Freedom Fighters: Dean Woodard - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Freedom Fighters: Dean Woodard

By Joan Hallmark

In addition to the ribbons for service throughout the world, Dean Woodward's uniform holds a presidential unit citation earned as a marine and a bronze star awarded as an army officer.

Woodward was only 17 when he joined the marine corps soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

By November of 1943, he was part of the invasion forces on the tiny, but heavily fortified, island of Tarawa in the Central Pacific.

The battle for Tarawa has been described as "the most violent combat the marine corps has ever seen in its 200 year history."

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