Member of first black Marines unit honored
BATON ROUGE - A man from Baton Rouge was honored today for his service during World War II with the first African-American Marine unit.
The family of Corporal James Green accepted a Congressional gold medal for the deceased soldier, decades after his service with the Montford Point Marines.
Green's son said he didn't realize his father was a member of the company, which were the first black Marines to serve. His wife Mandy noticed the detail when they were visiting Cpl. Green's grave.
"We found a piece of history that was hidden, that needs to be known," she told News 2, "not only for our family but for other families that are out there that are not even aware of their ancestor, their father, their grandfather that played a part in this time in American history."
James Taverhart Jr., the National President of the Montford Point Marines Association, said there are still members of the unit out there who haven't been recognized. It's their mission to find them and give them the recognition they deserve.
"I'm glad that these men had the courage to take that step and to preserver during a time of a racial divide and despondency, again in a country that did not want them," Taverhart explained. "Because this is not just black history, or Marine Corps history, it's American history and the world needs to know."
Green's widow will receive the medal on his behalf, for his sacrifice and service to his country.
For more information on the company, visit the Montford Point Marines website.