Who knows who John Basilone was? For those who don’t, he won the Medal of Honor in World War II fighting in the Pacific and the Navy Cross. With only three men with him still standing he held off 3000 Japanese at Guadalcanal. Then he was sent to the U.S. to sell our war effort against Japan. So while his buddies were fighting and dying in the Pacific he was in the U.S. on easy street drinking coca cola, a war hero who had his pick of the best babes in the country. Then when his enlistment was up, he could have just said, “I have done my duty and more. I’m going to return to civilian life, but with the invasion of Iwo Jima imminent he reenlisted in the Marine Corp to return to his buddies. On Iwo Jima he was killed in action after leading the attack on the Japanese positions.
John Basilone has recently been dramatized in the t.v. series, “The Pacific” but where have they all gone now. Most are dead. Those who did not die in the Pacific battles have now succumbed to old age. It is a vanishing breed. The U.S. is no longer the same country I grew up in when we all watched Gun Smoke and Have Gun Will Travel in the 1950s a scant few years after John Basilone was killed. Our heroes are now video game caricatures. Our youth are fatsos living on pizza and coca cola without a John Basilone in sight. America has become a wasteland without values and with very few real men left.
But oh well, I live in Thailand now, and it’s no better here where most men are real pansies. And where the office personnel in over 90 percent of the condos embezzle money from the owners. So where are the John Basilones today? They only exist in the hearts and minds of a few, a vanishing breed.