Skip to comments.32 years later, Ollie North reunited with his Marine sword
Posted on 05/29/2012 4:33:53 PM PDT by jazusamo
Its the simplest of weapons, but for retired Lt. Col. Oliver North, the dress sword presented to him at his 1968 Naval Academy graduation symbolized the complexity of the life he was entering.
Norths treasured sword was part of his Marine Corps uniform that demonstrated his commitment to fight in the Vietnam War, this year logging its 50th anniversary, where he would earn the Silver Star, Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He used it to cut his wedding cake with with bride Betsy. And he drew it at ceremonies and weddings for fellow marines.
Then in 1980, as he readied for a call of duty in the Reagan White House, it disappeared on a routine move from Camp Lejeune to Newport, R.I. Im not particularly attached to material things, North told Secrets, but that meant a lot.
Now, 32 years later, and because of a long friendship dating back to his Academy days and Discovery Channels popular Auction Kings reality show, its back in Norths hands. It gives me faith in people, said North.
The sword that carries Norths name on it passed through several owners before it popped into Gallery 63, the Atlanta shop that is home to Auction Kings, last year. Owner Paul Brown couldnt immediately find North and eventually put it up for auction, getting $1,850--$1,350 more than expected. Norths college roommate, now a Navy admiral saw the show and sent North a funny email: I didnt realize how tough things had gotten for you that you had to hock your sword.
With help from Brown and Discovery, the new owner turned the sword over to North in a moving new season premiere for Auction Kings that will air Thursday at 9 p.m.
The memories it brought back are special, said North.
Unlike other services, swords are important to and required by the Marines. So much so that when his was lost or stolen, his wife bought him a replacement which he didnt turn over to movers for future trips.
Asked what advice he has for Naval Academy seniors graduating Tuesday, North said simply, Dont let the movers move your sword. If your dog is important enough for you to move yourself, so is your sword.
Discovery Channels Auction Kings, in its third season, permanently moves to its new Thursday night 9 p.m. perch with the special on North and his sword. Not changing: The shows unique ending that features a live auction of the items featured.
We lost a pristine Portuguese Ox Yoke from the Azores in our move back to The States. They didn’t steal a heavily worn, patched up, worm eaten, second choice - go figure.
How about that poor brides maid in a hospital gown with a fruit salad on her head.
But, at least, in those days, the bride and her attendants could be expected to attired modestly. So sick of the bridal gowns and bridesmaid’s dresses one sees these days. Sometimes, the women look like hookers.
Great story. Hope your dad is doing well. So wonderful to have him still at that age.
Tell me about it. I learned about losing precious objects the hard way, as an Army brat. Over several international and trans-continental moves, we 'lost' lots of boxes and crates of things that should have had no value to anyone but us.
Worst one I ever heard of was an aquaintance who as the transportation officer in Italy strove mightily to get the corrupt, worthless mafia run “Mario Moving Company” disbarred. After long, valiant efforts and turning down the bribe of first class plane tix and seats at the Superbowl 50 yard line, he was finally successful. A week later he sees the same scumball in the office, now operating as the “Luigi Moving Company”.
Now for the quiz: guess who’s hull baggage and household goods “accidently” got dropped in the harbor as he PCS’d back to the states...
Law abiding citizens ought to have the right to shoot worthless criminals like that on sight. That sort of crap is despicable.
Glad he has his sword back. Thanks for the ping jaz.
The search must have been truly extensive.
There is no telling the vast number of items purchased in country, stolen from the PCS shipment, resold to the local shop and purchased again by the next arriving soldier, sailor, airman or marine in an endless corrupt cycle.
That is a Marine Corps NCO sword.
Gads, that makes me ill just thinking about it. Arrrggghhh.....
Between 1965 and 1997 I made 14 PCS moves to and from overseas posts as a DOD Civ. Made two more as an single airman 61-63, and I can’t think of a single thing that was lost.
One look at "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" will tell you how TRUE those words are.
“Between 1965 and 1997 I made 14 PCS moves to and from overseas posts as a DOD Civ. Made two more as an single airman 61-63, and I cant think of a single thing that was lost.”
You were EXTREMELY lucky. You may want to buy a lottery ticket next time the jackpot gets big.
I buy them anyway.
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