American Grit Stories

Ira Hayes: A Forgotten Hero 5/5 (4)

Much has been said about Ira Hayes through the songwriting of the beloved Johnny Cash. Telling the story of the Pima Native American, who also happened to be a Marine. In a time when we as the United States of America were not the most accepting and benevolent, Ira still volunteered to fight for this great land. What is it that possessed a man to fight for a country and others that treated him with little or no regard?

Ira was the quintessential epitome of a man. We all know the time 1940’s were not the most…accepting in terms of racial and social issues, yet, he volunteered to fight anyways. Much like the Tuskegee Airmen, Ira Hayes fought for people that had no love lost for him. In his actions, as he fought and bled for the nation, Ira’s sacrifice was made famous by his participation in the flag raising on Iwo Jima. Despite his social standing at the time, Ira and his sacrifices were immortalized forever by his participation in that iconic moment.

What inspires us about Ira is the incredible selflessness about his actions. The things the man saw and did on that island for a nation who at the time…We have this saying that “We don’t want to be around people that don’t want to be around us.” That makes sense, right? Until there is a need, to put aside your differences and overcome a common enemy. Many, may not have liked Ira, but Ira went anyways. As a United States Marine, Ira Hayes fought, taking the fight to the enemy in the Bougainville campaign and again at Iwo Jima, proving his metal.

Life is not always going to treat us fairly. Life will not always remember us fondly for what we’ve done. Despite heroic actions of the present, it doesn’t always mean they will be rewarded after the fact, but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be done anyways. That’s why Ira Hayes is our hero.

Read more stories of American Grit here:

GEORGE WASHINGTON: FAILURE IS FOR LEARNING

COLTON SMITH: FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT

LEWIS B. PULLER: THE MARINE PART 1

 

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The Author

John Fannin

John Fannin

John spent four years as a 0351, Infantry Assaulltman in the United States Marine Corps. He deployed twice to the city of Ramadi, Iraq with 3rd Battalion 7th Marines. After leaving the Marine Corps in 2008 John pursued a degree in Kinesiology from Texas Lutheran University. During his time at TLU, John was fortunate enough to play football for a year and serve the local community as a volunteer firefighter. After graduating John worked as a personal trainer for few years before coming to work at American Grit. John is also the proud owner of a great beard.