Ronnie D Beets

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
13 February 1944 - 26 October 1972
Odessa, Texas
Panel 24E Line 111

Silver Star


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Ronnie D Beets

26 Feb 2004

Ronnie was wounded in action and went through the Medevac process. He made it home but then died of his wounds. I had just came back to my home town from my service in the Army and my last two years of college when Ronnie died. I didn't know Ronnie that well. I knew who he was. Ronnie was a 1962 graduate of Ector High School in Odessa, Texas. Although Ronnie died in 1972 his name wasn't added to the Wall in Washington, D.C., until 1986. Ronnie is honored by the Permian Basin Vietnam Memorial and by the Ector County, Texas, memorials at the courthouse. May his sacrifice never be forgotten.

From a hometown acquaintance,
Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762

The two photos above were provided by
his daughter Rebecca.

3 Jun 2004

I remember Ronnie through church in Odessa. I knew his wife and nephews. I remember Ronnie as a Christian, I remember he was suffering a lot from his wounds. He was in a wheelchair and when he was sick and unable to come to church we would gather in front and pray for him. When he went away the newspaper showed his picture and mentioned the end of the war came too late for Ronnie.

Ronnie was the same age as my cousin Nelson Payne Tuttle who died in Viet Nam on July 15, 1970. Nelson was born in November 1944 compared to Ronnie who was born in February.

I am very proud and honored to have known Ronnie Beets.

From a friend,
Steven Payne Tuttle

29 May 2005

When Ronnie came home from Vietnam, paralyzed and wheelchair bound, he attended the University of Oklahoma. He was a beloved member of our special group of writers and soldiers, including Jim Morris and Rick Rescorla. We called him ''Sweet Beets''. He was as fine a man as ever roamed this planet -- and we have kept him alive in our memories for 33 years now. God bless you, Ronnie. Your friends are looking forward to seeing you again on the other side.

From a friend,
Fred McBee

03 Apr 2006

I am the only son of Uncle Ronnie's youngest brother. I was only four when he died but I remember sitting on his lap when he was in his wheelchair. He came to visit me in Oklahoma City where his parents lived. I still go and visit his gravesite every year in Anadarko. Thank You for your kind words and his pictures. This helps his memory live on.

From his nephew,
Billy C. Beets, Jr., M. D.

18 May 2007

Ronnie Beets was married to my cousin Marlyn Farley Beets and I have the fondest memories of their sweet family and the love they had for God and this country.

I am blessed to have been able to spend time with Ronnie and Marlyn. The sacrifice he made for us is a tribute to what a fine man he was. God Bless Marlyn and his children.

From a cousin,
Janice Maney Benton

A Note from The Virtual Wall

During the night of 13/14 Aug 1967 Bravo Company 2/502nd Infantry was engaged by a larger force while moving out from Landing Zone West near Chu Lai. Two men were killed and a number wounded in a fight that lasted much of the night. The known dead were SGT Johnnie H. Patterson of Oliver Springs, Tennessee, and CPL Danny L. Ingles of New Lebanon, Ohio; SGT Alexander Jackson of Washington, DC, may also have died in the night fight or may have been killed in a separate action later on 14 Aug 1967.

SP4 Ronnie D. Beets was one of the seriously wounded, with fragmentation wounds to the legs and a large wound centered in his back. Paralyzed from the chest down, SP4 Beets survived both the wounds and subsequent hospitalizations, was medically retired in 1970, and died from his injuries on 26 October 1972, just over five years after being wounded.

SP4 Beets was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the battle, actions taken before and after he was wounded:

APO San Francisco 96350

23 December 1967



1. TC 320. The following AWARD is announced posthumously.

BEETS, RONNIE D. RA18764896 SPECIALIST FOUR E4, United States Army
Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 502d Infantry

Awarded: Silver Star
Date action: 13 August 1967
Theater: Republic of Vietnam
Reason: For gallantry in action.
Specialist Four Beets distinguished himself by gallantry in action while engaged in military operations against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam on 13 August 1967, while serving as a member of Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 502d Infantry, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. Specialist Four Beets was serving as a machine gunner with his platoon when it came under extremely heavy attack while moving from Landing Zone White near Chu Lai. He manned a position on the perimeter, putting effective fire upon the enemy. During the night, the numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force mounted a full scale attack with mortars, rockets, grenades, automatic and small arms fire. Specialist Beets' position became a prime target, and he was seriously wounded in both legs by grenades and rockets. When the medic came forward to treat him, he refused treatment and told the medic to roll him over to this gun. Once in position, although in great pain, he again began to fire upon the enemy. He remained in position under the withering hail of enemy fire with complete disregard for his safety and injuries, until the enemy had been beaten back. Only then did he allow himself medical treatment. In the morning, six enemy bodies were found with twenty meters of his position. Specialist Beets' outstanding display of heroism in action and his devotion to duty were in the highest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Authority: By direction of the President under the provisions of USARV Message 16695, 1 July 1966 and paragraph 27, AR 672-5-1.


Brigadier General, US Army
Chief of Staff

Colonel, AGC
Adjutant General

Transcribed 01 Apr 05 from the Letter Citation by Billy M. Brown

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his nephew,
Billy C. Beets, Jr., M. D.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 26 Feb 2004
Last updated 11/09/2007