I’m the son of two Marines! That may not be so unusual today, but back in 1956, when I was born, it was pretty weird. That was the year Carl Perkins, and then Elvis Presley, released “Blue Suede Shoes.” I remember listening to both sensational versions in my mother’s womb and thinking, “Let me out of here. I want to dance!” Years later, in the early 1980s, I actually got to hear Carl Perkins perform that song, and others, at Tipitina’s in New Orleans.
My mother, Peggy Mengis Duplantier, was one of the first women Marines. She and my father both served with the Corps during World War II. They met in New Orleans afterward, when both worked for newspapers there. Here’s an article my mother wrote for me when I was editor of The New American in the mid-eighties, about “Molly Marine,” the first statue of a service woman in uniform erected in the United States. Here’s another she wrote, about “The Moving Wall.”
My father, Crozet Duplantier, fought in the Pacific (Guam, Guadalcanal, etc.) and served with the occupation troops in Japan. If not for the much-lamented dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he would surely have been killed in the inevitable invasion — and I wouldn’t be here.
As the son of two veterans, I’m doubly grateful on Veterans Day. God bless all our troops, living and deceased, today and always! Semper Fi!