Memorial Day Ceremony 2024 - May 27, 1:45 PM

Max Brown, WWII Marine (Part 3)

Max Brown, in uniform.

Max found his college sweetheart, Shirley, and they married on Flag Day, 1946!  When I met them, in 2000 they were more in love than ever, and everyone knew it!  They both glowed when talking of the other.  They served their communities in many ways after leaving the Corps.  But they first had to finish college!  Their days living in Quonset huts were often the subject of discussion among their friends.

In 1950, after finishing college, an old war buddy convinced Max to rejoin the Corps and it wasn’t long before he was headed to Inchon and then the base at the Chosin Reservoir but was not involved in the famed Chosin Reservoir Campaign.  The injury he received in the water while in Hawaii came back to haunt him when a nerve in his neck caused his fingers to be numb and he burned them badly trying to warm his hands over a fire.  He was sent to sick bay and discharged shortly thereafter.

He and Shirley had a son, Gordon, and a daughter, Christy!  Gordon was killed in a car accident in 1970.  Christy had two daughters that were the light their lives.  Max was heavily involved in raising them and providing a good home and education for their children and grandchildren.  He was a member of several Marine Organizations and supported the Women Marines Association that his wife was a member of.  He helped build his community and was instrumental in forming the city of Centennial, CO and getting the airport up and running in that area.  He supported the United States Marine Corps Memorial in Golden, CO as well.

In 2008 Max finally received the medal he was due from his service in the Marine Corps:

  • Bronze Star
  • Purple Heart
  • Combat Action Ribbon
  • Navy Presidential Unit Citation
  • Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
  • American Defense Service medal
  • Asiatic Pacific Campaign
  • WW II Victory Ribbon
  • Korean Service
  • Korean Defense ribbon
  • Marine Corps Drill Instructor Ribbon
  • Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
  • United Nations Service Ribbon


To those of us that knew this gentle giant of a man, Max’s memory looms large in our catalog of Heroes and just great men that we respect and love!  He’s guarding the streets of heaven with Shirley at his side and I’m sure they’re spreading their love wherever they go.

Picture of Paula Sarlls, President of  the USMC Memorial Foundation

Paula Sarlls, President of the USMC Memorial Foundation

Paula Sarlls served in USMC ’67-’71 as an air controller at Quantico, VA MCAS. Paula worked for over 30 years for the VA, IRS, US Customs Service and DHS, and retired 2004 with numerous awards. The programs she created have been used nationally for decades. Her enforcement operations resulted in the seizure of over $1 million in illegal merchandise.

Paula owned two businesses, PS Tax Service and P & T Candles. She is a veterans advocate, President of the Women Marines Association CO-1 and former national President ( ’05 – ’08). She is a member of the Marine Corps League, US Marine Corps Memorial Association, Aurora Defense Council, United Veterans Committee of Colorado, American Legion, and is an Honorary Board member of the Colorado Freedom Memorial Foundation, and Honorary Commander of 140th Wing – Colorado Air National Guard ’15 – ’16.

She was the SW Region and Colorado “Daughters of the American Revolution” Veteran Volunteer of the Year in 2020. She received the Colorado Veteran Volunteer of the Year in 2015 and many other awards including the Civilian Marksmanship Program Patriot Award in 2013.

Paula is the mother of one daughter.

She is a Gold Star widow and sister-in-law.

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Support the USMC Memorial Remodel

The USMC Memorial is dedicated to the memory and service of all Marines, as well as other service members.

Use the links below to buy a brick in one of the Memorial’s five walkways or to donate. All proceeds go towards the Memorial remodel.