Press Talk Chance meeting of two warriors with video

first_imgTwo warriors.Standing side by side. One, a survivor of World War II. The other, of the Middle East theater.They met unexpectedly at Portland International Airport. Neither knew the other until the elder man — wearing an Iwo Jima survivor hat — approached the younger gentleman dressed in fatigues.They spoke of life in the military. But mostly they spoke about speaking. About the importance of those who have fought … to “get it out.” Not only for their sake, but for the sake of those who will follow.I didn’t ask who they were, their ages or where they grew up. I only asked if it would be OK if I taped their conversation. I had no idea what they might say, but I felt compelled to record it.“I lucked out on Iwo Jima,” the WWII vet said.For those of you not familiar with history, Iwo Jima was a vicious battle in the Pacific theater.Getting out of there in one piece was, indeed, good fortune.The U.S. wanted to take Iwo Jima so our B-29 bombers could land after hitting the Japanese mainland. Problem was, the Japanese had 23,000 army and navy troops dug in to prevent that.The U.S. dropped 6,800 tons of bombs on the island before three Marine divisions moved ashore.The bombing helped, but boots on the beach were needed. It ended up being a battle of attrition. Japan lost almost all 23,000 troops. The U.S. lost 5,900.last_img read more