Introduction Marion Troy "Butch" Eakins was workin' at the Caterpillar Plant in Peoria, Illinois and he was minding his own business back in the Spring of
1966 when he abruptly received his "Greetings" letter from Uncle Sam.
Before he knew it, he found himself at Fort Riley, Kansas learning a completely different kind of job. However, Butch was a good natured young man and he was very well acquainted with hard work, so he quickly adapted to the rigors of infantry training. You see, Butch was already experiencing a rough life - both, his mother and father had died while he was very young.
At Fort Riley, we Charlie Company troopers endured a tough training program in what I considered extreme weather
conditions (many of us were from Southern California).
While the weeks and months rolled by, we became proficient soldiers and we became a team as we readied for war. I have always thought that, that time when we were young and when we were soldiers in a unique fighting unit (The Mobile Riverine Force), brought us together as an extended family. Butch was an excellent soldier, he was a good friend and he was a loyal American. Butch gave his life for his country during a brutal firefight with a strong Viet Cong force in the Mekong Delta on July 11, 1967. Butch was a tough fighter and he died a hero that terrible day. And so, Butch, you will always remain in our family and you will never be forgotten
... Bill Reynolds - April 22, 2002