Ex-Marine reflects on a life worthy of chronicling

Huey Meador still takes part in Gardena military events at age 91 By Gary Luster

Photo by Gary Kohatsu SALUTE—Huey Meador was among the attendees of the 2021 Veterans Day Service in Gardena. The former Marine dresses in uniform for all military events and occasions.

Everyone is accustomed to seeing heroes on the big and small screens doing things that most of us could only dream of, but we often forget that there are heroes right here among us. One such hero is Huey Meador, a Gardena resident who has performed his own share of heroics in his life. Meador, 91, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps for a three-year hitch in September 1949 at the age of 18. He served up to and during the Korean War (1950-1953). It was during this time that Meador demonstrated the heroic behavior that would serve him well throughout his life. Meador was a member of the 1st Battalion 1st Marines, a unit that was activated in 1950 after the outbreak of the Korean War. The battalion was deployed to Kobe, Japan where Meador and 75,000 of his fellow Marines as well as 261naval vessels took part in an amphibious assault during the Battle of Inchon which led to victory and the recapture of the South Korean capital of Seoul. But that wasn’t the end of Meador’s heroism. He also participated in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, a battle that took place about a month after China entered the war. They infiltrated North Korea to the northeast which surprised the U.S. forces who were occupying the Chosin Reservoir area. After a 17-day battle wherein U.S. and U.N. troops were encircled by Chinese troops, the U.S. and U.N. troops were able to break the encirclement and evacuate the area, marking the complete withdrawal of U.S. and U.N. troops from North Korea. Meador performed as a chaplain while serving in the Marines and despite his experiences in combat, said that the most difficult job he had was informing families that they lost a loved one in combat. In this regard, Meador’s religious background came in handy. Having been ordained as a minister at the age of 16 at Ridge Avenue Baptist Church, Meador was well acquainted with faith and the afterlife. “You try to console them the best you can,” Meador said. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in September 1952 at the rank of sergeant. In civilian life, Meador worked for himself as a painter and construction worker. He then went back to his hometown of Monroe, La. where he met his wife Pat and her four kids. The couple married and stayed married for the next 60 years. The couple had one son together named Michael. In addition to his service in the military, Meador also demonstrated heroism in his role as a pastor and man of God when he singlehandedly stopped the attempted murder of a woman who lived with her daughter. It was a stressful event that took place several years ago while he was visiting the home. “The young lady and her mother did not get along too well,” Meador said. “The woman came home and decided that she would settle her differences with a knife. She goes to the kitchen and gets an 8-inch blade knife and her mother is upstairs sleeping in the bedroom. She planned to go upstairs and stab her mother. I meet her at the foot of the stairway and talked to her for a few minutes until she gave the knife to me. I don’t brag but I thank God for using me as an instrument to try to solve that problem using peaceful means.” These days, Meador continues to live in Gardena with his two caretakers Jason and Wendy and although he is at an advanced age, he still enjoys walking to the store and spending time listening to the radio. He also continues to participate in local Gardena events twice a year: every Veterans Day and Marine Corps Day by putting on his military dress blues and mingling with local officials such as Gardena Mayor Tasha Cerda, Gardena police officers, and other Marine Corps veterans. Meador said that he one day soon wants to go back to Louisiana.

Photo courtesy of Huey Meador
RELAXED—Former Marine Huey Meador is seen here out of uniform and in his Gardena home. The 91-year old
ex-military man has his share of heroics in his resume.