Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller (June 26, 1898 – October 11, 1971) was a United States Marine Corps lieutenant general and one of the most decorated members of the Marine Corps. Puller is the only Marine and one of two US servicemen to ever be awarded five Navy Crosses. He fought guerrillas in Haiti and Nicaragua, and participated in battles of World War II and the Korean War. Puller retired from the Marine Corps with 37 years service in 1955 and spent the remainder of his life living in Virginia.
Puller was born in West Point, Virginia, to Matthew and Martha Puller. His father was a grocer who died when Lewis was 10 years old. Puller grew up listening to old veterans' tales of the American Civil War and idolizing Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. He wanted to enlist in the United States Army to fight in the Border War with Mexico in 1916, but he was too young and could not get parental consent from his mother.
The following year, Puller attended the Virginia Military Institute but left in August 1918 as World War I was still ongoing, saying that he wanted to "go where the guns are!" Inspired by the 5th Marines at Belleau Wood, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a private and attended boot camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina...
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