Those Who Served Revisited

The Chad & Linda Erickson article about Iwo Jima generated a response from Arizona:

I want to point out at least ONE BIG error in your editorial. 4th & 5th line down “Like most soldiers of that war…”

You DO NOT CALL A MARINE A SOLDIER. That term is reserved for the Army. You would not call your dad a soldier either; he was a Sailor.

To help you it goes like this,

  • Army—Soldier
  • Navy—Sailor
  • Marine Corps—Marine
  • Air Force—Airman

2nd paragraph: “I often wonder why the Silent Generation was so silent.”

The WW2 serviceman is no different from any other time in any combat. They don’t talk about it because it’s no DAMN business of anybody of what they saw or went through (pure hell). If you find a person that talks about it you will find a person that is full of bull. I have seen several of those and have zero respect for them. My brother (9 years younger) does not ask me about Vietnam and only several years ago did I tell him several things; and that might have been several things too much.

Respectfully, John Nolton, USMC 1961-1970

Chad & Linda respond:

I knew that I, a non-marine, writing about Marines, was apt to get some things seriously wrong and get called out for it. But that’s okay, I wanted to pay tribute, and did the best I could. At least I didn’t call a rifle a “gun”. Apparently Marine Nolton has a survey background as well. Please, please Mr. Nolton, write an article of your experiences, before it is too late. On second thought, we LOVE his comments. How wonderfully typical Marine, and how sad his comments on war.

My response:

Subsequent to my editorial I learned the following. According to the Veterans Administration:

Since 2010, the number of Veterans experiencing homelessness in the U.S. has been cut almost in half, from 74,087 in 2010 to 37,252 in 2020. Several factors played a role in this progress: investments in Veteran-specific programs, a Housing First approach, and strong leadership.

I certainly hope this is true. 4th of July was this week, and it saddened me greatly that so many in our country have no regard for how our country was founded or the sacrifices made by the men and women in our military.

Marines And Army Ground Crews Look Over The First Sikorsky R 4 Helicopter To Land In The Fighter Strip On Iwo Jima Mar 23 1945

Addendum: Chad informed me that as part of their research, they have found tons of photographs, including this one: Marines and Army ground crews look over the first Sikorsky R-4 helicopter to land in the fighter strip on Iwo Jima, Mar 23, 1945. Who knew they had choppers in the South Pacific?

About the Author

Marc Cheves, PS

Marc Cheves is editor emeritus of the magazine. He has been a surveyor since 1963 and is licensed in five states. Since 1995 he has been a surveying magazine editor.