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This book is based on my personal experiences. I have always felt that what I did was just my job and what was required of me to do as a Marine following orders. It became apparent to me when I visited the island of Okinawa for a month in 1997. I was honored by Marines, young and old, who were stationed there at the time. They wanted to hear of my experiences, to meet me and shake my hand. I started writing this book late in my life and I am not a professional writer. For a long time after Iwo Jima, I found it hard to talk about my experiences. I was able to do some talks at private clubs and at the Marine Corps Training Center in Okinawa and from these talks; I was encouraged to write this book.

What really made me decide to try and write was after my talk at the Marine Crops Training Center in Okinawa. There was a group of Marines waiting for me and one of the Marines stepped up and asked, ?Sir, we would like to ask you some questions?. I said ?sure?. He then asked ?Is our training anywhere near the real thing?? That caught me for a second. I said ?yes, your body had been conditioned to be strong and is ready to handle any kind of unknown rough terrain and still have the strength to take out any enemy gun position; you?re going to need it. But the mind could never be fully ready. It can?t be. It has to happen fi rst. You?ve been told what to expect, but it is diff erent when you see it for real right in front of your own eyes. You have to swallow hard and just keep going. You?re training has given you a healthy mind and this will get you through?.

That question made me realize these young men need to be told what it?s like out there. I owe it to the men and the Corps. I have come to realize that these personal experiences are also a very important time and a piece of history that will go with me if I fail to share them here. Memories and sights that only a few have experienced and all should have the opportunity to learn about if they so choose. This book is not intended to be abrasive, insultive, discriminatory, or grotesque in nature as is more to capture and recollect the vivid memoirs of a Marine who fought on the front lines in the battle of Iwo Jima. To defend the freedoms and this great Country for which I have never taken for granted.

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