This journey is dedicated to Bay Shore's Vietnam Era Veterans. Listed below are those that paid the ultimate sacrifice. Not a day goes buy that I don't think about their sacrifices. We salute you.
KILLED IN ACTION
Jose A Vazquez - KIA 11/1/66
Steven J Prescott- KIA 8/8/68
Steven A Butler- KIA 7/17/68
John T Stimson Jr- KIA 10/31/68
Joseph J Funk- KIA 1/20/69
Lawrence W Soltan- KIA 1/26/69
Carlos M Collazo- KIA 6/11/69
James P Halen- KIA 12/22/69
Thomas E Wynne- 2/20/70
Arthur E McLeod- KIA 2/12/71
Douglas J Crawford- KIA 2/23/71
Donald F Vaughan- KIA 10/28/71
To honor some of the more than 600 veterans I will include a small number of their pictures and stories. Veterans that chose to participate will have their thoughts and pictures listed below. Some will have passed on and the pictures were sent by their families while others are actively living their lives. In either case they will be remembered and honored by this journey in a spirit of truth, healing, and understanding. As you come across these photos take a moment to reflect and perhaps say, "Thank You and Welcome Home".
Steven James Prescott
Born April 19, 1946
KIA May 8, 1968
9th Infantry Division
Class of 1964
Steven and Phil Topps had a band called the Islanders which played in New York's East Village. After Steven enlisted Phil did the same and also served a tour of duty in Vietnam.
Steven was almost 5 years older than me but there is not a day that goes by that I don't think of him and wish that we could have traded places. He had so much to offer. Ray____________________________________________________________________________________________
I never really left Vietnam and have been working to better the lives of other veterans for most of the past 47 years. I spent most of my tour as a one man operator in villages often controlled by the Vietcong. I was shelled, shot at, or under mortar attack for all but 2 of 300 straight days. Those two days were the scariest days of my life, until I came home. I arrived on an air base in Rhode Island a hero and left the gate to instantly become dirt. I have a lot of pain and the Wall is a hard place to be and other times its the only place I want to be.
Victor De Blasio
Class of 1965
Victor served in the USMC from 1965 to 1969
Served in Vietnam 1966 and 1967
Douglas K Hovercamp Jr
Flight Class 1970
Served U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam 1971-72
A Troop, 7/17 Air Cavalry
Doug was stationed in Phan Rang and flew a lot of missions over Pleiku and Da Lat with Bay Shore classmate Bob Egbert. Bob was not an officer so Doug would lend him his officer's uniform so they could both get into the officers club and party.
"Doug was an excellent aviator and friend," Bob Egbert.
The Bay Shore community as a whole was a very special place to grow up especially during wartime.
The Selective Service Office (Draft Office) was on the second floor of the King Kullen shopping center and Pop had a luncheonette on the first floor. Alberts parents had a bakery also in the same shopping center.
On the second and fourth Thursday of each month busses would arrive early in the morning to pick up the draftees and take them to Ft Hamilton Brooklyn for induction. Pop would put out several long tables and pots of hot coffee and Albert's Mom would serve free pastries for the families to enjoy as a good-bye breakfast.
Pop would also take a photo of every draftee and his parents on his 35mm camera. He would have two prints made of each, one for the parents and one to hang on the luncheonette wall. Above the wall was a sign,
"BAY SHORE AND BRENTWOOD'S BEST, PROTECT US". There was 40 or more pictures added to the wall monthly.
Michael J Giglio
Class of 1969
U.S. Air Force 1970-1972
Air National Guard
"I was trained as an Avionic Instrument System Specialist and worked primarily on F-4 Phantom, the U.S. workhorse in Vietnam. I was assigned to the 9th Air Force 354 Combat Support group in Myrtle Beach, SC. I trained for combat support for F-4 Phantoms getting ready for Vietnam."
Michael in the cockpit of a B-52 Bomber.
Class of 1966
4th Division,3/8 Bravo Co
Served in Vietnam 1968
Central Highlands, Dak To
Bay Shore's proud military heritage includes multiple family members, we salute the Clock family.
Robert R. Clock
Class of 1966
U.S. Army, Germany
Class of 1967
Died of Agent Orange related issues.
Class of 1968
Career Navy 33 years
Class of 1967
Served in Vietnam 1970-1971
"The times that were most dangerous were often the times when we received the most love and support from the people of 'Nam. It's a shame we didn't get the same support from home. I'm so glad that attitudes have changed for those who serve."
Joseph Oddo, "Joe Boy"
Born March 17, 1949
Class of 1967
Served in Vietnam 1968-1969
Received Bronze and Silver Stars for heroism.
........"Romeo, how do you like the Army, don't expect anything because you'll get less than that. As for Nam, you live like an animal, see ya in the real world".........
Joe Boy and I communicated laterally while in Vietnam,
he was at one end of the country and I at the other.
Joe Boy died of Vietnam related issues at age 40.
Class of 1967
Served in Vietnam 1969-1970
......."I was on guard duty and manning the 60 caliber machine gun, it was dark as hell and you couldn't see anything. There was an explosion and an attack and we were taking incoming rounds. A Sapper breached the perimeter and cut through the Constantine wire (barbed wire) and was headed for the ammo dump. Seconds before blowing it up we got him and repelled the attack".........
Steven A Butler rubbing,
National Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Class of 1968
Specialist 5, 2/94 Artillery
......."just doing my part"........
This map was the centerfold in Stars and Stripes Newspaper circa 1969. Stars and Stripes was a government publication distributed to our military. The map was donated and is on display inTHE ART OF WAR exhibition.
At the Gates of Arlington National Cemetery.
If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind.
Michael Davis O'Donnell
1 January 1970
Dak To, Vietnam
199th Light Infantry Brigade
James P. Halen
Left behind a fiance',7 sisters, 2 brothers
Bay Shore Alumni Joneta Burke sent these photos in on behalf of Doug. Thank You
CLASS OF '65
I was a machine gunner in kilo co 3rd Bn 26th marines from 1966 to 1967 and got out in 68. I was hit my last week in the bush when we were over run by a regiment of NVA. Books and a songs were made about this battle and I was one of the lucky ones to get out alive. We took 40% causalities in 4 days and were outnumbered four to one.