HAROLD EUGENE WILKINS
HAROLD E WILKINS
Thank God for American Heroes
Dear SP4 Harold Eugene Wilkins, Sir
As a fellow North Carolinian, 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.
With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir
Curt Carter (son of Sgt. Ardon William Carter, 101st Airborne, died February 4, 1966, South Vietnam)
It has been 44 years since that night sp4 Wilkins was killed and I have never forgotten. I was with him and the rest of the men that was killed and wounded that night may we never forget
Second newspaper article
by Jerry Bayliff
17 November 1965
Mrs. C.B. Wilkens (sic) has been married for 27 years. Her husband drives a truck and their family consists of five girls.
Before last Friday...they had a son.
Now that son, Harold, is dead, the victim of Communist mortar fire in South Viet Nam. The 23-year-old Wilkens was the first man from Lincoln County to be fatally wounded in that far off, bloody, battleground.
An old, unpainted, house sitting in a grove of trees in the North Brook III community is the Wilkens' family home. The wind whistled around and through that house Tuesday afternoon and its moan reminded of the sounds of death.
Mr. Wilkens sat in a chair in the small living room and didn't say much. Mrs. Wilkens talked of her son; what he was like and how he lived; and the pain and sorrow in her voice made the wind seem friendly by comparison. "He wasn't like other boys. He was nice and quiet and like to stay around home," she said.
Harold graduated from Newbold High School in 1962 and worked for a while at Guy Frye Trucking Company in Hickory and worked for a short time at the Country Club in Asheville.
The young man liked electronics and took a correspondence course in
the field. He also like to draw but never studied the subject.
The streak of white in her hair accentuarting her sad memories, Mrs. Wilkens said, "He was a good boy. He was brought up in the Church of God and attended Sunday School and church."
Wilkens' sister said that he did not have many close friends and did not run around "with the crowd. That's why he was different," she said.
Harold was home for about a week last December before Christmas. He didn't come home often because he had to ride buses for long distances and after he arrived in Lincolnton he would always have to catch a cab for the long ride out to western Lincoln County.
The young man had been drafted into the Army and was due for release from the service next March when his two year hitch was up.
Harold's body will be home in 10 days to two weeks and he will be burried in the Lawndale Church of God cemetery. A full military escort and funeral will be provided by the Army.
Know ye well, my friend...that little family in the rambshackled house in that small grove of trees have paid a price for us all.