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Met a True American Hero

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  • Met a True American Hero

    For the past three days I have been at a leadership conference aboard USS Yorktown in Charleston. We had many speakers, including a retired Air Force Major General, a man who was a National Security advisor to Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan, and two survivors of Auschwitz. But the man who I most enjoyed and was awed of was Colonel Joe Marm, Jr.

    The Commander in charge of the conference asked in an interim if anyone wanted to introduce the next speaker, who would be Colonel Marm. He took me to meet Colonel Marm before he spoke. I walk in to a room and see an older gentleman in a suit and around his neck is the Medal of Honor. I introduced myself and I was just in awe of him. I had already read his citation and was excited to meet him. But when I walked into the room, I just got the most excited I've ever been. I've met the President before, but this was far more exciting.

    So I started to talking to him and I told him I was on the Rifle Team and Cross Country team at school. As it happens, those are the two teams he was on in High School and his career was much like mine. He was pretty good at Riflery and was on it all four years, but was not reall good at CC and only joined it his Senior year to fill a spot. I was just amazed I had something in common with this living hero. We talked for about 20 minutes and the thing we talked about most, of all things, was farming. He retired back in '95 and now has a pig farm in North Carolina and I talked about our farm in southwest Georgia. I just couldn't believe this genuine hero was a regular guy who I had a lot in common with.

    He speech was really interesting. He talked about other Medal of Honor recepients and his fellow soldiers, but he only during the question and answer part did he talk about himself. He seemed very humble and was very nonchalant about his actions, acting like it was something anyone would have done.

    I was just overawed by this man and his humbleness. He made me realize that most heroes are the big, strong folks. They're not the geniuses or the most popular. They're just regular folks that do what they have to do when it is needed. They don't brag or boast, they rarely even speak about it, but their actions speak volumes about them. They are the true, unsung heroes, those who should be more recognized in our society. Colonel Marm made me feel even more proud and honored to be an American. Here's to Colonel Marm and all the other quite heroes out there.
    "Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for"
    "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and a lot of bitching"

  • #2
    I salute all the brave men and women in the United States armed forces psat, present and future and I esp. salute Colonel Marm and the other unsung heroes in our country and our allied countries.

    Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

    "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

    What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

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    • #3
      Thought I'd post his citation. He was awarded it for actions on Nov 14, 1965 in the Ia Drang Valley with the 1/7 Cav, the same battle in We Were Soldiers.

      For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. As a platoon leader in the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), 1st Lt. Marm demonstrated indomitable courage during a combat operation. His company was moving through the valley to relieve a friendly unit surrounded by an enemy force of estimated regimental size. 1st Lt. Marm led his platoon through withering fire until they were finally forced to take cover. Realizing that his platoon could not hold very long, and seeing four enemy soldiers moving into his position, he moved quickly under heavy fire and annihilated all 4. Then, seeing that his platoon was receiving intense fire from a concealed machinegun, he deliberately exposed himself to draw its fire. Thus locating its position, he attempted to destroy it with an antitank weapon. Although he inflicted casualties, the weapon did not silence the enemy fire. Quickly, disregarding the intense fire directed on him and his platoon, he charged 30 meters across open ground, and hurled grenades into the enemy position, killing some of the 8 insurgents manning it. Although severely wounded, when his grenades were expended, armed with only a rifle, he continued the momentum of his assault on the position and killed the remainder of the enemy. 1st Lt. Marm's selfless actions reduced the fire on his platoon, broke the enemy assault, and rallied his unit to continue toward the accomplishment of this mission. 1st Lt. Marm's gallantry on the battlefield and his extraordinary intrepidity at the risk of his life are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.
      "Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for"
      "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and a lot of bitching"

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