John was drafted at the age of 25 and was sent to San Diego for basic training. He remembers that his roughest time in the service was being trained to be a Marine.
BRANCH OF SERVICE: Marine Corps
YEARS SERVED: 1952-1954
FAMILY: John and his wife, Marty, have two children; one daughter and one son. Both live nearby.
John was drafted at the age of 25 and was sent to San Diego for basic training. He remembers that his roughest time in the service was being trained to be a Marine. John was married, and his wife, Marty, a registered nurse, had the opportunity to work wherever his training took him. He was given orders to replace the 1st Marine Division in Japan, but as soon as his 3rd Marine Division got there, they received word that the war was over.
Since they already were in Japan, his division stayed for the occupation, and his next six months was served in the personnel administration field. John says he and his buddies didn't like this much because they were trained and ready to fight and felt like they missed out on doing their part. However, they stayed busy and rarely ventured off base due to the fact that the Japanese did not like Americans and would spit on them whenever they would go into town. John recalls that the injured Japanese veterans would hold signs that would read the U.S. had done that damage to them and therefore treated the U.S. Marines badly. John also feels that the ending of WWII left them with hatred, especially for the Marines.
Once his duties were over in Japan, John found himself back in Leavenworth, Kan., where he and his wife chose to live. On some days they wish they had stayed in California where the climate is nicer, but they have made a life in the Midwest and would not go back now. After being discharged John found work in a bank, then worked 18 years in a medical clinic. The next few years he went to work in the county attorney’s office in Leavenworth until a friend of his bought a GM car dealership in 1997 and asked John to join him. After 14 years John still spends his time helping at the dealership with any job that comes along.
John feels that every person should serve two years in the military where they would learn discipline and respect. He says freedom is not free, and our youth need to know that it's the veterans who have earned us that freedom. John belongs to the VFW and the American Legion in Leavenworth. He remains proud to have served as a Marine and is proud to be an American.