Those gone but not forgotten

This page is dedicated to the memory of our deceased MRFA members

TAP

Our prayers and best wishes go out to those left behind. The Brothers and Sisters of the Mobile Riverine Force Association wish the departed fair winds and following seas and our thoughts will always be with you….

TAPS Tribute to a Fallen One

What moves through you is a silence, a quiet sadness, a longing for one more day, one more word, one more touch, you may not understand why he left this earth so soon, or why he left before you were ready to say good-bye, but little by little, you begin to remember not just that he died, but that he lived. And that his life gave you memories too beautiful to forget.

Remembering Vietnam Veterans
Over 2.6 million served
Over 58,000 gave their lives
They fought for freedom
They fought with honor
In the end they fought for one another

Arthur Lockhart

Member Arthur “Art” Lockhart passed away on January 6, 2018.  While in Vietnam he served in Naval Support Activity, Detachement Dong Tam from January 1968 to January 1969).  You may contact the Family C/O: Earlene Lockhart, 3050 US Highway 311, Madison, NC 27025-8445 – (336) 427-0049 bigukblue@triad.rr.com

Thomas C. Oneyear

Member Master Chief (BMCM) Thomas C. Oneyear (USN Ret.) passed away on April 7, 2018.  While in Vietnam he served with Task Force 116 (Gamewardens).  You may contact the Family C/O: Cheryl K. Oneyear, 113 Quaker Dr., Elizabeth City, NC 27909-9105 bmcmtoneyear@centurylink.net

David Donovan

Member David Donovan passed away on June 27, 2018.  While in Vietnam he served with Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from January to December 1967.

James Paul Coulson

Member James Paul Coulson passed away on March 16, 2018.  While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS Coconino County (LST-603) and the USS Outagamie County (LST-1073) from February 1968 to March 1970.  James was a resident of Columbia Falls, Montana, at the time of his passing.

Larry R. Goodman

Past Member LT Larry R. Goodman passed away on June 23, 2018.  While in Vietnam he served as the Dental Officer at An Thoi from June 1968 to June 1969.  LT Good was living in Hays, KS. At the time of his passing.

Hugh Nathan McNeal

Member Hugh Nathan McNeal passed away on July 22, 2018.  While in Vietnam he served in River Assault Squadron 15 – Division 151 as Boat Captain of T-151-4 from May 1968 to June 1969.  At the time of his passing he resided in Bennington, Oklahoma. You may contact the Family C/O his wife:  Pamela McNeal, 486 Old Church Road, Bennington, OK 74723 and his daughter, Natalie Carlgren, at ncarlgren@hotmail.com

Martin Joseph Watson, Jr.

Member Martin “Marty” Joseph Watson, Jr. passed away on August 6, 2018.  While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS Colleton (APB-36) in 1967-1968.  Martin was living in Coldwater, MI at the time of his passing.

Ross Francis O’Dowd
    

Member Ross Francis O’Dowd passed away on August 2, 2018 following a courageous battle against a rare soft tissue sarcoma related to Agent Orange exposure. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadrons 9 & 13 – Divisions 92 & 131 onboard T-92-7 and T-131-4 from August 1968 to August 1969. Ross was a resident of Apache Junction, AZ at the time of his passing.  You may contact the Family C/O his oldest son: Rossie O’Dowd, 1883 Teakwood Dr., White Lake, MI 48383 – 248-766-0877 – grumpy454@gmail.com

Dale Allen Walker
   

Dale Allen Walker passed away on April 4, 2018.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 from February to June 1969 when the Division was turned over to the South Vietnamese Navy.  Then Dale transferred to River Assault Squadron 15/Division 152 where he served as Boat Captain on A-152-21 until he was wounded on October 23, 1969.  We are not sure if he stayed in-country or was medevaced back to the United States.  Dale lived in the Jacksonville/Tyler, Texas area at the time of his passing.

Paul H. Jefferson

Member Paul H. Jefferson passed away on October 18 2018.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 13 – River Assault Division 132 onboard Tango 132-6 from May 1969 to May 1970.  You may contact the Family C/O: Debbie Jefferson, 825 Bayshore Dr. Ellenton, FL.34222 – debbiejffrson@yahoo.com

Robert Eugene Layton

Member Robert Eugene Layton passed away on February 3, 2018.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – Division 111 onboard A-111-3 from March 1968 to March 1969.  You may contact the Family C/O: Verna Layton, 1219 S Evergreen Ave, Chanute, KS 66720-2955 – (620) 431-0492 – grammyandpapa66720@yahoo.com

Walter “Steve” Vreeland

Member Walter “Steve” Vreeland passed away on June 10, 2018.  While in Vietnam he served three tours onboard the USS Page County (LST-1076) from April 1968 to January 1972.  Later Steve served in the New Jersey Army National Guard and retired after 20 years.  You may contact the Family C/O: Deborah Vreeland, 32 Colgate Rd, Oakland, NJ 07436-3625 – (201) 523-0995

Robert J. Davis
   

Robert J. Davis passed away on October 28, 2018 following a courageous battle against an extremely rare disease called “Stiff-person Syndrome” (SPS).  While in Vietnam he served with Charlie Company, 3rd Platoon, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Division from April 1968 to December 1969.  At the time of his passing Robert lived in Westville, Illinois.

 

A Soldier Died Today

Written by A. Lawrence Vaincourt
www.vaincourt.homestead.com

He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.

And ‘tho sometimes, to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened,
For they knew whereof he spoke.

But we’ll hear his tales no longer
For old Bill has passed away,
And the world’s a little poorer,
For a soldier died today.

He will not be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary
And quite uneventful life.

He held a job and raised a family,
Quietly going his own way,
And the world won’t note his passing,
Though a soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing
And proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories,
From the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
A guy who breaks his promises
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow who,
In times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country
And offers up his life?

The politician’s stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are sometimes disproportionate
To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary soldier,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps, a pension small.

It’s so easy to forget them
For it was so long ago,
That the old Bills of our Country
Went to battle, but we know,

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our Country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you want a politician
With his ever-shifting stand?

Or would you prefer a soldier,
Who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and Country
And would fight until the end?

He was just a common soldier
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his like again.

For when countries are in conflict,
Then we find the soldier’s part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
While he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage
At the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline
In a paper that would say:
Our Country is in, mourning,
For a soldier died today.