LEVANT – November is recognized as National Veterans and Military Families Month. So many of us have connections to the men and women who fight for our country. One family is remembering a special veteran through the pictures and stories he left behind.
Every veteran has a story, and Sam Griffiths was dubbed a super marine. For 28 years, he served his country with one particular focus.
“He became a guru of physical fitness, and he trained all the recruits that were going into the Vietnam conflict,” said Sam’s nephew Ken Griffiths.
Near the end of his life, Sam Griffiths battled dementia and melanoma before passing of old age. His nephew took care of him, listening to the stories of the colorful life that his uncle once lived.
“Mr. Physical Fitness of America, Mr. Armed Forces twice, Mr. Marine Corps, Mr. Southern USA, Mr. Waikiki Hawaii, New England, California and Hawaii Strength Champion.
Sam Griffiths’ list of accomplishments goes on, but his journey wasn’t simple. He came to America as a young boy from England, joined by his mother. When she passed, he was adopted into the Griffiths family. At 18 he enlisted as a Marine, eventually becoming a recruiting officer and trainer.
He wanted to see these young men become marines,” said Ken.
He worked around the world, but spent much of his time in California near Camp Pendleton. It was on the west coast where he began training more than just soldiers.
“William Holden, Paul Anka, Jerry Lewis, Burt Lancaster, Lloyd Bridges,” said Ken. “He had so many of them. So so many.”
Griffiths, like many veterans, lived a long and interesting life that’s remembered by the ones who continue to love him.
Ken Griffiths added that he performs music at VA centers and nursing homes for veterans. It’s just a small way he gives back to the men and women who served.