Puller, Lewis Burwell, Jr.
- Edward A. Goedeken
Puller, Lewis Burwell, Jr. (18 August 1945–11 May 1994), marine corps officer and winner of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize, was born at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the son of General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, one of the most highly decorated marines in American history, and Virginia Montague Evans Puller, a schoolteacher. He had two sisters. The Puller family could trace their military tradition back to Major John Puller, a confederate cavalryman, who died while fighting in 1863. Lewis Puller, Sr., spent thirty-seven years in the marines, retiring in 1955, and there was never any doubt that his only son would follow in his footsteps. While young Puller was growing up in rural Virginia, his family would be visited at any time of the day or evening by former marines stopping by to pay homage to the decorated three-star general. Lewis, Jr., completed his secondary education at Christchurch School in 1962 and then attended William and Mary College, graduating in 1967. He promptly joined the marines, receiving his basic training at Quantico, Virginia, followed by a stint at the Marine's Officer Candidate School, from which he emerged as a second lieutenant in July 1968. The next month he married Linda Ford Todd, with whom he had two children. Later that same month, Puller was sent to Vietnam as a platoon commander in the Second Battalion of the First Marine Regiment of the First Marine Division....