John Godfrey, Jr

First Lieutenant
Army of the United States
06 October 1943 - 14 February 1968
Olean, NY
Panel 39E Line 032

United States Army


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

The database page for John Godfrey, Jr

Dear John -

I guess I'll never know why you volunteered for Viet Nam. Was pushing troops at Ft. Jackson really that bad? It was a nice cushy safe assignment. You could have pulled your time and got out but you had to have more excitement. I guess the summons of the trumpets were just too strong for you to ignore.

I mistakenly called your parents just before your dad passed away. It wasn't really a mistake - God's hand directed me to that phone number. Your dad asked if I still had your letters from Nam, which I did. He asked if he could borrow them. I guess he wanted to get more of the picture than what you told them. But before I gave them to him, I read them one more time and it was as if time had stood still - it was 15 FEB 68 all over again and I was sitting in the kitchen with my mom like we so often did. But this time, she had tears in her eyes as I do now. I still feel the stab in my heart when she told me the news and showed me the newspaper clipping. The letter that you wrote that got to me was when you told me about being sorry you broke up with Pat Tierney - I regret not showing her that letter to this day. She really loved you and took it very hard.

I now have two sons and a daughter - my oldest, your namesake, graduated from West Point in '94, was branched Armor (like you), completed airborne and air assault training. He volunteered for Germany and served in Bosnia (two tours) and Macedonia (UN Peacekeeping Mission). You would have liked him. My daughter is a pre-med major at University of Dayton and my youngest son is an engineering major at University of Cincinnati. They also are very bright (like you) and are on the Dean's list. They are not going into the military - not because I don't want them to, but because they don't have the desire. Each person has to find his own way I guess.

There is so much I want to say - so much you have missed. You wouldn't recognize this country and what they have done to it - the glorious days of the 60's are long gone, replaced by the welfare state. I miss you, John, and always will. Say hello to your Dad for me and I will see you both in the future.


Your friend in perpetuity


The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a college friend,
Joseph M Horning 
13 Nov 2002

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 11/14/2002