The article below was written by 2 time Purple Heart Marine veteran and Clevelander Luis Martinez. He sent it to the Chicago Tribune in hopes of having it published on Memorial Day. The article did not make the paper but we thought it should be published.
I tried to keep your son alive that night in 1970. Our Corpsman, "Doc" Coonfield, pronounced him dead but he was a MARINE. I just couldn`t accept the fact that one of us, a good guy, had been killed.
Oblivious to the growl of weapons blindly seeking revenge against an invisible enemy, I kept pumping his heart and blowing air into his mouth trying in desperation to bring him back to life. Our unit, CAP 2-7-10, operated in an isolated area, perhaps a 30 minute flight South of DaNang. We agonized what seemed an eternity for the arrival of the med-evac chopper.
In the meantime another Marine, the dog handler, snapped; he shook uncontrollably the way a person can when overcome by horror. By the time the thunderous apparition found its way to us through the hostile night air I had been overcome with rage.
As we loaded the helicopter and it lifted off, I unleashed my contempt at the perceived delay with pitched profanity and a gesture of disrespect as it disappeared into the black of night.
I lived 24/7 with the people and popular force militia soldiers in the primitive villages and hamlets along Vietnam's Highway 1 for about a year after Fiester's death. The booby-trapped grave mounds where he died give testimony to ones destiny.
Our constantly changing 12 man Combined Action Platoon (CAP) suffered more deaths and having been wounded twice I no longer considered myself indestructible. I was no longer confident that I would make it back to "the world" alive.
I visited Chicago recently, inspired by its beauty but feeling somewhat insignificant amongst the bustle of the magnificent mile. By chance I found the River Walk and between the Wabash and State St. bridges, as if under the vigil of doting skyscrapers, I discovered the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial.
There, near the backwards rushing river where CHICAGO REMEMBERS I found, among many, the name Glen Alan Fiester. Overcome by emotion I thought back to that night in Vietnam when I last saw him and for an instant near the gushing fountains I sensed a presence that I alone can speak about.
As a Vietnam Veteran I thank you for CHICAGO REMEMBERS, the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial. It is a testament to the spirit of your great city and those who love it and the United States of America.
Glen Alan Fiester
Last name: FIESTER
First name: GLEN ALAN
Home of Record (official): PARK RIDGE
State (official): IL
Date of Birth: Sunday, May 27, 1951
Marital Status: Single
--- Military ---
Branch: Marine Corps
Serial Number: 339465774
Pay grade: E2
MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 0311
--- Action ---
Start of Tour: Monday, May 11, 1970
Date of Casualty: Tuesday, September 8, 1970
Age at time of loss: 19
Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died
Reason: Multiple fragmentation wounds (Ground casualty)
Country: South VietNam
Province: Quang Nam
The Wall: Panel 07W - Row 046
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