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For a Marine that will always be remembered. Posted for: CLARENCE EDWARD WASHINGTON:
I will never forget Clarence Washington. He was a most special Marine. A true friend and a Marine in every sense of the word. I have so many special stories about Clarence. We were both with Charlie Company of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. I first met Clarence on Hill 54 in January of 1967. He was likeable from the 1st day we met. I remember him as being tall, straight and very proud. He would do anything to help someone out.
A few special things that I remember about Clarence took place while on Operation Union - during April and May of 1967. We had started on this operation in early April from Hill 54. The operation seemed to go on forever. After several weeks, many of us were in pretty poor conidition, feet problems from being wet, very weak, etc. It was not uncommon to see Clarence carrying one or two extra backpacks belonging to people who were too weak to carry them themselves. They didn't ask Clarence to carry them. Clarence would see that they were having trouble and would just take the packs from them. This was an everyday occurance.
One time we stopped for a break and I noticed him removing his boots. Not an uncommon thing to do when we knew we had a few minutes. I noticed right away that his socks were blood soaked. He slowly removed them one by one and I could see that the bottoms of both feet looked like raw hamburger. Not much a person could do when your feet were in that bad of shape.
Normally we had only a couple pairs of socks. We had been in the field so long that most of us only had one pair. This was the case with him. He put the same socks back on. Put his boots back on and tied them. It was time to move out. He put on his pack and picked up the 2 extra ones he was carrying that day - and away we went. He had not known that anyone had seen his feet. He said nothing. It was time to move out.
There were people being medivaced from the field with feet problems - he could have easily gone. Not a word from him. He was there with the rest of us. No complaints. This is the way he was. Those of us that knew him will never ever forget him. He truly was a hero to all of us that knew him. He died a hero on Hill 110 that 10th of May in 1967. Charlie Company fought a hell of a fight that day and it was because of people like Clarence Washington - real Marines.
He will be remembered as long as I live.
Posted by: John E. Rusth
Email: email@example.com (as of 2020)