Hero is coming home after 45 yearsPosted on 4/14/15Sgt. Griffin’s remains have been found and he appears destined for a proper burial at Arlington National Cemetery.MORE
Services April 25th, 2015 at Centralia MO high school auditorium 10am
East Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery *
ID 2015Posted on 3/31/15 - by TFHe has been ID 3/30/2015MORE
We Wil Never Forget YouPosted on 3/23/15 - by Barbara LewisDear Rodney,MORE
I wore your POW bracelet for over two years until everyone was home. I still have it and now I see your face. This will be kept in my memory box for my son or grandson to keep too.
God bless your family as well, for your service.
RIP Rodney GriffinPosted on 3/4/15 - by Debra Spauldin SullivanI grew up in Centralia MO graduating in 1976. I remember well when our town received the news you were MIA. You were last seen by your crewmates returning fire to the enemy, never to be seen again. I was one of many that wore your metal bracelet for many years. You remained in many of our prayers all of these years, praying for a miracle that you would be found...hopefully alive but if not, at least found and brought back home to rest in peace. Now your family has received the very, very long awaited news that your remains have been found. Thank you, dear soldier, for giving your life for my freedom. You have never and will never be forgotten. .MORE
Remembering An American HeroPosted on 4/12/14 - by Curt Carter email@example.comDear SGT Rodney Lynn Griffin, sirMORE
As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice 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. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.
With respect, Sir
RememberedPosted on 5/13/11 MORE
WE GREW UP TOGETHERPosted on 10/11/07 - by Mike Engert firstname.lastname@example.orgRodney from 2nd grade to 12th grade we shared alot of good times and I thank God for the memories of you, always a block away in the neighborhood. playing army and backyard football. I know you will come home and will see each other again , love ya, mike engertMORE
Never ForgottenPosted on 3/19/07 - by Evelyn Borremans-Sparkman email@example.comI have worn your braclet for more than 30 years,I want you to come home,to be honored as the hero you are. I will wear the braclet until you are finally home.MORE
Never ForgottenPosted on 3/9/06 - by Bill Nelson firstname.lastname@example.orgFOREVER REMEMBEREDMORE
"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
IN REMEMBRANCE OF THIS FINE YOUNG UNITED STATES ARMY SERVICEMAN WHOSE NAME SHALL LIVE FOREVER MOREPosted on 12/15/05 - by CLAY MARSTON CMARSTON@INTERLOG.COM
RODNEY LYNN GRIFFIN
HEADQUARTERS & HEADQUARTERS COMPANY
34th ARMOR REGIMENT
" DREADNAUGHTS "
25th INFANTRY DIVISION
" TROPIC LIGHTNING "
Other Personnel In Incident:
CWO Michael Banard Varnado
Staff Sergeant Bunyan Durant Price Jr.
Sergeant Rodney Lynn Griffin
Major Dale Wayne Richardson
( all remain as being Missing In Action )
Specialist 4 Frederick H. Crowson
WO1 Daniel F. Maslowski
( are returned POWs )
SP4 Tommy Karreci ( evaded and escaped )
On 2 May 1970 a UH1H helicopter from Company B, 229th Aviation Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division flown by WO1 Michael Banard Varnado was hit by ground fire and forced to land just over the border of South Vietnam near the city of Memot, Cambodia.
The aircraft was transporting members of HHC, 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, SP4 Rodney Lynn Griffin; SP4 Bunyan Durant Price Jr.; WO1 Daniel F. Maslowski; Captain Dale Wayne Richardson; and Captain Robert Milton Young.
Also aboard were SP4 Tommy Karreci, SP4 Frederick H. Crowson, and WO1 Daniel F. Maslowski, crew members of the aircraft.
The men were part of an attempt to stop North Vietnamese forces from gaining strongholds in Cambodia.
President Nixon announced the request by Cambodia for American assistance on 30 April.
Had we not assisted, the North Vietnamese, in addition to having an effective sanctuary to which they could retreat without retaliation, would also have South Vietnam completely outflanked.
The crew all survived the crash, and had only 30 - 40 seconds on the ground to decide what to do.
They all attempted to evade, each in different directions.
Only 18-year-old Karreci managed to make it back to U.S. lines in 2 or 3 days.
Crowson, Maslowski, Varnado and Young went in one direction and were all captured by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces.
Price, according to Defense Department records, was also captured.
Griffin and Richardson took off in another direction and were never seen again.
Crowson and Maslowski were released in 1973 and in their debriefings stated that WO1 Varnado and Captain Young had died in captivity, while detained in Cambodia.
The Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam (PRG) officially acknowledged their deaths, listing Varnado's death as 21 September 1970, and Young's death as 17 November 1972.
According to Dan Maslowski, Bob Young died of illness in Dan's arms in the fall of 1972.
Maslowski saw Varnado about two months after capture.
" Vito " had been shot in the leg and in the side when he was captured, and according to Dan, " looked like hell ".
His side wound had healed, but the wound in his leg, in the kneecap, was badly infected.
He could not walk, and told Maslowski that the Viet Cong had been transporting him in a hammock.
The Viet Cong had told Varnado that he was to be taken to a hospital to have his leg taken care of.
The Vietnamese state that he died two months after Dan saw him in camp ( about 4 months after capture ).
On 1 August 1989, it was announced that the Vietnamese had " discovered " the remains of Michael Varnado, returned them to the U.S.
His remains were positively identified, much to the relief of family and surviving comrades, and Michael Varnado could finally be buried with the honor he deserved.
The remains identification did not contradict that Vietnamese statement that Varnado died four months after capture.
The fate of Price is uncertain.
Maslowski always believed Price had been captured, but never saw him in camps he was held in.
One report from escaped ARVN POWs stated that he was captured by the Khmer and because the ethnic groups normally did not cooperate, the Khmer would not likely have given Price over to the Vietnamese, who had captured the other four.
Since 1973, nearly 10,000 reports have been given to the U.S. Government regarding Americans still missing in Southeast Asia.
Some, according to U.S. State Department sources, have withstood the " closest scrutiny " possible, and cannot be disputed.
There is very strong reason to believe that Americans are still held captive in Southeast Asia today, yet President after President has failed to would bring them home.
THE FOLLOWING HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY
BITS 'N' PIECES
6 December 1997
Remains Identified -
According to the Pentagon, the remains of two servicemen have been declared identified.
The name of one serviceman, lost in Laos, is being withheld at the request of the family.
Identified was Army Captain Robert Milton Young of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.
Young was one of eight aboard a UH-1H lost on 2 May 1970.
Of the eight crew members one evaded captivity, making it back to friendly lines.
Three others, Bunyan Durant Price Jr., Rodney Lynn Griffin and Dale Wayne Richardson are missing.
According to the Pentagon, these three died at the crash site.
Four others, Frederick Crowson, Daniel Maslowski, Michael Varnado and Robert Young were captured.
Crowson and Maslowski returned during Operation Homecoming.
The Provisional Revolutionary Government listed Michael Varnado and Robert Young as " died in captivity ".
Returnees Crowson and Maslowski reported that they witnessed Young's death and believed that Varnado had also died although they did not witness his death.
The Vietnamese returned remains identified as Michael Varnado in 1989.
A Pentagon " Memorandum for Correspondents ", released 25 November 1997, states " In 1989, the Vietnamese unilaterally repatriated remains believed to be those of U.S. servicemen. One of the boxes was determined to contain the remains of the servicemember who died in captivity with Young. ( This was Michael Varnado ). Analysis of different remains by the Central
Identification Laboratory Hawaii resulted in a putative association with Young, however, records were too limited to conclusively identify them as his."
" By 1996, through advances in mitochondrial DNA technology, the remains previously turned over in 1989 were determined to be those of Young."
The Memorandum ended stating " The U.S. government welcomes and appreciates the cooperation of the governments of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic which resulted in the accounting of these servicemen. We hope that such cooperation will bring increased results in the future. Achieving the fullest possible accounting for these Americans is of the highest national priority."
Both Young and Varnado " died in captivity " so why did it take the Vietnamese 16 years to " locate " their remains. Approximately 25 servicemen listed as " died in captivity ", by the Vietnamese, have yet to be returned.
As for the mt-DNA identification, in the days ahead, you might find out a mt-dna identification is not worth the paper they are printed on.
May You Soon Be Home!Posted on 8/8/04 - by Dwayne Goodwin email@example.comSince I adopted you as a POW, I have worked very hard to ensure your return to this land you fought so hard to defend! I will not rest until that day when you are accounted for! My father served with you and wants, so badly, to see your return home! God bless you, my friend! I will never forget you or the heroic service you gave in the defense of freedom!MORE
Thank youPosted on 5/2/04 - by Aimee Steffen firstname.lastname@example.orgI am part of the Gridley High School Posting Project from Gridley, Illinois. I am a senior there. I just wanted to say thank you for the sacrifice that you made for all of us. You are truly a hero and will always be remembered.MORE
Thank you.Posted on 5/2/04 - by K. Gaddy email@example.comBrave soldier,MORE
This posting is part of the Gridley High School Posting Project in Gridley, Illinois. On behalf of the student body of my school, I would like to thank you for your individual sacrifice for your country. You will not be forgotten.
You are not ForgottenPosted on 3/1/03 - by Bill WeldonRodney,you will always be remembered. The city of Centralia named a street after you. "RODNEY GRIFFIN STREET" You are always on our minds and hearts.MORE
Not ForgottenPosted on 2/15/03 - by Candace LokeyI have not forgotten you. I chair the Adoption Committee for The National League of Families of Prisoners of War and Missing in Action in Southeast Asia. We will always remember the 1,889 Americans still unaccounted for in Southeast Asia and the thousands of others that lost their lives. We will not stop our efforts until all of you are home where you belong.MORE
We need to reach the next generation so that they will carry on when our generation is no longer able. To do so, we are attempting to locate photographs of all the missing. If you are reading this remembrance and have a photo and/or memory of this missing American that you would like to share for our project, please contact me at:
PO Box 206
Freeport, PA 16229
If you are not familiar with our organization, please visit our web site at :
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.