William Pasewark knows the real cost of freedom.
He saw it on the ground on the island of Iwo Jima in February 1945.
Now a retired college professor living in Lubbock, Pasewark shared his memories of the World War II battle Wednesday with students at the Ropes Independent School District.
The Bronx, N.Y., native recalled that he took his pre-induction physical exam in 1942. Pasewark said he had intended to join the U.S. Army Air Corps but a ‘big Marine’ made sure that he entered the U.S. Marine Corps.
The 89-year-old veteran used a video that was made by the Lubbock ISD to detail the history of the battle and the sacrifices made by those who fought there.
He told students attending the assembly that few people know there was an attack transport ship named the USS Lubbock that carried 1,500 Marines to Iwo Jima.
Pasewark was not onboard her but he did arrive on another ship, one of 800 that crowded the waters off the island.
The more than 60,000 Marines who eventually came ashore were unprepared for what awaited them.