Jack Lucas’s Last Battle
From the FRC email June 6th. For those who have read Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, the following news is of great importance.
One of America’s greatest stories came to an end yesterday as Jack Lucas, the youngest Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor, died of cancer. After forging his mother’s signature so he could enlist at age 14, Jack begged his superiors to let him fight. He even “stowed away aboard a Navy ship headed for combat in the Pacific Ocean.” When he explained his situation to the officers on board, they granted his wish of fighting the Japanese. It turned out to be one of the best decisions they could have made. In a trench at Iwo Jima, Jack threw himself on two grenades to protect his squad. When one detonated, he was nearly killed. With hundreds of pieces of shrapnel lodged in every major organ, Jack underwent more than two dozen surgeries–and lived to tell about it. His Medal of Honor notes that his “inspiring action… not only protected his comrades from certain injury or possible death but also enabled them to rout the Japanese patrol and continue the advance.” He died on Thursday after losing his battle with cancer. We remember Jack, as we remember so many soldiers from World War II–with humble gratefulness. President Reagan said it best when he looked out over Omaha Beach and told our veterans, “Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their valor, and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.”