Hanging With The Old Breed

Recently it was our honor to be invited to the offices of Representative Marcia L. Fudge to help present the Congressional Gold Medal to Marine John Campbell on his 91st birthday.  In 2012, Congress awarded it highest honor to some 900 surviving Montford Point Marines who served during WWII in a segregated Marine Corps.

Mr. John Campbell and his bride of 68 years, Rita.

Between the years of 1942 to 1949 roughly 20,000 African American warriors attended boot camp at Montford Point. Mr. Campbell served in the Pacific campaign helping to secure the Marshall Islands.

Campbell’s boot camp platoon.

Chatting with PFC Campbell he gave us an anecdote about “Hashmark” Johnson, a famous Monteford Point Marine who was renowned for having more service stripes than rank on his sleeves.  As Mr. Campbell tells it, one day a young recruit bumped into Johnson who told him to watch it.

“Well who are you? I didn’t see no stripes,” said the offending recruit.

Johnson immediately decked the young man and looming over him said: “Well now you’re seeing stars AND stripes!”

Standing room only as the room was filled with members of the Campbell family. 

He was speaking with a local reporter when he noted that there was no choice about joining the military during a wartime draft. Once drafted though, he decided he was going into the Marine Corps. When asked why he said: “I wanted to be something spectacular.”

Spectacular effort Marine.

Semper Fidelis!
America’s SgtMaj

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1 Comment

  1. “Every Marine who served before me is my father. Every Marine who served with me is my brother. Every Marine who serves after me is my son.” Thanks for passing the word on Mr. Campbell, Sergeant Major!

    Semper Fidelis!

    “Mike Doyle”

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