Something to warm up the heart a little

I had to share this for your Just Too Cool file.

At Task & Purpose

STOCKTON, Calif. (Reuters) – William White, a 104-year-old U.S. Marine veteran who earned a Purple Heart in World War Two, is celebrating Valentine’s Day this year like never before, surrounded by a mountain of 70,000 love letters and well-wishes sent from all over the world.


This guy was at Iwo Jima.


Read the rest there.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. OssaSola says:

    From our Navy family to this fine old hero : “Ad multos gloriosque annos”!

  2. JustaSinner says:

    Semper Fi, Marine!

  3. Andreas says:

    One of the most enriching experiences one can have is sitting down for some minutes with veterans such as Maj. White (pictured) and asking them about their experiences. Many have been reluctant to speak with even their closest about their times in combat, as doing so at times revives the deep wounds of tragedy and the loss of close friends. Still, I have for the most part found that the older souls, with far fewer days ahead than behind and from wars seemingly long ago, tend to become more reflective, less reticent to speak of those times. I have often seen how as they speak, they no longer look at you, but are focusing instead on memories – visions re-created in their mind’s eye. You will hear of good times, the gear that they used, the battles fought and perhaps a tear will be shed as they recall those brothers who were left behind. I experienced this not long ago sitting in a cafe in Vienna, speaking with one of my wife’s relatives, now gone, who commanded forces in the Germany Army and was later held prisoner until 1955 in a Soviet gulag. I experienced this as I sat in an airport awaiting the boarding announcement for my flight, when a veteran of the Pacific war spoke to me of his time flying Hellcats on and off straight decked carriers. The stories long pent up come spilling out and one all need do is listen. It is a remarkable experience and a blessing indeed to be honored as the hearer of such tales.

  4. Semper Gumby says:

    God bless Maj. Bill White and all the men and women who defeated the dictators of Tokyo, Berlin and Rome during WW II. God bless and Grant Eternal Rest to those men and women, who out of love of freedom and the belief that mankind should be free, gave the last full measure of devotion.

    God bless the over 70,000 solid American citizens and America’s allies who sent cards to Maj. White. God bless them all: Protestants, Jews, Catholics, Mormons, agnostics, and probably a few Muslims and atheists. God bless you and keep you going forward as we fight together in the age-old struggle against Evil.

    God bless the U.S. Marine Corps and Praise Be to God for its hard-won and legendary victory on Iwo Jima.

    God bless the many thousands of pilots and aircrew of the Army Air Forces whose lives were saved by landing their damaged planes on the Iwo Jima airfields after bombarding Imperial Japan.

    Thank God that the evil regime in Tokyo, which was transforming the fine Japanese people into a suicide- and homicide-cult, was decisively defeated in 1945.

    God bless the United States of America, may her enemies be liberated from the bondage of their errors or meet with utter ruin. Thy Will be Done.

  5. robtbrown says:

    The bloodbath at Iwo Jima, then again at Okinawa, was one of the contributing factors to Little Boy’s visit to Hiroshima.

  6. robtbrown says:

    Also: For anyone who’s going to visit Washington, DC, a visit to the Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima) should be on the itinerary. It is overwhelming.

  7. acardnal says:

    Good comments by Semper Gumby and robtbrown which I concur with.

  8. Semper Gumby says:

    robtbrown, acardnal, et al: Semper Fi!

    By the way, two items if I could:

    The Marine Corps has a Mounted Color Guard:

    And the Marine Corps now celebrates National Irish American Heritage Month, as newly directed by MarAdmin 081/20:

    “Since proclaimed by Public Law 101-418 in 1990, March is observed as “National Irish American Heritage Month.” During this month, we take the opportunity to honor all Irish Americans and to acknowledge their ongoing contributions to the success and development of our Nation. This is the first time the Marine Corps will observe Irish American Heritage Month.”

    To paraphrase two fine Catholic gentlemen: Raise a pint of Guinness, we’re on the Lord’s team, the winning side. G’night Chesty!

    [My granddaddy was a horse Marine
    Everything he wore was Marine Corps green
    He ate steaks eight inches thick
    And picked his teeth with a guidon stick…
    He was motivated!]

  9. Semper Gumby says:

    My granddaddy was a Marine Corps Raider
    His granddaddy was a First Crusader
    Boot polish Holy Water MREs
    Latin Missal Ammo NVGs…
    They were supplied!

  10. My grandchildren will be Space Marines
    They’ll use zero-g latrines
    Floatin’ and a stabbin’ and a shootin’ all day
    They’ll still do it the Marine Corps way…
    Lots and lots of velcro.

  11. Semper Gumby says:

    “Lots and lots of velcro.”

    *chuckle* We do like our velcro.

    Maybe I should have joined the Air Force. I hear in their chow halls (“dining facilities”) they have chocolate fountains, sous chefs (whatever that is), and sommeliers (some sort of gooey French cheese, I think).

    At Camp Swampy we enjoyed chipped beef with the cook’s cigarette ashes. Added roughage to the diet. And cheese fresh out of the can like God intended.

  12. And Tabasco. Lot’s of Tabasco.

    Meanwhile… I got it!

    “If I wanted to be, a fly boy…”

  13. Semper Gumby says:

    Okey-dokey Fr. Z, you got me there. For fantasizing about Air Force chow I now owe Chesty Puller a hundred push-ups.

    If I could…

    …nearing the end of a long workday here a buddy walked in and showed me an article by Anthony Esolen in Crisis Magazine titled “Babylon is Falling.”

    After stating, no pun intended, that the State should not be worshipped (a good point by the Professor) he veers off into:

    “Conservatives, less advanced [than Progressives] but still caught up in the hue and cry of State worship, prefer to remain in the current Babylon—or even one or two Babylons ago. It is hard for them to remember the words of Jesus and to love their country for homely and relatively innocent reasons—even permitting some pageantry, perhaps of large-bellied old men wearing their army uniforms and marching down Main Street on Memorial Day.”

    Well, it’s unclear who Esolen thinks “conservatives” are, why he is painting with such a broad brush, and what his beef with them is- particularly when he has written a book titled “Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture.” No doubt he was appealing to “conservatives” there.

    A reasonable person could interpret “it is hard for them to remember” as a gratuitous swipe, and view as a gratuitous lecture his pontificating on how and why conservatives should love their country. As for “large-bellied old men wearing their army uniforms” it has been suggested that Mr. Esolen take a long, close look at the photo at the top of this post- Esolen’s words might be reeking of mockery and ingratitude.

    That paragraph is immediately followed by this statement:

    “Satan wants to be taken with dread seriousness. We must not grant him that favor.” Well, “We must” take Satan seriously- “dread” is optional and can depend on the specific situation and individual.

    Then he closes with:

    “Remember this, Americans: not one stone will be left upon another.”

    Perhaps that’s pompous and condescending, or maybe it’s wrapping up an article with a flourish- reasonable people can debate that. Though, that sentence does appear a bit silly from a man who wrote an excellent book titled “Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture.”

    Regardless, Anthony Esolen, like the rest of us, is laboring away in the vineyards of the Lord. Everyone has an off day sometimes.

  14. Semper: “Remember this, Americans: not one stone will be left upon another.”

    I have in mind the once great, flourishing Church and society of North Africa.

    What’s there now?

  15. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Z: Exactly.

    One day the Vatican and every city will also be a pile of rubble. The goal here is that that destruction, and immense suffering, not be accomplished at the hands of Jihadis or tyrants in the near future.

    Meanwhile, what Esolen should grasp is that churlishness, mockery, ingratitude, sanctimony and defeatism are idols.

    “Intellect is not wisdom.”

    -Thomas Sowell

    Esolen had a bad day, we all do sometimes, it happens. He still wrote a great book, and it is a blessing he is on Our Side.

    God bless America. God bless the Protestants, Jews, Catholics, Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslim allies (yes, there are some), atheists and agnostics who, together, seek the welfare of the city.

    Seeking the welfare of the city, in this our exile, is an important first step…

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