These are classmates and friends from my rural Michigan community High School (Croswell-Lexington H.S.) killed in action during the Vietnam War. Their names are forever carved on the Wall (Vietnam Monument in Washington D.C.), and on the hearts of those who knew them.
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Oscar attended schools in the Croswell, Michigan area including St. Patrick's Catholic School until eighth grade. Oscar had the distinct displeasure of tutoring my Latin... we were altar boys while at St Patrick's. Oscar was an above average student, and was very well liked. Oscar was President of his Senior Class.
Oscar G. Gutierrez, SP-5, was a medic in the U.S. Army, KIA South Vietnam, March 11, 1968. Oscar was killed by a bouncing betty and bled to death in the field.
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Monty was youngest of three children. He was an average student and loved sports. Monty was a great baseball player and also played varisty football. He always gave me a hard time about batting my natural way... left. My next trip to the Wall will include a bat from "lefty".
Monty Jay Eichhorn, US Army, PFC, KIA Vietnam September 17, 1969... a few days before his 21st birthday. His mother was very bitter about his death. Can you blame her?
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Nade was a great guy. I did not know Nade until Babe Ruth baseball... but got to know him better freshman year at Cros-Lex High playing football. We had some good times in study hall (...who studied...?). As I said... Nade was a great guy.
Nade Michael Stanich, PFC, US Army, KIA Vietnam 07-04-1970. My good buddy, Barry, was a classmate and friend of Nade's. Barry did not find out that Nade was killed until Barry visited the traveling Wall. Barry was out-processing out from Vietnam and returning home that week. Nade's death hit Barry really hard... almost thirty years later.
It is difficult to visit the wall and my friends. So, this is a tribute for them and a place that I can visit more often.
Each man and woman on the Wall left family, friends, and a community to serve their country. They did their duty. They died far from home. They are missed by their friends, but are not forgotten.