Lubbock veteran remembers Iwo Jima 75 years later

Updated: Feb. 23, 2020 at 10:06 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - 75 years ago today, U.S. troops landed on Iwo Jima during World War II. The American invasion lasted 36 days and is considered one of the bloodiest battles of the war.

One Lubbock man is remembering his time as a Marine, including those five weeks on Iwo Jima.

95-year-old William Pasewark said on February 19th 1945, he was on a troop transport to Iwo Jima.

Pasewark was just 18-years-old when he was drafted and 20-years-old when his battalion landed on Iwo Jima.

“The earliest I remember is looking out and seeing this dark island in front of us,” Pasewark said.

75 years later, Pasewark said his time as a Marine, and on Iwo Jima, helped shape the rest of his life.

“Some of the value I got of being in the Marine Corps for three years that would help me the rest of my life,” Pasewark said.

Pasewark said he learned the discipline of fitness, organization and a life-long devotion to patriotism and the American flag.

“Being on the island of Iwo Jima when the iconic flag was raised was my first experience with the flag,” Pasewark said.

A lot has changed since Pasewark was in the military. He said the biggest differences are the increased medical technology and the speed of communication.

“My parents knew the fourth division was on Iwo Jima,” Pasewark said, “but it wasn’t until two weeks later probably that they got a letter from me saying I’m okay.”

Looking back on this day 75 years ago, Pasewark said he remembers the camaraderie.

“Everyone was together,” Pasewark said.

And looking forward, he hopes to see America prosper.

“I am loyal to my country,” Pasewark said.

Pasewark said he attributes his longevity to the four months of boot camp he did on Paris Island in South Carolina.

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