Skip to comments.32 years later, Ollie North reunited with his Marine sword
Posted on 05/29/2012 4:33:53 PM PDT by jazusamo
Its the simplest of weapons, but for retired Lt. Col. Oliver North, the dress sword presented to him at his 1968 Naval Academy graduation symbolized the complexity of the life he was entering.
Norths treasured sword was part of his Marine Corps uniform that demonstrated his commitment to fight in the Vietnam War, this year logging its 50th anniversary, where he would earn the Silver Star, Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He used it to cut his wedding cake with with bride Betsy. And he drew it at ceremonies and weddings for fellow marines.
Then in 1980, as he readied for a call of duty in the Reagan White House, it disappeared on a routine move from Camp Lejeune to Newport, R.I. Im not particularly attached to material things, North told Secrets, but that meant a lot.
Now, 32 years later, and because of a long friendship dating back to his Academy days and Discovery Channels popular Auction Kings reality show, its back in Norths hands. It gives me faith in people, said North.
The sword that carries Norths name on it passed through several owners before it popped into Gallery 63, the Atlanta shop that is home to Auction Kings, last year. Owner Paul Brown couldnt immediately find North and eventually put it up for auction, getting $1,850--$1,350 more than expected. Norths college roommate, now a Navy admiral saw the show and sent North a funny email: I didnt realize how tough things had gotten for you that you had to hock your sword.
With help from Brown and Discovery, the new owner turned the sword over to North in a moving new season premiere for Auction Kings that will air Thursday at 9 p.m.
The memories it brought back are special, said North.
Unlike other services, swords are important to and required by the Marines. So much so that when his was lost or stolen, his wife bought him a replacement which he didnt turn over to movers for future trips.
Asked what advice he has for Naval Academy seniors graduating Tuesday, North said simply, Dont let the movers move your sword. If your dog is important enough for you to move yourself, so is your sword.
Discovery Channels Auction Kings, in its third season, permanently moves to its new Thursday night 9 p.m. perch with the special on North and his sword. Not changing: The shows unique ending that features a live auction of the items featured.
Betsy was cover-girl pretty, even in that catastrophic headpiece. Ollie has improved greatly with age ;-).
How about that poor brides maid in a hospital gown with a fruit salad on her head.
Absolutely agree on both, he sure looks young there. :-)
Great story! Thanks for the ping.
Great news bump for Ollie getting his proper sword back again!
He grew into his eyebrows...yikes.
It’s a pretty good show; very cool of him to help him get that sword back.
My Dad is 92. He had “lost” his Navy sword and was heartbroken. He had no idea where it went. It had cut his wedding cake, mine and my sisters. When we moved him to a transitional apartment housing with skilled nursing backup a few months ago, we found it in the den closet. He took it with him and it is now on his wall again.
Ah, military moves...and all of the irreplaceable things that are broken or 'lost'.
I am so glad to hear that Ollie and your father got their swords back......important part of the uniform and the man.....
Jack Ryan’s alter ego.
Ollie North is MY hero, and the hero of every other VET in the world, I’ll bet ! Too bad that he was forced from his political role, as he would be a much better choice for President than the ones we have now. How about North and Arpio..... a winning ticket if I’ve ever seen one.
Those movers know exactly what they're looking for, too. In high school and college I accumulated a pretty extensive collection of first, albums, and later CDs. Among the literally hundreds in my collection, two irreplaceable ones were an early run of Roger Waters' "Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking" (without the black box) and 10,000 Maniacs' "In My Tribe" which had initially been released with their cover of "Peace Train" as the first track. After Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam endorsed the Ayatollah Khomenei's fatwah against Salman Rushdie in the mid 80's, 10,000 Maniacs deleted Peace Train from subsequent runs of the album/CD.
In the mid-90's when I PCS'd from Fort Riley to Korea, they were the only two items that had been *lost*.
my impression too :)
Moving back from Japan to CONUS in 1963 upon unpacking my treasured personal possessions three things were missing: An extensive baseball card collection, a box of special marbles, and my ten foot hand made cane fly rod. It seems that movers have a MO to remove certain items from military members.
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