I don’t mention it much to anyone but I never stop thinking about the Deerfield alumni of my time who fell in Vietnam, especially on Memorial day:
Edward K. Marsh 1959
My recollection is that Eddie Marsh was the first to fall. He was a cheerfully positive and good-hearted guy who always had time for younger students. I seem to recall hearing that he wrote his parents shortly before his death saying he wasn’t sure he agreed with it all, but felt it was his duty to serve.
Bruce Nickerson, 1960
Bruce was a Bombardier/Navigator on a Grumman A6 Intruder who flew missions over Hanoi and one day did not return. Bruce, a fine student, and the heart of the Scroll, was typical of those who never got to make the great contribution the world awaited.
Gene Helgeson 1960
I did not know Gene but as I recall reports at the time, he was one of the C-123 pilots who continuously and unbelievably bravely delivered materiel to the troops under heavy siege at the Keh Sanh. They would come into the short airstrip with engines and brakes both at full power just long enough to unload supplies out the plane’s back ramp while in brisk taxi. All the C-123’s were under heavy fire and Gene’s was taken down. At a recent air show I went aboard a C-123 and sent him up a message of gratitude.
One my 1961 classmates and best friend, Martin Kruming fortunately came home. He earned a Silver Star when, as the lead officer of his group, went across a minefield first before giving the thumbs up for the rest of his men.
I am not a particularly flag waving guy and prefer “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” to many military airs on Memorial Day, but today we all are reminded of the uncommon valor of those who have and continue to serve us.