Happy Armed Forces Day – May 15, 2010
As I stood on the black sand beaches of Iwo Jima two months ago, the exact landing beaches where some 90,000 Marines 65 years ago landed and fought their way off the beaches and across the heavily fortified island, and then climbed to the top of Mt Suribachi to the exact spot where our flag was raised, I could more than appreciate what sacrifices were made there.
I went to the landing beaches of the Marines on Guam at Asan Point in July 1944 where my father, an artillery officer in the Marine Corps, was killed during the battle in the last large Banzai charge of the war on the 25th-26th of July.
Twenty-four years later I was in Vietnam, an artillery officer in the Marine Corps in the same unit as my father, with our Marines making exceptional contributions to the war each day.
You are continuing the tradition and service of many who have gone before you, and it remains an honor to do so. We are proud to provide training for thousands of Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, and Veteran Service Men and Women each year to provide the necessary technical skills for battlefield and subsequent to service.
If you can attend our training this year, please bring a Unit Challenge Coin to add to our collection.