Friday, February 11, 2022

Fullbore Friday

So, how tough will you be in your 50s? Jeff Schogol over at T&P has a benchmark for you;

At 50 years old, (Paul) Douglas arrived at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in 1942 to begin boot camp. The economics professor was more than twice as old as the average Marine recruit and Douglas remains the oldest recruit to pass through Parris Island.


Initially, Douglas was assigned to the personnel classification section of Parris Island after becoming a Marine, but he was not content with the idea of writing training manuals for the rest of the war, so with the help of his good friend Fred Knox, who was serving as Navy Secretary, Douglas became an infantry officer.

Douglas was commissioned as a captain after spending just seven months as an enlisted Marine and then he shipped out to the Pacific, where he fought in some of the bloodiest battles of the war. ... Douglas, who was serving as a division adjutant, had been allowed to take part in the invasion on the condition that he stay away from combat, yet he routinely volunteered to be a stretcher bearer to evacuate wounded and fallen Marines from the frontlines, Howard Shuman wrote in a 1979 profile of Douglas for Challenge, an economics magazine.

During one of his trips to the front, Douglas saw that the Marines desperately needed a flamethrower and ammunition for rocket launchers, so he grabbed what was needed and braved heavy mortar and small arms fire to deliver it to the front lines.  


As a leader, Douglas was credited with putting his men first. Shuman wrote how during one battle, a Navy corpsman refused Douglas’ order to treat wounded Marines who were under heavy fire.

“He said he was a Harvard Medical School graduate with training too valuable to risk his life,” Shuman wrote. “Incensed by his refusal, Douglas took out his weapon, pointed it at the doctor’s head, and marched him to the front lines. Years later he told me he still shuddered when he thought about it: he had been so outraged that he had been prepared to shoot the man if he refused again.”

Read it all ... because if you are well read in American history or quirky economic theory, you may recognize that name. 

He kept serving his nation for a very long time.

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