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    4TH CIVIL AFFAIRS GROUP VISITS IWO JIMA VETERAN

    4th Civil Affairs Group Visits Iwo Jima Veteran

    Photo By Sgt. Camila Melendez | Iwo Jima veteran Marine Pfc. Robert Riechman recites the Marine's hymn alongside a...... read more read more

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES

    02.24.2022

    Story by Sgt. Camila Melendez 

    Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES)

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – U.S. Marines with 4th Civil Affairs Group (CAG) visited Robert Riechman, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran from St. Louis, Missouri, to celebrate his early 98th birthday at the Madyson at Palm Beach Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, February 24, 2022.

    Riechman was a Private First Class with 26th Marine Regiment. In 1942, he fought in the battles of Guadalcanal, Bougaineville, and Iwo Jima during World War II (WWII) until discharging from the service in 1946. He witnessed the flags on Mount Suribachi. His birthday is March 19th, 1924.

    “At one point I saw the flag was missing and my heart dropped,” said Riechman. “But they changed the flag for a bigger one and I felt proud again.”

    During the celebration, Riechman was accompanied by U.S. Marines with 4th CAG, Force Headquarters Group, out of Hialeah, Florida, for a special birthday luncheon. A ceremony took place to recognize the 98th Birthday of the Iwo Jima Marine veteran.

    This year, Marine veteran Pfc. Riechman’s birthday coincides with the 77th anniversary of the Iwo Jima Campaign. At the time of the battle, Riechman was turning 21.

    Lt Col. Charles Larson, Inspector-Instructor of 4th CAG, presented a birthday message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps, which recognized Riechman’s faithful service across the Pacific Campaign, to include Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal, and his faithfulness to the Marine Corps following his return from World War II (WWII).

    “The history of our Marine Corps is marked, across time and around the globe, with storied and iconic individual battles and drawn-out campaigns,” said Larson. “Looking at that history, however, one place is so unique and so revered in American and Marine Corps history and tradition that its full name is not needed to establish its meaning: that place is Iwo.”

    The U.S. Marines with 4th CAG shared a meal and birthday cake with past Marines, while exchanging stories about their Marine Corps experiences.

    “I was overwhelmed that everyone took the time to be here and thank me,” Riechman said.

    In attendance were multiple other Marine veterans including Glenn Galtere, who was with 7th Marine Regiment, and participated in the Korean War, to include the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.

    “It was truly an honor and blessing to be here with Robert. What he and his brothers experienced and accomplished on that small, volcanic Island 700 miles from Japan was truly earth changing,” said Larson. “This gathering was also special because it mixed young Marines with old Marines. It is so very special to witness the interaction of our Marine Corps, past and present. May these current Marines leave as much of an imprint on our Corps as did Robert.”

    The event was coordinated by two Marine Corps veterans, Joe Lisi and Tom Kane.

    After his time in the war, Robert went on to own and manage a restaurant and is currently retired in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 02.24.2022
    Date Posted: 03.08.2022 11:18
    Story ID: 415764
    Location: PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA, US
    Hometown: PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA, US

    Web Views: 103
    Downloads: 1

    PUBLIC DOMAIN