Ernest Franz Kauer
Ernie was born March 22, 1936 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In 1954, he enlisted for the first time in the United States Marine Corps. After completing his first Vietnam tour, he met a friend who was about to ship out to Vietnam. He decided that night to ask his superiors to redeploy him to Vietnam, under the condition he was in the same unit as his friend, so he could see him safely through his tour. They accepted his request and he shipped back out to Vietnam. During both tours, Ernie was a gunner on a Huey Helicopter. He was positioned on an open door, often flying cover behind the planes that dropped agent orange. After serving, he returned to Syracuse, NY and met his second wife, Edith Kauer. They married on August 13, 1970. Ernie was a loving and strong father figure to her three children. He taught by example and showed what a true father and husband should be. Unfortunately, he had his first stroke at the age of 32 and was left paralyzed on his right side. That never stopped him or slowed him down. Being the independent man he was, the day he left the hospital, he taught himself how to drive, even though he was paralyzed. Over the next 13 years, he lived his life to the fullest and never let his illness or disabilities slow him down. On November 7, 1981, he passed away from his long battle with the effects of Agent Orange poisoning from his Vietnam service. He was survived by his wife, Edith, his son, Fred Kauer, and his 3 step children, Henry, Beth, and Baxter.