19 Feb. 1945, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions, supported by the Navy, invaded Iwo Jima. In a battle that lasted 35 days, 6,821 Marines were killed in action, and 19,189 wounded. Of the 22,000 Japanese defenders, only 216 were taken alive. 27 Medals of Honor were awarded, 13 posthumously. Courtesy of Carl Weston
Saturday was spent with Jerry. We ate at Ernie Delmonico's. It is an unusual collection of men who gather for a couple of hours and solve all the worlds problems in four hours or less. Great food lots of laughs and some colorful language!
Yesterday was typical with Matt Wolf of INFORCE tactical lights showing A US ARMY SPECIAL FORCES SERGEANT a new tactical light. Jerry was duly impressed. He listened with rapt attention. I asked him what kind of light he used hunting in the caves on Iwo.
"oh sunlight.". Followed by the trade mark grin and laugh. The SF sergeant who has been back and forth to Iraq and A-Stan on numerous expeditions gave me a knowing look. It is the glance and acknowledgement of reverence from one professional to another about Jerry and those guys like him. They are described as Rock Stars. Truly.
I have spent a several years hunting armed men with a lot of high speed gear. Gear that has evolved over the years. My kit is an additional 70 lbs of weight. Body armor, plates ammo, lights, mirrors, chem sticks and other tools. Night vision and portable communications.
Jerry's kit. Dungarees,web belt several magazines for his M1 carbine, canteen and commo pliers. Steel pot. (his helmet) When clearing caves, a1911A1 .45 pistol and a whole lot of guts. (this site is G rated). I can't even fathom going on a job without my kit. Jerry and guys like him had none of the high speed gear of today.
SEMPER FI TO JERRY AND THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS ON THIS HALLOWED DAY.
"UNCOMMOM VALOR WAS A COMMON VIRTUE"