Wausau Daily Herald
Aug. 9, 2018
"I'm still amazed, that after all this time, that it would show up. And that somebody would take the time and effort to track me down."
Retired Marine Colonel Kenneth Russom
Retired Marine Colonel Kenneth Russom displays the sword he bought as he was finishing up Officer Candidates School in 1964. The sword disappeared while Russom shipped it to his first post at Camp Lejuene, North Carolina. Above Russom is the sword he bought later, to replace the original. (Photo: Courtesy of Kenneth Russom)WAUSAU - Retired Marine Col. Kenneth Russom never dreamed he'd see the sword again.
It disappeared more than 53 years ago in early 1965. The sword was almost certainly stolen after he shipped it along with other gear from Quantico, Virginia, to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Russom was preparing for his first post as second lieutenant with the Eighth Marines. He bought the sword a few months earlier as he neared completion of Officers Candidate School in Quantico because it is a required part of every Marine officer's dress uniform.
Russom, now 76 and living in St. Augustine, Florida, remembers wrapping and taping the sword up and placing it in a box with uniforms and other personal effects for the move. And he remembers his thoughts when opened the box in North Carolina only to discover the sword was gone.
"First thing was, 'Oh my god, I don't have a sword'," Russom said. "Marine Corps regulations call for every officer to have a personal sword. ... I wasn't panicked, but I was concerned that there would be a uniform inspection (with a commanding officer) and I would be, 'Oh, and by the way, I don't have a sword.'"
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