As Rugged as the Rest: A Young Marine’s Journey to Iwo Jima

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Joe Boy House did not have to go to war. As the only son in a farming family, he could have gotten a deferment and stayed home. That’s certainly what his parents hoped for. But like millions of other young men after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he answered the call to duty. 

As Rugged as the Rest follows the young Marine on his journey from bootcamp in San Diego to a speck of an island in the Pacific called Iwo Jima. His many letters to his parents and three adoring sisters chronicled his experiences, including a stint as “prison chaser” at the Navy brig in Bremerton, Washington.

Joe Boy was part of the formation of the Marine Corps’ 5th Division at Camp Pendleton and the rigorous amphibious training at Camp Tarawa in Hawaii. And finally, he hit the beaches of Iwo Jima, where one of the bloodiest battles in Marine Corps history was fought.

More than 70,000 Americans landed on that tiny island. This personal story of one includes elements shared by them all.

Author Janet Simmeline is a resident of Lake Forest Park. Joe Boy is her uncle and the book is based on his many letters home, interviews with his three sisters — all still living — and "a ton of other research."

There’s a Shoreline scene as well — where he takes a girl on a date to Playland on the shores of Bitter Lake, with its 85-foot Dipper roller coaster and “Canals of Venice.” 

The book is available on Amazon or can be ordered from Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park 206-366-3333.


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