This is the personal story of Dennis Olson, a combat marine who served in the Pacific Theater during World War Two. The story follows him through the landing and battle at Tarawa, followed by three months Garrison Duty. When relieved by the Army, he and his Battalion were sent to Kauai, Hawaii to replace the missing troops and equipment, and battle train for the next campaign, which was Guam. After Guam came the worst of the worst for him, that of the invasion and battle for Okinawa, known as "The Last Battle". Dennis experienced combat scenes that were horrific; truly the worse any war has to offer. To have lived through them and come out on the other side alive, with limbs and body parts intact, was a constant source of amazement to him the rest of his life. Though combat is the main thrust of his story, there is more, much more. The lulls between battles constitute the majority of Dennis' experiences in the Pacific. What would you do if you were stuck on an equatorial Pacific island, rationed two canteens of water per day, unable to beg, borrow, or purchase soft drinks, beer, or booze? Dennis and his compatriots found ways. Is it against the law to steal? Of course it is; it might even be one of the 'Thou Shall Nots'. Is it possible to have beer up the gazoo, to produce wine without grapes and a winery, to manufacture White Lightning without a distillery?
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January 19, 2011
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