November 5, 2018
Doc: I was assigned as a Hospital Corpsman HM3 to the MSSG24 MED/DN DET in support of the Marine Amphibious Unit MAU and the BLT 1/8 from May to Nov 1983. While assigned to this deployment late, I had the fortunate opportunity to befriend several Marines while deployed and on liberty.
Alicia: Why did you do the walk and where did you walk from and to?
Doc: Over the course of the past several years while attending Memorial and Veterans Day observances I became aware that most people fail to remember the events of Beirut unless they were specifically affected by either being there or by sacrificing some that was.
Alicia: Are there any significant stories you would like to share from your walk?
Doc: There were so many stories along the path I could share, but the two that reinforced my efforts while walking were when W George Thompson a survivor expressed an interest in walking with me a month before I started my journey and kept commenting that he would walk with me. A retired Charleston Police Officer and 3rd floor survivor of the Beirut bombing! His wife Karen dropped George off with me in Mount Pleasant and we walked for 4 miles putting his new knee to work. Honored and humbled on this day to have such a man and his wife walk with us.
Alicia: Are there plans for future events?
Alicia: I took a photo of you at the memorial and you depicted what I think we were all feeling. Can you explain what you were thinking/feeling at that time?
Doc: That photo was taken when I was remembering the sunrise services and families that had made their journey to the memorial for the first time. Two families, in particular, Brett Croft and Richard Barrett of Target Acquisition Battery both rode the USS Portland with me and both were brought to life by photos and stories from their shipmates and brothers. The term "brotherhood/families" has been demonstrated beyond DNA in this group.
Alicia: Do you come to the memorial in Jacksonville every year? Why do you feel it’s important to be there?
Alicia: Any additional info you would like to share?
Doc: Follow us on my FB page Beirut Memorial Walk.