Sands of Iwo Jima After his wife takes their son and leaves him, Sgt. John Stryker is an embittered man who takes his misery out on the men under his command. They’re a bunch of green recruits who have a hard time dealing with Stryker’s tough drills and thicker skin. Even his old friends start to wonder if he’s gone from being the epitome of a tough Marine Sergeant to a man over the edge.
Three of the original flag raisers appear in this film.
Sands of Iwo Jima I have seen this John Wayne classic war film many times, but only recently learned that three surviving original flag raisers (at the time the film was made) had cameo roles in it. Towards the end of the movie, after the beachhead and Mount Suribachi are secured, Sgt. Stryker calls for a squad to raise a flag. Watching from behind Stryker, we see three young men squat down in front of him. Stryker hands them an American flag and directs them to climb to the top of Mt. Suribachi and raise it. The three men playing the roles as themselves are: Sands of Iwo Jima PFC Rene A. Gagnon, USMC; PFC Ira H. Hayes, USMC; and, PH3 John H. Bradley, USN — three of the five original famous flag raisers captured on film in the famous scene atop Mt. Suribachi, and forever etched in stone in the Iwo Jima Memorial at Arlington, Virginia. The other two flag raisers were shot and killed later on the island.
Proud to Claim the title of, “United States Marine”
In summation, if this movie is guaranteed to give you one helluva “Gut Check”!