Posted for: JERRY D LEWIS: REMEMBERED BY HIS SISTER JUDY LEWIS KING Jerry was born in December 1, 1941 in Chickasha Oklahoma to Gladys and Merle Lewis who later moved to Oklahoma City when Jerry was a small child. We lived in a working class neighborhood on the south side of Oklahoma City when we were growing up. This was a typical post world war two tract housing community where all the houses looked very much alike and were primarily financed through low interest G.I. Loans. This was the beginning of the baby boom generation. Jerry was a relatively small kid with thick dark red hair who seemed to be sick a lot. When he was about 10 or 11 he was diagnosed as having Polio. Momma spent many a relentless hour working Jerry's muscles in warm water, massaging his legs both to try to relieve some pain, but also to reactivate his muscle tone, hopefully for him to walk again. Eventually he recovered, but was still somewhat sickly and small (5' 5") all through school, as a result he was picked on and bullied by other kids. At some point Jerry started hanging around with a group of boys that had a reputation for being pretty tough. By today's standards it would not really be considered much of a gang. Mostly a group of middleclass kids who had ducktail haircuts, low slung Levi's, and white tee shirt, you. know, (cigarettes stuffed in a rolled up sleeve), who occasionally skip school or maybe stole a hubcap or two. They were not really bad kids but they encouraged the "bad boy" reputation as a status symbol and at some level, security from other gangs. Jerry did not dress as they did, I'm not sure he even wanted to but I am sure Momma would not have let him even if he wanted to. For some reason they guys acted as Jerry's "protectors" all through high school. I remember one class he took in high school was photography, Momma and Daddy set him up a darkroom in one of our closets, the house smelled of chemicals for a long time. Then there was the time Jerry and a few of his friends was cruising along a rural road in his 56 Ford, he lost control of the car, it flipped, went off into a river, landing upside down, Jerry and/or one of the boys kicked the backed window out, that's how they were saved. After graduating Capitol Hill Senior High in 1960, he went for a short time to OSU at Stillwater. It soon became evident Jerry was not ready for college life and he dropped out and joined the U.S. Army. His basic was at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. When he joined he was still a small, and somewhat fragile young man who didn't look much like a potential warrior. Little did we know the next time we saw him he would have become a tall, muscular, and confident soldier. You cannot imagine the pride we had in seeing this immature, freckled faced, red headed kid transform into a "recruiting poster" quality soldier in his uniform when he came home on leave. Even though we were very impressed with Jerry at that time we did not realize the significance of him in being a part of the elite Airborne unit. In fact we didn't know he was assigned to the Long Range Reconnaissance until a friend of his who was stationed with him in Germany recently contacted us. Jerry re-enlisted in Germany and received orders to go to Viet Nam. He used part of his re-enlistment bonus to buy a brand new 1965 Corvair Monza. It was a dark green hard top with white leather interior. Momma kept the car until she passed away and now we have it in storage. Jerry was killed in action March 16, 1966, as a result of a head injury from a hand grenade. Since both parents have passed away I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have know my brother as an adult, maybe with children, what would it have been like to have been an aunt? But I know he is in heaven with Momma and Daddy, he told my Grandma Young, just before he left for the last time, Grandma I'm OK, I know Jesus as my Lord. I want you to know how thrilled I was to hear from you guys who knew Jerry. I can't tell you how much it has meant to me for you to have taken the time to share your memories of my brother. It is so important for me to know he has not been forgotten. One of my sons is his namesake. We visited the wall in Washington DC and saw his name carved in granite, but that is not the same as hearing from people who knew him even for a short time, they still remember. God bless you for helping me to find some measure of closure. Posted by: Judy Lewis King Email: Relationship: He is my brother Wednesday, January 2, 2002 Remembering "Red" Posted for: JERRY D LEWIS: Have you ever meant a person that with your first impression you knew everything about him? Even before you had a chance to talk to him. I remember one person that fit into that category very well but, not quite. He was a Big raw boned Red headed Farmer or logger or service station attendant or maybe he was a ball player or a race car driver or maybe a lawyer or an intern. This guy could have been any of the above. I remember this young guy with a smile on his face and a can of c rations in his over large hands. He would always offer to share any food he had with everyone there. I remember one day while we were on snow training, it was so wet and cold that a thought would freeze before you could get it out. This guy with that big old smile would go around to everyone around and ask. Do want my parka to keep warm? or are you OK? And as always with that big ol claw wrapped around a can of rats, are you hungry? Inside of this care free guy there was also the trooper that would stand toe to toe with the biggest bad ass of the company and would not back down under any circumstances. He would take charge of a given situation and maintain control as long as needed to continue the mission. If you were in trouble he was there to help you, and would not leave you. He loved to jump he even took up skydiving. This young guy must have loved life as much as he loved everything else. I think when he volunteered to go to Viet Nam, He did it to go and help. There is an old song that has a line in it that goes like this" only the good die young" Well, along with all of our LRRP brothers that died in Viet Nam, Jerry (RED) Lewis was as good as they come. Jerry wont be missed by me! I see Jerry every day. He is that kid working at the service station down the street. He is the Big cop that just passed me on the freeway. He is the doctor that takes care of my animals and friend. He is the minister at the local church. He is all of these things to me and I will never forget one thing he told me. He said "Airborne troopers never say good bye. Good by is for ever. They say see ya later buddy" I don't know were he got that from but, it works for me. I know I am not much of a writer but this is the memory I have of Red Lewis. See ya later buddy, McNasty Posted by: Pat "McNasty" Smith Email: Relationship: We served together Wednesday, January 2, 2002.