For most Marines, there is a constant drive to reach the battlefield, to fight and to win. On August 26th of 1942, a group of recruits would prove there was a battle being fought that was just as important before they ever set foot in the field.
The ornament had its time and place, and while in pursuit of a North Vietnamese Army General, the feather would remain out of sight. For four days, Hathcock spent his hours inching closer and closer, over a distance of 1500 yards, to move to a treeline close enough to engage. “Over a time period like that, you could forget the strategy,” Carlos explains. “Forget the rules and end up dead. I didn’t want anyone dead, so I took the mission myself, figuring I was better than the rest of them, because I was training them. There were two twin .51s next to me. I was worming on my side to keep my slug trail thin. I could have tripped the patrols that came by.” Hathcock waited for the General to step out onto his porch. Moments later, as Carlos watched through his scope from 700 yards away, the General lay dead with a hole through his chest.
The Marine Corps can be compared to religion. We have Samuel Nicholas the 1stCommandant of the Marine Corps and Founder, then we have our saints, Saint Henderson, Saint Daley, Saint Butler, Saint Basilone, Saint Leckie, Saint Sledge, Saint Carlson, Saint Puller, Saint Glenn, Saint Hathcock, and Saint Mattis. We undergo a 90-day initiation phase and at the end you receive your blessing to preach the violent word in the form of an Eagle, Globe, and Anchor. Every single Marine who passes through those doors on Parris Island or San Diego is dedicating their lives to an organization with rich, beautiful history, the most valiant legends to draw inspiration from, and a legacy as old as this nation. Every Marine is a fighting marine, so every marine has a little bit of St. Basilone within them. John Basilone immortalizes the very spirit of the Fighting Marine, he is the reference point for greatness in gunning, he was and will always be the embodiment of the violent nature the Marine Corps was created to uphold.