Episode 12: He Lied to Get in the Marines… Then World War II Broke Out

During the Great Depression, the Marines clothed and fed a young Norman Rubin. “They had a man for life!”

Ep 12: Feb 24, 2020

100-year-old World War II Marine veteran Norman Rubin remembers the Great Depression. He remembers eating as much as could be put on a plate in front of him as a hungry kid. He remembers his father leaving at 10 years old and his brothers working to help his mother. He remembers reading about how the Marines traveled all over the world, and his mother helping him lie about his age so that he could enlist at 17. He remembers how the Marines clothed and fed him and gave him a job and so that’s why he’d signed up–not because anyone suspected that a World War lay ahead.

Four years later, and he couldn’t get out.

Follow along in this hearty story of Service as Norm ate well on the USS Pennsylvania, was the orderly for President Roosevelt, defended British soldiers on Iceland, and stormed islands in the Pacific.

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Steve Jackson engineered this episode. Thank you to Rick Rubin for helping coordinate details, Bret Bower of the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, WA for connecting us with Norman, and author Cindy Hval for connecting us with Bret.

Behind The Episode:


  • Marjorie and Norman Rubin
  • Northeast High Students with a street vendor, Philadelphia 1934
  • Marshall Street in Philly, 1930
  • Norman Rubin
  • Norman and Marjorie Rubin
  • Street vendors outside of Overbrook high school 1934
  • Norm Rubin - Marine