Selected Memories of a U.S. Marine
"'Once upon a time' is how fairy tales begin, but my story is not a fairy tale. It is a true tale about the relationship of a man with a woman as well as his relationship with members of several Korean Marine Corp Intelligence Units. The relationship between the man and the woman has some magical qualities about it. Therefore I am going to begin with that phrase. Once upon a time—on the evening of Thursday, the seventh of September, 1950 to be exact—Marine Corps Staff Sergeant John Robert Shaw (called Shaw by everybody but his family) entered my life. There was no roll of drums, no blare of trumpets, no streak of lightning, no clap of thunder. There was nothing to indicate that I was at the beginning of a significant change in my life..."
So begins Sara Janet Shaw’s loving tribute to her husband John Robert, a farm boy from rural New York who graduated valedictorian from high school, served in WWII where he was awarded the Bronze Star, studied Korean, Chinese, and Japanese at Georgetown University after the war, and went on to serve as an interpreter/interrogator with the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War. After retiring from the Marines in 1955, John taught high school English and together he and Janet lived a fascinating, fulfilling life for 45 years until his death in 2005.
Much of this tribute contains John’s own words in excerpts taken from the more than 350 letters he wrote to Janet during his training days at Camp Pendleton through his time in Korea.
Poignant and personal, this is truly an inspirational love story for the ages.