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3 April 2000


"Grenade!"


Captain Ned Dolan, United States Marine Corps, (Retired)




This is from my Basic School Days, October 1945 to April 1946.


We were in the field training as is common in TBS.  The instructor was  discussing what we, if we became lieutenants (the First Basis Class in Quantico were all enlisted men who didn't get commissions until graduation, the only class to do so), do if a grenade fell into out midst.  He pointed to Sgt. David Christian for the answer.  Dave responded with one word - "Run!".  That was not the school solution which was to fall on the grenade to protect your men.


Our instructor, a second lieutenant who had not been overseas during the recent WW II, then proceeded to chew out Dave for his apparent cowardice.  Dave had a comeback.  He had been a combat photographer on Iwo Jima and had received  two Purple Hearts during the battle.  Dave responded by telling the instructor he had run when a grenade was thrown in the midst of a group he was with on Iwo and, although wounded, was the reason he was still alive.  This caused the instructor to change the subject.