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bob witt14:26:58 - May 1 2010
JW Huffman 1930-2010 Captain Bravo 68-69rreilly.witt@gmail.com
Captain J.W.Huffman passed away early this morning in Florida. CO of Bravo in 1968-69 and was awarded two (2) Silver Stars for his action in Vietnam.He was 79 years old and was buried in his dress blues that still fit him well.
Born in Texas in 1930 and spent his early years working on his family horse farm and was a rodeo rider of some note. As he told me, "I once went to New York and won first prize in a rodeo but the 2000 prize I lost" (he did not tell me how he lost it)As he put it, "When I came home I was so embarrassed to tell my family, so I camped out front of the Marine Corp recruitment office till it opened the next day.I had to do something to make up for losing all that money. The best way was to join the BEST and show them I was not a screw-up". Show them he did.
He was part of the Frozen Chosin in Korea in 1950, which was the beginning of his 20 year career with the Corp.
His valor in Vietnam has been written up in history of the Marines in Vietnam. In 2000, when I read about him and noticed he lived just a few hours away, I went and spent the day with him. He had no idea about the Marine reunions but in 2002 he and his wife Jennette were in Washington DC for the 1-7 reunion and he was able for the first time in over 30 years do talk,laugh and cry with those marines he served. Three weeks ago when I spoke with him and he was telling me stories he started to cry. "Bob,if you tell anybody about this crying stuff, I'll deny it" There is no denying he was a leader of men, a Marine.
If he would have known sooner about those reunions, he said he would never have missed a one. He said it was an honor to visit the grave of Colonel Dowd at Arlington, a Marine he knew well.
After he left the Corps, he owned and captained a deep sea charted boat business on the east coast here in Florida. Being on the ocean, he said, both helped him forget and at the same time remember the Marines he left behind.
Speaking to his wife today, she said his suit bag was so heavy carrying his dress blues and when she felt at the bottom she found all the medals and ribbons he was awarded.She is sending me them and if they arrive it time I'll bring them to Richmond.
A mustang officer, a solo boat captain and a Marines Marine, I was fortunate he have known him.
Anyone who knew him, I know his wife would appreciate a note.
JW Huffman
386 Thunderbird Hill Circle
Sebring Florida 33872
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