I want to write this short story as a memorial to a better Marine than I could have ever hoped to have been even if I had stayed in the Corps 30 years instead of the twenty-six.

Sergeant Kappmeyer was killed on the 20th of August 1966 in the area known later as the Arizona near An Hoa, South Vietnam. At the time I was a very young and dumb Private First Class 0311 rifleman with M company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines. Sergeant Kappmeyer was the platoon Right Guide, which means he was responsible for our well being and our supplies and ammunition.

On the day of his death, he called me over to his side after we had stopped for morning chow. This occurred during operation Swanee and we had crossed the Song Thu Bong River the day prior. His request for my presence was for a classic "ass chewing." Seems I had opened my can of C-rations for breakfast and allowed my dog tags and C-rations opener to be left behind when we prepared to move out. He had them.

Sergeant Kappmeyer was a stern leader of the highest quality. From what I recall, he was on that operation even though he was suppose to have been rotated ...in other words, gone home back to the world stateside. But instead, he is now listed on a wall in Washington DC. In the thirty-three years since that time I have not forgotten Sergeant Kappmeyer.

Semper Fi!