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#1 NanceUSMC

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 09:11 AM

I woke up this morning and decided to go get some donuts for the family for breakfast, something I'm doing with far too much regularity these days. As I was standing there waiting for my order to be filled, a fragile looking, elderly gentleman came in. The cashier greeted him by name, and he responded by greeting her by hers. He walked over, fixed his own cup of coffee, and went to sit at what I can assume is his regular table with the gentleman he came in with. So I paid for my order, and headed towards the exit, but as I passed him I saw he was wearing a Marine cap and jacket. I stopped and asked him if he served. He said he did, of course. I told him I was a former Marine as well. He smiled a big smile, and shook my hand. I then noticed a patch on his cap that had only two words on it: "Iwo Jima". I asked him, "did you serve on Iwo Jima?" "Yes, sir", he responded, calling me 'sir' like I warrant that from a man of his experience and years. He said, "can you believe that was 66 years ago?" I asked him how old he was when he was on the island. He told me he was 17 when he went in, and 18 when he was on Iwo Jima. I told him I couldn't imagine the hell he had been through. I asked him how long he was on Iwo. "Six weeks", he said. All I could do was shake my head in amazement. I actually felt starstruck, so to speak. He told me how they sustained 80% casualties, how his captain was wounded, how the chaplain had blessed them as they disembarked the ship and assured them they would be back in 72 hours. He told me about going to his reunion for the survivors. He was very eager to talk, and I got the feeling if I'd been able to pull up a chair and stay, he'd have spent hours telling me of his adventures. This man lived through something that most of us cannot fathom. Something we can only read in books, or see in movies. I shook his hand, again, and thanked him not only for his service, but for the sacrifices he made for me, you, his country and the world. This was a very rare treat, and a story I just had to share. Think I might go back next week for more donuts.

#2 CharlotteBeer.com

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 09:31 AM

That's awesome. I bet he really enjoyed talking with you, too.

I'll never know the camaraderie that those in the military feel toward one another, but I do admire and respect it.

#3 mmmbeans

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 09:33 AM

very cool nance, thanks for sharing.

#4 YourMomsLover

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 09:40 AM

True American heroes. Words cannot express my gratitude for all servicemen...past and present.

#5 Matt Foley

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 10:21 AM

80 percent casualties? Damn

#6 GritsRgreat

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 10:26 AM

80 percent casualties? Damn


Could you imagine the imagery with todays headlines and news footage.

#7 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 10:28 AM

80 percent casualties? Damn


Not surprised. Iwo was the first island invasion we launched against the Japanese in which we suffered more casualties than the Japanese did. More Japanese were killed, but we had more total casusalties.

#8 Mr. Scot

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 11:14 AM

Nice, Nance :thumbsup:

#9 Hawk

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 11:41 AM

thats cool Nance!

side lesson here to be learned...saying hello to your fellow man can be rewarding!

#10 Jangler

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 11:48 AM

Cool story.



What kind of donuts did you get?