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Memoir explores 'Spirit of Semper Fidelis'
Retired Marine officer Rick Spooner writes a book to educate and inspire young Marines. By Eileen Mead Memoir explores 'Spirit of Semper Fidelis'

Date published: 12/4/2004

MAJ. RICHARD "Rick" Spooner, a retired Marine officer and proprietor of the Globe & Laurel Restaurant in Triangle for more than three decades, will be at the Marine Corps Association at Quantico on Wednesday for a book-signing.

His newly released book, "The Spirit of Semper Fidelis: Reflections From the Bottom of an Old Canteen Cup," is actually a personal memoir, presented as a historical novel, Spooner said, "because some of the names of the principals and details of the stories have been partially obscured by time."

Spooner said that he has always jotted down notes and stories as he recalls them or is told of incidents by Marines and former Marines from all over the world who stop in at the restaurant.

But, he said, he felt compelled to write a book several years ago after a conversation with three young Marine captains who had come in for lunch.

Spooner, a veteran of the Battle of Saipan in World War II, had just received some postcards from a friend visiting there, and it brought back a flood of memories. He shared the cards with the captains and was dismayed when one of them asked, "Is that one of the places where Marines were during the war?"

"I realized that young Marines need to know more about the history of the Corps and the meaning of 'Semper Fidelis,' so I sat down with them and told them, 'Yes, we had 3,100 Marines killed on Saipan, and some of them were my best friends.'

"Then," he said, "I went home and started writing about a battalion similar to the one that I was with during the battles of Saipan, Tinian and Okinawa. That is what the book is about."

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