Visit with a Marine Raider

While in California, I was able to pay a visit to one of my Marine Raiders, Joe Harrison. Some of you may remember Mr. Harrison from an article I wrote last fall after my trip to the Marine Raider Reunion.

Here is an excerpt from the article, "Gung Ho! The Marine Raiders Reunion."

One of the most remarkable "miracle" stories I've ever heard was from Raider, Joseph Harrison. During one encounter with the Japanese, Harrison was called on to help carry a stretcher to the field hospital. The man had been hit in the head, but all they could find was an exit wound in the back of his skull. They carried him back and a little while later Harrison learned that the Marine had indeed survived, but the cause of his wound was most curious: - the bullet which had struck him had entered his right eye, circled a less-important part of the brain, and exited through the back of his head. The total long-term consequence was that his vision went from 20/20 to 20/40. Otherwise he was A-Okay.

Another similar instance Harrison witnessed happened to his unit's chaplain. During another fight with the Japanese, he saw the chaplain fall to his knees, presumably hit. He rushed up and called for a medic, but when he examined the chaplain he saw that the bullet had only hit the helmet, made a hole, ricocheted around the inside of the helmet, and exited, leaving the chaplain unharmed - though significantly deaf. The chaplain never fully recovered his hearing, but his life had been spared!

I asked Mr. Harrison about his return home and the first meal he had. This is a fun one to ask because you hear all sorts of things. I wasn't disappointed. He told me he hadn't had a proper salad or any greens since he had left for the Pacific, 30 months before, so he bought himself several bunches of Celery stocks (made me think of the song, "Celery Stocks at Midnight"), and promptly consumed them. They've been a favorite dish of his ever since. 


It was wonderful catching up with my Raider and listening to new stories I hadn't heard before. But one of the things I was struck with most during my visit was the personal integrity and work ethic he had carried with him his entire life. Whether it was on the battlefields of Guadalcanal or raising his 4 boys later in life, he never had to be told what to do. He just knew what he had to do, and he did it. What an example for all of us!!


Support Operation meatball

Dedicate a mile of the Marine Corps Marathon to your favorite Marine!

With 15 days left before we run the Marine Corps Marathon we wanted to make a special offer to y'all.

As you know, Jubilee, Faith, and I are running this marathon for the Iwo Jima Association of America to raise money to bring veterans back to Iwo Jima. 

For a donation of $10 or more, we will dedicate ONE mile of the marathon to a Marine of YOUR choice. 

How this works: 
1. Send us his name and time of his service in the Marine Corps. Optional: Unit, location of service, and/or a photo.

2. During the marathon we will have a printed certificate with your Marine's name and information on it, as well as the name of the sponsor (you), and we will take a photo with his certificate, for you, in front of his dedicated mile.

3. Please make sure to include your email address so that we can send you the photo afterwards.

Though we only have a limited number of spots, you are welcome to sponsor as many Marines as you would like, with separate donations. Reminder: Each dedicated mile is $10. 

Click Here to Dedicate a Mile to YOUR Marine