Iwo Vet's Failing Health
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  1. #1

    Iwo Vet's Failing Health

    My Dad, Charles Ranger (Second Batallion, Twenty-Eighth Marines, Fifth Marine Division), is in the final stages of congestive heart failure and recently took a fall which fractured his hip. At 86 years of age, he's enjoyed an active, independent life, a quick wit and so many storys about his short time at Iwo Jima. He's not been just our family's patriarch, but our hero.

    His most recent injury has resulted in an extended stay in a rehab center and nursing home in Orange County, CA. Although the care is great, it's not home and we can all see that his mind and body are deteriorating. The battle on Iwo Jima is the only thing that he can recall on a daily basis, and he's begun having vivid dreams and nightmares about it. It was obviously the biggest event of his life.

    If it's not too much to ask, any correspondence from fellow vets or any Marines would be the greatest gift he could receive. I'll be happy to print them up and deliver them.

    Thanks in advance for your consideration. Semper Fi!

    Brian Ranger


  2. #2
    For Charles Ranger...My very best wishes to you. I went into the Marine Raiders in March of 1943. In my 10 man Squad on New Caledonia and Bougainville were six of what we called 'The Old Marines', they had been on Guadalcanal and they took us under their wings. The six were;

    Thor Thostenson, my Squad Leader (KIA Iwo)
    Norman Korsmeyer (WIA Iwo),
    Rusty Tratebas (WIA Bougainville and Iwo)
    Stuart Campbell (KIA Bougainville)
    Richie Spath ( WIA Iwo)
    R.D. McDowell

    They got to come home after the battle on Bougainville, some said "I'm not coming back over here, I will drive for some Col. or something else." However, the Fifth Division was formed and they were sent to Iwo.

    After the Raiders were disbanded I went ino Regimental Weapons Co., 4th Marines, 6th Marine Division. Then on to the invasions of Emirau, Guam, Okinawa and the Occupation of Japan.

    From our 10 Man Squad, five of us have kept in touch over the years, and I know from my buddy Norman about Iwo, there was NO PLACE to hide.

    I am saying my prayers for your good health to return.

    Semper Fi and Gung Ho,

    Ray Merrell


  3. #3

    Thanks!

    Thank you, Ray. I appreciate it.

    BR

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Merrell View Post
    For Charles Ranger...My very best wishes to you. I went into the Marine Raiders in March of 1943. In my 10 man Squad on New Caledonia and Bougainville were six of what we called 'The Old Marines', they had been on Guadalcanal and they took us under their wings. The six were;

    Thor Thostenson, my Squad Leader (KIA Iwo)
    Norman Korsmeyer (WIA Iwo),
    Rusty Tratebas (WIA Bougainville and Iwo)
    Stuart Campbell (KIA Bougainville)
    Richie Spath ( WIA Iwo)
    R.D. McDowell

    They got to come home after the battle on Bougainville, some said "I'm not coming back over here, I will drive for some Col. or something else." However, the Fifth Division was formed and they were sent to Iwo.

    After the Raiders were disbanded I went ino Regimental Weapons Co., 4th Marines, 6th Marine Division. Then on to the invasions of Emirau, Guam, Okinawa and the Occupation of Japan.

    From our 10 Man Squad, five of us have kept in touch over the years, and I know from my buddy Norman about Iwo, there was NO PLACE to hide.

    I am saying my prayers for your good health to return.

    Semper Fi and Gung Ho,

    Ray Merrell



  4. #4
    Brian I Will Keep Your Dad In My Thoughts And Prayers. Its An Honor And Privilege To Be In The Presence Of These Great Men .

    Semper Fi And May God Richley Bless Your Dad And Family

    Stephen Doc Hansen Hm3 Fmf


  5. #5
    Thanks Stephen.


  6. #6
    Brian, I will also keep you and and Father in our prayers.


  7. #7
    Thanks much, Harvey!

    Brian


  8. #8
    For Charles and Brian...From Whitewater Magazine - Fall 2009
    Written by students at UW-Whitewater.

    "The Raiders were pretty fascinating people, really." Lawson recalled. " I interviewed six individuals. One had written a book on the war; another kept a journal and, because he was a lawyer, he had a secretary who could type it up - but there was another Raider, Norm, who had never told his story to anyone. He talked for two and a half hours and you didn't have to prompt him. He got really emotional, very choked up, and he talked about how the stress of the experience affected him all the years after."

    Gudgel says he was impressed by how matter-of-fact many of the Raiders seemed to be even six decades after their service.

    "They were very forthcoming about their work," he said. "They were sent there to do a job, they were all young - and the were doing some crazy stuff."


  9. #9
    Marine Free Member rufus1's Avatar
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    Semper Fi my BROTHERS

    May God bless these warriors and shower them with untold blessings. Lost my dad-93 and mom 87 to congestive heart failure three months apart.


  10. #10
    Marine Friend Free Member USNAviator's Avatar
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    Brian I'm not a Marine, just a retired Squid. But please pass on to your Dad how much I appreciate what he and his fellow Marines sacrificed in taking Iwo Jima. 30% of the MOH awarded during WW2 to the Corps were given on Iwo.

    May his final days be filled with comfort and pain free. It's a good thing you are doing

    Wish your Dad, Fair Winds and Following Seas from the Navy


    Cmdr Dan


  11. #11
    Thanks Cmdr. O'Shea. Great words to share with him.

    Thank you for your service.

    Brian


  12. #12
    Brian...Just joined today 6/13/11 hope your Dad is still hanging in their and hopefully doing better
    I was on Iwo in special weapons co 26th Marines.5TH marine Div.(half tracks)So been there Done that,Ask your dad if he remembers how hot the ground was and that smell of sulphur.Only wish could talk to him.Not too many of us left.I also am 86,but still doing pretty good.will keep your dad imn my prayers
    VAN


  13. #13

    History of Iwo wounded in action, 2-22-1945


  14. #14
    Quote from my Iwo Vet Buddy:

    "We lived on what we captured from the Japs-mostly unhulled
    rice, usually with worms, which was okay because of the protein,
    and fish heads. We cooked in our helmets. It wasn't good but it
    was something to eat."


  15. #15
    Thanks Ray... I'll pass it on. Awesome Marines here in Orange County. A visit with my Dad is being planned through a local Sgt. sometime this week, along with an article to be written him and his Iwo experience.

    The Marines..... what an incredible group.


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