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A Tradition of Service Logo 75Paul Emerson Riege

Submitted by: Kenneth Riege {Grandson}

56b219435dbb2 grandpa

Paul Emerson Riege served in World War 1 with the United States Marine Corps. The dates of service are: Known 17 Apr 1917 - 31 Mar 1919.

My grandfather Pvt. Paul Emerson Riege was a very proud Marine. He was one 16 years old when he volunteered for the Marines. He served in the 1st Battalion/5th Marines and fought at the Battle of Belleau Wood, the 2nd Battle of the Marne and was Wounded In Action on 4 Oct 1918 during the Meuse Argonne Offensive. I have shared his story with many (especially other Marines) and have been told that it was the guys from the 1/5 that gave the Marines their reputation that they have today and this is where they earned the title of "Devil Dogs."

I remember as a teenager and asking my grandfather why he volunteered, he didn't have to go he was only 16, and he said his country needed him and that he would do it all over again. He also told me that if I ever serve in the military I will understand what he meant. Well I did serve in the military (8 years United States Air Force) and while my grandfather did tease me a bit about joining the "Boy Scouts" he was very proud of me. It was funny I had gone from calling him "grandpa" to calling him "Sir." That would always bring a smile to his face.

My grandfather passed in March 1990 and is buried next to his wife (my grandmother) in W. Alexandria, OH. Another quick story too (sorry, I love to share stories) is last year I was so honored to have been able to accept my grand father's Purple Heart Medal on his and my families behalf. Since there was not a Purple Heart Medal during WW1, no one in the family knew if he ever tried to get his medal after it was established in 1932. Thanks to the organization Purple Hearts Reunited, I was able to receive a Purple Heart Medal engraved with my grandfather's name, Pvt. Paul Emerson Riege.

 

Addendum:

I wanted to add a bit to my grandfather's story if I could. Neither I nor anyone in my family had known that my grandfather had been listed as MIA. The letter below was sent to his mother, my great-grandmother.

Riege MIA letter

Paul Emerson Riege headstone 600

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