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LEE DOUGLAS JR.

August 11th, 2005


a thumbnail image of Corporal Lee Douglas Corporal Lee DouglasCorporal Lee Douglas, a native of Columbia, South Carolina, joined the Corps in 1943 and participated in the invasion of Peleliu. Discharged from the Corps after World War II, he settled in Baltimore, Maryland. There he worked for the Bethlehem Steel Company for forty years. During the last twenty-five years of his employment with Bethlehem Steel he also worked for the City of Baltimore as the director of an urban services agency, referring clients to needed health, educational, and social services. Retired, he lives in Baltimore, Maryland.


INTERVIEWER: So, uh, we want to get your take on, on, on these questions.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Okay.

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) So, if you would start out by stating your full name and, and spelling your name.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Okay. My name is Lee Douglas, Jr. L-E-E D-O-U-G-L-A-S Junior.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, sir. And today's date, which is August the 11th, 2005. Would you say that, please?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: And today's date is August 11th, 2005.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Can you tell us a little bit about your background before you joined the Marines?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Well, all I can say that, I was coming out of high school, and I joined the N.Y.A., National Youth Administrative Program, studying heavy equipment, under the leadership of Dr., uh, Bethune McCloud, McCloud. And, uh, it, uh, I was in it four months before I went into the Marine Corps.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, sir. And, can you tell us a little bit about where you're from, and your family and your education?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: I was born in Columbia, South Carolina, and I went to school in, in Columbia High School. I graduated from Lakeview High School in Columbia, South Carolina. And, uh, I had, uh, uh, volunteered in the United States Marine Corps at 18 years of age. Uh, December the 22nd, 1943. I, I was ready to go October, but they told me when I finished my class, uh, in heavy equipment, I could go. And that was December the 22nd, was the day that I left.

INTERVIEWER: Now, uh... (TECHNICAL)

INTERVIEWER: (CONTINUED)Uh, okay, you, you were telling me about where, where you were from, well, a little bit about your background, where you were from, your family, and your education. That's right.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Okay. Columbia, South Carolina. I graduated from Lakeview High School in 1943. And I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in October, but I was in N.Y.A. training, and therefore, I had to wait until December before I could, uh, go into the United States Marine Corps.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. And, uh, your family? A little bit about your family.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: My family. I have six children today. I have four sons, four daughters and two sons.

INTERVIEWER: Your mother and father, brothers and sisters.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Oh, my, my mother, they have passed. My mother and father have passed.

INTERVIEWER: Okay.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: And, uh, my sister passed in Columbia, South Carolina.

INTERVIEWER: Sure. And, uh, a little bit about your education.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: I'm a graduate from, from, uh, Lakeview High School, and, uh, I went 1956 and '57 Penn State University in, in, in Pennsylvania.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Okay. Now when you went into the Marines, there, there were other opportunities available to you in the military. The Navy was accepting Blacks and Army was accepting Blacks, as well, if you wanted to confine it to the military, but what made you join the Marines?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: I wanted a strong outfit to go into, uh, that would, uh, help me in, um, being strong. And, and, uh, giving me an opportunity to strengthen my life.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, okay. Those are the only reasons you can think of as to why you joined the Marines that you, you just wanted to be a part of the best?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: I wanted to be a part of the best.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, so. All right. Now when you joined Marines, did you know at that time that the Marines had never admitted any African Americans?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Yes. I knew that they had just one, uh, eight or nine months previous, is when they opened the door. August of 1942, they opened the door, and, uh, I decided that I would go in, in July after I, high school.

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) So, so, knowing that they had not, uh, previously admitted Blacks, did that have an influence on your decision to go into the Marine Corps?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: No. I, I went in believing that, that there would be a standard barrier, believe in doing the right thing, and a strong will. And that's what I had. I had a strong will, and I wanted to join a force that would be strong.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, so. When you found out that you were going in, indeed going to go into the military, can you tell us about the day you left? I mean, were there family and friends around? Uh, did people try to keep you from going into the Marine Corps? And, and tell us a little bit, through your eyes if you can remember. Help us see what you saw and felt the day you left home.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Well, the day that I left home, uh, my mother agreed with me if I wanted to go. She say that I would have her blessing, and my father also. And, um, I went, uh, and talked to, uh, my aunt, and she told me that I have her blessings. So, I went on and out to Fort Jackson, South Carolina to the, uh, base.

INTERVIEWER: Now, uh, can you talk to us a little bit about the trip from Fort Jackson, or from Columbia to, to, uh, to Jacksonville? I mean, did you go with other Marines, other Black Marines? Or did you go on the train, on the bus, and how was the trip?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: I, I went on the bus to Jacksonville, North Carolina. Then I got on the Marine bus, and it carried us out to Jacksonville to the, to Montford Point. And, um, uh, it was, it wasn't, uh, (STAMMERS) what I thought it would be. Uh, the, when I landed at, uh, the gate at, uh, Montford Point, the treatment started off very bad. They started off, um, lining you up, asking your name, and if you didn't speak fast enough, you got a slap in the face, which I wasn't used to that.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: (CONTINUED) And, uh, you look at the way they were handling other people, knocking them down, and so on, it made me stand up and try to be strong. Because, uh, they asked you a question, you better come out with an answer, uh, to their liking, in a hurry. One person he, uh, did not speak to them right and, uh, they grabbed him in the collar and he grabbed one of the, the, uh, Marines. And, uh, one struck him in the head with a, the butt of a pistol. So, therefore, we know that, uh, you got to straighten up and fly right.

INTERVIEWER: So, so the discipline began at the front gate where you...

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: (OVERLAPPING) At the front gate.

INTERVIEWER: Say that, say, say that if you would.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: And the discipline, for me, began at the front gate when I arrived at Montford Point, North Carolina.

INTERVIEWER: Good. Thank you, sir. Now, as you looked out over the camp, uh, were you impressed? I mean, what were your impressions or how'd you feel about just the layout of the camp where you were going to be taking your training the next...

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Well, when I got there, there wasn't no facilities for, uh, you had to wear the clothing that you had on. And, uh, I was looking forward to them handing me clothes when I got there, but that's not the procedure. You had to run around there as, known as a extra man, uh, for a few days. And then they get you together, and put in a platoon. Once you get in a platoon, then you sort of become somebody. And...

INTERVIEWER: Now when you where there, um, were your drill instructors, uh, uh, Black or White?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: When I went there, my drill instructor was Black.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, okay. So you didn't, you had, you didn't notice the transition as Mr. Felder did of, of the White to Black? All done.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: (OVERLAPPING) No. Mr. Felder, he, he was there when the transition was taking place. I came after we had all Black, uh, uh, drill instructors when I got there.

INTERVIEWER: So, would you say you encountered any racism at all, at, at Montford Point?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: No. I didn't encounter racism. I encountered brutality.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. You want to talk about that? I, I know you did at the front gate, but after that?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Well, it's based on you going to, to the barracks, and from the time you go to sleep. You wake the next morning, somebody snatching you out the bed. Because you, you're not accustomed to waking up under the circumstances there as a Marine. So, when they come and holler, uh, all those don't move, uh, at that particular instance. Look out, or they'll snatch you out, out of the bed on the floor. You really don't know what's happening, you see, because nobody warned you that, uh, this was going to happen.

INTERVIEWER: Uh, during your training, during your time there, can you talk a little bit about the spirit of the Marines there? I mean, were they, were they gung-ho, were they running around doing, you know, was there, was there an air of excitement? Uh, or, or (STAMMERS) was it most of the guys just didn't want to be there? I mean, if you had your impression to share with us, uh, which it was, which one would you say?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: I would say that they were well-programmed. From morning to night, from the time you arrived, get up in the morning, and the time you go to eat breakfast or supper, all that was programmed to such a degree that it's, it's speed, no, you could not walk. Everywhere you go, you must run. You couldn't walk nowhere. And, uh, from the time you fall out, you falls out of the, the bed, out of the door, running. Could not walk out. You had to come out with the door slamming back, 'cause you got speed to you. Those that come out at the last one, got a punishment.

INTERVIEWER: Tell us, uh, you know, in your own words and, and help us see what a typical training day was like at Montford Point.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: From the time you'd get up in the morning, uh, you go and get your (STAMMERS) blanket. And you go out and you have a (STAMMERS) blanket (STAMMERS) shaken. And it, it's a form of exercise. Then you go back, and then you, you line up for your time to go to the, the cafeteria to eat. But you have to, 6:00 in the morning, you're up, and you're ready to go. So, they start you off with, uh, blanket shaking. You and your partner grabbed the end of the blanket, and you all shake the blanket and fold it. And it's a manner of exercise that would be done.

INTERVIEWER: And other types of training? I know you had hand-to-hand. You had rifle range, and, uh, you probably did some, you know, other classroom work, maybe. Some of the other things that you might have done?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Well, the first thing they do is give you the Marine book, and that book you have to study. And then, they teach you how to drill, how to march forward, how to stop, how to do their rear, how to flank off left-right. All those things falls in within a day. Marching and, and that becomes your day.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Um, did you ever pull a liberty in Jacksonville?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Well, it is, uh, impossible thing to pull liberty in Jacksonville while you aboot. Say, for the first three months you get there, uh, you're a nobody. And, uh, you got to run everywhere you go. You cannot walk and you cannot go to a, a store. You can't go to a restaurant. You can't do nothing by yourself. You, matter of fact, you don't do any of that. Once a week, they may gather you if your platoon was good. You might could go to a movie. Provide that the whole platoon, 32 men, had to be good.

INTERVIEWER: So, when you graduate from bootcamp, did you have a opportunity to go out in town?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Oh, once you graduate from bootcamp, you becomes a Marine. And the last day of your bootcamp, you're on the rifle range, and when you finish the rifle range, and you make your score with the rifles and pistols and all, you becomes a Marine the next day. The next day you have full, uh, rights.

INTERVIEWER: Then did, did you go on liberty in Jacksonville once you got, you know, graduated and...

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Well, after, after you come from the bootcamp range, then you got to get assigned to a class. Whatever class, my class was heavy equipment, transportation, driving trucks. That was my field. I had studied that in N.Y.A. So, therefore, I had to wait until I was scheduled in a class, before I could really get the outside, uh, going to liberty stuff. That don't happen right then.

INTERVIEWER: But did you ever go to liberty?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Oh, yes. Uh, uh...

INTERVIEWER: What was it like when you went out there?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Well, it was, it was very nice. Uh, uh, going out, segregated situation, and, um, you just as glad to get back as you are to get out.

INTERVIEWER: Did you go to any of the other areas around, uh, uh, Jacksonville, maybe, Wilmington, Kinston?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: I went to Wilmington, Kinston, and, uh, (STAMMERS) Winston-Salem. And, uh, I, I did a little traveling around within the hours. That's all I did, because I was a person didn't have many habits. I didn't drink whiskey, wine, beer, tea, coffee, didn't smoke or nothing. And therefore, uh, wasn't much out there for me, you know.

INTERVIEWER: Did you, uh, when you, when you were out there on liberty in Jacksonville, did you encounter any racial discrimination? Did you at all?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Well, I, I worked very hard to stay away from areas that would cause me a problem. And, uh, meaning that (STAMMERS) discrimination was there. Uh, I stayed away from it.

INTERVIEWER: Did, can you, can you tell me why you say discrimination was there?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Because in, in, in, uh, my travel on the bus going to Kinston, or going to Winston-Salem, uh, or Wilmington, I would, uh, run into that.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. And in what ways? I mean, what...

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Uh, discrimination, segregation.

INTERVIEWER: Like, what happened in, I mean, to make you say that, I mean, any particular instances you can think of?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Yes. I, I, I had, uh, instances whereby, uh, uh, attitudes of people and, uh, of course, you cannot do too much about a person's attitude. One person might be, uh, uh, feeling good. One might have had an altercation with his wife before he got on the bus. And therefore, you may get called a name or something.

INTERVIEWER: Can you, can you remember a specific instance or incident?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Uh, yes. There was a specific incident going to Wilmington. Um, the, uh, person said that they didn't want me sitting up front. And, uh, so, I got up and moved to the back, because I was not looking for trouble.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Um, were you, now when you left Camp Lejeune, um, what, where did you go? Or did you stay there for your whole time in the Marine Corps?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: In my whole, no. Uh, I'd taken my training, there, I went to, uh, heavy equipment school, I went to motor transportation school. And then when they put me in an outfit, meaning they put in a company. I was placed in the 7th Ammunition Company. And, uh, most of the people of the company studied about ammunition and explosives. And, uh, my job was to do road raiding. Build up, uh, areas for the bombs and ammunition to be placed on.

INTERVIEWER: Now where, where did you, okay, when you left, when you left Camp Lejeune then, uh, you, you went overseas?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Uh, when I left Camp Lejeune, I went overseas.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. How, how did you get from, let's see, so, so, where did you leave? From San Diego, (STAMMERS) or somewhere out in California?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Well, I left from, uh, Camp Lejeune to Norfolk, Virginia. From Norfolk, Virginia, we went to, (STAMMERS) through the Panama Canal. From Panama, we went to Guadalcanal. However, on the, on the way, uh, our ship boiler stopped in the ocean, and the convoy had to leave us. Left us sitting out in the ocean and that is where we had over 3,000 troops on the ship. And, um, that's where I joined the church. The, the, the chaplain came on the air saying that those persons who want to, uh, uh, join the church and be baptized, uh, now was a good time to do it, because we were sitting out in the ocean with no, uh, no help.

INTERVIEWER: Did, uh, (STAMMERS) were these all Montford Pointers on this ship?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Oh, no. They were, uh, White and Black Marines on the ship.

INTERVIEWER: Did, did the Montford Pointers interact with those Marines? I mean, did you all, you know...

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Uh, no. At that time, uh, Blacks was in the, in a part of their ship, and Whites was in a part of theirs.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Uh, did you, now, when you, okay, you're on the ship, and I imagine at some point, they got it fixed, uh, got the boiler fixed?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: (OVERLAPPING) Yes. In, in three hours, it was, they had prepared the boiler, and we looked out and saw the foam, the white foam, and everybody got happy. Although they were still baptizing, but everybody got happy. They were baptizing like, uh, a hundred of them, and every five minutes, 'cause they were sort of walking through, uh, uh, being dipped and kept on going.

INTERVIEWER: I understand. So where did, where did you finally end up overseas?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: We, we were left, and wind up in Guadalcanal. Guadalcanal Islands.

INTERVIEWER: And what, tell, tell me a little bit about what you did there?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Well, we, we, we went there, and everyday we would go out training. The, the men would march, and then, uh, they would go out training. Getting ready, they call it, snapping in. But we would get ready for an invasion. We knew that we were going to another place, invading a island. So, that's what we were getting ready to do.

INTERVIEWER: So when you got to Guadalcanal, there was no combat? No...

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: No, there was no combat. Combat had ended there a year and a half previous.

INTERVIEWER: Could you see any, um, remnants of the combat? I mean, you know, any, any of the horror, or...

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Oh, yes. We, we...

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) What did you see?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: We would, uh, they would take us up in the jungles. They the worse jungles that you want to see in the Guadalcanal, but we would go up in the jungles, and we had to study the jungles. How to mark the trees, and how to be able to identify (STAMMERS) your way out. And this kind of training is what we had. Uh, preparatory for the invasion. Uh, those in heavy equipment and transportation was out with their vehicles. On, on, traveling on the rough terrain so that they would understand how the terrain would be. And, uh, the, the troops would be out marching and, and testing their skills.

INTERVIEWER: So, when you left Guadalcanal, where did you go?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: We went to the invasion of Peleliu Islands in the Pelu group.

INTERVIEWER: And were you involved in that invasion?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Yes. Uh, uh, my outfit, the 7th Ammunition Company, was, was then attached to the 1st Marine Division. The 1st Marine Division did not have any Blacks within its structure, and the only way that Blacks get to get to them, it's like you, uh, uh, grab, uh, a pot and, and place it over side the wall. Um, they attached us to that division and, 'cause our job was handling the ammunition as it come off the ship. We were, uh, assigned, uh, uh, an area on the island where we would be, where all the ammunition comes to us, because they could not have that ammunition all over the island. You just had to be in a certain area.

INTERVIEWER: Did you actually get involved in direct combat, and did you have to pick up a weapon, fire...

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: (OVERLAPPING) Yes. Yes. Yeah, uh, um, one, on, on, uh, D, when, when, D-day, D-day One, we were ready to go ashore, but they said that we could not go ashore, because they, uh, was having a lot of difficulty with the invasion going in. A lot of bodies was floating in the ocean, and they needed, right at the beach head, a lot of bodies. And they assigned the 7th Ammunition, our group, to the bodies, to go and take the bodies out of the water and put them on nets. And, uh, and, uh, pull them back on the ship.

INTERVIEWER: Well, how did you get directly involved in combat?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Well, that was, that day, then the next day, they assigned us to the same job of, of securing the bodies from the waters. Where by the propeller, the ship wouldn't, uh, cause trouble. And, uh, the third day, we went ashore. We went ashore in the barges to beachhead.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. And, and how did you, your, your mission as a, as the ammo company was, basically, to provide ammunition, I guess, and provide for ammunition. How was it you actually got engaged in direct combat? What happened?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: (OVERLAPPING) Because you must go in. You, you, you got to get in the barges, and go in with your rifles and everything. The ammunition stuff doesn't take place until after you take the island and settle. But you got to go in to, to do that.

INTERVIEWER: And, now you, you were, uh, okay, so you, you were actually assigned as a part of the assault force?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: (OVERLAPPING) Oh, yes. You combat.

INTERVIEWER: Okay.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: It must, it must be, uh, combat, we are trained just like anyone else, and we must go in.

INTERVIEWER: So, so you, you actually took off your hat, as a, as a, as an ammo handler, or, or a transportation man, and you really became an infantryman?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: (OVERLAPPING) Because you are trained as a whole. You are trained to be an infantryman...

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) Okay.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: ...when you go into the Marine Corps.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Okay. Sir...

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: (OVERLAPPING) Regardless of any...

INTERVIEWER: (OVERLAPPING) Yeah. What you just said is, is very important to this documentary, because I don't think anybody else has said that.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: (OVERLAPPING) Um-hmm.

INTERVIEWER: And, and the way I'd like you to say it, is that, that, if, if this is true, I mean, if the way I'm saying it is true to you, that, uh, on D-day, you went in, but you, you took off your hat as an ammo handler, and became an infantryman. That's, that's, does that sound... (TECHNICAL)

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Well, one of the things that, that need to be expressed, is that once you go into the Marine Corps, regardless of the, uh, uh, assignment, you must learn the rifle, the pistol, the range, you combat, you have to learn all of that. You may be a mechanic. Uh, you may be a cook, but the rifle comes first. You must learn that part of combat. So, whenever you get overseas, your second job, uh, that's all it becomes, second. First becomes the rifle. The invasion is first.

INTERVIEWER: And because of that, on D-day, what happened?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: On D-day, you are notified to stand by to go ashore. Then we are notified, and you look up in the sky and you see the airplanes bombing the islands. Two and three days, and you say, well, I know ain't nobody going to be alive, the way they're bombing.

INTERVIEWER: And did you, what, when you went ashore with this wave, this, this assault wave, uh, can you talk a little bit about that? I mean, how...

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Yes.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, go ahead.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Uh, we did not go in on the first day, nor the second day, because we were reassigned to get to the bodies, and get the bodies out of the water. And, and put them on the nets so that it can be pulled back up in the ship and put weights on.

INTERVIEWER: So, but, but when you did go ashore...

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: (OVERLAPPING) Yes.

INTERVIEWER: ...in the wave, can you talk a little bit about what was happening on the beach and, you know, what, what you did and what your, uh, members of your platoon and company did?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: My company, when we went in, we went with our rifles blazing. There, there is no second hand nothing. Uh, we had looked forward to, uh, taking the airfield in a day or two. And, uh, was no such thing as that, you know. They, they were dug in, the enemy was dug in so strong, until, uh, everybody was held up at the beach.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, so, um, now when you, after Peleliu, did you see anymore action?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: After Peleliu, uh, that was the only time of my invasion with a division. Uh, we went to other places to put ammunition.

INTERVIEWER: Now, other places like where?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Saipan and Guam.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. And after you finished, uh, uh, Saipan and Guam, what did you do then? Did you...

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Uh, uh, got ourselves ready to come to the United States.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. And when you returned to the States, did you, did you continue in the Marine Corps, or did you take a discharge?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: I'd taken a discharge.

INTERVIEWER: Okay.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Because, uh, I had, I felt I had had my share.

INTERVIEWER: Okay.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: And I wanted out.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Um, the reason I asked you 'cause you look like you're a 30-year man. (LAUGH) That's why I asked you, but I was just curious to know if you had stayed in. Um, let me ask you this, you, or, let me say this first, you, you are a piece of history, sir. You really, really are. And, and, uh, you, you and those Marines who served, uh, during World War II, and went through the Montford Point Marine experience, opened the doors for guys like me, you know?

INTERVIEWER: (CONTINUED)I mean, I, I never could have achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in active-duty Marine Corps, had it not been for the fact that you all were there. To me, that is significant. Uh, what do you think is the significance of your service, and all those other Montford Point Marines, all those other 20,000 plus Montford Point Marines, uh, was? I mean, what, what do you think was important about their service?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: The, the, at that time, the way things were in discrimination and segregation, I could not fit in my mind that the Marine Corps would advance a person of color beyond a Master Sargent. There were no, uh, Lieutenants, uh, in my day. Lieutenants start coming in when I start coming from overseas. And it was a proud thing. It made me feel that the suffering that I had had, and I went through some suffering. The suffering I had had was worthy. When I start seeing officers of color being made...

INTERVIEWER: Sir, I understand. I do understand. Let me ask you another question, to ask you two more questions. One is, how do you think the Marine Corps experience has affected your life?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: I give thanks for the knowledge that I obtained and the experience I obtained by going into the Marine Corps. I never have regretted volunteering in the Marine Corps. I did not like, uh, mistreatment. I thought that the brutality went further than it should had, and I take that stand today. I believe in justice, and I believe in equality. I believe in the right thing. Doing the right thing. The Marine Corps has made a man of me. I'm thankful for the Lord that I have been able to work on one job 40 years and another job 25 years. Retired from both of them. On top of that, it has helped me to get in the political arena. I've been elected several times within my state to various positions, and I'm very thankful. I owe it to the United States Marine Corps.

INTERVIEWER: May I ask you one last question? If you had it to do all over again, would you do it?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: If you name all the services and they say, Brother Douglas, you have to go in one branch of services. I would reach to the Marine Corps. I feel today that it's based on equality. The basis of it is on equality and justice. And I would reach for the banner of the United States Marine Corps.

INTERVIEWER: Sempre Fi, sir.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Sempre Fi, always faithful.

INTERVIEWER: Yes, sir. I really appreciate that. Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: No.

INTERVIEWER: Thank you, sir.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Thank you.

INTERVIEWER: Appreciate you and your service.

LEE DOUGLAS JR.: Yessiree. Indeed.

INTERVIEWER: Outstanding, outstanding.


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