Military Funeral Set for Sgt. Bob Balsley at 3 p.m. Sunday in Bay City|
The Daily Tribune November 22, 1968, Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas
Staff Sgt. Bobby Balsley, a former Bay City High School athlete who had been awarded two Bronze Star Medals -- the nation's fourth highest military honor -- for service in the Vietnam war, will be buried with full military honors Sunday.
Sgt. Balsley, 23, died Saturday night in a field hospital after being wounded in action that afternoon. He was serving as a platoon sergeant with Co. B, 1st Bn., 7th Cav., 1st Air Cav. Div., about 40 miles west of Saigon near the Cambodian border. He was stationed at Tay Ninh.
Funeral services are set at 3 p.m. Sunday at the First Baptist Church, the Rev. R. J. Pate of Houston officiating. Burial will be in Roselawn Memorial Park, under the direction of Taylor Brothers Funeral Home.
Sgt. Balsley is survived by his mother, Mrs. Bertha Balsley of Houston; one brother, Clyde Balsley of Houston, and two sisters, Mrs. Janet Neff of Houston and Mrs. Linda Traylor of Goliad, Tex.
Pallbearers will be Melvin Newsom, Robert Little, Gerald Hansik, Tommy Anderson, Lawrence Morrow, Larry Head, Mike Duncan and Dennis Clements. Honorary pallbearers will be Bobby Helflin, Howard Crain and Randall Parker.
Sgt. Balsley had been in the Army for 1 1/2 years. He had been in Vietnam since May 1, 1968, and had recently been promoted to sergeant (E-6).
A 1962 graduate of Bay City High School, Sgt. Balsley was an All-District football player and also played baseball. He was a member of the Key Club at Bay City High School.
He graduated from Wharton County Junior College in 1965, playing tackle and linebacker for the Pioneers and was named to the All-Conference football team. He attended the University of Texas for one semester after finishing Wharton County Junior College.
His family moved to Bay City when Sgt. Balsley was in high school. He was born in Freeport and had attended schools in Freeport, Louisiana and Houston. Sgt. Balsley played football at Jane Long Junior High School in Houston and Bellaire High School.
He received basic training at Fort Polk, La., and attended non commissioned officer school at Fort Benning, Ga.
Sgt. Balsley is the 15th local serviceman to die in the Vietnam War.