Protecting a National Hero

Edwin Fizer enlisted in the Marines in July 15, 1942. He had just turned 17 on July 1, 1942.  Mr. Fizer was a native of New Orleans. He became a member of an elite group known as the Montford Point Marines.

The 51st Composite Defense Battalion was formed at Camp Lejune. Eventually, in 1944, the entire 52nd Battalion shipped out, making their first landing at the Marshall Islands, and later the Mariana Islands, which consisted of Guam, Tinian, Saipan and Okinawa-about 400 miles from Japan.

Fizeer vividly recalls the many racial indignities he and his Black comrades were subjected to throughout his entire term of service.

The war ended in 1945 and Fizer was Honorably discharged. He returned to New Orleans where Jim Crowe remained alive and well.

Shortly after discharge with the help of the GI Bill he completed his training at the Illinois College of Optometry.  Searching for what he called the "unknown”, his career began to evolve.  He joined the Chicago Police Department where he was assigned to a detail that protected Dr. Martin Luther King when he was in Chicago.

Edwin Fizer has been a Senior Companion with the Suburban Cook County Senior Companion program since August 2008.

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