When they landed on the beaches, the island was covered with planes, ships and men "all hammering away," he said.
"I think we were stunned," Graves said. "We were out there for six weeks. All I wanted to do was make it, but we couldn't go anywhere."
The assault resulted in more than 26,000 American casualties, including 6,800 deaths, according to the Navy.
"I have a lot of buddies that were killed, and they're still there," Graves said. "So I just want to reminisce. . It will be an emotional experience."
Graves is looking forward to standing on Mount Suribachi once more. The photo of five Marines and a Navy corpsman raising the American flag on the mountain is an iconic image of the war — and it's an event Schott and Graves witnessed.
It's one of the few things Schott remembers clearly from the battle.
Lying on his back in a foxhole, looking up at the mountain, "my heart skipped a beat, and ever since then, that flag has been the most beautiful thing in the world. . It stands for so much," he said.
Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com
This is an AP Member Exchange shared by The Dallas Morning News