RONALD R NORTHROP
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HONORED ON PANEL 4W, LINE 39 OF THE WALL

RONALD ROBERT NORTHROP

WALL NAME

RONALD R NORTHROP

PANEL / LINE

4W/39

DATE OF BIRTH

10/16/1947

CASUALTY PROVINCE

GIA DINH

DATE OF CASUALTY

03/11/1971

HOME OF RECORD

KANSAS CITY

COUNTY OF RECORD

Cass County

STATE

MO

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

SP5

Book a time
Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR RONALD ROBERT NORTHROP
POSTED ON 8.23.2006
POSTED BY: Donn Smith

Mark's big brother

Ron's younger brother, Mark, was my age. Mark played drums and Ron guitar in the cheesy garage band we had. We always looked up to Ron, but wouldn't let him know it. The thing I remember most when we'd be out goofing off was how protective of Mark Ron was. We were so young. I lost track of Mark after high school. My uncle gave me my own vacation in Southeast Asia...but I came home. Why me and not Ron?

Ron, man, I still look up to you!

Donn
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POSTED ON 3.11.2004
POSTED BY: Ashley Kiefer

You will always be a hero

Dear Ronald,
In a class at Gridley High School, we are doing a Gridley High School Posting Project to show our appreciation to those who lost their lives fighting for their country. Leaving for war knowing there is a chance you aren’t coming back had to give you a sick feeling. I am grateful that you made that decision to fight no matter what the consequences were. That shows an immeasurable amount of bravery and loyalty. It would remarkable if every American had that kind of devotion to their country. Thank you for all you have done for America.

Sincerely,
Ashley Kiefer
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POSTED ON 2.28.2003
POSTED BY: Larry D. Epstein

It was supposed to be me.

I can't remember when I first met Ron, but we briefly served together at Phu Bai, Vietnam. I too was a Vietnamese linguist. On guard duty with him at Phu Bai in 1970, I learned what a bright, idealistic, decent, and good-hearted man he was. Without his moustache, he would have looked all of 16 years old, but what most distinguished him from the rest of us was his incredible innocence. Everyone (soldiers, house maids, etc.) was fond of this man who lit up a room or a bunker with his enthusiasm for life. His Vietnamese nickname with the "Mama-sans" was Ong Ninh.

I moved on to more of a field unit up in Quang Tri Province. In March of 1971, I was returning from an R&R and was stranded in Phu Bai by bad weather. Frankly, I had overstayed my welcome away from my own unit. Some officer or senior NCO who knew I was in camp at Phu Bai doing nothing asked if I would take a linguistic mission to Saigon. I had nothing else to do and felt no danger in such a mission. I gladly volunteered. When Ron found out that I was making the trip to Saigon, he asked if he could go in my place. I think all the guys suspected that he had a girlfriend in Saigon. My response to his request was, "Sure, if you can get it approved, be my guest." He got it approved, and he died on that mission.

I have never known the details of his death, but I heard awful stories. I also had to choke on the notion that our country believed (in something I read) that Ron's death was not a combat death. Let me say loud and clear that when an American soldier died at the hands of Vietnamese personnel, known or unknown to be enemy soldiers, that was a combat death. Unless someone knows otherwise, Ron died a combat death in my place. That knowledge has haunted me forever.

I have visited Ron's place on the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC and on the Moving Wall when it came to Memphis. Each time, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I will never forget him, and there is a body of evidence with my psychiatrist and PTSD Counselor at VA Memphis that can attest to that.

For years, I have wanted to share this with other persons who cared about this good young man taken from us far too early.



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