Kimberly Morin reports that what seemed like a routine traffic ticket turned into something much, much more for a Hill, New Hampshire Police Chief.
Police Chief Tim Stevens pulled over a vehicle for speeding in June when he also noticed the Marine Corps bumper sticker.
Stevens is a 20-year Marine Veteran so he brought up the sticker to the driver of the vehicle during the stop. He explained that he retired in 2002 and asked the driver when he served. That’s when he got a big surprise from the driver, 96-year-old Harold Sheffield, from Bristol, New Hampshire.
“And I said, ‘And you? When did you serve?’ He said, ‘I served in a Marine Raider battalion,’” Stevens told WMUR. “I was like, ‘Holy cow!’”
Sheffield was part of Carlson’s Raiders, an elite squad of Marines who go into the belly of the beast to fight the enemy. He is “one of the last surviving Marine Raiders from World War II.” Sheffield spoke to a local newspaper about his experience back in 2011:
Harold ‘Bub’ Sheffield read a paper from the Library of Congress recently that called the battalion he volunteered for during World War II a ‘suicide squad.’
‘Now they tell me. They didn’t tell me I was in a suicide squad,’ Sheffield said.
Now 90 and living in Bristol, Sheffield was a young Marine when he signed up with the Carlson’s Raiders, a battalion now revered in Marine circles for the courage of its men in waging a new kind of fighting – hit and run behind enemy lines.
‘In Marine Corps lore, that is quite an accomplishment to be part of Carlson’s Raiders,’ said Robert Patenaude, commandant of the Lakes Region detachment of the Marine Corps League. ‘They would work behind enemy lines, disrupt communications, attack positions and get out of there quickly.’
While appreciative of the attention, Sheffield feels he doesn’t deserve it. ‘I’m just another guy, one of many who were there,’ he said. ‘I know I was no big hero, and I don’t want people to think I’m claiming something I’m not. I did my duty and did what I was supposed to do, I guess.’
Chief Stevens knows what a big deal Sheffield’s service was and decided to do something special for his fellow Marine when he found out the man was going on a trip to California for a Marine Raider reunion.
Stevens got together with other local law enforcement to create a special send off for Sheffield, a motorcade!
Stevens, along with a dozen law enforcement vehicles, lights blazing, escorted Sheffield to the Massachusetts border, motorcade style as a sendoff to show their appreciation for his service.
Sheffield said it was completely unexpected. “I don’t know how to explain it,” he told WMUR. “It is beyond explanation, I think. I think this has been incredible.”
Clearly, this was something that completely made Sheffield’s day, especially as he was on his way to a Marine Raider reunion.
Sheffield also joked that he didn’t think anyone else was going to believe but said, “I got the pictures. I’ll show ‘em!”