“A Normal Kid”
Georgie remembers that Bruce was “a normal kid.” He attended Miami Springs Elementary and Miami Springs High School. He enjoyed all the pleasures that sunny south Florida offers a young man: fishing, boating, and swimming.
He “loved to bowl and fish and tear cars apart,” Georgie says, but he was also “mommy’s little boy.” He loved his mother, and she loved him. That normalcy, that love, give special poignancy to the story behind the photograph of the serious young Marine. “He always wanted to be a Marine, although there were no Marines in our family,” Georgie remembers. “Bruce went off by choice.”
That choice took him at age nineteen to Quang Tri Province, where, on August 7, 1969, he made another choice, one that is unimaginable to most of us. He saw an enemy grenade between himself and his fellow Marines. To quote from his Medal of Honor Citation, “Fully aware of the probable consequences of his action, but determined to protect the men following him, he unhesitatingly threw himself over the grenade, absorbing the full effects with his body.”
As Georgie reminisces about her life since then, she says, “I can’t help but wonder what he would look like now, especially when I meet a veteran who is now about the age my Bruce would be.” Often, when she meets such a veteran, she gives him a special hug.
Click to listen to a recording of Bruce in Vietnam.