Submitted by: Leo LaBrie
"A Double Dose of Hard Luck" is the true story of Charles Harrison, born in Oklahoma in 1921. Barely out of High School, Charlie enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1939. By August of 1941 he was on his way to Wake Island, a vital staging area for the coming war in the Pacific. Of the 449 Marines who manned Wake's defenses when Wake Island was bombarded by Japanese forces a few hours after the December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor, 49 were killed, 32 were wounded, and the remainder, including 20 year old Charlie Harrison, became Prisoners of War. For 45 long months, during which he contracted malaria and other assorted maladies, Charlie Harrison suffered under the hands of the Japanese until he was rescued at the end of WWII with less than 110 pounds on his 5 foot 9 1/2 inch frame.
With his courage and love of country intact, Charlie returned home to marry his childhood sweetheart and start a family. He and his family enjoyed a peaceful existence until the morning of June 25, 1950, when ninety thousand North Korean troops pushed across the Thirty-Eighth Parallel, thus commencing the Korean War. On September 15, 1950, US Marine Forces under the direction of General Douglas MacArthur made a surprise amphibious landing at Inchon, on the coast of Korea. Charlie Harrison was one of those Marines. On November 29, at the Chosin Reservoir Campaign, after a battle in which Sergeant Harrison was wounded and for which he later received a Purple Heart, he was captured by the Chinese communist forces and again found himself held as a Prisoner of War - one of only two Marines in US History to hold the dubious distinction of being held a POW in two different wars. Sergeant Harrison remained in captivity until he, along with seventeen fellow POWs, managed to escape six months later.
Undaunted and undefeated, despite years of imprisonment and brutality, Charles Harrison continued to serve our country in Vietnam until he was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel on June 30, 1969.
"A Double Dose of Hard Luck", written by Leo Aime LaBrie with Theresa McLaughlin, is available in print and digital format at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and other on-line retailers.
About the author:
Leo Aime LaBrie was born in New Bedford, MA in 1934. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1951 and was honorably discharged in 1955. He moved to California where he worked as an engineer for two mobile home manufacturers and for Northrop Aircraft as an assembler. Following schooling as a draftsman, Leo LaBrie worked for Autonetics Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft as a drafting engineer. Currently retired and living in Grass Valley, CA, Leo is a forty-year member of the Elks Lodge and a thirty-year member of the Knights of Columbus, and has edited bulletins and newsletters for both organizations. Theresa McLaughlin was born and raised in San Diego, CA where she graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in English Literature. After a 17 year career in the Bay Area, and raising two children, Theresa moved with her husband to Nevada City, CA where she now works as a volunteer for several non-profit organizations and is a regular columnist for the local newspaper, The Union.