USMC – My Hero, My Dad

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Richard J. Mannini – USMC 1951 – 1954

I wanted to do a tribute to my father Richard J. Mannini on this Memorial Day.  I have tried to get his USMC picture into my blog and for some reason I just can not get it in here.  While this saddens me, I still would like to share my father with my readers.

I am a proud daughter of a USMC member.  My dad served right out of high school.    When he was twelve, World War II had ended, so the war was very present in his generations minds.   He knew at age 16 that he would be selected in the draft.  The draft had been reinstated because North Korea had invaded South Korea and President Truman had declared a State of Emergency and many young people were being called up by the draft or activation of their reserve units.  My dad knew that if he had to fight, he had to fight with the Marines.  His very best friend was drafted in 1950 and that had a big influence of my father.  While dissapointing his father, Joseph Mannini, who had been a Veteran of the Italian Navy and hoped that my father would join the Navy to avoid the draft.  But rather than being drafted into the Army, he decided to join up with the Marines.  And that is where it all began.

My dad was 17 when he enlisted into the Marines, just a few months shy of his 18th birthday.  He knew going in that he would be going to War.

He went through only 8 weeks of boot camp, as  boot camp was accelerated by two weeks because the heavy casualties in Korea.  They needed replacements, hence the accelerated Boot Camp.  He was trained in Door to Door fighting and in Mountain Warfare.  They were trained to fight at night, how to scout in small patrols and how to fight in assault situations and defensive warfare, and much much more.

His first assignment was to join the 1st Marine Division in Korea.  After arrivng in Korea, he was assigned to the 7th Marine regiment of the 1st Division .  The 7th Marines were one of the most heavily decorated units of World War II, so he was going to a unit that was very prideful of what they had and could accomplish.

Dad served with “C” (Charlie) Company of the 1st Battalion, 7th Regiment, 1st Marine Division.   It was a very tough fighting unit.  Need I say more.

My father still thinks of the men he served with and still cries for those who did not come home.  “You were never alone, even at the darkest moments, your firends, your family of Marines was right there with you. You did your duty.” say my Father in an interview he did with my son for an 8th grade project on the Korean War.

Dads tour of duty was thirteen months.  He spent the winter of 1951-52, the summer of 1952 and  the winter of 1952-53 in Korea.  He came home in late February of 1953.

I am proud of my father and all that he stands for.  He is such a proud member of the USMC and to this day says that if he could do it again today, he would.  He stands up for what he believes in.  Once a Marine, always a Marine.

Decorations and Campaign Medals earned by my father:

Purple Heart Medal, Navy Commendation with Combat “V” Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Korean Service Medal with three campaign stars, Marine Overseas Service Ribbon, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal, U.S. Marine Corps Service Commerative Medal, Korean War Commerative Medal.

Thank you Dad, for all you have done, for all you do and everything that you stand for.  The Korean War is called the Forgotten War, but it will never be forgotten dad… we will share your story with our grandchildren and their grandchildren and so on.

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