October 27, 2013

Send in the Marines...

Carl Donald Stancil sitting on the
front porch of the family home
 in Raleigh, NC. 1952
Carl Donald STANCIL devoted his life to three things:  God, Country, Family. He loved us in that order. 

In his devotion to his country, Daddy served in the United States Marine Corps for 20 years. He enlisted June 30, 1947, just one day after his 17th birthday. He retired from the Marines 20 years later on May 29, 1967.

In his 20 years, daddy served all over the world including Guam, Cuba, Japan, Puerto Rico, Korea, Lebanon, and Vietnam.   

On April 25, 1951, he was seriously wounded in Korea at the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He took a piece of shrapnel to his head leaving a scar which ran from his eye brow to his ear. He participated in campaigns in Wonson, Hungnam, and Choisin. He told us stories of the bitter cold and the hellish heat of Korea. 

When asked about the necessary killing of other men in war, his
response was “It was kill or be killed. If I didn’t kill them, I’d never see my family again and I wasn’t about to let anyone stand in the way of that.” Such was his devotion to his family.  

Some of Daddy’s favorite sayings included “Once a Marine, Always a Marine”, “Send in the Marines”, and “Tell that to the Marines”.  He also used to say “nobody ever drowned in sweat” and “Marines go where others fear to tread”.  His favorite saying when watching the evening news was “The Marines invade and then go home. The Army has to do the occupying."

To the very end, Daddy maintained a “high and tight” haircut and “spit-shined” his shoes. When I went away to college, instead of living in a dorm and eating in a cafeteria, he thought I lived in a “barracks” and ate in the “mess hall”. Truly, once a Marine, always a Marine.  

After retiring from the Marines, Daddy continued to serve his country for another 20 years as a civil servant. He was willing to give his life for freedom and democracy. He proved his loyalty to his country every single day he served  – whether he was proudly wearing the uniform of the USMC or serving via civil service.  

For a man born in the depths of the depression to a poor working class family, Daddy distinguished himself in many ways having little to do with money or social prestige. He served his country proudly and fiercely for over 40 years. His belief in God was firm and unwavering. Mama used to say that every time the doors opened to First Christian Church in Jacksonville, NC, Daddy would be there. His love of family is clearly evidenced not only by the letters he wrote to his beloved mother, wife, brothers and sister, but by the legacy of love and pride he left behind.

The story goes…that Daddy so wanted to be a Marine that he fibbed about his age and joined the Marine Corps in 1946 at age 16. The Corps discovered his “secret” while still in boot camp and not so politely invited him to return to civilian life. On June 30, 1947, just one day after turning the (then) legal age of 17, he was able to enlist in the Marine Corps with his parent’s permission.

The story also goes…that Daddy was very touched by the many Korean war orphans he encountered during the war. He returned from the war and convinced Mama to adopt two Korean boys. At the time, they were stationed in Hawaii, not yet a state. The adoption was nearly complete and Daddy was prepared to travel to Seoul to pick up the boys when suddenly the adoption plans were halted. Mama had discovered that she was pregnant with me, and at that time adoption rules prevented expectant parents from adopting. Were it not for poor timing, I could have had two brothers! 

In Macedonia where Paul preached.
Daddy is the Marine to the right. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi. Welcome to Geneabloggers. I'm new to Geneabloggers myself...and a new fan of your blog. Having an adopted son myself, and then two biological daughters, I especially liked this post. Looking forward to reading your upcoming posts.

    Warm regards,

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