Stanley Driza’s passion for life and compassion for others shone during his childhood years and later as a battlefield medic in Vietnam, although he would never fulfill his dream of a career in medicine.
“Stan was always ...a short, skinny kid, but who had the heart and the courage every football coach looks for,” his brother recalled. “Stan would do almost anything he was dared to. He did a lot of foolish things, but they were the things other boys, in their own minds, wished they could do. In all his roughness and recklessness there was a big loving heart. There were no homeless or hungry dogs or cats in our neighborhood.”
Driza enlisted in the Army in August 1965 after attending Lincoln Preparatory School and began airborne training. He had to drop out because of vision problems, and ended up training to be a medical corpsman. The 21-year-old sergeant was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division.
He died near Xom Bao Dung three days before Christmas Day 1967 while trying to help a wounded soldier to safety. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.