Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Return to Makin Island

My son sent me this. I was in the Army, not in the United States Marine Corps, but I grew up listening to stories of my uncle, MGySgt Ole R. Woods. He was a pilot in the Marines and served in WWII and Korea. He was killed, my mother told me, when a jet he was flying blew-up in mid-air in 1953 over Virginia. His body was recovered and he is buried at Ft. Rosecrans, San Diego, CA. I've been able to find out precious little about him, where he served and where he fought. I know he was on Midway when Pearl Harbor was attacked and left to attend flight training just a few weeks before the Battle of Midway. I know he was with Puller at Chosin Reservoir. Unfortunately, I know little else about my mother's only brother, a man who, like the men in the YouTube video below, wore the Eagle, Globe and Anchor of the Corps.

Uncle Ole was married–my mother told me that her parents had not approved but that she (my mother) did approve–to a very genteel lady whom I met only once in California. That I was in awe of my aunt is an understatement. I was very young and remember only that I thought she was beautiful and was instantly aware that she loved my uncle for she had preserved memorabilia, including a smashed Zippo lighter that he had in his pocket that fateful day, in a shadow box placed prominently on the living room wall.

While my mother always spoke highly of Aunt Veronica, the animosity engendered by my grandparent's rejection of the marriage–she was a divorcĂ©e with two sons, you see–bore bitter fruit many years later. Assigned to DEA's Los Angeles District Office in 1978, I attempted to contact her to no avail. Her son answered the phone and made it clear that they wanted nothing to do with our side of the family. Sadly, all contact ended there. With the passage of the years I am now reasonably certain that she and Uncle Ole are again together and I am certain that Christ's love has dispelled the animosity of that earlier time. May they rest in peace.

The men in the video below were also Marines. Like my uncle, they gave their all in the service of their nation. May they also rest in peace and may God grant us the comfort to know that we have men like them, just as dedicated and just as determined, protecting the nation for which they died.

Follow the link and if you have a problem, paste this in your browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6f_FvZpm3g

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