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Iwo Jima vets commemorate 64th Anniversary

19 Feb 2009 | Lance Cpl. Paul Basciano 1st Marine Division

Retired veterans met with young Marines, here at the 33 area parade deck, for a look at the modern Ma­rine and his equipment as a part of the 64th anniversary of the Iwo Jima landing Thursday.

The former Marines and their fami­lies arrived on buses where they were shown a static display of current vehicles, equipment, and weapons.

Truck company displayed up-armored humvees and 7-ton trucks with mounted weapons that the visitors could climb in and ask ques­tions to Marines who operate them.

Headquarters and Service compa­ny had Marines with weapons, armor and communication equipment to answer questions and show our cur­rent gear to the retired Marines.

The weapons were similar to the ones used at Iwo Jima, said retired Marine Bill Gropp.

“All the equipment is noticeably more advanced though, but I’d hate to have to wear all that new armor,”

said Gropp.

Marines on hand were happy to help the former Marines and give demonstrations or assist the visitors.

“It means a lot to me to hear how it was (from them)” said Cpl. Michael Degeis, Training NCO, H&S com­pany.

“It makes you realize how much we have today,” said Degeis.

After the display, the former Ma­rines headed to the 33 area mess hall to share a meal with young Marines.

1st Marine Division