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

Leslie Haugness

Former Member Leslie Haugness passed away on January 28, 2021 as a result of Pancreatic Cancer.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 112 as a GMG2 onboard M-112-2 in 1966-67

William Lee Reynolds

Member William Lee “Bill” Reynolds passed away on January 11, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served with Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from May 1966 to May 1968.  Bill is survived by his wife Meg. – “My Brother “Mr. Enthusiasm “. He got the most out of anything that was going on. He was 16 months older than me and we were very close. He was not a good fisherman but he always wanted me to take him fishing. This past summer I took him out on Swan Lake in Montana and he caught a 12 pound Northern Pike. He was thrilled.  We both shared the same sense of humor, sometimes not always convenient. Bill was blind in one eye and when he beat me on every single game of pool he would always say “Bob, ya know I can only see out of one eye”. I will miss him terribly.” – Bob Reynold

Ronald Alvin Dix

Former Member Ronald Alvin Dix passed away February 24, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served with River Patrol Force (Task Force 116) in River Division 512 from January 1969 to January 1970.  Ron is survived by his wife Darlene

William Patrick Bergan

Member William Patrick Bergan passed away on March 17, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served with Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from December 1966 to November 1967.

Dennis F. Morse

Associate Member Dennis F. Morse passed away on February 22, 2021.  Dennis was a fellow “Navy Diver” friend of Member Chief Chet Stanley.  He was a great supporter of our MRFA since 1996.

Dean Ayres

Member Dean Ayres passed away on March 20, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served with the 709th Maintenance Battalion and 99th Combat Support Battalion April 1969 to May 1970.  Over the years Dean provided wonderful roasted pigs at several of our reunions.  He did an excellent job and we all partook of pulled pork sandwiches.  Dean is survived by is wife Katherine

John C. Miller

Member Chief John C. Miller (USN Ret.) passed away.  At this time we do not have a date of death.  While in Vietnam Chief Miller served with Coastal Squadron One from March 1970 to December 1970.

Thomas Leonard McLemore

Member Thomas L. “Mac” McLemore passed away on January 16, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 112 as a 20MM gunner onboard T-112-7 from December 1966 to December 1967

Larry Marlin Webb

Former Member Larry Marlin Webb passed away on April 7, 2021 after several courageous years on dialysis.  While in Vietnam Larry served with Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division from January 1967 to January 1968.

William C. Marlow

Member William C. Marlow passed away on April 21, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served with Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division in 1969-70.  William is survived by his wife of 26 years, Mary Snider Marlow.

James William Egan

Member James William Egan passed away suddenly on April 27, 2021 due to a heart attack.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 – River Assault Division 92 onboard T-92-7 from December 1967 to December 1968 as a GMG3.  His Tango boat was used to place an Army APC aboard with flame turrets as the first experiment for a Zippo Boat.  James is survived by his wife Nancy

Gary Robert Grahn
 

Member CWO2 Gary R. Grahn (USN Ret.) passed away on May 1, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 111 onboard A-111-7 from May 1968 to June 1969.  Gary retired after serving 22 years in the Navy.  He is survived by his wife Brenda

William H. Brinton
   

Member William H. “Bill” Brinton passed away on April 17, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served as a Sergeant with Bravo Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from January to April 1969.  Bill’s tour was cut short due to wounds in battle.  He is survived by his wife Elizabeth

Roger L. Tolbert Sr.

Member Roger L. Tolbert Sr. passed away on April 29, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served with Echo Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from June 1967 to June 1968.  Roger served a 2nd tour with the 101st Airborne Division.  He is survived by his wife Sara and Granddaughter Dakota

William H. Jeffers

Member William H. “Bill” Jeffers passed away on May 31, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS White River (LSMR-536) as a GMG3 from December 1966 to December 1968. – “He was a proud Member of the MRFA since 1997.  Bill attended his first M.R.F.A. reunion in 1997 and many, many more.  He was a gentle giant and will be missed.” – Bill Brennan (USS White River

David Gleen

Chief David Gleen (USN Ret.) passed away on February 11, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS Askari (ARL-30) from December 1967 to September 1968.  Chief Gleen and his wife, Gwen, passed only 3 weeks apart

Randy Eugene Butt
 

Member Randy Eugene Butt passed away on April 26, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS Mark (AKL-12) in 1968-69 and the USS Sphinx (ARL-24) in 1969.  Later he served in the U.S. Air Force from 1970-72

Steven Ray Rapp
      

Steven Ray “Steve” Rapp passed away on June 4, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served with Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 2nd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division from November 1968 to July 1969 when he was seriously wounded and medevaced back to the U.S. with life-threatening injuries.  He lived the rest of his life as a paraplegic

Joseph W. Streuli
   

Member Commander Joseph W. “Joe” Streuli (USN Ret.) passed away on July 17, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served as Commander Coastal Division 13 – Commander Task Group 115.3.7 from November 1968 to November 1969.

William Alexander Cunningham
   

Member William Alexander “Bill” Cunningham passed away on June 14, 2021 at Riverside Doctors Hospital in Williamsburg.  While in Vietnam Lieutenant Cunningham served with Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division as Company Commander from March 1968 to September 1968. Before discharge Bill was advanced to the rank of Major.  He was preceded in death by his wife Cheryll. – “As a Great Friend, Bill and I met when I was twenty and he was 27.  We were very compatible from the beginning and developed a deep trust and fellowship while in Vietnam.  We did not see each other for about 35 years or so and ran into each other at one of our reunions.  We instantly reconnected and developed a deep friendship and bond.  It is so rare to have many true friends in life and I was truly fortunate for Bill to be one of those true friends.  We will remember and miss him.” – Dave Hanna – LT Cunningham’s RT

Thomas Joseph Sanko
    

Member HMCS Thomas Joseph Sanko (USN Ret.) passed away on August 15, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS Benewah (APB-35) from October 1966 to December 1967.  Chief Sanko also served during the Korean War and retired from the U.S. Navy in 1971.  He is survived by his wife Mary

Edward J. Toth

Member Edward J. “EJ” Toth passed away on August 23, 2021.  Ed served onboard the USS Askari (ARL-30) from 1952-55 during the Korean War.  He was a huge supporter of the MRFA having joined in the early 1990’s.  Ed attended most of the reunions through the years.  He is survived by his wife, Virgene.  They were married for 65 years. – “Ed was a good man and a proud Korean War veteran.  He truly enjoyed supporting and being a part of the MRFA.” – Albert Moor

Robert G. Thacker

Member Robert G. Thacker passed away on September 17, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served with 2nd Platoon, 15th Combat Engineers, 9th Infantry Division From March 1968 to August 1969.  Robert is survived by his wife Glenna.

Arthur Wade

Member Arthur Wade passed away on September 16, 2021.  While in Vietnam he served with Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division in 1966-1968.  Arthur is survived by his wife Judy.

Richard Jay Santone
   

Member Richard Jay Santone passed away on October 3, 2021 following a brief illness.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 13 – River Assault Division 132 as a BM3 onboard A-132-2 from September 1968 to July 1969.  Rich was then transferred to Mine Division 112 from July – September 1969 to complete his tour of duty

James A. Wooten
   

Member Senior Chief James A. Wooten (USN Ret.) passed away on August 29, 2021 primarily due to Agent Orange diseases.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15 – River Assault Division 152 as a Plankowner Boat Captain on M-152-1 from June 1968 to June 1969.  Chief Wooten served a 2nd tour of duty as a Naval Advisor to the South Vietnamese Navy while stationed at Solid Anchor from 1970-71.  James was married to his wife, Dixie, for 59 years.

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.