To Walk on Water – The Trials and Tribulations of a Black Marine


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Eddie Q. Hicks was not the first young Black man to pass through the gates of Montford Point, the segregated basic training facility set up by the Marine Corps in WWII, nor was he the last, but his story is at the same time unique, humorous and insightful. He rubbed shoulders with all the legends who came out of Montford Point – Gilbert “Hashmark” Johnson, Edgar R. Huff and others – and graduated the program. As he writes in the book, the message often told to recruits by the drill instructors was, “For you to succeed in the Marine Corps you must be better than any white Marine. You must be like Jesus and walk on water in every phase of Marine life.” Always fighting the battle of racism and integrity in his career, Eddie nevertheless succeeded in several specialties, fought in Korea and Vietnam, and rose to the rank of major by his retirement. And although the Marine Corps plays a prominent role in Eddie’s life and in To Walk on Water –  The Trials and Tribulations of a Black Marine, the memoir recounts all aspects of Eddie’s fascinating life, from growing up in New Jersey to his present active involvement in the National Montford Point Marine Association. A must read for anyone who wants to understand the difficult but ultimately successful story of how U. S. Marines of all races are prepared and willing to serve their country. 143 pages, softcover.