Marine Corps Veteran Gordon Giffels is today's Veteran of the Day.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Gordon Giffels, who deployed with the first group of Marine Raiders during World War II.

On Marine Corps Special Operations Command’s birthday Feb. 22, we honor one of the World War II Raiders.

Gordon Giffels attended Boot Camp in 1938 in Parris Island, South Carolina, and trained at Quantico, Virginia. He earned the rank of sergeant and became a rifle squad leader.

Giffels deployed with the first group of Marine Raiders in World War II and participated in Operation Watchtower. As a member of the 5th Marine Regiment, he fought in the Battle of Tulagi in the Solomon Islands in 1942, later known as “The First Hell in the Pacific.” Giffels was recorded as being brave and resourceful, pioneering the foundational model for special forces in the U.S. military.

Japanese killed Giffels during the first U.S. ground attack of World War II, a nighttime covert attack in Solomon Islands jungles.

During his service, he received a Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, and a American Defense Service Medal. Soon after his death, Giffels’ high school celebrated the life and mourned the death of their first student killed in combat during WWII by renaming their football field in his honor.

In August 2019, a group in his hometown of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, erected a memorial in Giffels’ name. The memorial outlines his sacrifices and bravery. The town also rededicated the football field in his name. These serve as a reminder to inspire local students to be leaders in their school and in their community.

We honor his service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Writer: Sara Elaine Jordan

Researcher: Alexander Nordahl

Editor: Kelly Dooley

Graphic artist: Kimber Garland

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Published on Feb. 22, 2020

Estimated reading time is 1.9 min.

Views to date: 103


  1. Senior Veterans Care Network February 27, 2020 at 11:08 am

    We honor the service of Gordon Giffels.

  2. ckjamz February 23, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    i respect this guy so well

  3. Fakaza Gospel February 23, 2020 at 1:14 am

    This is great. I love veterans

  4. rose February 22, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    His name will always be eternal in history.

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