A sad remembrance of Korea. I was in Korea May 52 to May 53 (ATA, Wpns-15; H&S-1-5; HqBn 1stMarDiv; & E-2-5, 1stMarDiv. I knew this man also. Jerry Merna
Men Do Cry
By: SSgt H. L. Jones
From “The Word” 1st Marine Division Newsletter Dec 1952
His name doesn’t matter now. He’s dead.
He wasn’t a hero, just a good Marine. No special recognition had come his way. He was a private.
And as a private he went where he was told and now he found himself on a little —– of ground, rising innocently amid the towering hill to the north and south.
There was heavy firing outisde, but he sat unmindful of the bursts. But he felt safe in his bunker so he sat down to visit his wife who had just presented him with a son.
There was a tiny hole in the bunker through which light streamed. It was his star in the gloom. But it was fatal. Through this tiny hole a mortar fragment hurtled and he was dead, pen in hand.
A Marine passing throught the communication trench found h im. He took the news to the next bunker.
“Mother of God, no!” Platoon Sergeant Fiore Hattoln, a boy from Mt Vernon, NY bowed his head.
A buddy, PFC Edward F Gross of Brooklyn, NY whispered, “I spoke to him just five minutes ago. He was going to write his wife.”
Motolla spoke through covered hands, “She’s only 19. Just had a kid. He worshipped her.”
Bitterly, Gross cried, “Damn this war! Damn all wars.” He was crying quietly.
A Navy hospital corpsman, John. F. Kearney of Woodside, NY pushed through the opening to the bunker. He pounded a fist into his open palm. BOth hands were bloody. “He didn’t have a chance. If I could have gotten there a second sooner.”
“Don’t blame yourself, doc,” said Mottoln.
The platoon’s lieutenant bent his slender frame into the bunker. Second Lieutenant Thomas D. Stephens of Granite City, Ill., was tryin to to weep. He could remember when the lad had burst into the bunker waving a letter and shouting, “It’s a boy! It is a boy!”
Stephens pushed over to his desk, two upended boxes, muttering somthing about a letter, his pen scratched. Then the tears came. He groped his way blindly out of the bunker.
Men do cry. It is not with fear. But now as in every war there are swift, deep friendships built on thoing more than the knowledge that no man is an island. So men weep for their friend — and themselves.