Honoring the Life of Mike Mansfield
Those close to Michael Mansfield know that his military service was something he took great pride in. At the young age of 14, Mansfield joined the U.S. Navy during World War I. He completed several overseas convoys from 1917 to 1919. After discharge from the Navy, he enlisted with the U.S. Army, serving as a Private from 1919 to 1920. Mansfield went on to serve as a Private First Class in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1920 to 1922. He received the Good Conduct Medal from the Marines, who described his character as "excellent" during his two years of service.
The original Mansfield plaque at the University of Montana was a great reflection of his storied life as a U.S. Senator and Ambassador to Japan. It was missing two important features, however: mention of Mansfield's military career, and the name of his wife, Maureen. Mansfield requested that anytime his name be used, Maureen's name precede his, as she was his greatest inspiration and supporter. Don Loranger, director of DCLCP, was showing the plaque to members of Special Forces Association 28 and mentioned what was missing. SFA 28 very generously offered to fund the creation of a new plaque that included those lines.
On October 19, 2018 the Mansfield Center hosted family members of Mike Mansfield's brother, John Mansfield, for a ceremony honoring their family and the re-dedication of the plaque. John's 100th birthday was celebrated and several Mansfield family stories were shared.
A very special thanks to Bob Brugh and all members of SFA 28.