Thursday, October 30, 2014

Invading Virginia

Iwo Jima memorial statue
Triangle, VA

Virginia has a vast amount of military history from distinguished American leaders such as founding father George Washington and Robert E. Lee.  US Civil War battlefields from America's bloodiest conflict dot the landscape of Virginia.  Today Virginia has many important military bases including a massive US Naval base in Norfolk.

AI at USMC National Museum
The AI tour, however, focused on one vital branch of the US military.  We paid a visit to the US Marine Museum in Triangle Virginia (  Here you will find the rich history of the Marine Corps on display from its founding at the Tun tavern in Philadelphia on November 10, 1775 to its current role today.  The Marines proudly remind us that the Corps is even older than our nation itself.

USMC founded in a tavern
Marine Birthday: 11/10/1775

Over the course of their history the Marines have gotten around.  We note in our work, America Invades...

"One of the most famous incidents in the history of the USMC took place in Libya in 1805. William Eaton led a group of eight marines and a party of mercenaries on a 520-mile march through the desert from Alexandria in Egypt to Derna in Libya. It was at the battle of Derna on April 27, 1805, that Eaton led his men against the pasha’s forces in a siege that finally culminated with an assault. Eaton personally led a bayonet charge against a larger foe with Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon by his side. This was the first time the fifteen stars and stripes of the US flag were raised on a foreign shore. It was here that the US Marines famously earned a victory against the pasha on 'the shores of Tripoli.'"  Source: America Invades (

They would later fight in the Mexican-American war at the halls of Montezuma.

Iron Mike
US Marine Corps Museum

"Iron Mike" is a slang term for an America soldier that has show conspicuous bravery.  The statue above is based on US Marines that fought in WWI and helped to earn the nickname "Devil Dogs" for the corps.

USMC Aviation
Marines Corps aviation has a distinguished history.  Senator and Astronaut John Glenn was a Marine pilot.

Frank Matthews: American Invader / Hero
It was our great privilege to meet a US Marine, Frank Matthews.  He was a true American invader who went ashore on Iwo Jima about 70 years ago.  He engaged the enemy with a flame thrower.  I thanked the 92 year old veteran for his service and gave him a copy of America Invades ( though he protested that his eyesight made reading it problematic.

Frank told me that he had played baseball with John Basilone on Hawaii before the war broke out (

Semper Fi to all US marines and to all those from the state of Virginia who serve their nation and the cause of freedom.  Thanks for your service!

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