There are those that have served and those that have not. In a crowed, many wouldn’t know this warrior had done what he has. What a joy it would be to sit down with him over a cigar and just listen. Time for a C-Gar!

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— A Camp Pendleton Marine who joined the Corps in 1942, retired earlier this month from his civilian job at Camp Pendleton.

Sgt. Maj. Walter Valentine, 89, served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam over three decades with the Marines and then spent another three decades helping comrades make a smooth transition into civilian life when they retire.

After Valentine finished boot camp at Camp Lejeune, NC in 1942, he joined the 3rd Marine Division and headed for combat in the Pacific as a scout sniper.

He was in the assault landing of Bougainville, now Papua New Guinea, in November 1943, then headed to Guadalcanal for more combat training. Later he participated in the assault landing that recaptured the island of Guam and fought in the battle of Iwo Jima, where he earned a Purple Heart.

“I will never forget the flag rising at Iwo Jima,” Valentine said.

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