More from Andrew Harding

repeat
5.48k views

Many will recognise the man on the right but few have ever heard of the man on the left , in 1968 the last color barrier in professional Sports came crashing down when 1st Lt. Arthur Ashe of the U.S. Army became the first (and only) Black man to win the U.S. Open Tennis Championships. Putting Tennis on the shelf with Baseball, Basketball and Football However, there is a story of pure sacrifice and brotherly love that relates back to the Marine Corps and maybe all the way back to the civil war that so few know (and it's such a shame that this goes under the radar). Below is my favorite story of Tennis, Family, Marine Corps and a beautiful way to meld my past and future career. This will be my post for Black History month, Read on at your own risk and have a box of tissues available. In the fall of 1864 President Abraham Linclon personally penned a letter to a Mrs. Bixby.as with most of Lincoln's famous works it is beautifly concise and worth including here: I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. Yours, very sincerely and respectfully, A. Lincoln From this moment forward the U.S. War department and later the Department of Defense made a concerted effort to keep siblings separate in combat zones as a way to provide relief to bareving mothers and fathers and try to prevent any family from making too great of a sacrifice at the altar of freedom. After a few more high profile incidents in WWII when 4 brothers died on the same Naval vessel or 3 brothers were Killed in Europe in the same month an official policy was created to greatly reduce the chances of a mother losing all her sons in service of the U.S. Military referred to as the “Sole Surviving Son” rule . So how on earth does this relate to 1st Lt. Ashe winning the U.S. Open in 1968? you may ask. Well America was involved in a war at the time in Vietnam. Aurther Ashe had a brother who was 5 years his Jr. Johnnie Ashe. While Aurther was ineligible for the draft because he was enrolled in ARMY ROTC at UCLA while he was playing tennis. His little brother had no such luxury and rather than wait around for his draft year to be called Johnnie enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1965 as a 17 year old. PFC Ashe found himself in Vietnam in 1966 right before the Tet offensive. As his combat tour was coming to a close he was paying special attention to the tennis career of his brother who was assigned to West Point as a data analyst but was also working and training closely with the Men's tennis team and playing in professional tournaments in an attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open. As LCPL Ashe Returned home he knew that the chances of his brother getting deployed to Vietnam increased dramatically. Arthur at the time had 15 months remaining on his service obligation which Johnnie figured was just enough time for the budding tennis star to get cut a set of orders to Vietnam and pour cold water on the momentum he was building. Earning a spot in the main draw of the U.S. Open was (and is) a nearly impossible feat that requires great skill, obviously but also a good bit of luck to get enough match wins under your belt and those wins only count for one year, if you lose your ranking points you have to start over playing tournaments for little to no money and work your way back up. So going to Vietnam may well have ended all of Arthurs progress and kept him out of the history books. His little brother was not going to let that happen if he could do anything about it, and he knew enough history to understand that it was unlikely that Lt. Ashe would get deployed if he was already in theater. Jhonnie walked into his 1st Sgts. Office and asked if he could be placed on the next deployment cycle and go back to Vietnam. Tennis History, Balck History and Marine Corps History were all on the line and no brother of his was going to lose out on his dreams. Jhonnie Returned home from his second consecutive deployment in Summer of 1968 just in time to see Lt. Ashe Raise the Trophy in New York city in August 1968. Jhonnie Ashe made the Marine Corps his Career eventually earning a Commission and retiring after 20 years as a Captain. This story needs to be better known especially among Marines. Give it a remind and an upvote if you Agree. #tennis #blackhostorymonth #semperfi #history

5.48k views · Feb 23rd
Only Minds+ users can see this post
102 views · Feb 20th

More from Andrew Harding

repeat
5.48k views

Many will recognise the man on the right but few have ever heard of the man on the left , in 1968 the last color barrier in professional Sports came crashing down when 1st Lt. Arthur Ashe of the U.S. Army became the first (and only) Black man to win the U.S. Open Tennis Championships. Putting Tennis on the shelf with Baseball, Basketball and Football However, there is a story of pure sacrifice and brotherly love that relates back to the Marine Corps and maybe all the way back to the civil war that so few know (and it's such a shame that this goes under the radar). Below is my favorite story of Tennis, Family, Marine Corps and a beautiful way to meld my past and future career. This will be my post for Black History month, Read on at your own risk and have a box of tissues available. In the fall of 1864 President Abraham Linclon personally penned a letter to a Mrs. Bixby.as with most of Lincoln's famous works it is beautifly concise and worth including here: I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. Yours, very sincerely and respectfully, A. Lincoln From this moment forward the U.S. War department and later the Department of Defense made a concerted effort to keep siblings separate in combat zones as a way to provide relief to bareving mothers and fathers and try to prevent any family from making too great of a sacrifice at the altar of freedom. After a few more high profile incidents in WWII when 4 brothers died on the same Naval vessel or 3 brothers were Killed in Europe in the same month an official policy was created to greatly reduce the chances of a mother losing all her sons in service of the U.S. Military referred to as the “Sole Surviving Son” rule . So how on earth does this relate to 1st Lt. Ashe winning the U.S. Open in 1968? you may ask. Well America was involved in a war at the time in Vietnam. Aurther Ashe had a brother who was 5 years his Jr. Johnnie Ashe. While Aurther was ineligible for the draft because he was enrolled in ARMY ROTC at UCLA while he was playing tennis. His little brother had no such luxury and rather than wait around for his draft year to be called Johnnie enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1965 as a 17 year old. PFC Ashe found himself in Vietnam in 1966 right before the Tet offensive. As his combat tour was coming to a close he was paying special attention to the tennis career of his brother who was assigned to West Point as a data analyst but was also working and training closely with the Men's tennis team and playing in professional tournaments in an attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open. As LCPL Ashe Returned home he knew that the chances of his brother getting deployed to Vietnam increased dramatically. Arthur at the time had 15 months remaining on his service obligation which Johnnie figured was just enough time for the budding tennis star to get cut a set of orders to Vietnam and pour cold water on the momentum he was building. Earning a spot in the main draw of the U.S. Open was (and is) a nearly impossible feat that requires great skill, obviously but also a good bit of luck to get enough match wins under your belt and those wins only count for one year, if you lose your ranking points you have to start over playing tournaments for little to no money and work your way back up. So going to Vietnam may well have ended all of Arthurs progress and kept him out of the history books. His little brother was not going to let that happen if he could do anything about it, and he knew enough history to understand that it was unlikely that Lt. Ashe would get deployed if he was already in theater. Jhonnie walked into his 1st Sgts. Office and asked if he could be placed on the next deployment cycle and go back to Vietnam. Tennis History, Balck History and Marine Corps History were all on the line and no brother of his was going to lose out on his dreams. Jhonnie Returned home from his second consecutive deployment in Summer of 1968 just in time to see Lt. Ashe Raise the Trophy in New York city in August 1968. Jhonnie Ashe made the Marine Corps his Career eventually earning a Commission and retiring after 20 years as a Captain. This story needs to be better known especially among Marines. Give it a remind and an upvote if you Agree. #tennis #blackhostorymonth #semperfi #history

5.48k views · Feb 23rd
Only Minds+ users can see this post
102 views · Feb 20th