Friday, June 06, 2008

Jack Lucas - A Genuine American Hero

Jack Lucas died today. Funny, most of you don't know him and probably have never heard of him. I never met him but I know that he was of almost mythical status in the Marine Corps. In their eyes he was John Basilone, R. Lee Ermey, and P.X. Kelley personified. He was the Marine that John Wayne wanted to be in The Sands of Iwo Jima. He was the Marine you see in the TV commercials who is dress right dress in his Class 1 Blues with the sabre.

What made Jack Lucas special? Imagine this for a second. A 14 year old kid lies about his age to enlist in the Marines. They take him because they think he is 17 years old. When he really is 17 he gets shipped to Iraq, to Fallujah in 2005 when it was at it's worst. A grenade comes falling into a Humvee and he throws himself on it to save his buddies. It explodes and he almost dies but does not. He fights back and returns to duty. He wins the Medal of Honor. One of the very, very few who is alive to receive it.

This would not happen now but it did in WWII. Jack Lucas won his MOH at Iwo Jima. He won the hearts of all his fellow Marines in the years after because of us unwavering support for the Marine Corps and the Marines in general. He never failed to speak his mind no matter who he was talking to and is the example that should be in the dictionary when the word "Patriot" is listed.

Here is the Citation for his MOH as was read by President Harry S. Truman in October 1945.

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the First Battalion, Twenty-sixth Marines, Fifth Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands 20 February 1945. While creeping through a treacherous, twisting ravine which ran in close proximity to a fluid and uncertain front line on D-plus-1 Day, Private First Class Lucas and three other men were suddenly ambushed by a hostile patrol which savagely attacked with rifle fire and grenades. Quick to act when the lives of the small group were endangered by two grenades which landed directly in front of them, Private First Class Lucas unhesitatingly hurled himself over his comrades upon one grenade and pulled the other one under him, absorbing the whole blasting force of the explosions in his own body in order to shield his companions from the concussion and murderous flying fragments. By his inspiring action and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice, he not only protected his comrades from certain injury or possible death, but also enabled them to rout the Japanese patrol and continue the advance. His exceptionally courageous initiative and loyalty reflect the highest credit upon Private First Class Lucas and the United States Naval Service.

God loves Marines or else he would not call so many of them to come a sit beside him. This is my last, slow salute for you. Semper Fi Marine.


Blogger MK said...

Unbelievable, inspiring, Patriot and Hero. Thanks for sharing this flythemig29.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Rafael E. Gularte said...

Jacklyn H. Lucas was certainly a testament to the true grit that exemplifies the United States Marine Corps and the rest of our fellow Americans serving in the other branches of the armed forces.

For those of you that are drawn to military history I suggest that you read the book "Indestructible: The Unforgettable Story of a Marine Hero at the Battle of Iwo Jima" by Jack Lucas and D.K. Drum. I was certainly was surprised to find out that he was at one point in his early military career AWOL (Absent With Out Leave) from what could be considered a safe assignment in a supply unit. Jack had left this safe haven, not to side-step harm, but to join an actual combat unit within the Marine Corps. As I previously stated above folks, true grit.

Godspeed to our troops and civilians serving in harms way.

5:17 AM  

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