Question: What did Alexander Vandegrift mean when he said "just about choked that poor woman at the reception blubbering?"
Question: What exactly happened to Iggy? Are we ever supposed to know exactly how he died?
Question: Why did Hayes hate the fame he was receiving?
Answer: It's hard to truly understand why some people aren't comfortable in the spotlight. But Hayes was known for saying "I am not a hero" and that the real heroes were "the brave men who died." He really didn't want to be known as a hero for raising the flag, especially when so many of his friends died and didn't earn the respect he was getting. Unfortunately, he turned to alcohol and developed a drinking problem, which lead him to shun fame even more. However, these things are not unique to him. Many soldiers, especially those who suffer PTSD, which Hayes may have had, feel guilt or remorse for surviving when friends didn't. Fame and the spotlight only exasperates these feelings as it becomes a constant reminder of their survival. Alcoholism also leads some to want to be left alone for numerous reasons.
Question: Did the scene where Ira Hayes rages against police after a bartender refuses to serve him really happen?
Answer: Following WWII, Ira Hayes hated the fame and sensational publicity associated the flag-raising at Iwo Jima. Deeply depressed, Hayes descended into alcoholism over the next few years, and it eventually killed him. Director Clint Eastwood actually underplayed the true extent of Hayes' sad decline, and the scene you mention was no doubt dramatized for the screen. In real life, Hayes was arrested 52 times for public intoxication and disorderly conduct at various places across the country before his death.
Would that be a yes, or no? I've got autism.
It's yes, but he/she is saying that the incident was probably exaggerated for the purpose of the movie, to make it more dramatic. It likely combined a number of similar drunken incidents into the one scene.
Answer: Definitely yes :). The poor guy was a raging alcoholic who literally drank himself to death.
Question: Were any Japanese killed by the bombardment by the battleships?
Answer: Not many. The Americans had grossly underestimated the level of preparedness the Japanese had achieved. Their artillery was dug in underground, as were there soldiers. It was only after bitter hand to hand fighting that the extent of the Japanese defences was revealed. Certainly more them were killed by committing suicide than the very ineffectual naval bombardment.
Answer: The movie insinuates that he was killed horribly but doesn't provide many details. Books about Iwo Jima have quotes from witnesses about what happened to him and they all say that he was very brutally tortured, including having his eyes cut out and his genitals removed and stuffed in his mouth. The book "Flags of Our Fathers" contains the following quote, "A few days later someone yelled that they'd found him. They called me over because I was a corpsman. The Japanese had pulled him underground and tortured him. His fingernails... his tongue... It was terrible. I've tried hard to forget all this.