Warm Southern Breeze

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Retired Marine’s Life Told Story of Dignity of Man

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 23, 2012

The few, the proud, the father who stamps his family with a purpose

By DAVID LAUDERDALE
DLauderdale@IslandPacket.com
843-706-8115
Published Saturday, September 22, 2012

Retired Gunnery Sgt Lasalle Vaughn

Retired Gunnery Sergeant LaSalle R. Vaughn in his U.S. Marine Corps uniform at the funeral of his best friend and next-door-neighbor, retired Marine Master Sergeant Frederick Drake, in November 2010. Both were Montford Point Marines.

LaSalle R. Vaughn was a Marine gunnery sergeant whose eyes could bore into you like a nail, and whose body was still taut as new rope when he died last Sunday at 88.

But everyone talks about his cinnamon rolls. Their sweet aroma would pull children into his kitchen from all over Sergeants Drive in Port Royal.

In 1943 he joined a U.S. Marine Corps that didn’t really want the feisty half African-American, half Native American from Baton Rouge, La. But he’d seen the sharp uniform with a red stripe down blue pants, and he insisted on joining the Marines.

His vision of what it would be like changed quickly when he was sent to the segregated boot camp for African-Americans at Montford Point, outside Camp Lejeune, N.C.

He was immensely proud to have served more than two decades. He was a steward and chef to seven generals, even preparing a meal for a U.S. president. But he said paving the road to integration was hell.

The Rev. James E. Moore, pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Dale and national chaplain of the Montford Point Marine Association, said: “I am convinced that had they failed — and there were many people who felt they would fail and wanted them to fail — I would not have been the first black sergeant major of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and Eastern Recruiting Region. I attribute that to what they went through and what they endured.”

Montford Point Marines were honored in June with the Congressional Gold Medal.

But it’s the corps within Vaughn’s own home — his fatherhood — that should be talked about most during his final salute.

STRONG MEN

“Lord knows we need in our society today positive examples of strong men who accept the responsibility to be the people we were created to be,” said Moore. “And when I say that, I mean first being fathers. I think fatherhood has been diminished in our society.”

LaSalle and Catherine Vaughn — who would have been married 66 years in December — had five boys and two girls.

The oldest, LaSalle II, is a retired Air Force officer who Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, End Of The Road | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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