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Battle of Iwo Jima changed many lives

Now is the time of year when we recognize our veterans, and many of us think about family members who served their country. Recently, there has been much publicity about Iwo Jima, the key battle of World War II in the Pacific that turned the tide of the war. The film "Flags of Our Fathers" tells the stories of the men who were photographed raising the large flag on Mount Suribachi on that volcanic island. Photographer Joe Rosenthal, who took the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo, died in August. I was given the gift of the book "Uncommon Valor Duty Free Cigs Fast Delivery," which details the battle of Iwo Jima, a gift that means a lot to me. Now that's all well and good, but our family always knew that Iwo Jima was a special event. It certainly was to Dad, who was the son of a Dutch immigrant. Marine Corps in World War II and fight in the battle of Iwo Jima. Even before Iwo, as he called it, became as famous as it is today, Dad told us stories about it and how he witnessed the flag being raised on Mount Suribachi. Without a doubt Duty Free Cigarettes, "The Sands of Iwo Jima," starring John Wayne, was his favorite movie. Every hand grenade that was thrown, every shell that was fired, it was as if Dad had fired it himself. I remember in his later years, when he suffered from a serious heart ailment, the fire in his eyes as he watched from the sofa while the Duke and his men on the TV screen stormed the battlefield of Iwo. The years melted away, Dad was young again, his youthful life in danger, his convictions for freedom strong. I recently visited my brother, who lives in Connecticut, and we reminisced about our Dad's war experiences, examined his medals and the citations explaining how they were earned. We viewed his Fourth Marine Division book, which has a photo of Dad saving the life of a much bigger, taller man as he assisted him off the battlefield. We also looked at photos of Dad and his Marine buddies -- bearded, thin, smoking cigarettes, their intense eyes staring out at us from the pictures and through the years. His battles were not without their price. Many nights' sleep were disrupted as he relived his wartime battles. When Dad told us his stories, we accepted them, although our classmates found these stories disturbing when we told them about it. Dad had described how he crawled through Iwo's volcanic underground tunnels to find himself eyeball-to-eyeball with Japanese soldiers -- having to spear them with his bayonet Cigarettes Online Free Shipping. Imagine being eye-to-eye with another human being and knowing you had to kill him on the spot. Dad also had to use a flamethrower, which he would shoot into the tunnel openings Marlboro Cigarettes Online. Dad earned many medals in the war: two Bronze Stars, a Silver Star, and a Purple Heart. He saved men's lives Cigarettes For Sale, and they saved his, too. He was nearly killed by a sniper on Iwo. Dad knew that war was no game. When we were growing up, we hadn't yet learned that. We would storm the yards in our neighborhood, running toward "the enemy," who were yelling "banzai" with bloodcurdling screams. Today, it is difficult to believe that we actually did that when we were kids. But all of our lives were changed by my Dad's experiences.
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