Carefusion’s employee veterans group sponsored a BBQ in honor of Memorial Day and invited Retired Sgt. Maj. Mike “Iron Mike” Mervosh to speak. Amerit’s own Eve Nasby had the distinct pleasure of listening to and meeting this American Hero. Mervosh, now 88, spent 36 days fighting the Japanese in 1945. From February 19th to March 26th, he and his comrades fought side-by-side in Iwo Jima. Their goal was to retake the island from the Japanese empire and capture three strategic airfields.
This was the first attack on Japanese islands, when nearly 22,000 Japanese died and over 26,000 Americans were killed or wounded.
During his speech, Mervosh illustrated what it took to be a Marine, highlighting their mental toughness, self-discipline, devotion to duty, dedication and determination.
Mervosh said, “Marines cannot afford to be individuals.”
As he spoke of the battle at Iwo Jima, he recounted the fierceness of the battle.
“There was no lull in the battle. It was constant fighting and very little sleep. If you slept, you were dead.
“It was the perfect battle and a perfect battlefield because it was fighting man against fighting man,” he said. “There were no structures or civilian women and children around. It was the only one of its kind in the history for our Corps and our country, and there will never be another one like it.”
Mervosh was awarded the Purple Heart after suffering from injuries in Iwo Jima. He was also wounded in Saipan and Vietnam. Included in his awards are the Navy Commendation Medal for heroic actions in Iwo Jima and two other Commendation Medals for service in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
When he left the Marine Corps, Mervosh was the most senior man in the enlisted ranks of all the armed services. His uniform included a Bronze Star for heroic action in Korea.
As an employee of a Service Disabled Veteran Owned business whose founder was twice awarded the Purple Heart, Nasby said, “I am humbled to be in the presence of true American Heroes. Our generation and those to come owe the freedoms we know today to those, like Sgt. Maj. Mervosh, Founder of Amerit Gary Herbold, and Tuskegee Airman Claude Rowe. We salute you and honor the memory of those who have given their lives that we may live.”