Carlos Chavez, JrSpecialist Four
HHC, 1ST BN, 77TH ARMOR, 5 INF DIV
Army of the United States
11 September 1949 - 25 June 1970
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The database page for Carlos Chavez, Jr
A DAY TO REMEMBER
While searching the Internet in hopes of finding information on a fellow squad member's family - whom I served with in Vietnam - I came across a website that I feel deserves more attention and would like to pass on to you.
It certainly filled an emotional and physical need for me; one that I have carried around literally for 30 years. You see, I added Carlos' picture to my photo album before I went on R&R to Australia. Carlos was the driver of our personnel carrier (M113). We had a rotation as far as job assignments on the track, they were grenadier and ammo humper, driver, left or right side gunner M60 or 50 cal. Machine guns and track commander. Carlos loved that driving assignment and passed over several times to trade for any of the other positions. Some time before I left for R&R, Carlos decided to give up his driving spot and take one of the machine gun spots, and I would become the driver. Unfortunately, Carlos' life ended when the track he was driving ran over a 122 rocket buried on the driver's side of the trail. In a M113 the driver sits just inches from the track and wheels. He didn't have a chance!
For over 30 years I may have viewed that picture of Carlos maybe 4 or 5 times wondering if it was the last one ever taken, or if a friend or family member would enjoy viewing it. I've decided to pull that picture very carefully from the old moldy photo album where the pages stick together with age, and the only reason you have to view it is because it is in the way of something else you are looking for. Knowing you are sharing a memory with a friend or relative of a loved one who gave their all for us, that survivors and future generations sharing memories can fill a void.
From a friend,
I was on the same Track as Carlos also.
I often think of those who stayed behind
They'll not feel their mother's pain
A lover's love they shall never taste
A walk along a sandy beach
They stayed behind so we might go
I'll not forget the price they paid
The list grows long and longer still
Some say it was only God's will
Dedicated to Hughie, Rocky O'Ham, and Carlos Chavez
May they rest in peace
I would like to thank the gentlemen who posted this memorial to Carlos, he was a friend of the family. Our mothers went to the same church. His family will be happy to know that he had and has good friends. Yes, I still think about him, for his loss brought the reality of war home to us on a personal note. I was a young man and it saddened me to see my best friend and family cry at the loss of son and brother.
Thank You very much for what you've done, then and now.
From a friend,
My track was supposed to go in front of Carlos' but he cut in front of us - we laughed about that, not knowing what was soon to happen. After the explosion everyone "herring-boned" and started shooting. SSG Smith and I were the first on the smoking track. Carlos was blown out of the driver's hatch and fell back into it. I was the first to reach Carlos and attempted to pull him from the hatch - I couldn't because he was too "puffed" from the explosion. We finally got him out of the hatch using a poncho liner. He was still alive. I remember looking into his opened eyes and wonder to this day if "he knew". He had a terrible wound on his throat. I was told he died enroute to Quang Tri Firebase. Carlos and I visited in his "hooch" prior to his death. He told me he was a Catholic and an altar boy - I told him I was too. If my memory serves me right I think he was married and either had a child or one on the way. He was an outstanding soldier and always did his duty. It was an honor to serve with him and the other solders of HHC, 1/77 Armor Scouts.
The Comanches say "Brave Warriors die young" - SP4 Carlos Chavez Jr. was a "Brave Warrior". It has been over thirty-three years and I haven't nor will I ever forget Carlos.
From a friend and fellow soldier,
My Big Brother,
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
Elisa Chávez Ashe
Captain, USAR (Retired)
6890 Myrtle Avenue, Eureka, Ca 95503
Top of Page|
With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 28 Dec 2002
Last updated 10/28/2006