In June of 2017, police chief Tim Stevens pulled over 96-year-old Harold Sheffield for speeding. Having noticed the “Semper Fi” bumper sticker on Sheffield’s car, Stevens–a 20-year Marine Corps Veteran–struck up a conversation with Sheffield.
Stevens learned Sheffield was a member of what was known as Carlson’s Raiders, who invaded Guadalcanal during the Pacific campaign of World War II. Stevens also learned that Sheffield was planning to visit family in Massachusetts in early August, then fly to San Diego for a Marine Raiders reunion.
That was when Stevens began planning the escort, gathering together dozens of police officers from several different departments to surprise Sheffield and accompany him from his hometown of Hill, New Hampshire to the state’s borders.
“Well I was wondering what was happening. I couldn’t believe it, I really didn’t. And there’s so many of them,” Sheffield said. “I don’t know how to explain it. It’s beyond explanation I think, really. This has been incredible.”
Humble about his service, Sheffield was incredibly touched by the gesture. “No one’s going to believe it,” he said. “I got the pictures. I’ll show them!”
The Raiders were the first of what would become the Marine Corps’ elite unit of solders who execute missions deep in enemy territory as well as guerilla operations. They are considered one of the first US military Special Operations units.
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