(View My 2010 and 2012 Trips Photos)
I went to Iwo Jima on March 18th for my 3rd visit. This year I was invited to go as the translator for a group of Japanese WWII veterans who had been invited to join the MHT tour on Guam for a symposium and various bus tours and dinners prior to going to Iwo Jima. Sadly, on Iwo Jima the USMC didn't send any transport vehicles for our aged WWII veterans, and the Japanese Govt's newly imposed draconian safety regulations which shut down any exploration of the island. The only areas we were allowed to visit were the top of Suribachi for 20 minutes, a small section of the invasion beach and the joint US-Japan ceremony site. In all instances we were attended by large numbers of Japanse govt and Japanese military personnel.
Return to Iwo Jima 2008. Thanks to the generosity of John Edwards and Doug Meny I was able to join the MHT tour to Guam / Iwo Jima in March 2008. This was my 2nd trip to Iwo Jima.
Mr. Kageyama's Iwo Jima Trip in June 2007. Mr. Kageyama is Chairman of the "2nd Infantry Comrade Association". He visits both Peleliu and Iwo Jima every year in search of remains for proper funeral rights. On this trip they found 16 Japanese skeletons.
My first trip to Iwo Jima. While not a Marine myself, to honor the Marines who fell on the island I wore replica WWII HBT dungarees. It was almost a religious experience to walk the badlands of Iwo, to see places we had only read about.