitting resting place for a real Marine hero who seemingly is never mentioned in today’s media or history books. When the whole world was terrorized and shipping was at a virtual standstill in the Mediterranean, this Marine set the precedent for sandbox play which our brothers are mastering again today. Presley lived a good life and a long life and died in 1850. His deed which will live forever took place in 1805 and he was the first US Military Officer to set foot on foreign soil and plant the flag on campaign.This was the first Marine Corps expeditionary venture. We all know the history if we are Marines but the public certainly doesn’t.

Lieutenant O’Bannon is buried not 50 yards from the Kentucky State War Memorial (he was there first ) and only abut 150 yards from the grave of another of my heroes and yours- Daniel Boone. Both of these outstanding individuals were moved here to their final resting place overlooking the beautiful Kentucky River in the early part of this century.Boone from his last home in Missouri and O’Bannon from his home in Logan County, KY. His memorial, with its large, red, Eagle, Globe and Anchor Marker is easy to spot as you drive into the cemetery towards the War Memorial (which in itself is memorable and well done). I have visited Daniel Boone at least a dozen times before but only in the last three or four years did I discover my quiet hero – Presley O’Bannon – Lieutenant, I salute you and thank you. I can’t imagine a more perfect resting place for you.

Semper Fidelis!
Rod Rhoads, Sergeant, USMC 1953-1957

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