My father received a phone call before heading to his Medal of Honor Congressional Ceremony in June of 2012. It was a local businessman who read about Dad's Montford Point Marines story in the Hartford Courant. His name was John Carmon, a director of a funeral home. Mr. Carmon thanked my dad profusely for serving our country. He said had the utmost respect for soldiers. Mr. Carmon even took it a step forward and offered to pay for all of my dad's travel and lodging expenses to Washington, D.C.
Dad graciously replied that his expenses were already paid by the government, and he appreciated his offer. The business owner countered with paying for an engraved brick. Dad listened as Mr. Carmon explained that the brick would have his name on it and it would be on the walkway at the National United States Marines Corps Museum. Semper Fidelis Memorial Park overlooks the state of the art museum.
So Dad accepted. From the site www.usmcmuseum.com:
"Your engraved brick will affirm for posterity, your esprit de corps with the men and women who risk their lives for the freedom."
|An exhibition area from the National Marine Museum. Source: www.usmcmuseum.com|
The brick was later spotted by a family member. Mr. Carmon kept his promise. Dad was very touched by the gesture. He laughed, and exclaimed, "These funeral homes love an old geezer like me!" In fact, another funeral home had called to congratulate Dad. The owner of this particular funeral home served in the Army.
Folks in social media heard the news of Dad's Medal of Honor and extended best wishes to him; he was briefly featured on a local news broadcast. It was a culminating experience that brought Montford Marines and the "Lost Battalion", the 51st Defense Battalion, into American History.
I notified all of Connecticut's United State Congress members. They promptly responded with official congratulatory letters addressed to my father. The letters are nicely framed on the living room wall.
Sadly, we saw Mr. Carmon for my mother's funeral in March of 2013. Mother passed suddenly, and they handled the funeral arrangements, just as they did for my brother in 1992. They were always consummate professionals.
The kindness and generosity of the Carmon Funeral Home will always be appreciated. They were there for our family in times of sorrow, and in times of joy. It all started with a compassionate individual responding to a newspaper story and helping out a World War II Veteran. It was a far cry from the Non-Welcoming Military Homecoming my father received after his tour of duty in 1945.
|National USMC Museum at night.. The shape of the building is said to invoke the raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima.|
Source: Montford Point Marines Association
See the post: "My Mother: Dorothy Marie Brooks Part II"