Marvin Green was convinced that helping others was the surest way to make the world a better place. And his actions during World War II showed just how far he would go to sustain his conviction.
Green, a 50-year resident of Valley Stream and a prominent psychotherapist, died Sept. 22 at a care facility in South San Francisco. He was 92.
In World War II, Sgt. Marvin Green was a medic in the 232nd Field Artillery Batallion of the 42nd Infantry Rainbow Division and fought during the Battle of the Bulge.
But a year and half before that battle, in April 1943, Green and a medical officer entered an area of concentrated enemy shelling to rescue a soldier whose leg had been partly severed by shrapnel.
Under heavy enemy bombardment, Green amputated the soldier's leg, saving his life. Green was awarded a Bronze Star.
"He never felt like a hero," his son, Geoffrey Green, 59, a professor of English at San Francisco State University, said Thursday. "It was just showing what people would do for each other."
Geoffrey Green said his father talked about his war experience only later in life. "We always knew he had gotten the award but we never knew the circumstances," he said.
In 2000, Green and some family members returned to parts of Germany and Austria where he had served. At the Dachau concentration camp, Green recalled that his company was among the first to enter the camp during its liberation.
He pointed to buildings and places he recognized, his son said. Camp curators interviewed him, hoping for clarification on several stories and rumors.
Geoffrey Green said the visit was cathartic for his father. "Late in his life he started to write vignettes about his life and his time in the war," he said.
After the war, Green used his doctorate from NYU to work in mental health, social services and education.
He had many administrative positions, including president of the Valley Stream District 13 board of education and executive director of the Mental Health Association of Westchester.
He had a private psychotherapy practice in Valley Stream from the mid 1960s to 2002, his son said. He then moved in 2004 to Pacifica, Calif., to live with his son and daughter-in-law, Marcia Green.
His wife, Martha, died in 1999. Another son, Arne Green of Lynbrook, died in 2003.
A commemoration is scheduled for 3 p.m. Oct. 10 at Mount Lebanon Cemetery, Glendale, Queens. Burial was Wednesday at the cemetery.