Traveling up I-95, I stopped at the Museum of the Marine Corps.
I met an Iwo Jima veteran who was acting as a tour guide in the WWII section. There was no one else in the area and we sat on a bench surrounded by pictures and talked for 15 minutes. He joined the Marine Corps out of South Carolina in 1943 at the age of 17. His first day in combat was on the black sand of Iwo Jima, sent ashore as one of the reinforcements in the center of the beach. He was there for 28 days.
He asked if I was a Marine and I said yes. We found out that his grandson and my son are in the same province in Afghanistan. We spoke of time and change and feeling old. Another group of people came through and he stood to greet them. It was time to go and we parted with a handshake.
Among the Americans who served on Iwo, uncommon valor was a common virtue.
–Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz