Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Today, I spent a few hours outside weeding while the boys played with their cousin. I managed to work 5 hours. We took the boys for a walk around the park and Sean practiced riding Cooper's bike. He did really well! I watched American Idol.
To cast a shadow on my day, I learned that a dear old friend of mine passed away. I had thought I was in the clear, already hitting my news of three deaths... I hope this doesn't start another round. Dan Jackman was such a dear man. I lived with he and his wife while I attended college. They opened their home to me after I got sick with Pneumonia (due to lack of nutrition, due to lack of funds). He was such a man of honor and character (very rare in a man these days). He will be greatly missed and it just breaks my heart to know that the world has lost one of it's finest! Just to talk to him was a privilege and I hope that I can give him a big hug someday and thank him for the fine example he set for many people. I will always remember him when I hear the old tune "Danny Boy."
Here are some words that I found that were written about him....
1st Sgt. Dan L. Jackman, USMC-Retired
1st Sergeant Dan L. Jackman was born in Joseph, Utah, in 1929 and served his country for more than twenty years. His decision to enlist in the Marine Corps came at the age of 17. Having served in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars, Jackman encountered many people and places, creating remarkable experiences that we can only participate in through television. Although a majority of those experiences were not of good times, those that he disclosed are what King High Remembers.
Before entering the Marine Corps, Jackman completed ten years of school. At the age of sixteen, with permission from his father, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. Three weeks later, on the day of his seventeenth birthday, Jackman left his home to begin serving his country. He had technically enlisted in the Marines during World War II, but he saw no action until the Korean War.
Throughout his service, Jackman held many different positions and ranks, including a position as anti-aircraft Gunner and Squad Leader for the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines. Due to the fact that the Chinese and North Koreans outnumbered the Americans, there were many instances in which he was under extremely intense combat. On April 24, 1951, Jackman took two bullets in his arm and one below his ear. The two bullets that penetrated his arm shattered his bone. During his service in Korea, Jackman was wounded 3 times, resulting in a ten month hospital stay. He also had the honor and duty of escorting President Harry S. Truman on two occasions, Former President Herbert Hoover, and even Miss America over a four-day period.
Jackman served in Vietnam from 1965 until 1966. He finds a clear distinction between the Korean War and the Vietnam War in the weather. The Vietnamese also fashioned guerrilla warfare, a system in which the enemy would attack you in any way possible. The North Koreans and Chinese would fight their enemy directly. While fighting in Vietnam, Jackman received both his fourth and fifth Purple Hearts.
Charles Walker, another attendant of King High Remembers, was the first black Marine to ever be assigned to a machine gun unit. On the same day that Jackman received injuries in Korea, Walker was shot in the face and chest, rendering him unconscious. Walker was loaded onto the same jeep as Jackman, but nobody knew he was actually alive. At one of the stops, Walker was presumed dead and the medical team began to move him. Jackman, who had been watching over Walker, knew Walker was still alive, despite the orderly’s opinion. With a shot up arm and a gun in the opposite hand, Jackman sternly and relentlessly refused to let the orderly remove Walker. One glance at the letter "M" on his forehead indicating Morphine, the orderly was convinced he would shoot if necessary, so Walker was left on the jeep. Walker survived. Two years ago, forty-nine years later, the two were reunited at a Korean War Veteran’s Reunion.
Dan L. Jackman went through more than twenty exhausting years in the service of his country. Although he had many stories to share with the students, he especially enjoyed giving advice to the future generations. Jackman shared with us that "it is a good thing to stand and say you have integrity." When Jackman was asked about his feelings on what true heroism is, he said that "a hero is made by integrity. You fight because of your integrity. You fight because of your integrity; it’s what makes you stand and fight." In King High’s opinion, 1st Sgt. Dan L. Jackam, USMC-Ret. Is a true hero, full of integrity, courage, honor, and above all, a good heart.