A Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 2nd Brigade Kien Hoa Province – February 22, 1969
A Memorial to my friend Alan. By Greg Ritchey
I went to high school with Alan in San Antonio, Texas – we knew each other the full three years and we attended many classes together. We were close friends and we graduated together in 1966. I remember our senior year and after graduation, many of our friends were leaving school, going into the military and going off to Viet Nam. In our senior year, our friends Frank Centino, Eddie Moran and Dickie Gould were wounded and came back home in a matter of a few months. Alan, myself and other friends (all who later served in Viet Nam) would go visit them at Fort Sam Houston Hospital. Frank lost an eye, Eddie had shrapnel wounds and Dickie lost both legs above the knee after steppping on a land mine. I’ll never forget how brave they were.
After high school, I joined the Navy and arrived in Viet Nam in January of 1969. I was with the Mine Division 113, TF 116 River Patrol. Our boats worked with TF 117 Mobile Riverine Force and I was around many of the 9th Infantry Division Units in and around Dong Tam, but at the time I did not know that Alan was there as well. When I returned home from Viet Nam in January, 1970, I learned about Alan’s death from a mutual friend. That was a very sad day.
I remember that Alan loved Bob Dylan’s music. Just before he left for Viet Nam, he was home on leave and we went to a party with our friends. He was looking forward to his Tour of Duty, which began January 11, 1969. Over the years, I have often thought about Alan and all my brothers who gave the “Ultimate Sacrifice”. We all owe them a debt of gratitude – Please never forget them. Alan, you are not forgotten. I miss you. . .
Greg Ritchey – A friend and a brother GMG3, MSM 14,
Mine Division 113, Task Force 116
Viet Nam 01/03/69 – 12/30/69