Seven-year-old Colson Cooper, grandson of Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, is seen here holding a 1ST MARINE DIVISION coin he received after recently fighting in his first karate tournament and now having earned his “brown stripe” rank.
The stars in the coin are in the configuration of the constellation CRUX (seen only in the Southern Hemisphere), which the Marines drew strength from during the fighting on Guadalcanal in 1942. “The Marines on Guadalcanal were brave,” said retired Marine Col. Steve Vitali. “So is Colson.”
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the 1st Marine Division, and 2022 will mark 80 years since the Battle of Guadalcanal.