My Memorial Day Hero

27 May
Pic of my father before Korea

Charles Heilborn in New York City

This is Private Charles Heilborn, in New York City to buy a locket for his sweetheart, Rose. He gave her the locket just before deploying to Korea with the 3rd 155 Howitzer Bn, 1st Marines, and asked her to wait for him. She did, but this handsome man was not the Marine who returned to her. One afternoon in Wangu, while he was cooking tomato soup in his helmet, the camp was hit with a barrage of enemy fire. A piece of shrapnel sliced through his head. The doctors said if he’d had the helmet on he would have died. They gave him a glass eye and a metal plate, and estimated he had about 3 years to live. He proved them wrong (fortunately for me as I was born 11 years later), but it was a great sacrifice to keep living. He suffered from headaches and chronic pain until his death at age 64. However, if there’s anything his nine children would agree on, it’s that every day for the rest of his life, he’d have gladly returned to his beloved Corps and given more if they’d take him. Thank you Dad, for your sacrifice, and for raising us to love this nation, our veterans, and the freedom they fight for. You are my Memorial Day Hero.

Who’s your hero today? Tell us a story!

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