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Veterans of Foreign Wars * Post 2346 * 190 Main Street * Saugus MA 01906 * (781) 233-2818

Picture Paul Ison on Okinawa

Death Valley, Okinawa

Private First Class Paul Ison dashed through Okinawa's Death Valley three times during the WWII battle to help capture the Japanese Island, and survived. He couldn't beleive he made it but a Marine Corps combat photographer provided this proof.

It happened in an instant, a brief moment in the madness of war that is remembered and revered. On a terible day during WWII, a man fighting to survive became a symbol of what it's like to be a soldier.

Paul Ison was running into the belly of the beast of war, bullets and mortar flying all around as he struggled to reach his men across a barren piece of land appropriately called "Death Valley". As he made his way, a combat photographer emerged from a fox hole to snap his picture, capturing an image that to this day continues to define the courage and grit of those who fight for our freedom.

The photo is the second most popular used by the Marine Corps, the first being our previous spotlight, "the flag raising at Iwo Jima". Paul is still with us today to tell his story. He lives in Florida and is an active member of the VFW there.