John Henry "Doc" Bradley was one of the heroes who raised the flag on Iwo Jima.
I just finished reading "Flags Of Our Fathers." It is a poignant and very powerful tribute to the father of the author, James Bradley. John Henry (Doc) Bradley was one of the men in the famous Mount Suribachi photo which played such a part in America's resurgence of patriotism when things looked their darkest during World War II.
Reading this book was painful for me. I have always taken pride in the fact that I was a Corpsman in Vietnam. "Doc" Bradley was the epitome of courage and selflessness that so many equate with that particular military job. I remember my days in Hospital Corps School at Balboa Hospital in San Diego, California. I remember my weapons and survival training at Camp Pendleton. I remember the "old" veterans who taught us. They talked about such courage... About how Navy Corpsmen had more Medals of Honor per capita than any other rating in the military. They worked to build the kind of Esprit De Corps and pride that came so naturally to all the men I knew then.
I've known a lot of United States Marines during my lifetime. They are a special breed. As a rule, they HATE Navy "guys".. But they love Corpsmen as one of their brothers. I can't describe that feeling to anyone who has never experienced it. But nobody respects Marines more than I do.
Corpsmen, as a rule, are compassionate people. Most, like me, chose that work because they were basically non-violent but wanted to serve by helping others. "Doc" Bradley was the gold standard by which all should be judged.
In this wonderfully researched and written book, James Bradley paints a perfect portrait of bravery, selflessness and character. His father's strength and wisdom shines from every page. "Doc" Bradley is smiling down on his son.
That said, I wanted the point of this blog to be how politicians have not changed since time began. About how arrogant and selfish they are. About how corrupt they become when power seeps into their souls. But I'm going to do that blog tomorrow because after reading the first paragraphs, I want this one to be a positive tribute to "Doc" Bradley and all the Corpsmen who have served and sacrificed. I want this one to be a tribute to the United States Marines who served, suffered and died so I could have the freedom to write it. I want this one to be a tribute to all the military people who have served and are serving. Please remember one thing: the men and women who risk all don't make policy. They are the pawns in the monster's chess game.