After learning that a relative in my extended family had an extremely important yet overlooked role in the Battle of Iwo Jima, I developed an intense fascination with researching United States Marine Corps [and Navy Corpsman] veterans of the Greatest Generation for their families.
I created Corps Connections in order to reach as many family members as possible, more fully perpetuating education on the legacy of Marines and Navy Corpsmen who served throughout the most difficult island campaigns of World War II. As the generation inevitably fades and we lose the first-person witness, the next greatest tool for remembering their sacrifices is in the records, data, and narrative that remain. It is through understanding that information that the intensity of their sacrifices lives on.
By far, connecting the lives, whether they are the veterans themselves or their families, is the most rewarding payoff for the extensive time I put into this research. There are few bonds stronger than that of two strangers who became brothers by fighting [and at times, giving their lives] to protect the way of life they hold dear. This bond transcends generations and frequently brings closure to those involved in ways that defy words. The power of these seemingly impossible coincidences to impact those involved never ceases to amaze me.
In life, they have shown me first-hand that they truly lived out their motto of "Semper Fidelis" throughout their postwar lives, and I in turn consider it a hallowed duty to continue unearthing the vast number of stories which still remain unknown and untold so that generations after them will know of the selfless deeds which earned them their immortal nickname: "The Old Breed".