Once a Marine, Always a Marine

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The things you find on Youtube!  The late great actor Lee Marvin was a Marine combat veteran of the Pacific.  He obviously retained a great deal of pride in the Corps.   Marvin dropped out of high school in 1942 to join the Marines at age 18. It was not uncommon for actors of Marvin’s generation to have served in World War II, although few were wounded, as he was on Saipan.  That was the third amphibious assault in which he participated.  His father, a successful advertising executive, fought in both world wars, and Lee Marvin’s brother served in the Navy during World War II.  Marvin often made jokes about his time in the Corps, but it meant a lot to him as his final resting place, pictured above, demonstrated.


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  1. “The Big Red One” used to be a vastly-underrated film, but it seems to finally be getting the critical acclaim it deserves. I need to watch it again soon.

  2. It is uneven in places, but it successfully gives a combat GI’s view of the war, precisely the war that the director of the film, Samuel Fuller, had when he served as an infantryman with the Big Red One during World War II.

  3. I have seen the restored version. It helps with continuity but there are still some rough edges. However, that didn’t bother me much because I perceived the film as memories of a veteran circa 1980, when the film was made, recalling his part in a war that had ended 35 years ago, and naturally his recollections would be somewhat of a mish mash, with some events he couldn’t recall and others he could never forget.

  4. Thank you for posting this. One year ago, my cousin was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. it was a beautiful November 2 afternoon. In December, the husband of another cousin, retired Marine Lt. Colonel James Spaith, will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Weather permitting, we will be there.

  5. The stark classic simplicity and elegance of the US military cemetery headstones lined up for their final roll call would move a, well, a heart of stone.

    We visited my wife’s father’s burial site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego—I think the most beautiful cemetery in the US of its type. This is what I mean:

    John F. Lefler had been a Navy aircraft mechanic and died in a civilian plane crash after discharge while piloting a crop duster in Southern Arizona—which paid excellent money in its day—-trying to feed the hungry mouths—when he hit a telephone line. Thanks to the US Navy, however he was given an eternal view of all the flattops and frigates plying the Coronado Bay and the Navy SEALs workouts on the Silver Strand, even to this day, a view that the moguls and oligarchs would covet. A more deserving and outstanding man would not be easy to find.

    Interestingly also, Ty Woods, one of the 4 Americans virtually abandoned for political calculations at Benghazi, is also buried there, only a few hundred feet away. Enjoying the view.

    Charles Keating’s grandson, Charles Keating IV,
    … a SEAL killed in the half-serious action under Obama in Northern Iraq May 3, 2016, is also buried there. At his funeral, the entire funeral procession route from the church to Rosecrans was lined by citizens, retired military, police and schoolchildren:

    Still remembering that makes my eyes water..And now, Charlie Keating IV, an excellent swimmer who got an athletic scholarship to Indiana U, but instead wanted to serve his country, now Charlie is well-deservedly enjoying the view.


    Like Arlington, Rosecrans is for us hallowed ground. And they all deserve to enjoy the view. Forever.

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