Tarawa veteran wants details on recovery efforts
There was a short mention on Fox News last Friday evening that the remains of the Marines killed on the island of Tarawa in November 1943 were being brought home. I served in this campaign as well as two later campaigns to take Saipan and Tinian.
While the battle lasted for just three days, the fight to secure Tarawa was the bloodiest campaign in Marine Corps history, at least up until that time.
During the second day of the campaign, my battery (I was in an infantry regiment) landed sometime around 2 p.m., after circling around offshore for many hours, suffering sea sickness and twisted nerves. The lagoon was still awash with the bodies of not only dead, bloated Marines, but many more bodies of the Japanese. We took rifle butts and tried to push them out of the way of the landing craft.
Many of the Marines were buried in large graves and the dog tags carefully preserved. The saddest part of the recovery story lies in the fact that many Marines died offshore and their bodies washed out to sea. Many more were killed in the lagoon and the tide carried their bodies out to sea. Those men can never be accounted for. The truly tragic end to this narrative lies in the fact that many of the parents died of illnesses or old age before they could find some solace in having the remains of their sons returned for a hero’s funeral.
I have been aware that a sustained effort has been continuously ongoing for a number of years to return fallen American soldiers from Tarawa. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear the entire news segment, so I would like to know just how many bodies of my dead comrades were recovered.
Bailey D. Reynolds, Kerrville
Letter writer misunderstands what Constitution guarantees
The July 19 response to the July 17 commentary on the Democratic Party is typical liberal misinformation. The writer, who must get his talking points from the mainstream media, is unfamiliar with the conservative core values that are reflected in one or two news outlets. It is a ridiculous notion that Socialism favors a right to liberty and equal protection. That notion indicates how far from reality some liberals have strayed. It also indicates a severe misunderstanding of the purpose and intent of the Constitution.
The rights to an education and health care are found nowhere in natural law and are not fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. All citizens should seek to be educated. Education is encouraged by our society and our government, but it is not a God-given right to be paid for by the federal taxpayer. Neither is health care. Your health is your responsibility.
The Constitution did not give the federal government the responsibility of taking care of anyone. Benevolence and safety nets are state responsibilities. And to the extent that Christianity impacts ethics and values, it also supports individual responsibility and community benevolence. Socialism does not exhort individual responsibility or community benevolence.
Susan Deininger, Kerrville