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POSTED ON 4.3.2008
POSTED BY: Charles G. White

Memorial Dedication - Fort Sill 2006

In Honor of Pedro DeHerrera [Killed in Action on 08 Aug 1969]

Below is the speech given by Ava DeHerrera, daughter of 1SG Pedro DeHerrera, at our reunion banquet on August 12, 2006. Ms. DeHerrera was our special guest at our reunion August 10-12, 2006, and at the dedication of our Memorial Monument at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Hello, my name is Ava DeHerrera and my father was Sgt. 1st Class Pedro DeHerrera [the "Wall" lists him as First Sgt.]. He was born in the oldest town in Colorado named San Luis. He was one of thirteen brothers and sisters. Although I don't know much about his upbringing, I do know he was raised by another family, as his mother died when he was born. He was very poor and left to join the army at sixteen years of age. I believe he met my mother in Pueblo, Colorado, when they were both in their early 20's. My mother was a waitress and my father was already in the service. I don't know how long their courtship lasted, but they did get married and off to Germany they went for my dad's first tour of duty. It was there that my oldest brother Jerry was born. I was next; born in Lawton, Oklahoma. My younger sister, Cindy, was then born in Pueblo, Colorado, and then back to Germany for one more tour of duty where the last child was born, my youngest brother Eugene.

In 1968, when we came back to the states, my father bought a brand new car and drove across the United States. He took us to places he had never been to. We drove from Washington DC to Colorado. In Washington we saw the White House and I even have those pictures to this day, where I was wearing a pleated skirt and I was so chunky I looked like an accordion. My father then took us to see a Baltimore Orioles game and then drove through Kansas to look for tornadoes. We finally made it to Colorado which is where our home was.

All the kids in the neighborhood loved my father. He was a very kind and giving man. He would fix the kids’ bicycles and take us all for a ride in his jeep to some cliffs. He would back up to the cliffs as if he was going to go over and I would start screaming, "Let me out, Let me out." All the kids would laugh at me, but I didn't care, I was going to be safe.

I remember the day my dad left to Vietnam. My uncles, "his brothers" were at the house with him, I was watching a movie called "How to kill a mocking bird." I remember my mom telling me my dad was leaving; he was going to be gone for a long time. I didn't want to hear this; I just wanted to watch this movie to escape the inevitable. I wanted to stay focused and not hear what my mother was saying to me. My father came to say good bye, I hugged and kissed him and told him I loved him and he said to be strong and to help my mother.

We wrote to my father often and I remember one time he had told me to save my money, because when he returns we were going to Disneyland. So I taped money to a letter and mailed it off to him. Months passed and I got the same envelope back with the money still taped to the letter. My father had been killed in Vietnam, it was August 8, 1969. My whole world as I knew it had just been turned upside down. Shortly after my mother started to drink. My oldest brother and I started to get out of hand and the other two kids were young and naive. In six years my mother died of cirrhosis of the liver. My brothers, sister, and I went to live with my dad's brother Lico and his wife Rachael in Boone, Colorado. But my oldest brother Jerry and I were teenagers by now and wouldn't' listen to any one, so we went to live on our own. Jerry graduated from high school and a few years later, so did I. 1 knew I had to stay in school because people would say to me "Your dad set you up for life" I didn't really know what it meant at the time, but I knew that if I stopped going to school I wouldn't receive my social security and VA benefits. The youngest Cindy and Gene stayed living with our Aunt and Uncle. They both graduated high school and all four of us continued our education and graduated from college. I know in my heart I needed to continue my education; not only to have a better life for myself and my kids but also to not let my fathers' death be in vain. My father went to Vietnam and died for what he believed in; "A better country and a safe and secure future for his family."

Ava DeHerrera
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POSTED ON 6.22.2006
POSTED BY: Bill Nelson



"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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POSTED ON 4.4.2006
POSTED BY: Ave DeHerrera


POSTED ON 8.8.2003
POSTED BY: Dave Avery

Who Shall We Send

"An God said who shall we send.I answered I am here,send me."

Isaiah 6:8

Et Lux Perpetua Luceat Eis
Requiescant in Pace
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POSTED ON 7.9.2003
POSTED BY: Rev. Erik J. Gramling

Thank you

I was born on Aug. 8, 1969. I found this site and did a search of those who died on my birthdate in Vietnam. I was so moved to read about them. I wanted to leave a note on this page to honor this man for his sacrifice in service to our country. While my parents and friends rejoiced, his weeped. I am now 33, and realize more clearly that every birthday that I celebrate is a day of rememberance for this young soldier's family and friends. I will remember him from now on as well.
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