Skip to comments.Jesus is the greatest example of a friend
Posted on 08/28/2009 3:07:45 PM PDT by pansgold
Jesus is the greatest example of a friend.
(John 15:13), "There is no greater gift that anyone can give that a man would lay down his life for another".
I never had a brother, only 4 sisters so in the 50s as a kid, my best friend and classmate Gary who didnt have a brother either decided to more or less that wed adopt each other like the TV Indians did. We nicked our thumbs and mixed our blood while reciting some mumbo-jumbo we made up.
Fast forward to February 23, 1969 to Quang Nam Province in South Vietnam. Early morning. The firebase came under heavy attack by North Vietnam Army troops and Viet Cong. The attack was with the use of satchel charges, hand grenades, mortars and automatic weapons fire.
One of the first to go down was my blood brother Marine Lance Corporal Gary Raymond Miracle. Gary lay unconscious in an exposed position under direct fire. Another Marine Private Oscar P. Austin saw Gary needed help so he jumped out of his fighting hole and raced towards Gary. When he reached Gary he attempted to drag him back to his hole when he saw a grenade land near him. Private Austin jumped between Gary and the grenade and took the full force of it. Private Austin ignored his wounds and pain and again began to drag Gary towards his fighting hole. Thats when he looked up and saw an NVA soldier aiming his AK-47 at Gary. Private Austin dove on top of Gary in an attempt to shield him with his own body.
They both died from their wounds.
Marine Corp Private Oscar Palmer Austin was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously and the Navy named a ship after him.
There is only one color in the Marine Corp and its green. I say that because Oscar was African-American and Gary white and it made no difference.
Gary is not mentioned by name in Private Austins presidential citation but I have it on good authority from some that were there it was Gary he tried to save
God Bless them both and Gary, Ill be seeing you again in the next few years.
Yes, what greater gift is then friendship. Both given and received
I wish to make a correction. Marine Oscar P. Austin was a Private First Class (Pfc.) not a Private and here is his CMH Citation.
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Assistant Machine Gunner with Company E, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division in connection with operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam. During the early morning hours of February 23, 1969, Private First Class Austin’s observation post was subjected to a fierce ground attack by a large North Vietnamese Army force supported by a heavy volume of hand grenades, satchel charges and small arms fire. Observing that one of his wounded companions had fallen unconscious in a position dangerously exposed to the hostile fire, Private First Class Austin unhesitatingly left the relative security of his fighting hole and, with complete disregard for his own safety, raced across the fire-swept terrain to assist the Marine to a covered location. As he neared the casualty, he observed an enemy grenade land nearby and, reacting instantly, leaped between the injured Marine and the lethal object, absorbing the effect of its detonation. As he ignored his painful injuries and turned to examine the wounded man, he saw a North Vietnamese Army soldier aiming a weapon at his unconscious companion. With full knowledge of the probable consequences and thinking only to protect the Marine, Private First Class Austin resolutely threw himself between the casualty and the hostile soldier and, in so doing, was mortally wounded. Private First Class Austin’s indomitable courage, inspiring initiative and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
/S/RICHARD M. NIXON
Thanks for your kind words. I spoke to Gary’s sister Karen and she told me Gary’s last time home on leave was something to remember. He told his sister he didn’t think he’d be back but he’d be the best damn Gomer the Corp had ever seen.
A wonderful woman who I met over the internet contacted several officers who maintain a database where the events and strategies of battles fought in Viet Nam are discussed and it is through Linda Stocker and her husband Gary’s research done on my behalf that Gary’s name came up with Oscar Austin’s.
They publish online and go to Vietnam searching for dog tags and they return them to family members. Gary’s tags were lost and his sister Karen Kolbe never received much more than photos when Gary died. The organization is called TOP which is short for TOUR OF PEACE. While it’s true that Vietnam is full of fake reproduction dog tags for sale, if Gary’s are fake, I don’t think it matters to Gary’s sister because now she has something to hold in her hand when she thinks of her brother’s last leave before heading to Vietnam.
Here is a link to Gary’s story which was published by TOP in the summer of 2006. I sent the stockers the grade school photo of Gary which was taken at St. Annes Catholic School in Wausau, Wisconsin back in the 50’s It’s lucky my mother saved all my old class photos because that’s one I really treasure.
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