Saturday, February 08, 2020

You know Chesty Puller...but have you heard what happened to his son?

via Wikipedia.
Lewis Burwell Puller Jr. was the son of Lt. General Lewis "Chesty" Puller, the most decorated Marine in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps. He followed in his father's footsteps and became a Marine officer.
Puller graduated high school from Christchurch School in Christchurch, Virginia, in 1963 and from the College of William and Mary in 1967.[2] He received orders to South Vietnam in July 1968, where he served as an Infantry Platoon Commander for three months. On October 11, 1968, his rifle jammed during an engagement with North Vietnamese troops; Puller was wounded when he tripped a booby-trapped howitzer round, losing his right leg at the hip, his left leg above the knee, his left hand and most of his fingers on his right hand in the explosion.[2]

The shell riddled his body with shrapnel, and he lingered near death for days with his weight dropping to 55 pounds, but he survived. Puller later recalled the first time his father saw him in the hospital. He described how his father broke down weeping and that hurt him more than any of his physical injuries. Those who knew him say that it was primarily because of his iron will and his stubborn refusal to die that he survived. He was medically discharged from the Marine Corps. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two Purple Heart Medals, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross for his service in the Marine Corps.[3]

For years after he returned to a reasonably sound physical condition, the emotional ground underneath him remained shaky, though he earned a law degree, had two children with the woman he had married before going to Vietnam, and raised a family. He was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 1974 and began working as a lawyer for the Veteran's Administration and on President Gerald Ford's clemency board.[4] He mounted a campaign for Congress in 1978 as a Democrat in Virginia but lost in a landslide with only 28% of the vote against incumbent Republican Congressman Paul Trible.[4] Throughout the years, he battled periods of despondency and drank heavily until 1981, when he underwent treatment for alcoholism. Despite that treatment, Puller continued to suffer severe depression and occasional bouts of alcoholism.

Think I'm gonna have to read his book.  Dude really went thru it.  Hope he's finally found peace.

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