My Wife's Adopted Cousin,
Captain James Stewart Hay,
United States Army.Jimmy Was Born In New York on October 22, 1942 And Was Killed In Action on May 11, 1968 in Bihn Doung, Republic of Vietnam, As A Result Of Hostile Multiple Fragmentation Wounds.
At the time he was serving with Company C, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry
Regiment, 1st Infantry Division.
His Body Was Recovered
And He Now Rests In Peace In The Long Island National Cemetery.
HAY, JAMES S
CPT US ARMY
- VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 05/11/1967 – 05/11/1968
- DATE OF BIRTH: 10/22/1942
- DATE OF DEATH: 05/11/1968
- DATE OF INTERMENT: 05/27/1968
- BURIED AT: SECTION 2J SITE 2515
LONG ISLAND NATIONAL CEMETERY
2040 WELLWOOD AVENUE FARMINGDALE , NY 11735-1211
Dedicated to My Wife's Parents,
Mr. & Mrs. Edward J. Barry,
who rest in peace at the Long Island National
Cemetery, Farmingdale, New York.
Private, United States Army
James Patterson was born at Medina, Ohio, in 1835. During the Civil War period, he lived in Lockport, Michigan. He enlisted in the Army (Company H, 28th Michigan Volunteer Infantry) on August 23, 1864 at age 28. He died of disease at Alexandria, Virginia on February 21, 1865. He is buried in the Alexandria National Cemetery, Alexandria, Virginia.
28th Regiment, Michigan Infantry
Organized at Kalamazoo and Marshall, Mich., by consolidation of 28th and 29th
Michigan Infantry on October 26, 1864. Moved to Louisville, Kentucky, October 26-29, and duty there till November 10. Moved to Camp Nelson, Kentucky; thence guard trains to Nashville, Tennessee, November 10 December 5. Attached to Post of Nashville, Tennessee, Dept. of the Cumberland, to January, 1865. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps, Army of the Ohio to February, 1865, and Department of North Carolina to April, 1865. District of Raleigh, North Carolina, Department of North Carolina, to August, 1865. District of Wilmington, North Carolina, Department of North Carolina, to January, 1866. District of New Berne, North Carolina, to June, 1865.
SERVlCE – Occupation of Nashville, Tennessee, during Hood's investment, December 14, 1864. Battle of Nashville December 15-16. Pursuit of Hood December 17-28. At Clifton, Tenn., till January 11, 1865. Moved to Louisville, Kentucky, January 11-18, thence to Alexandria, Virginia, January 18-25. Duty there till February 19. Moved to Morehead City, thence to Newberne, North Carolina, February 19-25. Campaign of the Carolinas March 1 April 26. Advance on Kinston and Goldsboro March 1-21. Battle of Wise’s Fork March 8-10. Kinston March 14. Occupation of Goldsboro March 21. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. Duty in District of Raleigh, Hardin County, North Carolina, until August. In District of Wilmington, Crook County, North Carolina, to October, and in District of Newberne, North Carolina, till June, 1866. Mustered out June 6, 1866.
Regiment lost during service 1 Officer and 5 Enlisted men killed and mortally
wounded and 1 Officer and 126 Enlisted men by disease. Total 133.
Harvie Lee Reed
Corporal, United States Army
When I lived in Arkansas with my step-mother, Leona Reed Patterson, as a young man and while my Father was assigned with the United States Army to Korea, my “Uncle Harvie” took me safely and kindly under his wing. He taught me to drive, to hunt, to fish, to enjoy nature, the value of an honest day's work, and to be kind to everyone. While, sadly, I did not keep in close contact with him over the years, I have thought of him fondly many, many times and was terribly saddened to have learned of his passing. I shall remember him all the rest of my days.
Rest In Peace!
Harvie Lee Reed was born on August 3, 1917, to Zeb and Pearl (Hembree) Reed in Cane Hill, Arkansas. He departed this life on June 26, 2006, at Stilwell, Oklahoma, at the age of 88 years, 10 months and 23 days.
Harvie grew up and resided in the Morrow, Arkansas, area until he married Vada Wilhite Howard on March 14, 1973. They made their home in Westville, Oklahoma, where they lived happily for 33 years. Harvie was a farmer and rancher by trade, raiding both chickens and cattle. He enjoyed bird hunting, especially with his Irish Setter, Zeke, fishing and attending church services.
He “peddled” fresh produce for many years and cherished the friends he made. Many children and adults alike know him as the “Appleman.”
He proudly served his country over three years as a Military Transport Policeman during the Second World War. His tour of duty took him to Alaska, through Central Europe and earned him three service medals.
Harvie valued serving his Lord and attended services almost every night when he was able. He most recently attended the Faith Holiness Church in Baron, Oklahoma.
Preceding him in death were his parents and sisters, Leona Patterson and Oleta Swain.
He is survived by his wife Vada of Westville, one brother, Thurman Reed and wife Phyllis of Lincoln, Arkansas; two daughters, Wilma Overturf of Westville, Oklahoma and Pamela Stephens and husband Gerald Bert of Baron, Oklahoma; five grandchildren, Debra Wilson and husband Jay of Cornelious, North Carolina; Dwayne Eagleton and wife Tammy; Greg Eagleton and wife Kim; Philip Stephens and wife Shanda; Penny Meredith and husband Steven, all of Westville, Oklahoma, eight great-grandchildren who he loved and adored; Harvie is also survived by seven nieces and nephews; as well as a host of friends and loved ones.
IN LOVING MEMORY
Harvie Lee Reed
1917 – 2006
2:00 P.M. Thursday, June 29, 2006
Faith Holiness Church
Brother Carl Page
“Stroll Over Heaven”
“Go Rest High On That Mountain”
By Faith Holiness Choir
Jack Norton, Neal Reed, Paul Don Reed, Dwayne Eagleton, Greg Eagleton, Philip Stephens
Delton Norton, Jim Doyle, Steve Meredith, Brad Eagleton, Harley Penell
Penny Meredith, Deidra Eagleton, Caitlyn Meredith, Kim Eagleton, Tammy Eagleton, Shandra Stephens
Services Entrusted To
HART FUNERAL HOME
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul;
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for His name's sake.
Yea, thought I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life;
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Thurman William Reed
United States Army
Thurman William Reed, 87, a resident of Lincoln, Arkansas, passed away November 6, 2007 at his home in Lincoln.
He was born September 22, 1920 at Cane Hill, Arkansas, the son of Zeb D. and Pearl Hannah Hembree Reed.
Thurman was a member of the First Baptist Church in Lincoln.
He was a veteran of WW II serving in England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. Thurman received three Bronze Stars, the American Theater Medal, the Victory Medal and a Purple Heart. He was a member of the VFW, a lifetime member of the American Legion, and Disabled American Veterans.
He was a watch maker for many years, retired from Standard Register Co., and worked several years at Cal-Maine foods.
Thurman was a wonderful father figure to Saundra and Nell Moore and “Grandpa” to all of their children and grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Harvie Reed; two sisters, Leona Patterson, and Oleta Swain.
Survivors include his wife of fifty-seven years, Phyllis of the home, two daughters, Mary Gail Reed of Farmington, Arkansas; and Terry Lynn Reed Anderson and husband Keith of Beggs, Oklahoma; three grandchildren, T.J. Spurrier, Brian Anderson, and Camille Nelson; six great grandchildren, Rowdy Atlum, Kesley Spurrier, Caleb and Riley Anderson, Kyla and Brayden Nelson.
On behalf of the Reed family, we wish to express their gratitude
for your many acts of kindness, and for your attendance at the funeral service. Luginbuel Funeral Home, Prairie Grove, Arkansas
Online guest book, visit www.luginbuel.com
What Makes A Dad
God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it….Dad!
CELEBRATING THE LIFE & MEMORY OF
Thurman W. Reed
DATE, TIME & PLACE OF SERVICE Friday, November 9, 2007 – 1:00 P.M.
First Baptist Church, Lincoln, Arkansas
ORDER OF SERVICE
Prelude Music Jamin Snarr
“How Great Thou Art” Jack Thompson
Opening Remarks Paul Young, Pastor – Summers Baptist Church Summers, Arkansas
“I’ll Fly Away” Jack Thompson
Words of Comfort & Victory Randy Magar, Pastor – First Baptist Church – Lincoln, Arkansas
Family Memory Video
“Believe” Brooks & Dunn
“When I Get Where I’m Going” Brad Paisley
Folding and Presentation of the American Flag American Legion
Post #100 – Rogers, Arkansas
PLEASE JOINTHE FAMILY FOR MILITARY HONORS IN FRONT OF THE CHURCH
FOLLOWING THE PRESENTATION OF THE FLAG. THE FAMILY WILL VISIT WITH FRIENDS IN THE FELLOWSHIP HALL FOLLOWING THE SERVICE.
GRAVE SIDE SERVICES WILL NOT BE HELD AT THE CEMETERY
FINAL RESTING PLACE
Dutch Mills Cemetery – Dutch Mills, Arkansas
Keith Anderson – T.J. Spurrier – Brian Anderson
Rick Lawrence – B.J. Nelson – Dwain Swain
Bill Osburn – Curtis Reed – Al Sanders – Harry Swain
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Friends of Hospice at 34 West Colt Square Suite 1 or the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Carpet Fund at P.O. Box 38, Lincoln, Arkansas 72744
I can still remember all of the kindesss that Thurman showed to me when, as a young teenager, I lived in Lincoln, Arkansas, with my Step-Mother (his sister, Leona) while my Dad, an Army officer, was serving in Korea in the 1960s.
Thurman looked after our little family with care and devotion and was there when I had no one else to turn to, except for he and his brother, Harvie, for answers to all of the questions that a teenager has while growing up.
He was indeed a lovely man, with a great heart and the world is a poorer place without him. Farewell and God Speed, Thurman.
Loving you, Michael Patterson
Please Click Here For A Special Remembrance For Isaac T. Cortes, Private, United States Army, Who Was Killed In
Action In Iraq During Operation Iraqi Freedom, 27 November 2007. Lynne and I met his parents and his grandmother
at Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, New York, on 2 August 2008, while attending the funeral of another
fallen soldier, Staff Sergeant Alex Jimenez, who had been missing in Iraq for 14 months. Isaac's family are lovely
people who still miss and love him very much.
I was honored to have attended Lance Corporal Whyte's burial services at the Long Island
National Cemetery on the afternoon of Friday, 30 June 2006.
May he rest in peace.
Nicholas J. Whyte
Lance Corporal, United States Marine Corps
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 591-06
June 23, 2006DoD Identifies Marine Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Lance Corporal Nicholas J. Whyte, 21, of Brooklyn, New York, died June 21, 2006, while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Marine from Brooklyn killed in Iraq
BY GRAHAM RAYMAN
Newsday Staff Writer
June 24, 2006
As Lance Corporal Nicholas Whyte prepared to leave for Iraq in February, he and his father knew his second tour would be much riskier than the first.
“It just seemed to me that when you're on your second or third tour, it's just tempting fate too much,” Andrew Whyte, 46, a city correction Captain, said Friday.
Their worries were founded. On Friday, the day his son would have been celebrating a birthday, a father mourned the loss of a son.
Whyte, of Marine Park, Brooklyn, was on patrol in Ramadi, an area long fraught with insurgent attacks, on Wednesday when a sniper's bullet struck him in the neck, severed his spine and killed him. He was assigned to the Second Marine Division out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
“He would be 22 today,” his father said Friday outside the modest brick two-family home where the Marine grew up. “He was my oldest son, and I regret his loss. It has been devastating for the family.”
Inside, relatives and friends comforted his mother, Annette, who said she was too devastated to speak.
Tyrone McFarlane, 23, said his friend's death had altered his view on the war. “Before this, I understood why we were over there,” he said. “And now I don't know. It seems like we are there to help them and they don't want our help.”
Whyte, his father said, wanted to be a military man, even at a very young age. He attended James Madison High School in Marine Park and Westminster, a private school in upstate New York. He joined the Marines soon after high school.
“When he graduated from high school, he said he wanted to join,” he said. “I tried to talk him out of it, but he wanted to do it, and I was proud that he joined.”
Whyte did much of his first tour in Fallujah, another very dangerous region of Iraq, returning home in September.
When Whyte prepared to leave for the deployment in February, the young Marine told his dad that he had named him as the person to handle his funeral arrangements.
Dad, meanwhile, drew on his experience working at Rikers Island to remind his son to be careful and alert on patrol, particular in house-to-house searches. “I wasn't so concerned about the first tour, but I had a premonition that this time would be harder,” Whyte said.
Father and son last spoke on Monday. “He just called to tell me that he was OK,” Whyte said. “As parents, these are the things we live with.”
Whyte said his son was looking forward to coming home in August, and eventually wanted to go into law enforcement. “He was a very smart, conscientious kid, the kind of kid that any father would proud of,” said Whyte, who like his son is a solidly built man who took a moment to compose himself before every answer he gave about his son.
The funeral arrangements for Whyte were not finalized Friday, but were tentatively scheduled for next week.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Brooklyn Marine killed in Iraq
June 24, 2006
On His 21st Birthday, a Marine Is Mourned
By SARAH GARLAND
Lance Corporal Nicholas J. Whyte did not tell anyone he was signing up for the Marines, his father recalled yesterday. The war in Iraq had just begun, and he knew his family would be upset. They were.
But yesterday, as he stood outside the family's home in Marine Park, Brooklyn, mourning the death of his son on what would have been his 21st birthday, Andre Whyte, a Captain with the city's Department of Correction, said, “He never did anything a father couldn't be proud of.”
The last time his family spoke with Corporal Whyte was Sunday, when he called Captain Whyte to wish him a happy Father's Day. He promised to be back in time for his father's birthday in September.
Three days later, on Wednesday, marines arrived at the doorstep of the Whyte home to inform the family that Corporal Whyte had been killed that day by an enemy sniper in Ramadi, where he was stationed on his second tour in Iraq. He died from a gunshot wound to the neck that severed his spinal cord.
Though he had reservations about his son going to war, Captain Whyte said he supported his decision. “He was a soldier,” Captain Whyte said. “He did what he was told and he went where he was told.”
But when he got back from his first tour of duty, in Falluja, he had changed, his father said. “He was glad it was behind him,” he said.
Before Corporal Whyte, who was based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, left in January for his second tour, Captain Whyte said, his son expressed his own doubts about going back. “He thought he might get hurt this time,” he said. “He said, ‘Dad, I'm really nervous about going a second time,' and I said: ‘I know. Me, too.' ”
Camp Lejeune Marines killed in Iraq
Jun 23, 2006
CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina – Two Camp Lejeune Marines from the same unit were killed in combat in Iraq's violent Anbar province, the Defense Department said Friday.
Lance Corporal Nicholas J. Whyte, 21, of Brooklyn, New York, was killed Wednesday, a Pentagon statement said. Corporal Riley E. Baker, 22, of Pacific, Missouri, died Thursday.
Both were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.
Whyte's father, Andre Whyte, told WABC-TV in New York that his son would have celebrated his 22nd birthday Friday.
“He was the kind of child any father or any parent would be proud of,” said Whyte, choking back tears. “I was proud of him when he joined, I was proud of his service, and I still am proud of him today.
The family said funeral arrangements were incomplete.
“I will miss him dearly. I've never had to bury anyone in the family and he will be the first one,” Andre Whyte said.
As of Friday, at least 2,517 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
Lejeune Marine killed by sniper
N.Y. man called quiet, intelligent
A Camp Lejeune Marine died this week during combat in Iraq, the Pentagon said Friday.
Lance Corporal Nicholas J. Whyte, 21, of Brooklyn, New York, was killed Wednesday when a sniper shot him in the back of the neck, said his father, Andre Whyte.
“Nicky,” as he was known, was a quiet, contemplative young man who loved to swim, lift weights and roughhouse with his 10-year-old brother, Triston, his father said.
He graduated from James Madison High School in Brooklyn, where he was a competitive swimmer. He attended St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights for one year before joining the Marines in October 2003. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.
Whyte enlisted in secret, his father said, after the Septmber 11, 2001, terrorist attacks instilled in him a heightened sense of patriotism. It was the way he did things, his father said, always behind the scenes and never asking for attention or credit.
Even as a child, Whyte always had a quiet intelligence, his father said. “He was the hardest kid to discipline because you'd take away all his toys to punish him and he'd just sit and read a book.”
Even as a young man he had few possessions, but his father said he told him, “If anything happens to me, give my Xbox to Triston and get him a house where he can finally have a pet.”
Whyte was expected home in October, and his father said they had planned on getting him a motorcycle when he returned. Whyte had planned to pursue a career in law enforcement, like his father, a Jamaican immigrant who works as a corrections officer.
The last time his father heard from Whyte was Monday, two days before he was killed. Whyte called to wish his dad a happy Father's Day, joking that he did not remember signing the card that his brother had given his father the day before.
He was last home this spring, when his mother threw him a welcome-home party, said Ronald Lesspinasse, Whyte's neighbor.
Whyte is survived by his father, his brother and his mother, Annette Whyte.
Friday would have been his 22nd birthday.
Brooklyn family's tears
Father of Marine killed in Iraq implores those at his funeral, ‘Carry him, in your hearts and your minds'
July 1, 2006
Standing in the crisp blue of his New York City Correction Department captain's uniform at a Brooklyn church Friday, Andre Whyte, 46, found himself unable to deliver the eulogy of love he had written for his dead son, Lance Corporal Nicholas Whyte.
For this father, the pain of losing a son to a sniper's bullet in Iraq on June 21, 2006, two days short of the Marine's 22nd birthday, remained much too raw.
Instead, Whyte, a burly man with a strong voice that still carries the roots of a Jamaican accent, told the congregation of friends and family gathered at the Bedford Central Presbyterian Church to remember his eldest son with a smile.
“In your hearts, carry him, in your hearts and your minds,” Whyte said. He suggested people remember his son with a smile, rather than in sadness. “He would prefer that.”
It was a somber day of mourning for those who came to praise and later bury the younger Whyte, of Marine Park, Brooklyn. Soaring hymns were sung in broken voices. People shook with grief. And friends spoke out of turn, unsure of themselves in their sadness.
Whyte was on his second tour of duty in Ramadi, Iraq, last month when he was shot. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.
But nobody spoke about the violent way he died Friday. Instead, they talked about the brave way Whyte lived – and of his potential.
The son of immigrants from Elizabeth, Jamaica, Whyte excelled in academics at PS 221 and attended elite private schools on scholarship in Massachusetts and Connecticut. A longing for the familiar, “brash and bountiful borough of Brooklyn” brought him home, according to the eulogy written by his father, which was read by a family friend, Max Smith.
Whyte's father wrote that he was proud of his son's intellect, physical ability and devotion to ideals such as honor and service. The father did not, however, say why his son had been so driven to fight in Iraq, going abroad despite the vociferous concerns of his family, writing only: “It was during a precarious time when many warned him against it, but still he soldiered on.”
Several of Whyte's friends remembered his smile, charm and cheerful loyalty, among other qualities.
“Through all the things I was going through, he always found a positive way, a positive view,” said Trevor Robinson Jr. “He was a great person, a great man.”
Jenny Cunningham, 26, a friend, said simply, “Nick, thank you for being my friend and helping me to live.”
After the funeral, his body was taken to the Long Island National Cemetery, Pinelawn, where he was buried after mourners sang “Amazing Grace.”
First Lieutenant Michael Joseph Blassie
In fond remembrance of Lieutenant Blassie who, for fourteen long years,
served his country as the Vietnam Unknown.”Once he was lost and now is found.”
On July 10, 1998 he was returned to his family
And on July 11, 1998 he was laid to rest in his hometown.
Rest In Peace!
By: John Porter
“On April 5, 1998, current and former sentinels of the Tomb of the Unknowns gathered together for a reunion to honor those who have protected our beloved Unknowns. Visibly absent from this reunion was Lieutenant. Jeff Davis.
Lieuteant Davis, a stellar soldier and a great friend, served as a Tomb Sentinel for 4 years, became an Army Ranger and joined the elite group of soldiers in the Special Forces. Lieutenant Davis then went on the graduate from the University of Michigan to became an officer in the highly competitive field of aviation. Failiure to this man was inconceivable.
On January 31, 1998, Lieutenant Jeff Davis was killed as he preformed a routine maintainance check on his UH-60 “Blackhawk” helicopter. At the age of 31, Jeff is survived by his wife and two children (ages 2 and 4).
Of all fellow Sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknowns, I held the highest respect and admiration for Jeff. He was the top of an elite group of soldiers. Lieutenant Jeff Davis will never be forgotten by all those who had the honor and of serving with him.”
“This soldier will in honored glory rest under our eternal reverence.”
Sentinels, Tomb of the Unknowns.
Kathleen M. “Kathy” Teer
Beloved And Loyal Friend
From a contemporary press report:
Kathlen M. “Kathy” Teer of Seaford, New York died on May 12, 1998. Beloved wife of James. Loving mother of Scott. Devoted daughter of Elizabeth and the late Joseph Watson. Caring sister of Margaret Curley, Joseph Watson, Thomas Watson, Mary Fried, and Frank Watson. Also survived by many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Reposing at the Wantagh Abbey, Inc. (corner of Park Ave. and Beech St., Wantagh) Wednesday and Thursday 2-4 and 7-10 PM. Mass of Christian Burial Friday 9:45 AM at St. William the Abbot RC Church.
Interment Holy Rood Cemetery, Westbury, New York.
Although our friend, Kathy, lost her nine-month struggle with cancer, she remains bright in our memories. She will always be a part of our lives and will always be counted among our very best friends.
Kathy, we miss you and love you and hope that you are finally at peace! You gave it the best that you had!
“It seems that the good, they die young…
We just looked around and you were gone…”
George Charles Lang
Specialist, United States Army
George Lang Dies; Vietnam Veteran Given Medal of Honor
By Adam Bernstein
Courtesy of the Washington Post
Friday, March 25, 2005
George C. Lang, 57, who received the Medal of Honor for his Army service during the Vietnam War and suffered a severe spinal injury in combat that left him a paraplegic, died March 16, 2005, at his home in Seaford on Long Island, New York. He had cancer.
Enlisting in the Army after high school, Mr. Lang quickly became seasoned in search-and-destroy missions along the Mekong River. Seeking ambush after ambush, his speedboats would lure enemy forces out of the jungle so they could be fired upon.
George C. Lang's spinal cord was cut by a rocket in Kien Hoa province.
After several water attacks, Mr. Lang, a specialist fourth class in the 9th Infantry Division, was made squad leader in his unit. He was ordered to conduct a land-based reconnaissance mission in Kien Hoa province, southeast of Saigon, on February 22, 1969. His actions that day led to his being awarded the Medal of Honor, the military's highest decoration for valor.
“I was among a lot of guys who'd just arrived a month or two before,” Mr. Lang told Paraplegia News in 2000. “They were still learning. Then there were the guys who were 10 to 11 months into their tours. You didn't want to put them into the heat of things, because they were ready to go home. After six months, I was in the middle. So I walked point [lead] that day.”
Almost immediately he and his men were inundated with intense fire from an enemy bunker complex. Mr. Lang twice spotted the source of the gunfire and with grenades and rifle fire silenced the emplacements, both times at great personal risk.
He then found a valuable cache of enemy ammunition but found himself again under assault from an enemy bunker. He used the last of his grenades to end the hostile gunfire. But as he stayed near the cache, yet another group of enemy forces discharged rocket and automatic weapons fire from three sides, causing many casualties among his men.
He was seriously wounded in that final clash — a rocket cut his spinal cord — but he continued to direct those under his command until he was ordered evacuated over his protests, according to the Medal of Honor citation.
After a period of rehabilitation at military hospitals, he received the Medal of Honor from President Richard M. Nixon in 1971.
George Charles Lang was born April 20, 1947, in Flushing, New York, and raised in Hicksville, New York. After his father's death when he was 7, he spent many years working long hours at a luncheonette to help support his mother.
His tour of duty in Vietnam lasted less than a year. Despite using a wheelchair, he said he was not bitter. He did note, however, a fluke of timing.
“I almost missed it,” he told Paraplegia News about the battle in Kien Hoa province. “I was scheduled for a week of R and R [rest and recreation] beginning February 26. One of the guys in my platoon who was due for a leave on the 16th said he didn't have enough money to go then.
“I said, ‘Why don't you take my R and R?' So we put in for a switch. I was all set to leave on the 16th — I had my new shoes spit-shined and had them on and was ready to go — when they told me they forgot to put in the request. I didn't even get to change my shoes before I was walking point in the mud.”
After the war, he did bookkeeping work for his brother-in-law's guitar-string company; fished on the South Shore of Long Island; and helped compile a two-volume history, “Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863-1994” (1995).
Survivors include his wife of 33 years, Jacqueline Barberine Lang, and a stepdaughter, Angela Egan, both of Seaford; and four grandchildren.
The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
LANG, GEORGE C.
Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Place and date: Kien Hoa province, Republic of Vietnam, 22 February 1969. Entered service at: Brooklyn, N.Y. Born: 20 April 1947, Flushing, New York.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Lang, Company A, was serving as a squad leader when his unit, on a reconnaissance-in-force mission, encountered intense fire from a well fortified enemy bunker complex. Sp4c. Lang observed an emplacement from which heavy fire was coming. Unhesitatingly, he assaulted the position and destroyed it with hand grenades and rifle fire. Observing another emplacement approximately 15 meters to his front, Sp4c. Lang jumped across a canal, moved through heavy enemy fire to within a few feet of the position, and eliminated it, again using hand grenades and rifle fire. Nearby, he discovered a large cache of enemy ammunition. As he maneuvered his squad forward to secure the cache, they came under fire from yet a third bunker. Sp4c. Lang immediately reacted, assaulted this position, and destroyed it with the remainder of his grenades. After returning to the area of the arms cache, his squad again came under heavy enemy rocket and automatic weapons fire from 3 sides and suffered 6 casualties. Sp4c. Lang was 1 of those seriously wounded. Although immobilized and in great pain, he continued to direct his men until his evacuation was ordered over his protests. The sustained extraordinary courage and selflessness exhibited by this soldier over an extended period of time were an inspiration to his comrades and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.
LANG-George C., age 57, of Seaford, Long Island, on March 16, 2005. Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, U.S. Army, 47th Infantry of the 9th Division, Kien Hoa Province, Republic of Vietnam, February 1969.Beloved husband of Jacqueline Lang. Loving father of Angela and Kevin Egan. Cherished grandfather of Kevin, Sean, Jillian and Jacqueline Egan. Survived by countless loving family members and friends.
Reposing at the Fredrick J. Chapey & Sons Bethpage Funeral Home, 20 Hicksville Road (1 mile north of the Southern State Parkway, Exit 29). Celebration of the Liturgy of Christian Burial, Maria Regina RC Church, Seaford, Monday 9:45AM. Interment, Holy Rood Cemetery, Westbury, LI.
Visiting Saturday and Sunday 2-4:30 and 7-9:30PM. Donations may be made in memory of George C. Lang to the Wounded Warrior Project, United Spinal Assn., 54 Nashua Street, Milford, NH 03055-3717.
It was my honor to have known George. He lived in our town and was for many years the only living Medal of Honor recipient on Long Island. Few know how much George suffered from his Vietnam War wounds over the years. He spent much time being treated at the Long Island Veterans Hospital. However, he rarely, if ever, complained of his lot in life and did much for his community and his Nation. We will miss him. Rest in peace, George!
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard