The Wall of Faces

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MARVIN EARL BELL

  • Wall Name:MARVIN E BELL
  • Date of Birth:7/27/1943
  • Date of Casualty:6/30/1970
  • Home of Record:BLYTHEVILLE
  • County of Record:MISSISSIPPI COUNTY
  • State:AR
  • Branch of Service:AIR FORCE
  • Rank:SSGT
  • Panel/Line: 9W, 102
  • Casualty Province:LZ

HOWARD EUGENE CAFFERY

  • Wall Name:HOWARD E CAFFERY
  • Date of Birth:12/10/1949
  • Date of Casualty:6/30/1970
  • Home of Record:ST LOUIS
  • County of Record:ST. LOUIS CITY
  • State:MO
  • Branch of Service:ARMY
  • Rank:SGT
  • Panel/Line: 9W, 103
  • Casualty Province:

JOHN LAWRENCE BURGESS


is honored on Panel 9W, Line 104 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance

REMEMBRANCES

  • Correction

    Posted on 8/15/17 - by Lucy Conte Micik Bennysgift@gmail.com
    Sorry, I read the wrong line. You were a Flight Qualified Huey, UH-1 Helicopter Repairer. I am glad you were found in 2012. Welcome home.
    It is important for us all to acknowledge the sacrifices of those like you who answered our nation's call. Please watch over America, it stills needs your courage and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.
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  • Thank You

    Posted on 8/15/17 - by Lucy Conte Micik Bennysgift@gmail.com
    Dear Spec 5 John Burgess,
    Thank you for your service as an Infantryman with the 1st Cavalry. Mike was also 1st Cav, and killed in Phuoc Long. Say hi to him. It is important for us all to acknowledge the sacrifices of those like you who answered our nation's call. Please watch over America, it stills needs your courage and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.
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  • REMAINS OF LONG LOST YOUNG NATIVE AMERICAN ARMY SOLDIER FINALLY RETURNED HOME AFTER 43 YEARS

    Posted on 8/1/17 - by CLAY MARSTON CLAYMARSTON@HOTMAIL.COM

    REMAINS OF LONG LOST YOUNG NATIVE AMERICAN

    ARMY SOLDIER FINALLY RETURNED HOME AFTER 43 YEARS

    An Army aviator who was shot down over Vietnam 43 years ago Sunday finally made the long trip home and was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery this week.

    Specialist 5 John L. Burgess, 21, was the chief of a five-man crew when their helicopter was hit and crashed into the thick jungles of South Vietnam on 30 June 1970.

    The remains of three crew members were recovered, but the remains of Burgess could not be found — setting in motion a 20-year effort by the Defense Department’s Prisoner of War / Missing Personnel Office to find and identify his remains.
    That mission ended Tuesday when Burgess was buried with full honors at Arlington in a ceremony attended by friends and family.

    Rick Van Weezel, Burgess‘ only son, was nearly 2 years old when his father’s helicopter went down. Adopted by a Michigan family shortly after his father’s death, Mr. Van Weezel in recent years had begun piecing together who his father was.

    During Tuesday’s ceremony, he received a folded American flag.
    “ It really hit when I got to Arlington. I did not realize that I was getting the flag,” said Mr. Van Weezel, 44. “ When the officer came up to talk to me, I was just trying to get over that. I was shocked.”

    At the ceremony, Mr. Van Weezel, a father of three, met other family members he had never known, yet he felt an unspoken bond with them.

    “ It brought us together,” he said. “ It was unbelievable to see them.”

    The lone survivor of the crash — John Goosman — also attended the ceremony with his daughter. He said he remembers that day “ like it was yesterday.”

    He was a 19-year-old gunner, a private, and he managed to pull his wounded commander, 1st Lt. Leslie F. Douglas Jr., from the wreckage before it burst into flames. The 25-year-old Army officer died in his arms, and three other crew mates perished in the chopper.

    On an online memorial page, Mr. Goosman had posted: “ My only regret on 30 June 1970 is the fact that I was not able to get 1st Lt. Richard Dyer, co-pilot; SP-5 John L. Burgess, crew chief; and [Sgt. 1st Class Juan] Colon-Diaz, Infantry, out of the HUEY before the explosion; I have lived with this regret all of my life.”

    An Army team recovered remains from the crash site before it was overrun by enemy fighters, and placed them in three body bags. However, it was later determined that those remains were only Dyer’s and Colon-Diaz’s.

    During the ensuing years, researchers from the Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command combed the crash site and, using forensic and other evidence, determined that Burgess‘ remains were among those later recovered.

    Remains of the three crewmen were buried together Tuesday, even though Dyer and Colon-Diaz had received separate burials decades ago.

    “ It was bittersweet. It was a lot of years and tears, brought back a lot of things you try to forget over 43 years,” Mr. Goosman, 62, said of the ceremony. “ It was a wonderful experience for the family to know their loved ones are in a place of honor, and that this whole craziness wasn’t just forgotten.”

    Mr. Goosman, who is the founder and CEO of a small manufacturing company in Orange, California, encourages service members to have the courage to talk with family members of fallen comrades.
    “ They don’t realize how much healing it will bring to them. They’re desperate for a photo, a story, what kind of mission they were on,” he said.

    According to family members’ online postings, Burgess was an Ottawa Indian born on 5 April 1949, in the village of Peshawbestown, Michigan. He and three siblings were adopted by the Burgess family in Kingsley, Michigan.

    Burgess was an athlete who played basketball in high school and worked as a camp counselor in the summer. He enlisted in the Army after high school, and started his Vietnam tour on 1 August 1969, in Phuoc Long Province, serving with the “ Good Deal Company ” of the 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry.

    According to cousin Art Dembinski, Burgess‘ grandfather was a World War II veteran and his great-grandfather fought in the Civil War.

    “ We have never forgotten you,” Burgess‘ niece, Miranda Smith stated. “ We all hope you are in a much happier place.”

    THE WASHINGTON TIMES

    3 JULY 2013



    R E M E M B R A N C E

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  • IN REMEMBRANCE OF THIS FINE YOUNG NATIVE AMERICAN ARMY SOLDIER WHOSE NAME SHALL LIVE FOREVER MORE

    Posted on 8/1/17 - by CLAY MARSTON CLAYMARSTON@HOTMAIL.COM



    Hundreds of people are expected to memorialize John Lawrence Burgess on Saturday morning, paying tribute to a young Native American man whose dreams of a professional basketball career ended with a fiery helicopter crash in Vietnam.

    Burgess was honored earlier this summer at Arlington National Cemetery. Soil taken from the Arlington grave will be put on his grave site in Kingsley, said Jack Pickard, who is organizing the memorial.

    “ There were five of us from our class in Vietnam at the same time, and all but John came home,” Pickard said. “ I got there the month John went down (in June), and I knew he’d gone down in July sometime. That set me on edge for the rest of my tour.”

    Burgess was originally born Larry Waukazoo in a family of eight children. He was adopted by the Burgess family, along with a sister and brother when they were preschoolers.

    The superb athlete and basketball standout graduated from Kingsley High School in 1967 and joined the United States Army a year later to serve his country.

    Burgess was two weeks away from a leave when he was reported as Missing In Action when his UH-1H Iroquois helicopter was shot down near the Cambodian/South Vietnam border on 30 June 1970. Only one of the five-man crew survived. The body of Burgess was never recovered.

    The final recovered remains of Burgess and two other servicemen were grouped in a single casket and buried at Arlington on 2 July.

    Pickard attended the ceremony, along with about 20 of Burgess’s friends and relatives.

    “ The military honor guard took the casket off the horse carriage and carried it into the church ...,” he said. “ They did it with such precision. It was just amazing.”

    Pickard said a few words in Arlington about their tight friendship.

    “ I talked about how we had fist fights, real ones, then we’d turn around and grab something to eat,” he said. “ How he worked two different jobs and still went to school and did sports.”

    Peggy Hardley of Traverse City, a biological sister who grew up in foster homes, said she plans to talk Saturday about Louise Burgess, John’s adoptive mother, on Saturday.

    “ She never hid it from him he was adopted. She told him he was native American and always took him back to Peshawbestown where he was born and lived so he knew where he came from,” she said.

    Burgess’s great-grandfather was a Civil War sharpshooter and his grandfather served in World War I. He was also the great-great-grandson of Pen-dun-wan, Chief Peter Waukazoo, according to an earlier Record-Eagle interview with genealogist Art Dembinkski.

    Hardley said Burgess’s brother Ron Waukazoo also served in Vietnam, but won’t attend Saturday’s memorial.

    “ This story is too close to him,” she said.

    Burgess left behind a son, Richard Van Weezel, who was born to Darleen Van Weezel, whom he dated in high school. She raised Richard with her husband, who adopted him.

    Richard is unable to attend Saturday, said Darleen in a phone interview from her Texas home.

    “ It will be closure for his son. He was in Washington; he did receive the flag,” she said.

    Pickard said that organizing the Kingsley memorial has triggered memories of Vietnam and the question of why some came home while others didn’t.

    The memorial is sponsored by the Grand Traverse Area Veterans Coalition and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. It begins at 8 a.m. with donuts and coffee at Kingsley High School. Services start at 9 a.m. Afterward, participants will proceed to the Evergreen Cemetery, 3456 East M-113, where Burgess has a grave site and marker. Elmer’s Crane & Dozer will be at the high school to display a large U.S. flag.

    TRAVERSE CITY RECORD EAGLE

    27 September 2013


    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    IN REMEMBRANCE OF THIS

    FINE YOUNG NATIVE AMERICAN ARMY SOLDIER

    WHOSE NAME SHALL LIVE FOREVER MORE


    SPECIALIST 5

    JOHN LAWRENCE BURGESS


    who served with


    COMPANY B

    227th ASSAULT HELICOPTER BATTALION

    " FIRST ATTACK "

    11th AVIATION GROUP

    " WE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE "

    1st CAVALRY DIVISION ( AIRBORNE )

    " THE FIRST TEAM "


    was a posthumous recipient

    of the following

    military decorations

    and service medals


    PURPLE HEART

    AIR MEDAL

    NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL

    VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL with bronze star

    REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM CAMPAIGN SERVICE MEDAL


    and was entitled to wear


    ARMY AIRCREW WINGS





    YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN

    NOR SHALL YOU EVER BE





    R E M E M B R A N C E


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  • Never forgotten

    Posted on 7/30/17
    I am posting this in hopes the family of John will see it. I am a veteran I and my wife are very active in veteran groups and she has worn a bracelet with John's name for quite a few years. Now that John is home. We would like a member of the family to have it. If you will contact me at the email below. We would be honored to mail the bracelet to you.
    MORE
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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.