|Ira went back to the reservation attempting to lead an anonymous life. But it didn't turn out that way . . .
"I kept getting hundreds of letters. And people would drive through the reservation, walk up to me and ask,
'Are you the Indian who raised the flag on Iwo Jima" Ira tried to drown his "Conflict of Honor" with alcohol.
Arrested as drunk and disorderly, his pain was clear . . . "I was sick. I guess I was about to crack up thinking
about all my good buddies. They were better men than me and they're not coming back. Much less back to the
White House, like me." In 1954, Ira reluctantly attended the dedication of the Iwo Jima monument in
Washington. After a ceremony where he was lauded by President Eisenhower as a hero once again, a reporter
rushed up to Ira and asked him, "How do you like the pomp & circumstances?" Ira just hung his head and said,
I don't." Ira died three months later after a night of drinking. As Ira drank his last bottle of whiskey he was
crying and mumbling about his "good buddies." Ira was 32.