Military Order of the Purple Heart

Texas Capital Chapter 1919 Austin, Texas





Patriot, Chapter 1919

 (USMC, Korea) Article November 1997

Ed Garr lives in Ocala, Florida, but he chose to join the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter in Austin, Texas.   He did that just to renew his ties with two fellow Marine Corps veterans whose connections with him came out of two different wars. Ed Garr was a machine gunner with 3rd Platoon, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, in Korea in 1951 when Gonzalo Garza was the Platoon Sergeant (see the feature article about Dr. Garza). Gonzalo received the wound that put him out of the war on May 29, 1951. Ed was wounded twelve days later, on June 10th, when 3rd Platoon, while in the attack, came under artillery and 120mm mortar fire. Ed soon returned to the fighting with Company D and after the war he remained in service. Meanwhile, Gonzalo Garza returned to civilian life and resumed his career in education. 

After a few years, Gonzalo was School Principal in Corpus Christi. At that time, a young head-of-household, Frank Cortez, had occasion to go to the school to question Dr. Garza about why he had paddled Frank's little brother (the late Dan Garcia, who was Veterans Service Officer in Abilene). 

Soon afterward, Frank Cortez was in the Marine Corps, assigned to Company H, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, in Hawaii. There, in the early 1960's, as a new squad leader, Buck Sergeant Frank Cortez learned some of his Marine combat skills from Gunnery Sergeant, Edward Garr. Frank and Ed were still together in May 1965 when deployed with the very first battalion-sized U.S. unit to be sent into Vietnam. That was only the beginning of a six-year Vietnam experience for Frank. 

These veterans' associations did not end with their combat service in Korea and in Vietnam. In August 1997, when Frank Cortez attended the MOPH National Convention in Tampa, he visited with Ed Garr enroute and again on the way home. Shortly after that, Gonzalo Garza and Ed Garr renewed old memories at the annual reunion of 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines. In the future, these three members will stay in touch partly through their membership in this fraternity of combat wounded veterans. 

--based on phone interview with Ed Garr


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