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The Final Duty Station This forum is presented by Retired GySgt Bill Conroy. It is a listing of those that have received orders for their final duty station. These Marines have given their all. We now give our honor.

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Old 12-09-2004, 15:21 PM
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Kenneht Bramlett, Awarded Purple Heart after 56 Years

News Obituary Article

MARIETTA: Kenneth Bramlett, Purple Heart winner


An injury at Iwo Jima in 1945 didn't stop Kenneth Bramlett from returning to the World War II battlefield. But he had to wait 56 years for his Purple Heart.

Mr. Bramlett joined the Marines in 1941 "because he thought it was the toughest outfit and he wanted to see if he could measure up," said his son, Kenneth Eugene Bramlett of Big Canoe.

Mr. Bramlett was assigned to an artillery battery in the South Pacific. "His job was to keep the hand-laid telephone lines open between the battery and forward observers," his son said. "He didn't have the luxury of being in foxholes. He had to repair the lines under the worst of circumstances."

Those circumstances included four battles: Saipan and Tinian, Roi Namur and Iwo Jima. For keeping the telephone lines open under severe mortar and sniper fire at Saipan and Tinian, Mr. Bramlett received a citation for bravery.

At Iwo Jima, he was not so lucky. Shrapnel from a mortar round ripped through his left leg on Feb. 24, five days after the attack began. "The medics patched it up and he went right back into battle," his son said. Despite his wound, Mr. Bramlett continued keeping lines open for the 4th Marine Division until the battle officially ended March 25.

Kenneth Earl Bramlett, 82, of Marietta died Sunday at Tranquility Hospice after complications from a series of strokes. The funeral is 11 a.m. today at First Baptist Church of Marietta. Carmichael Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

At the time of his Iwo Jima injury, "the medics said they would put him in for a Purple Heart," his son said. "But Dad saw the severed arms and legs and heads of his friends all around him and said he didn't deserve it."

Fast-forward half a century. Mr. Bramlett, who had spent his career working in the lumber and construction industries, learned that there were medical benefits to receiving a Purple Heart. With the encouragement of friends, he applied.

On Sept. 6, 2001, he was presented with a Purple Heart by Gen. Raymond Davis, then the most highly decorated living Marine, at the Navy-Marine Corps Reserve Center in Marietta.

"It's one of the great days of my life," Mr. Bramlett said at the time.

Survivors include two other sons, Wayne Douglas Bramlett of Woodstock and John Michael Bramlett of Bellingham, Wash.; four brothers, Ray Bramlett, Don Bramlett and Wayne Bramlett, all of Marietta, and Alton Bramlett of Birmingham; a sister, Christine Haney of Smyrna; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

GyBill U.S.M.C.
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