This past Thursday, Cpl. Walter Sullivan got a grand surprise when his friends, accompanied by a group of local Marines, gathered to salute him for his service in Iwo Jima during WWII.
Being a closely-knit Marine community, this was a great opportunity to enjoy company while honoring a great local hero.
At 88 years old, Sullivan still reflects on his time in Iwo Jima. It was not an easy time in his life, and he had to exude immense bravery and sacrifice at the young age of 19 years old. His company got hit hard in battle; he was only one of three out of the 250 members in his company to walk off the island. The others either perished in battle or were severely wounded.
Sullivan served over two years in the Marine Corps and saw action in three different countries all before he was 21 years old.
"It makes you a different person when you come back," he said.
Sullivan suffered the wounds of war long after his return from deployment.
"I just loved the Marines, that blue uniform," he said. "But it was rough."
(Quotes courtesy of Marketta Davis, pnj.com)
In current daily life, Sullivan enjoys simple pleasures such as dancing and hanging out with his two Chihuahuas.
As a part of the Marine Corps League’s "Heroes Among Us,” speaker series, Sullivan is scheduled to speak on March 27th at the Pensacola Yacht Club. This will be the 70th anniversary of the installment of the Battle of Iwo Jima.
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