LETTER: Tribute to Marine vet

Nov. 14, 2013 @ 04:58 AM

To the Editor:

I write on this Veterans Day to pay tribute to U.S. Marine veteran Harry Undy. Those around him felt an inspiring presence born of love and compassion, courage and determination. It was not duty alone that led him to serve with honor as a young Marine. Compassion, courage, confidence and caring was to be found in every role of his life. To those who knew him, he was a hero of heart always serving with humility. 

Harry volunteered to fight in the foxholes on the front lines of Korea facing hordes of enemies. Three Purple Hearts attest to his willingness to take care of those with whom he fought. During a surprise inspection of the lines, the commanding general of Marines in Korea inquired how Harry’s platoon had acquired the latest and best rifles available, weapons that had not yet been issued to, or authorized for, the Marines. Harry replied he had taken them from overrun Army posts because his men would be better able to defend their lives and their country than if the rifles fell into enemy hands.

Sgt. Undy’s commanding officer was concerned, if not surprised, when two days later the general sent for Harry. Sgt. Harry Undy reported to the general, who stood and congratulated Harry on his initiative and leadership; Harry Undy walked out with a commission as first lieutenant. It was a pattern often repeated in Harry’s life in every role and endeavor.

Harry did not serve for fame or glory; his desire and determination came of love and compassion. He was ever positive and never flinching. His influence was felt everywhere he went, and his character remains a strength to many. He was a presence throughout his life and remains so in death. How much our families and communities need more Harry Undys, a veteran worthy of honor, respect, gratitude and emulation!

Keith Clark