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POSTED ON 9.2.2023
POSTED BY: john fabris

do not stand at my grave and weep.....

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
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POSTED ON 7.18.2021
POSTED BY: Lucy Micik

Thank You

Dear PFC Michael Randall, Thank you for your service as an Infantryman. Saying thank you isn't enough, but it is from the heart. Independence Day just passed. Time passes quickly. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage and faithfulness, especially now. Rest in peace with the angels.
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POSTED ON 1.3.2017
POSTED BY: Tom Clark, Teacher Lake Central High School

Dog Tag

Dog tags present quest for local students
IDs of Vietnam soldiers were sold in Saigon flea market
LOUISA MURZYN Times Correspondent May 27, 2002
ST. JOHN -- From around the necks of U.S. servicemen to a hidden bowl sitting on a crowded counter in a hot and musty Saigon flea market, the dog tags of four fallen soldiers have been on a journey to the hands of the servicemen's surviving sons and daughters.

Vietnam veteran Bob McMahon, 58, of Hancock, N.H., learned that vendors were selling dog tags of American servicemen, so he made a special trip to the back-alley markets of Vietnam's largest city to purchase whatever tags he could find.

"You'd go down row by row, and it was dirty," he said. "They were in bowls, not up front, but set back. It was repulsive. It was upsetting when I first heard of them, and even when I went to get them.

"It's like they were selling memories. I had to overcome that sickening feeling and bring the tags back. There was no way I could pass them up. It would have been like leaving the men behind."

By the time he returned to the United States last summer, McMahon had nearly 3,000 tags.

He paid 16 cents each. About 220 have been returned, 40 of which were for soldiers killed in action.

He was referred in December to Lake Central High School teacher Tom Clark, who now has three tags and will be receiving one more within a month. His history students located the families.

Pilot Francis Midnight was born on July 11, 1939, and was listed as a Gary native. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado and still is missing in action.

"It's the only shred of evidence they've had in 30 years on that boy," Clark said. "They don't have the plane. Not one single item has ever been recovered."

Dennis M. Fairchild was born Oct. 8, 1948, and lived in Akron, Ind. He was in the 1st Infantry Division of the Army and was killed by small-arms fire in Binh Duong on Jan. 15, 1969.

The state will present his daughter with the tag at a special ceremony in Kokomo in September.

Michael Randall was born Nov. 17, 1945, and lived in Warsaw, Ind. He was in the 1st Infantry Division of the Army and was killed in a helicopter crash Oct. 21, 1968, in Tay Ninh. Clark will take the dog tags to Randall's son next month.

Clark inadvertently received the tag of David E. Bergfeldt, who lived in New Mexico. He was born Dec. 20, 1949, and died Dec. 23, 1969.

Bergfeldt's sister told Clark how her brother had been ambushed in Binh Duong.

"They'd turned the jeep over on them and doused it with gasoline," he said. "I got the dog tags two days (after I talked to his sister). I opened the envelope, and the tag was burned."

Those are the kind of details that convince Clark the dog tags are authentic. Midnight's tag had the date of a tetanus shot that matched his first year at the academy, information that could only be learned from a personal military file.

The return of tags to families of U.S. soldiers has been met with some controversy. Skeptics say selling counterfeit, artificially aged tags to American tourists is a cottage industry in Vietnam.

"After collecting this kind of stuff all these years, I've looked at a lot of war memorabilia -- and I know dog tags," Clark added.

"I've seen and know too much. They're discolored, burned and bent. There's still mud and dirt in the letters. By the condition they're in and the data on them, I feel they're real."

Kim Adank, 17, of Dyer, said Bergfeldt's sister is glad somebody is preserving the memory of her brother.

"Just to hold the dog tag was a moving experience," she added. "To know where it came from and what it stood for -- it's very powerful."

Alison Jaroszewski 18, of Schererville, is the head researcher and was also involved with the St. John Township Memorial.

"It's a strange, odd feeling to know you're holding something that's all that is left from this man's life," she said.

"I've gained more respect and admiration for all people who have lost their lives for their country because they're willing to do anything to make it better."
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POSTED ON 5.26.2015


Usually during a time of war soldiers get together and discuss topics such as what to do when they arrive back at the states, sports, politics, and most of all friendships. During the Vietnam War these two particular soldiers not only became very good friends to one another, they both came to make an agreement with each other. If one should not have the opportunity to make it back home after their tour, then the other was to name one of their children after them. When I was 15 years old I finally decided to ask my father how he came up with my name considering I am of the Puerto Rican descent. He then proceeded to tell me Why he named me Randall. Hello to everyone who is reading this, My name is Randall Rivera. I am the son of SSG Carlos Rafael Rivera and I was named after the late Michael Allen Randall. I am so proud to have this moment to share with all of you this amazing story and journey. For years I've wondered who Michael was and If he had any family, where would they be. Because of the internet and the countless amount of hours people are putting in today, to archive such valuable information, I finally had the opportuntity to locate who I was named after based on the information my father still knows like the back of his hand. 11B20: Infantryman, F CO (LRRP), 52ND INFANTRY, 1ST INF DIV, USARV, 1968. I am proud to say that I also am a soldier of the US Army. I am currently a SSG and a reservist for the 1004 Civil Affairs and PSYOP training brigade, located at Encino, CA. I've been a soldier now for 14 years. To the family of Michael Allen Randall, I would like for all of you to know that my father kept his word and that I am proud to carry the name. God Bless. SSG Randall Rivera US Army.
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POSTED ON 10.7.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter

Remembering An American Hero

Dear PFC Michael Allen Randall Sr, 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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