I want to mention what U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood and his staff recently did for me personally.
I had written Norwood's office and requested a 5-by-8 American flag so I could have it encased and inscribed with my oldest brother's military information as a tribute to his sacrifice during World War II.
John H. Brown Jr. ("Junior," as we called him), was my father's namesake. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, he was 19 years old. He, along with his cousin and another friend, immediately enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, on Dec. 18, 1941, in Birmingham, Ala.
They initially fought the Japanese on some small islands in the south Pacific before being sent to Guadalcanal during August, 1942. Junior was declared missing in action (MIA) on Oct 8, 1942, after a human wave of Japanese soldiers overran his position. His body was never recovered. On Oct 9, 1943, he was officially declared killed in action (KIA).
My parents were devastated; in wartime, nothing could be further ascertained about the circumstances surrounding Junior's death. Dad had just gotten his field commission in Sept, 1942, and tried every way possible to find out what happened, all to no avail. Junior never had a formal funeral or ceremony.
In the past October of this year, my next two oldest brothers passed away, leaving only myself as the last son of four. Junior was unfinished business that needed to be taken care of, I felt, so I wanted the flag for Junior.
About 7 o'clock on a recent evening, the mail lady in Grovetown rang our doorbell with the flag from Charlie Norwood's office. I am having the casket-sized flag encased with his Purple Heart award letter inside so future generations will know of the sacrifice he made for them 60-plus years ago during another war.
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