In honor of Military Family Appreciation Month, Veterans Day, and the Marine Corps birthday, the family who founded Project Write2Them shares the story of a WWII Marine dear to their hearts.
In November of 1942, my dad – Frederick W. Abbott – enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Eager to serve, he determined the recruitment lines for Army, Navy and Coast Guard were just too long. So he kept climbing the stairs and found the shortest line at the Marine office. After graduating high school in June, my dad waited impatiently until November 19th when he’d turn 18. Like so many young men, he was afraid the war would be over before he had a chance to do his part.
With the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, many of his high school classmates had left school before graduation to join up. His brother, Jack, joined the Army and his sister became a member of WAC (Women Army Corp). Feeling compelled to serve his country, he was quickly on his way to joining one of the world’s fiercest fighting groups as a Marine.
After boot camp, my dad served as a Rifle Range Instructor at Parris Island before shipping out to the newly formed 6th Marine Division. The 6th Marine Division was established overseas with remnants of Marine units who had fought on Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. My dad fought in the Battle for Okinawa and like many of his Marine brothers, saw and experienced sights that would stay with him his whole life. Fred always believed he had a guardian angel watching out for him during those battles, and he was fortunate to make it home and live a life centered around family, faith, and community until the age of 87.
Service before Self …I am borrowing part of the Air Force motto here, but there are countless families like ours with a long history of service to our country. Families where brothers, sisters, parents, and spouses have left loved ones back home to serve in our military during times of peace and war. For other families, young men and women are the first in their families to enter into military service.
As the United States Marine Corps celebrates its 242nd birthday this month, alongside Veterans Day and Military Family Appreciation Month, I am reminded of my dad and the pride he felt to be a Marine throughout his entire life. One of the greatest gifts he instilled in his family was the ideal that military service was important, that protecting and defending our freedoms and our way of life were worth the costs. With a Nephew who was a Vietnam-era veteran and 2 Grandsons and 2 Grandnephews currently serving in our military, our family tradition of military service continues.
All month, we salute, honor, celebrate and recognize all our veterans…those who served in the past, those currently serving today, and the families who support them.
Thank you for your service to our great country.
Project Write2Them is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides communications support and services to military service members and their families during basic training.