This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing blogging...so I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Tribute To a Marine....

Dad, 1943

A dear family friend and fellow Marine, posted this tribute to my Dad on his facebook page yesterday. Our friend Guy had come for dinner at Mom and Dad's house several years ago...  He asked Dad where he served.  When Dad told him he fought in the Battle of Tarawa, Guy stood up from his chair and saluted Dad. After dinner and further discussions and sharing, Dad presented his white belt from Dad's dress blues to Guy, which remains an honored gift displayed in his home to this day.

Here is Guy's tribute:

"An American hero and close family friend passed away peacefully in his sleep this morning.  Don H_____ was part of the third wave to land at Betio Atoll in November 1943 during the Battle of Tarawa. 

He and survivors of his landing craft, which had foundered on the sharp coral reef that was exposed by lower than expected tides, dragged a 40-millimeter anti-aircraft gun ashore.  Many Marines were shot by the defending Japanese before they even made it ashore, some drowned under the weight of their gear, but a few, like Don, made it to the relative safety of a sea wall.  He survived four days of grenade attacks, banzai charges, and incessant small arms and artillery fire to advance the equivalent of six football fields before it was all over.  That made him a veteran....  

Coming home, marrying Lynn H____, getting a job, raising his kids, paying his taxes and living another 69 years with the nightmares and scars of war made him a hero.  Farewell, old friend...and Semper Fidelis."

6 comments:

Mari said...

Wow - I didn't know this about your Dad. He really was a hero!

~Ellie Kings~ said...

Hi Donna, I'm sorry for your loss sweetie. It sounds like he was a fabulous father & hero. God bless him, you and your family always. Much love & strength,
Ellie

Mari said...

Such a good looking guy!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A true hero. That was nice of your father to give Guy his belt.

Darlene said...

What a wonderful tribute to your Dad. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Gill_Ruth said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Donna, Over the past few years I've found your posts interesting, informative and inspiring. My own elderly father's health is slowly starting to slip away, and yet we would not wish for his release just yet - so hard to let go of those we love so much. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Xxx