First off...... I mean NO disrespect to Mr. Sledge by the comments I am about to make. As a former Marine and combat vet myself I have nothing but the utmost respect for those WW II combat Marines went went thru the meatgrinders in the Pacific.
1- Mr Sledge speaks with respect about most of his comrades but I can't help but notice that in more than one instance he refers to Gunnery Sgt Haney as simply "Haney". This is most unusual among Marines - a Gunnery Sgt is a highly respected rank among field Marines and always referred to as "Gunny" prior to his last name (in the same vein as a Capt is referred to as "Skipper"). Many times he is more respected than a First Sgt or even a Sgt Major since it is the company Gunnery Sgt who looks after the troops in his company and is the one they depend on to get them what they need.
Gunny Haney was a combat Marine in WW I, went thru Guadalcanal and other campaigns in WW II but withdrew himself from the fighting on the second day of Peleliu citing the heat and exhaustion as the reasons [I won't even begin to ponder if those were the true reasons, from my point of view (and experience) everyone has a point where they have done all they can and will only endanger others if they go any further. VERY often it takes more guts to admit you have had enough than it does to continue on].
Now I'll finally get to my point/question.... Do you think Mr Sledge is expressing some kind of resentment or disrespect by referring to Gunnery Sgt Haney as simply "Haney" when he refers to everyone else in the proper manner?
I myself cannot come to a conclusion on the matter. Is it an oversight or an intentional snub? Does he resent the Gunny removing himself from the fight? I would appreciate hearing what you think about it.
2- I just find it odd that Mr Sledge's fellow Marines would change his name from "Sledge" to "Sledgehammer". EVERY Marine I have ever known who had a long (three syllables or more) name IMMEDIATELY picked up a nickname shorter and easier to say than his proper name. I cannot recall a single instance of the opposite occurring (a simple, easy to say, name like "Sledge" lengthened to "Sledgehammer"). ESPECIALLY so in the rush of combat when a life or lives may depend on the second it takes to say a name.
A small point, true, but one that raises my curiosity about it's legitimacy.
Again, NO disrespect intended to Mr. Sledge. I have the utmost respect for his service, his humanity, his literary skills and may he Rest In Peace.
I hope some will express their opinions on the above subjects and maybe even "straighten me out" to understand what I don't at the present time.
PS... My last name is three syllables and begins with Pol.... During my entire time in the Marines I was known as "Polly"