LASZLO HOLOVITS
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HONORED ON PANEL 27E, LINE 3 OF THE WALL

LASZLO HOLOVITS

WALL NAME

LASZLO HOLOVITS

PANEL / LINE

27E/3

DATE OF BIRTH

12/16/1940

CASUALTY PROVINCE

PLEIKU

DATE OF CASUALTY

09/23/1967

HOME OF RECORD

SEASIDE

COUNTY OF RECORD

Monterey County

STATE

CA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

SSGT

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Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR LASZLO HOLOVITS
POSTED ON 7.5.2019
POSTED BY: Lucy Micik

Thank You

Dear SSgt Laszlo Holovits, Thank you for your service as an Infantryman/Instructor. Yesterday was Independence Day, and there is no better time to honor you. Please watch over the USA, it still needs your strength. Rest in peace with the angels.
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POSTED ON 4.7.2019
POSTED BY: Mary DeWitt

For his Wife and Family

By James Herrera | [email protected] | Monterey Herald PUBLISHED: August 3, 2018 at 12:00 am | UPDATED: September 11, 2018 at 12:00 am

Seaside >> Dennis Lewallen, a retired U.S. Army infantryman, was searching the internet from his Kansas home recently for information on a man he had served with who had been killed in Vietnam. The name Laszlo Holovits pulled in a Monterey Herald story from 2015.
“I am trying to decide if there would be any benefit to Mrs. Holovits in contacting her,” he emailed the reporter.
Last week, Lewallen called 72-year-old Linda Holovits of Seaside to give her a first-hand account of her husband’s death more than 50 years ago.

The quest for citizenship.

Nothing much has changed since the July, 2015 story that told of Linda Holovits’ pursuit to obtain U.S. citizenship for her deceased husband.
Laszlo Holovits, a Hungarian native, was told by the military when he enlisted that serving in the U.S. Army would gain him citizenship to the country he loved, Linda said. He was killed on Sept. 23, 1967, six weeks after arriving in Vietnam. He was 26 and hadn’t completed the required paperwork for citizenship. Linda Holovits has struggled for years to get an exemption in his case and have his citizenship awarded post-posthumously.
“It’s been over 50 years and a long, long time has passed, but it still bugs me that he can’t get his citizenship, it’s just some stinking piece of paper,” she said last week.
Her congressman at the time, Sam Farr, took up her cause, but couldn’t get it done. Today, Farr’s successor, Jimmy Panetta, has taken up the charge.
“Congressman Panetta is exploring multiple ways to address the inequity, including changes to the underlying policy that will allow Sgt. Holovits and others who valiantly served and sacrificed for our county to get the recognition, and their families the peace of mind, that they deserve,” said Sarah Davey, press secretary for Rep. Panetta.

The phone call

Last week Lewallen, 71, of Beloit, Kansas, and Holovits met over the phone.
“I told her exactly what had happened that day, which was pretty close to what she had been told” by the U.S. Army, said Lewallen. “I don’t think she was ever confident that she had been told the exact details.”
Lewallen also conveyed to Holovits that her husband was in no way at fault for what happened to him.
According to the military report, Sgt. Holovits “died as the result of metal fragment wounds received when friendly forces threw a grenade at a squad mistaken for a hostile force while training the squad on combat operation.”
“We had been in combat nearly every day, and were always nervous and hypervigilant about movement in the jungle,” Lewallen said. “It was easy for something like this to happen, which didn’t make it any easier to deal with, but our survival instincts had to take over and we didn’t get to mourn until sometime years later.” said Lewallen.
The retired Army man said after reading the Herald article on Holovits, “I for some reason just felt compelled to try to reach out to Mrs. Holovits, and see if I could answer any questions she had, and in doing so, possibly give her some sort of comfort.”
Holovits said she felt better after her conversation with Lewallen.
“He’s a nice man … a gentle speaking man,” said Holovits. “He said he’s thought about me for years. I loved talking to him … it bugs him too that my husband doesn’t have citizenship.”
Holovits said her husband’s many years of training taught him that he could save lives and that is why he did what he did that night in the Pieiku Province of South Vietnam over 50 years ago.
Holovits was a decorated staff sergeant who had been in the U.S. Army for eight years when he was killed.

What happened

Lewallen provided his first-hand account of what happened the night of Sgt. Holovits was killed in the jungles of Vietnam.
“We were digging in for the night after a day of humping in the boonies. Me and another man were digging in … and we heard and saw something in front of us in the jungle.
“I told him to stay there and keep an eye out and I would go up to the command post and see if anyone was out setting up trip flares. About half way up to the command post, which was only maybe 100 feet or so, I heard a hand grenade go off, and came back down to see what was going on.
“When I had arrived, the other man that had been with me had thrown a grenade and killed our squad sergeant, Laszlo Holovits. There was another man that was with Sgt. Holovits, but he was not injured.”
Lewallen said he had wondered for years what the sergeant’s name was that got killed because “I had blocked it out of my mind.”
He wrote a letter to a man he believes was the company commander and received a response identifying Sgt. Holovits as the soldier who was killed that night.
“This happened probably seven or eight years ago, then a few weeks ago I was searching the internet for any more information on Sgt. Holovits” when he ran across the article, said Lewallen.
The former Army infantryman said in contacting Linda Holovits “it may help in my healing as well. Everything I do to help me deal with the terrors of war is painful at the time, but I think necessary.”
“I never thought I would be able to locate her, and I knew it would be hard for me to talk to her about it,” said Lewallen. “Surprisingly she was easy to talk with, and I was very comfortable visiting with her.”

After the war

Lewallen said he continues to try to make sense of the incident and many others that happened during his time in Vietnam. He said he struggles with “survivor’s guilt” and several other things that are associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I go to group therapy at a VA clinic with several other veterans with PTSD every week,” said Lewallen.
Holovits recounted the day she received the news of her husband’s death.
“When the soldiers came to tell me, it was like somebody – how do you explain death – it was just a shock to learn about it. Everything changed from that moment on. We had talked before he left for Vietnam. I asked what would happen if he didn’t come back. He said, ‘don’t worry, I’ll be back.’ But it just feels like it ended my life even though it was him who died. I still think I need to talk about it,” said Holovits.
To read the original Herald story on Linda Holovits visit https://bit.ly/2AEOk15.
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POSTED ON 9.23.2018
POSTED BY: A Grateful Vietnam Veteran

Thank You

Thank you Staff Sergeant Holovits for your devotion, leadership and courage.
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POSTED ON 9.20.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter

Remembering An American Hero

Dear SSGT Laszlo Holovits, sir

As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

Curt Carter
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POSTED ON 11.30.2009
POSTED BY: Robert Sage

We Remember

Laszlo is buried at Mission Memorial Park in Seaside, CA.
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