Friday, October 10, 2003


"Lord, Where Do We get such Men?"
"General Paul X. Kelley, 28th Commandant of the Marine Corps, wondered aloud after presenting LCpl Jeffery Lee Nashton, a survivor, with a special gift at Maryland's Bethesda Naval Hospital, 15 Nov. 1983, while Nashton's wife, Laurie, looked on.
Gen Kelly previously had visited with LCpl Nashton in the intensive care ward at Frankfort, Germany, 25 Oct. The general said he observed Nashton "with more tubes going in and out of his body than I have ever seen. When he heard me say who I was, he grabbed my coat, went up to the collar and counted the stars. He squeezed my hand, and then wrote, "Semper Fi."

In Bethesda, Gen Kelly presented Nashton with his four stars, the Marine Corps emblem and the words "Semper Fi" inscribed on a plaque. Gen Kelley later said, "When I left the hospital, I realized I had met a great human being, and I took off those stars because at the time I felt they belonged more to him than to me."
Leatherneck, Oct 2003

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By R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)