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:
- Read about how The size of the U.S. military exploded in World War II, as army numbers alone soared from 174,000 to over 11 million at WarFareHistoryNetwork.com.
- Check out some cool history around the street vendors Norm remembers in Philly at PhiladelphiaEncyclopedia.org.
- Read about the 1st Marine Brigade/Battalion at the Marines!
- What was up with Iceland during World War II? Read up at IcelandicRoots.com and History.com.
- What was up with the Army pre -war?
- Check out the Marine’s Mission and Here are 7 Things You Might Not Know About the Marines at History.com
- If you need more, here’s a whole book covering some heavy history of the Marines in the Pacific.
- For some serious stuff, read up on Recruitment of African Americans in the Navy, a book on The US Military and Civil Rights since WWII, how African Americans were the Last Hired, First Fired during the Depression, and How Politicians Divide, Conquer, and Confuse American Workers Based on Race.