Monday, August 08, 2011

Leo Man Jim Furlong: Vietnam Hero, Mentor and Host of Cpl. John Fardy Memorial

Jim Furlong lost a leg to a Vietnamese Communist grenade in the late 1960's. Jim Furlong does not expect an electric chair on rail to take him up to Leo's third floor gym when he attends most Leo basketball homes games. Jim has never missed the Leo Veterans Observances held in the War Memorial courtyard on the Friday immediate before November 11th Veterans Day. Jim is a Leo Hall of Fame Alumnus, who not attends every banquet, golf outing or fundraiser, but plunges both hands into the tasks.

The Cpl. John Peter Fardy, USMC Memorial held in a few hours at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery at 10 A.M. today, is due to Jim Furlong.

Jim Furlong and Mark Lee worked to get this operation moving and completed. Here is Jim's report:

About 24 hours now until the August 8 ceremony for Cpl. John P. Fardy, Medal of Honor winner and Leo HS Class of 1940.

Pretty sure everything is checked and double checked. Feel good everything is ready to go.

I am very proud that the 2nd Batallion, 24th Marine Division will provide fine young Marines for the Honor Guard and Flag Presentation to the Next of Kin. An invocation is to be done by Fr. Tom Mescall a fellow Leo 65 graduate We have a very strong voiced young man to sing the National Anthem, Irish National Anthem (in Gaellic), and the Marine Corps Hymn (all a capella). Dr. Terence Barrett, who authored a book about Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipients in the latter months of WWII in the Pacific, will be our keynote speaker and I'm sure will be able to put Cpl. Fardy's deeds on that May Day in proper perspective. A great bagpiper will play Amazing Grace during the ceremony and Oh Danny Boy as a recessional. Tom Day, a great patriot and founder of Bugles Across America, will render a rifle salute with an M-1 Carbine which was the weapon used by the USMC during WWII. Tom will then play a verision of TAPS that will probably make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

As for other details, we've got a few dozen chairs lined up, and I have a sign to put on a sandwich board to place at the Cemetery entrance to point you in the right direction and several small American Flags to place every 30-50 feet or so to the gravesite. Over 250 programs are printed up. I have a gross of small American Flags that I would like us to place around the headstone as we leave the Ceremony. I have attached a word document to this email which gives the order of the Program.

Now God willing, if He will grace us with a beautiful day.

One last thing, Rich Doyle could you check with Jenny's and see if they have room for us to gather for lunch after the ceremony. It will be a pay-as-you-go lunch and cash bar.



That says it all . . .
Jim Furlong:Was with B/2/14 of the 25th from May 68 until I was injured and evac'd to Fitzsimons Army Hospital. WIA January 3, 1969. Was a Sgt on an Eagle Flight on January 3 when I got sideways with a grenade thrown by Charlie. Would be interested with others in my unit at that time. Remember spending a lot of time at FSB Keene.

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