Patterson, Gary Lee, SGT

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1968-1968, 11B10, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry /A Company
Service Years
1967 - 1968


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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SP 5 Bruce W. Thompson to remember Patterson, Gary Lee, SGT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
May 24, 1968
Hostile, Died
Multiple Fragmentation Wounds
Quang Nam (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Mountain View Cemetery - Auburn, Washington
Wall/Plot Coordinates
68E 006

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 Unit Assignments
NCO Academy (Cadre) Fort Benning, GA196th Infantry Brigade (Light) 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry
  1967-1968, NCO Academy (Cadre) Fort Benning, GA
  1968-1968, 11B10, 196th Infantry Brigade (Light) /HHC
  1968-1968, 11B10, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry /A Company
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase IV Campaign (1968)/Operation Burlington Trail
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
His tour began 28 April 1968.
"He died doing what he thought was right- even though he hated it."  The comments of Rhey E. Patterson, whose son, Sgt. Gary L. Patterson, 23, was killed in action in South Vietnam 24 May(1968), carried a strange mixture of pride, sorrow, resolution and resignation.
This was a Memorial Day that Mr. and Mrs. Patterson, 4001 S. Willow St., had prayed fervently would never happened to them. Gary was their only son.
"It's hard to believe." the father said. "He was killed a year to the day from when he into the Army. But once he made up his mind he said, "Dad, I'm going to be the best damned soldier in the Army." "His birthday was 22 May (1968) and we were hoping we'd a letter from him. He did write us on the 22nd and we got it Monday." "It was strange. When we went to get the letter, it was there, all right, but so was an Army Sergeant. We knew immediately what it meant." "It was awfully hard at first, but we have many good friends, and there's one thing we're almost certain about now. It pays to have faith. We felt sorry for the sergeant. Because he saw the letter, too." In the letter were accounts of the young man's life of fighting. He told of dense jungles on near vertical mountain slopes and of sweltering valleys. "They're only about 300 foot mountains but they're straight up and you just can't believe how dense the foliage is," he wrote. "Leeches keep dropping on you... It's 125 to 130 degrees. You climb up with a 60 pound pack and your ammo and rifle. Then you have to sit in the sun -- no shade anywhere... It's hell."

Sergeant Patterson was a Franklin High school graduate. He attended junior colleges and the University of Washington. He has one sister, Mrs. Douglas (Sandy) Beeman, Seattle, and two step-grandmothers, Mrs. Emily Patterson, Seattle, and Mrs. Ida Combs, Kennewick. He was a member of Brighton Presbyterian Church.

By Robert A. Barr, Seattle Times, Seattle WA, 30 May 1968

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