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Help sought in returning sword

Date Posted: 2001-12-27

I am looking for someone to assist me in a great act of honor. My grandfather was a China Marine in WWII and spent another 20 in the Army. It is now three weeks to the day that we laid him to rest. My grandfather landed in Okinawa on D-Day, and it wasn’t until May of 1946 that he left, with bullet wounds to the front and lots of grenade shrapnel in his back (and two Purple Hearts). He was front-line infantry, walking where no other American had gone. It was during his march across Okinawa that he was surprised by a young samurai. During the close combat that ensued, my grandfather was the victor. After killing the young samurai, my grandfather claimed his sword. He carried that sword with him until the day he came home.

It would be almost 45 years before my grandfather revealed the details of how he acquired the sword. No one ever pressured him about the details of his war service, and I had been sternly warned when I was little to never ask. My grandfather never openly displayed the sword but always kept it safe and stored it as the owner would have, horizontal resting on two supports. He had never used it for any other purpose, and he just mounted it and kept it dusted.

Here is where my task starts. To those of history, a sword is the soul of the samurai. It has been the intent of my grandfather's oldest son (a favorite uncle of mine, and also a Vietnam vet), and I (the oldest grandson), to return the soul of the young samurai warrior to its homeland.

I wish my grandfather were still alive to help, but his sense of honor and duty will continue with the bloodline. His passing just drives us harder in our goal.

We have little knowledge of where to start, but sometimes we run across the right person. Perhaps fate has led us to you, and maybe you can pass us on to someone else. This is a task that we will pursue for as long as necessary. This sword belongs to the samurai, and not us. As much as we would not leave our fallen brothers on the battlefield, we will not keep this samurai warrior away from his homeland. We want to return him to his place of honor and rest.

I would deeply appreciate it if you could help us or refer this email to someone who might also be of help. Honor knows no bounds of distance, nor limits of time, and neither will hold my uncle and me.

Semper Fi

Nathan Bush

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