RALPH G HAMLIN JR
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HONORED ON PANEL 3E, LINE 118 OF THE WALL

RALPH GERALD HAMLIN JR

WALL NAME

RALPH G HAMLIN JR

PANEL / LINE

3E/118

DATE OF BIRTH

02/01/1945

CASUALTY PROVINCE

QUANG NAM

DATE OF CASUALTY

11/29/1965

HOME OF RECORD

ABINGTON

COUNTY OF RECORD

Plymouth County

STATE

MA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

MARINE CORPS

RANK

PFC

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Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR RALPH GERALD HAMLIN JR
POSTED ON 5.26.2020
POSTED BY: Judith Schurr Salzer

Remembering

We were 19 and had graduated high school in the spring of 1964 – he in a town outside of Boston, I in one near Buffalo. A year later, attending nursing school in Boston, one of my classmates arranged our blind date. She thought we might hit it off. We did. Ralph, his best friend Smokey and my classmate Joanne had been high school friends. Ralph and Smokey joined the marines after high school and had just completed basic training. They were home on leave before they were to begin their journey to Vietnam. Ralph and I had two dates. That’s all there was time for. On our last date he was in uniform. He was leaving in the morning. We enjoyed each other’s company and promised to write while he was gone. I wrote daily, he wrote daily when he was able. I shared the trials and tribulations of nursing student days, the ups and downs, the humorous and the sad. I tried to keep my letters upbeat and light. He wrote of lonely times and how he enjoyed getting my letters. His friend Sam had no one writing to him. Would I mind corresponding some with Sam as well? Of course not! I was beginning to understand just a bit about the impact of war. A strange new world for me. I corresponded with the guys for months –until the letters stopped. I was home for Thanksgiving 1965 when Joanne called. Ralph had been killed in action on November 29 – the day after my grandmother had passed away. I remember just emptiness, confusion, the inability to understand.

Eventually it hit me that I had been Ralph’s last date. Not his last date before leaving. The last date of his life. It felt like an incredible burden. The next year I joined the Army Student Nurse Program. I had a number of reasons, some spoken, some not. Remembering Ralph is in there somewhere. I served until retirement.

After the Wall was built I visited a number of times – each time finding Ralph’s name just to say “hi.” So much lost potential on that Wall. It’s always a spiritual experience for me. Finally, a few years ago I decided it was time to say goodbye. I made a pilgrimage to the Wall with all of Ralph’s letters and the pictures he had sent me. Through my tears I left the small bundle at the foot of the granite slab bearing his name. I knew they would become part of the permanent collection of mementos left at the wall. It was important to me that Ralph would be remembered in history. I'm now 74 - and will never forget.

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POSTED ON 6.15.2019
POSTED BY: Ken Lovell, Green Harbor MA

Thank you

I never had the honor of meeting Ralph, and yet he had a positive influence on my life. I'll always be grateful for him. Thank you.
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POSTED ON 3.15.2019
POSTED BY: Lucy Micik

Thank You

Dear PFC Ralph Hamlin,
Thank you for your service a Machine Gunner. Today is the Ides of March. The war was years ago, but we all need to acknowledge the sacrifices of those like you who answered our nation's call. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.
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POSTED ON 10.17.2015
POSTED BY: SFC Timothy Paone

Thank you, Ralph for your sacrifice for me, the son of your high school friend, Judy McGowan

Ralph, I wasn't even born when you gave your life in Viet-Nam. I only know about you from my mother's high school yearbook, which I inherited a little over a year ago when my grandfather passed away. Unfortunately, Judy died in 1985 when I was still a kid. My mom kept up with her friends for years, and I saw next to your name that you died in Vietnam. I came to visit you at Arlington last week, and found your name on the wall. As an active duty Green Beret, I want to first off say that I aspire to emulate your courage every day, and let you know that I will always remember you, though we never met. Semper Fi, Marine! I hope to earn my place next to you in heaven.
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POSTED ON 2.2.2014

jim bourget [email protected]