Today is the 239th Birthday of our US Marine Corps. In recognition yet in a selfish manner, I wish to bring back the story of Mr. Johnson, USMC in mid-stream. Happy Birthday, Marine.
I figured if Mr. Johnson wanted to tell me more, he would have.
But as with Old Man Jack, I never asked for more.
I believe that’s how these combat vets want it.
They don’t want to be quizzed about what they said or asked to describe more.
They will tell you some things of what they experienced. Probably to let the devils out that have been eating away at them for 70 years.
They have a built in limiter to keep more memories from popping back up…the things they saw or did that they try so hard to suppress to stay sane. Every minute for the rest of their lives.
They deserve that respect. Always. And you feel honored they felt enough confidence in your character that you would accept what they were telling you as is.
I feel they appreciated that.
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9 thoughts on “Mr. Johnson, USMC – Part III”
It is an honor to read of your friendship with these men Koji. Again, I admire the respect and gratitude you share with them. I can’t imagine how much you miss them.
I miss them greatly. Soon, there will be none left…
I know. There was a marked difference in the participants in the parade this year from last. One float was completely empty. 😦
Thank you for sharing this story again. It touched me deeply. ありがとうございました。
Thank you, Takami. May I ask where or how you mastered two languages so perfectly?
I studied for 4 years in the States, and needed to be able to communicate in English in order to survive. It was definitely like the ‘school of hard knocks,’ but I’m grateful for the experience. Through my limited experience, I’ve also learned there is always more than one side to a story, more than one ‘truth.’
Every chance I get I visit my veteran air gunner Mr. Corbeil. He flew 37 missions on a Handley Page Halifax during WWII with 425 Les Alouettes Squadron. Statistically he was not supposed to be still alive after 11 missions.
Today I will see him for the 25th time. I have stopped counting.
I will scan his precious logbook. I had asked him before if I could borrow it and scan it at home. He did not want to depart from it.
I understood how precious it was.
So last month I bought a lighweight Canon scanner and I am bringing it with me today. I will scan the entire loggbook and be able to show it to the world on my blog thus paying homage to an unsung hero like Mr. Johnson who is not an unsung hero anymore thanks to you Koji.
We look forward to seeing his log book!
I won’t publish it on the Internet unless he agrees.