TRACES SPRING 2016 - Page 44

Where the Blood Stains Green


By Ben Eikey

On a bright sunny afternoon in southwestern Ohio in 1964, Charlie Bernstein was a young man graduating from high school. It was on the football field in May and hundreds of people were sitting on black metal folding chairs waiting to watch their son or daughter walk across the stage to receive his or her diploma.

After a short wait, he was called up on the stage and was handed his high school diploma from his principle. At that moment, people started clapping while he walked off the stage and then returned in the line. Simple. Once everyone was finished and it was all said and done, he went to see his mom and dad and they were quick to congratulate him. They all walked to their light blue cadillac and went home.

Charlie’s dad, Sam, was a Marine in the second World war and fought in the Pacific campaign. He was wilh the first Marine Division and fought at Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, and Okinawa. He was a Marine rifleman and became very decorated earning 2 Bronze stars, 3 Silver Stars, and the Navy cross.

Sam was a straight up warrior who smiled at death numerous times and then spit in his face.

read more about Charlie and Sam by clicking here!