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Pat%5c%27s Military Service

Military Service

Growing up as I did during World War II, I attended military schools. In 1948, when President Truman re-instituted a military draft, I had the choice of enlisting in the Marines as an officer candidate or being drafted as a private in the Army. I took the Marine option, which let me finish college so long as I attended two summers of boot training for officers at Quantico, Virginia, first with the rank of corporal, then as sergeant.

I graduated from Washington & Lee, Magna Cum Laude, and at my graduation for the first time in the history of the school, a graduate was formally commissioned a second lieutenant in the armed forces of the United States.

In June of 1950, I enrolled at the University of London for a survey course called "The Arts in Britain Today." On occasional weekends I crossed the English Channel to France. Sitting at a sidewalk café in Paris in mid-June of 1950, I read of "La guerre dans Coree." Then as I read on, I learned that the United States was calling the "fusiliers marins" into active service. That meant me. On October 2, 1950, a couple of weeks after my return from Europe, I was ordered to report for duty at the First Special Basic Class for young Marine Corps officers at Quantico, Virginia.

In January of 1951, I shipped out from San Diego to Kobe, Japan. I spent four months at a camp near Kyoto, Japan doing rehabilitation training for Marines wounded in Korea. We did long, grueling marches to toughen the men, plus refresher training in firearms and bayonet combat.

In May of 1951, I was transferred to Korea where I ended up at the headquarters command of the First Marine Division. The Division was in combat in the hot and dusty, then bitterly cold portion of North Korea just above the 38th Parallel, later identified as the "Punchbowl" and "Heartbreak Ridge." For that service in the Korean War, the Marine Corps awarded me three battle stars for "action against the enemy."

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
—Philippians 4:13

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