The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

November 18, 2012


‘Bula vet receives Congressional Gold Medal for WWII service



He spends his time repairing used bicycles for needy children at the Dream Center in Ashtabula.

Moore said his job on Iwo Jima was to clean up after battles — helping the wounded and burying the dead.

“But if I had to do it again, I would,” he said. “Because of the Marines, I’ve seen it all.”

Burke said more than 20,000 men served out of Montford Point, but just 900 are still alive.

“The Marine Corps is chasing down the last living Montford Point Marines,” he said. “We will make sure they are presented a Congressional Gold Medal of their own. This is something that is long, long overdue.”

Burke said of the 900 living Montford Point Marines, Moore is one of the last to receive his medal.

“He actually may be one of the very last ones to get a medal,” he said. “We are still finding them, here and there, and we are in a race against time, so to speak, in getting these medals to them.”

Burke said he can’t imagine a segregated Marine Corps now.

“Black, white, Native American — the only color that matters now is Marine green,” he said.

So, surrounded by friends, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, Moore tearfully accepted his honor, which came with a letter of recognition by President Barack Obama.

“I am so honored, and really surprised,” he said.

While Iwo Jima is thousands of miles away and decades gone from Moore, those years of service are still a part of the 87-year-old’s life.

“I still have nightmares,” he said. “That’s why I never talked about my service to my friends. But it just comes back, because it isn’t anything you sit down to think about, but it stays with you. It becomes a part of who you are and who you were. Your whole life, it stays with you.”

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