The Wall of Faces

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HEINRICH GERSTHEIMER

  • Wall Name:HEINRICH GERSTHEIMER
  • Date of Birth:5/16/1947
  • Date of Casualty:4/4/1968
  • Home of Record:DETROIT
  • County of Record:WAYNE COUNTY
  • State:MI
  • Branch of Service:ARMY
  • Rank:SGT
  • Panel/Line:48E, 3
  • Casualty Province:TAY NINH

ROBERT ORAL GIRDNER

  • Wall Name:ROBERT O GIRDNER
  • Date of Birth:4/16/1946
  • Date of Casualty:4/4/1968
  • Home of Record:SHAWNEE MISSION
  • County of Record:JOHNSON COUNTY
  • State:KS
  • Branch of Service:ARMY
  • Rank:PFC
  • Panel/Line:48E, 3
  • Casualty Province:KIEN HOA

TAHER FATHI GHAIS


is honored on Panel 48E, Line 3 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance

REMEMBRANCES

  • My brother Taher

    Posted on 7/14/15 - by Ahmad F. Ghais
    Six years my junior. Taher was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on leap day (29 February) 1944. He was killed in Vietnam on 4th April 1968, the same day as Rev. Martin Luther King.

    After graduating from Victoria College, Cairo, he joined me in Belmont, Mass. to study Aeronautical Engineering at Boston University. He was not interested in politics, and just wanted to fly planes. His application to enlist in the US Air Force was rejected because of some eye-sight limitation. The US Army recruiter offered to train him to fly helicopters if he became a paratrooper.

    He was first deployed to Vietnam around 1964-5 as a a member of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, then re-assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. He was awarded his first Purple Heart that first year for a bullet he received to the left shoulder.

    On furlough home after that first deployment, he was assigned to train fresh recruits at Fort Dix. Not pleased, he pulled his former commander's strings and managed to change his assignment to the 82nd Airborne Division. Shortly after reporting at Fort Bragg, the FBI suddenly appeared at my door to inquire why he was AWOL from duty at Fort Dix!

    At Fort Bragg, the Army was training him to serve as combat photographer. Immediately after the Tet Offensive early in 1968, I remember him phoning me to report that he was being re-deployed to Vietnam along with the entire 82nd. I rushed to Fayetteville, NC to see him off and collect his belongings. The sight of the fleet of C-141 lined up to airlift the paratroops was impressive. I never saw him again.

    It turns out that, in the Tet Counter Offensive, he joined the LRRP (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols), and was dropped by helicopter behind enemy lines to form a blocking force just north of Phu Bai. While marching as point for his patrol, it's said that he took three bullets while attempting to recover the bodies of his fallen comrades. That earned him the second Purple Heart, and he was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star for gallantry.


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  • Remembering an American Hero

    Posted on 1/15/13 - by Curt Carter ccarter02@earthlink.net

    Dear SP4 Taher Fathi Ghais, sir,

    As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for the ultimate sacrifice that you made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

    May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. And please know that men and women like you have stepped forward to defend our country yet again, showing the same love for country and their fellow Americans that you did- you would be proud.

    With respect, and the best salute that a civilian can muster for you.

    Curt Carter

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  • member of 82nd

    Posted on 3/22/12 - by tommy locastro
    was with this young man on aplil the 4
  • We Remember

    Posted on 11/14/09 - by Robert Sage rsage@austin.rr.com
    Taher is buried at Belmont Cemetery in Belmont, Mass.
  • Never Forgotten

    Posted on 1/30/06 - by Bill Nelson grite@yahoo.com
    FOREVER REMEMBERED

    "If you are able, save for them a place inside of you....and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go.....Be not ashamed to say you loved them....
    Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own....And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind...."

    Quote from a letter home by Maj. Michael Davis O'Donnell
    KIA 24 March 1970. Distinguished Flying Cross: Shot down and Killed while attempting to rescue 8 fellow soldiers surrounded by attacking enemy forces.

    We Nam Brothers pause to give a backward glance, and post this remembrance to you, one of the gentle heroes lost to the War in Vietnam:

    Slip off that pack. Set it down by the crooked trail. Drop your steel pot alongside. Shed those magazine-ladened bandoliers away from your sweat-soaked shirt. Lay that silent weapon down and step out of the heat. Feel the soothing cool breeze right down to your soul ... and rest forever in the shade of our love, brother.

    From your Nam-Band-Of-Brothers

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The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.

All of these photos will be showcased in The Education Center at The Wall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the effort to collect these photos and ensure their faces will never be forgotten, visit www.buildthecenter.org.