Hangin’ with the old breed.

I’m finding Inspector & Instructor duty involves quite a bit of community relations. In late June I was asked if some Marines could visit the veterans who reside at the Hamlet Manor Nursing Home just outside of Cleveland. Naturally I said yes, so last week six of us took a trip over there and met some of the old warriors on whose shoulders we stand today.

Firm handshakes all around from grizzled warlords.

We greeted the first group and I immediately asked them why they weren’t all standing at attention. They threw their teeth at me and then we took a tour of the home and assisted living areas meeting veterans along the way.

Some of the residents were chair or bed ridden but seeing a uniform brought a smile nonetheless.

“Hey, I’m taking a picture with the Marines!” His buddy didn’t believe him.
 Some of the residents thought my Cpl resembled Harry Potter. He’ll be reaping the benefits of that one for some time to come.
This gentleman showed us his unit’s campaign map from WWII.
Cpl Harry Potter puts on a magic show for the residents. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
Hand salute! Right back at you brother.

A great time was had by all. Most satisfying was hearing nurses comment they hadn’t seen smiles on some of the more ornery residents until the Marines came to visit. Maybe they were just barring their teeth?

Semper Fidelis!
America’s SgtMaj

/ / / /


  1. Now when some of your Ninja’s start showing up at sickbay with busted lips and closed black eyes from Cpl HP showing how much he appreciated the humor, you go easy on him. Or you may end up as a toad.

  2. I’m currently in the middle of reading The Lions of Iwo Jima. The book focuses on Combat Team 28 (CT28), the regimental combat team that isolated, then took Mt. Suribachi on Iwo.

    The things that generation went through. I sometimes wonder if, as a nation, we could still muster such resolve.

    Semper Fi and God Bless to all our old warriors. May we never have to face up to such earth shaking elephants as they did.

    – Grimmy

  3. Shortly before my father died, a group of Marines from Waco visited his nursing home on Veteran’s Day. He had pictures of his time on Guadalcanal as an aircraft machinist and allowed the OIC to make copies of them. Until he died, he remembered that visit, but he couldn’t remember who I was.

  4. What a cool thing to do. I do hospice visits to those in palliative care who have no visitors (sadly too many) and the appearance of anybody who takes the time out to care enough to pop in can really make all the difference. Glad to see the Marine Corps looks after it’s own.

    Also, i’m surprised that you visited a home for the elderly and they let you back out again… 😛

    *ducks for cover and assumes a new identity*

  5. @Anymouse,
    re: “I sometimes wonder if, as a nation, we could still muster such resolve…”

    Our youngers are doing it even as we sit here reading and writing. God bless ’em and prayers up for them.

  6. Next time you are there see if they have a spot available for me, I feel like I will need it soon.

  7. be603:

    I was referring to the old school grind warfare. When units would take upwards of 80% casualties and keep on ticking. When men with malaria weren’t allowed off the line to go to the med tent until the Corpsman had certified them having 103f temp for at least 3 days running, where in a fewish months of battle, a unit may go through as much as 200+ percent casualties when replacements are factored in.

    No intention to slight those serving today, in any way. Just pointing out that it’s been very much different in our not too distant past.

    Semper Fi.
    – Grimmy

  8. This post is so moving. There’s nothing like looking into the eyes of a very old veteran and seeing the young man inside who offered all to protect us. . . . Tears of awe for these amazing men.

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