Tuesday, February 03, 2004


I have been on the I'Net since about 1997, and I met Karoline Miller sometime close to that beginning. I think, at that time, she was reseraching information on her Marine Dad. I e-mailed her the info I had on how she could obtain his military records, possibly locate his friends, etc. She learned fast, and in little time she was also posting to my various forums advising others searching for information as to how to go about it.

She was, I learned bit by bit, an employee in the prison system in Minnesota; and she also worked for a time at the VFW post nearby her home, or maybe it was the American Legion. Through those years, I was surprised at her loyalty, truthfulness, and dependability to her family and friends. On more than one occasion, I found myself verbally assaulted on various forums and bulletin boards around the 'Net because of various stands or remarks I had made, only to return the next day to find that Karoline had been there in the meantime and lambasted those badmouthing me--you just didn't want to make an enemy of this lady.

She had also made friends with my old buddy of some 40 years, Mike Adelt (Gunny Mike) now deceased.

And, there was a period when I didn't hear from her for a while, and she later explained to me that she had had a series of "small strokes," but that she was recovering nicely and learning to re-learn how to use her PC again. And, indeed, she did learn again--fast.

Then, when her son, John, was nearing enlistment age and wanted to be a Marine...she was deeply concerned. She understood why he would want to be a Marine, still she was a Mom, and worried about her boy. We spoke at length--e-mail--on this topic, during that period.

Then, a few years ago, I had put out a webpage on Ray Jacobs, whom many of us believe to be the radioman in Lou Lowery's photos of the first flag raising on Iwo Jima. Up till then, Chuck Lindberg was thought to be the only living survivor of the first flag raising (40-man) combat patrol up Suribachi to raise the flag.

Karoline encouraged me to go to Minnesota to interview Lindberg on this subject. Lindberg, although receptive to public interaction, was not into the Internet and so we could not interact in that way. Anyway, I didn't go; and so Karoline decided to do it the old-fashioned way--herself. By then, John was a Marine, a corporal in the Corps. They went to Lindberg together--that's John's photo w/Lindberg on Karoline's website...


Later, John was seriously injured while stationed at Camp Pendleton and not expected to survive. That's another story--see the website. John, did survive, however, with Karoline at his side in California. He eventually was medically retired and returned to Minnesota.

Karoline, the lady with the Semper Fi Heart, was many things to many of us.

She was active on a Marines Moms bulletin board, Scuttlebutt & Small Chow, and many more. Of course, I have posted and e-mailed much of her material out to the four winds, as she has done so with my e-mail and posts. No telling how many Marines, and others, whose lives she has touched out there.

So...who was this lady I have done my best to describe to you here? She was one of us. Marine was a special word to her, she knew what it meant to all of us.

A few hours ago, I received an e-mail from her daughter, Faith, advising me that Karoline had passed last Thursday.
I know that this lady whom I have never personally met, is in the very best of hands now. Wherever Marines are guarding those streets of Heaven, Karoline is nearby.

For those of us who knew her, we have our reward--to you others, you missed this fine example of good people.

Please forward this around--as I mentioned, many folks knew Karoline, or knew of her, and they would like to be advised. Thank you.

Gonna miss ya, K.

Semper Fidelis
Dick Gaines
Marine Barracks, APFLA

R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
This is...
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By R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
Semper Fidelis