Richard Allan Carlson

Army of the United States
30 March 1948 - 24 May 1968
San Francisco, California
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Combat Medic

Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Richard Allan Carlson

12 December 2001

Cpl. Richard Allen Carlson
Army Medical Corps - December 19, 1966 through May 24, 1968
Basic Training - Ft. Lewis, Washington
Schooled - Ft. Sam Huston, Texas
OJT - Hospital Medic at Ft. Devens, Massachusetts
Infantry Platoon Medic - 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division
Killed in action - Quang Tri Vietnam
Age 20 years old
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Richard Allan Carlson,
Corporal, United States Army,
was buried 06 June 1968 in Plot U-1417,
Golden Gate National Cemetery,
San Bruno, San Mateo County, California,
surrounded by other men of courage and integrity.

A memorial from his mother,
Margery Carlson
27 March 2002

Because I was only seven years old when Richard was killed in Vietnam, I grew up more in his physical absence than his presence. It would be another twenty years before I pieced them all together into this poem. By then, some of his buddies had contacted us, and held a party and reunion in his honor, with Vietnam Vets and family who knew him. It ended up being the main news story on Channel 4's Memorial Day 11 O'clock News Broadcast. Can you imagine! Good news at the top of the hour, and it was Richard's spirit, alive and well. My family learned so much that night about the kind of friend that "Doc" Carlson was to his buddies.

Richard is alive in our hearts; his spirit has spoken to us, literally and metaphorically. Even people he never met have connected with us in some way that reminds us that his spirit is alive and well. My mother's best friend, for instance, who lived across the street from her perhaps twenty years ago, had twin sons. They were both born on May 24th, 1968, the same day Richard died, still years before she moved into our neighborhood.

He appeared in a vision to another neighbor about a year and a half after his death, in which he instructed her to go to my mother and tell her that he was all right, that he was happy and that he was worried about her and wanted her not to grieve so heavily. Shortly after the neighbor conveyed this vision, he came to my mother in a dream and kissed her goodbye. And thus the gentle, considerate person he was in life was the same type of person he was after death.

Twenty years after Richard's death I was moved to reflect on his life, his service, his death, and his continuing presence in our lives in poetry ...

Take a moment to read a
Brother's Poem

The poem makes mention of another person touched by Richard after his death - a young girl named Gina Valery, who read the book "Letters Home from Vietnam" which contains his last letter home, and then contacted my mother through the editor of the book, Bernard Edelman. Gina is now married to a wonderful man, and is raising two children. Imagine the deep joy we felt when we learned that her second child, a little darling named "Savannah", was born on none other than May 24th, 2000.

Ray Carlson

19 March 2002

I live in England and last year I performed a play entitled "Fighting for our Lives" and in this play we had to research real-life victims of this horrible war.

I chose Richard A Carlson.

I was touched by his last words, and now seeing his face has brought back the realisation of this horrible war. If any of his family members could get back to me or would like to see the video of the play, my address is

Thank you.

"I do not wanna die ...
Mother, I do not want to die ...
Please God do not let me die ..."

- Richard A Carlson, 24 May 68 -
20 years old

A remembrance from
Lauren Ponder

25 March 2002

Richard Carlson is remembered by his brothers-in-arms.
Visit Richard "Doc" Carlson's unit web site (D 2/8 Cavalry) at

Our "Honor Roll" Page is at

Mike "Mouse" McGhie

10 Nov 2005

Hi. My name is Caroline and in English class, we've been reading "Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam". I must say that I have read Richard's letter and I wrote about it in one of my journals that we've been keeping for class. I felt that we was a great man and I praise him for protecting our country in the war. I give him thanks for everything he has done. After I read his letter, I read what happened to him and it almost made me cry. His last words were very disturbing and I couldn't even imagine what the war was like for him and all the other soldiers. My sympathy goes out to all his family and friends, as well as other families who lost their loved ones in the war.


A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, lost four men on 10 May 1972:
  • CPL Richard A. Carlson, San Francisco, CA, HHC with D Company
  • SP4 Larry D. Novak, Platte Center, NE, C Company
  • PFC William E. Cassidy, Baltimore, MD, C Company
  • PFC Frank G. Eaves, Atlanta, GA, C Company

Visit John Dennison's
Medics on the Wall
memorial which honors the
Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen who died in Vietnam.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his mother,
Marjory Carlson
12 Dec 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 11/13/2005