John Bauer

John Bauer


John Henry Bauer








October 5, 1972






John Henry Bauer was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on April 12, 1949. He was the youngest of four children born to Annetta and William Bauer. The Bauer's' moved to Phoenix, Arizona when John was seven years old. His mother always thought he was destined to be "Airborne." She told me that when he was a little boy he would climb trees and stand on top of cars to get as high as he could. In high school, as a healthy young man, he participated on the swimming and diving teams. In the spring of 1967, John enlisted the U.S. Army with his parent's permission. (He was only seventeen years old at the time). John's priority was to serve his country and be "Airborne." After boot camp, he served at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky in the 101st Airborne Division, 508th Infantry. In December 1967, he received his orders to go to Vietnam, where he served in Phan Rang for most of his tour, and was on the front lines as a communications radio operator. In January 1969, he made it home to Phoenix, Arizona a healthy young man. He was on a 30-day furlough when he returned home before he was transferred to 82nd Airborne Division, 506th Infantry, to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. While home, John bought a 1968 canary yellow Corvette. He was so proud of that car. John and I met for the first time when cruising Central Avenue one night with friends. We had a whirlwind romance. After my graduation from high school, we were married and I joined him in Ft. Bragg. John was complaining of pain in his left groin area three months prior to his discharge in March of 1970. He went to the base hospital to be checked out. The attending physician told him it was probably a pulled muscle from jumping maneuvers and gave him a hand full of Darvocets to relieve the pain. Upon his discharge, he returned home to Phoenix, Arizona. He continued to have pain in his left groin area and went to the Phoenix VA Hospital for treatment. However, he could not get any relief from his pain, and without any definitive diagnosis, he consulted civilian doctors. They were suspicious that John may have cancer. It wasn't until April 1971, over a year from his Army discharge, the doctors' diagnosed Hodgkin's disease. Although John received his service-connected disability from the VA, he never went back to the VA Hospital for medical treatment. Instead, he sought care and treatment from Good Samaritan Hospital. Although he received excellent care, he suffered from the chronic pain of the disease and the chemotherapy as the disease progressed. It took so much from him as a person to cope with this terrible, dreadful disease. On October 5, 1972, John passed away at the young age of twenty-three. Although he died with dignity he did not know that this dreadful disease was caused from exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. And, as his widow, I did not know until eighteen years later, that the service-connected, Hodgkin's disease was caused by Agent Orange. John was a "practical tease," who embraced life to its fullest. He was also a very carefree person and a loving husband. Even after all these years, I still miss him terribly and often think of those special times we had together. I am left with vivid memories of the life we shared, now replaced with faded dreams that never were.


LEFT FOR John Bauer
POSTED ON 7.9.2015

In Memory

Never Forget
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