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Uncle Milton

Submitted by: Nathan Pratt, Commandant, Detachment 1267.

As the Nation observes Memorial Day this coming Monday, May 25th, I've decided to personalize a message to the members of the Detachment. Being a day where we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, I wish to honor my uncle, Cpl. Milton C. Pratt, USMC, my father's brother, who was KIA on September 14, 1942, at Guadalcanal.

The day after Pearl Harbor was attacked, my uncle Milton joined the Marine Corps. He completed his training at Parris Island in the first months of 1942 and was ultimately assigned to the First Engineer Battalion, First Marine Division, during the invasion of Guadalcanal. His award for the Silver Star, signed by then Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal,  reads in part, "on September 14, 1942, while walking point of a nine-man patrol, he was instantly killed by the first stream of enemy machine-gun fire". 

He was 19 years old.

Three months later, my father enlisted in the Marine Corps and dedicated twenty years to the cause. I obviously never met or got to know my uncle, but inscribed in his bible by his brother, my father, is the following: "The finest man that ever lived was my brother. The good Lord must have needed him to have taken him so early in his life."  My father was 18 when he wrote those words. There were no other siblings.

On this day of remembrance, where we commemorate those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, I ask that you honor those brave men and women by displaying the flag, visiting a cemetery, observing a moment of silence, or watching the live-streamed Presidential Armed Forces Full Honor Wreath-Laying Ceremony at 0900 at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery. The link is:

Have a peaceful holiday, be safe, and remain healthy.

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