Sands of Iwo
Well I didn’t make the 400. My consolation is that at least I have had the Honor of actually setting foot on Iwo. It was in 1954, the 3rdMarDiv conducted landings out of Japan. We landed on the opposite side of the island from the original landings. Didn’t think of taking a bit of the black sand then. After the operation, I guess we were too excited just having the opportunity to explore the battle sites including going to the top of Suribachi. Although many of us had fought in Korea; THIS WAS IWO! There were still many signs of the battle; wreckage, coastal guns still in cave emplacements, etc.. I’ve included a photo of myself at the monument on Suribachi. That’s me on the left.
On another note:
Many younger Marines refer to those of us older Warriors with admiration and awe. You can imagine how we felt serving under veterans of WW I, Haiti and Nicaragua. Now, that was humbling. We certainly didn’t put on any Marine ‘airs’ in their presence. In 40 or 50 years, Marines will be speaking with the same feelings when they refer to those who have served in the Persian Gulf area.