Catching Up with Some Old Friends

A few years ago, Debbie, Bill, and I had the pleasure of meeting Al Jennings and Don Whipple. They are a part of Cooper’s Troopers, a monthly luncheon group made up of veterans of the Marines from WWII, Vietnam, Korea, the Middle East, and other conflicts. Al and Don are two of six remaining luncheon group vets that fought in Iwo Jima that live in Colorado.

In our initial meeting with them, they recalled stories of fighting on the island, sneaking back onto the island to continue fighting, and the moment the American flag was raised, as in the iconic picture we all know so well. It was a humbling lunch at the local Village Inn listening to them and seeing all the folks in the diner that stopped by to shake their hand and thank them for their service.

Debbie and I were able to stop into Cooper’s Troopers luncheon for April to catch up with Al and Don as well as meet other Marine vets and another Iwo Jima marine, Jim Blane. It was great to see these three gentlemen again and within their community. They all shared some laughs, caught up with each other, and reminiscence about the old days. It was quite a time to be surrounded by these extraordinary men and women who have served our country so selflessly. 

Paula Sarlls, who is the president of the USMC Memorial Foundation, was also present to talk about the renovations and design of the Memorial grounds with the proposed Veterans/Visitor Community Center in Golden, CO. To find out more about the project and how to donate, please visit their website: or call 303-345-1645.

Written by Jessica Edgar
Prime Time News

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