Born March 7, 1913 in Portland, Oregon.
Lena was Italian on both sides of her family, when she was old enough she joined the Marine Corps.
After raising to the rank of Sargent, she met a Sgt. John Basilone at Camp Pendleton, California.
Gunnery Sargent Basilone was stationed in the Philippines with the US army, then signed up with the Marines so he could " be with the best and first when we go back"
During the Battle of Guadalcanal, Sgt. Basilone was sent to guard a ridge with a hand full of men, 2 light machine guns were his main defensive weapons.
That night the Japanese attacked, the figure is apprx. 3000 Japanese troops were killed during that attack, in which Sgt. Basilone held his position.
For this act, Sgt. Basilone was Awarded The Congressional Medal of Honor.
Time passed and many war bonds sold and starlets having been on his arm.
John Basilone requested to be sent back to his men, to train for the invasion of Japan, even though he was now very famous...he knew he could do a lot more for America by training troops for war.
6 Months...He had 6 Months left before he mustered out of the Corps. and could have been Audie Murphy, but we had too mush fighting left to do and he knew it.
His orders came through and he found himself at Camp Pendleton, training Marines.
While he was there he met Sgt. Lena Mae Riggi. The lady that captured his heart when so many had failed.
After spurning him for some time, she gave in.
They were married on July 7, 1944.
John was part of the invasion of Iwo Jima, led his men off the beach, led a tank out of a mine field and set up a forward position that was the main point of attack for the invasion.
He was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions on Iwo Jima.
He was the 1st person to be decorated in the Pacific Theater when he was awarded the Medal of Honor. He was fearless
Sgt. Basilone was killed on Iwo Jima, his grave is at Arlington National.
Lena was notified of his death on March 7, 1945 ...her 32nd birthday.
They were married less than 8 months.
She never remarried.
When she died she was wearing "the Ring that Johnny had bought me" She had said countless times, she had been so proud of that ring for the 50 years after his death.
She died June 11th, 1999.
Love is Stronger than Death.
We never know what is before us, our fate...To find love will always be reserved for the Brave.
Love with all you are every day.
I am Jay One, @AcidBrainWash on GAB.com.