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  • Writer's pictureCharlsie Pecoraro

Memorial Day

Today instead of a marketing tip, I wanted to take moment and share what Memorial Day is really about from my personal experience.

Memorial Day is a Federal holiday set aside for us to pay tribute to those in the United States armed forces who sacrificed their lives while in service. I am the daughter of an Iwo Jima Marine who lost many of his fellow servicemen and friends on that small island during World War II.

The battle of Iwo Jima lasted 5 weeks and my dad was one of 70,000 U.S . Marines that fought there. There were 25,000 U.S. casualties including 7000 deaths. All but 200 of the 21,000 Japanese soldiers were killed. It was brutal, bloody and had a lasting affect on the men that fought there. Daddy witnessed many young men give their lives for the safety of all of us. He never talked about his service to me however his nights were haunted with the memories that showed up as nightmares.

Daddy chose to forgo an appointment to Annapolis and enlist as a Marine at the young age of 17. He had graduated from high school at 15 (yes he was a genius) and was almost finished with college at Mississippi State when he signed up. He felt a duty to join the other young men of Jones County, Mississippi, to protect our freedom. Tom Brokaw coined the term The Greatest Generation for those born during the depression who ended up fighting in World War II. Dad was a fine example of the mindset of that era.

Ten years ago a dear friend of mine surprised me with a visit to one of dad's Marine buddies, Roy Stewart. "Stu" told me countless and priceless stories about "Bill" and how much everyone loved to hear him laugh. He talked about them being on the island for 31 days. That was a month of no showers, no change of clothes, no shaving and loads of prayers. He said they ran everywhere in order to survive sniper attacks. As soon as they got on the beach and found cover, they began throwing out anything non-essential in their 80 pound backpacks.

Dad (Bill) was assigned to carry the Browning Automatic Rifle and had his own ammo guy. Stu told me he saved countless lives in his unit. It was a huge and heavy automatic rifle that provided protection for Marines in his regiment.

On March 5, 1945 my dad turned 19 on Iwo Jima and would endure another 20 days on the island before it was finally conquered. Stu told me that once they returned to their ship and got cleaned up, the Jones County survivors held a memorial service for those fallen soldiers left behind. It was a difficult day for Stu, my daddy and everyone else looking out on Iwo Jima .

Their next stop was to be Japan and it was accepted that it would be their final battle. No one on that ship expected to survive. Fortunately the war in the Pacific ended otherwise I would not be here to write this tribute to daddy and the United States Marines.

Please take a moment to honor those who did not return from battle.

Imagine the families that could have been.

William Bond Smith, Age 17 United States Marine

Let's give a warm welcome to Camille Wilkinson and her team at Direct Mortgage Loans. She is the "go to" person for your home loan in the Mobile market. You'll be able to read her remarkable story soon on the website! Meanwhile, click here to visit her company website!


There are some great networking and community events to get involved in this week.

The Business Breakfast Club meets every Tuesday at 8AM at Domke Market. This week I will be sharing some ways to improve your activity on social media. Please feel free to join us.

The Bay Area BNI group meets every Wednesday. There are some category openings, so please contact David Carpenter for more information. He can be reached at

There is a Southwest Chamber of Commerce networking event on Thursday, May 30. Click here for details.

Brooke Goff and Domke Market will be participating in a charity fund raising event on June 1st called Fizzi Fest. Tickets are still available.


I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has served our country. There aren't enough words to express my appreciation to you.



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