View Full Version : Salute to the First Wave!!

04-27-06, 12:11 PM
I was driving into work today - older car in front of me had a license plate with the word "IWO" on it - that was all! Now I would assume that this person was a Marine WWII Vet, but unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to find out firsthand. Got to thinking about the Marines that were on the first wave to go in on Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Tarawa, Saipan, etc. etc. And those were the days when you went to war for 3 years or so, sometimes longer - whatever it took to complete the mission.
I can only "imagine" the courage to go in on the "First Wave" of these beaches, and how your heart must have sunk into the bottom of your stomach when told that you were one of the chosen to lead the way. To know that your chances of survival were very little, if any, to make it to any cover that would provide a hint of protection. This has to be the "ultimate sacrifice" and I suppose thats why Marines were chosen to lead the way. Sometimes the only way to make it forward was to hide behind the ones that had fallen before you - it seems wrong to even consider this - but that is just what actually happened. Alot of Marines never even made it to the beach - landing crafts blown out of the water, alot of them drowned because they were left off the crafts in deep water - carrying a 100# of gear - they went right to the bottom. The early landing craft had their doors open from the front, when the ramps went down - those poor guys just got blasted!! Those that did survive - well, there was a new island to take a couple of weeks or months later!! There are degrees of courage in "our" Marine Corps and this has to be what they consider "RAW"!! So, to those "Island Jumpers" and all others that have marched into "The Valley of Death" - I salute you!! Not many WWII Vets left - when you find one, take the time to say thanks for a job well done! SF