Danny Micheal Gray

Private First Class
Army of the United States
23 June 1948 - 30 October 1968
Fordyce, Arkansas
Panel 40W Line 057

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Danny M Gray

The story behind this photo

The database page for Danny Micheal Gray

13 Apr 2001

This is a poem by Jo Ann Casey of Thornton, Arkansas, that says so much about our brother Danny.

Danny Gray

We once knew a young lad named Danny Gray
He was a boy who laughed and was gay,
He loved to tease and jokes he did make,
He could dish out just about all you could take.
But just how much even they did not know.

His teachers at school watched him grow up,
They did not know how bitter was to be his cup.
Danny loved to play ball with his team.
Sometime to him the coaches were sorta mean.
This was because they just did not understand,
Sometimes Danny had to stay at home and lend a hand.

Some said that Danny drove his car too fast.
Maybe that was because he knew life would not last.
Danny finished school and had to go away.
I think we all remember when he left that day,
His country was at war in Vietnam and needed him.
My! How just the thoughts make our eyes grow dim.

This is not near all the story of Danny Gray.
Because we must tell of the price he had to pay.
He said "Goodbye sweet Mom and precious Dad -
I've got to leave you though it makes me sad."
He then went to see the girl he loved so dear,
and begged her not to shed a single tear.

He had courted little Debbie most of her life.
He had plans to someday make her his darling wife.
She cried and begged him "Please, Danny marry me -
And when you come home we will so happy be."
But I guess Danny must have known deep down inside,
That with Jesus in Heaven he soon would abide.

They put Danny on a plane and flew him to a land
To fight a war no one seems to understand.
Now this boy did not want to die, he wanted to live!
But no one asked him, they just told him his life to give.
They said "Tonight down the Saigon River we will walk."
Before morning Danny lay wounded and unable to talk.

A sniper hiding in a tree, aimed and shot
And Danny Gray died for a cause he knew not.
Yes, he died in a foreign land far across the sea.
They try to tell us he died so the world could be free.
But I wonder if this freedom we will ever gain.
Lord God, could it be Danny Gray died in vain?

Danny Gray said he would come home to Mom and Dad.
He also promised he would come home to the girl he had.
Sure enough Danny came home yesterday to us all,
But when his Mother spoke to him, he did not answer the call.
He did not joke, he did not smile or grin,
He did not speak to any of his school friends.

No, yesterday Danny lay cold, silent and dead
And there is so much that should be said.
Though we love our country and believe its great,
We want our boys brought home before it's too late.
We do not want them sent to Vietnam to fight.
We want them to live and believe they have that right.

To Danny's parents and to little Debbie too,
We wish there was something we could say or do,
To ease your breaking hearts and wipe away your tears.
But there is little we or anyone can do, I fear.
Let's all pray that he did not die for something wrong,
And let's not forget that he lived and now is gone.

Jo Ann Casey

A memorial initiated by his sister,
Linda Gray Trujillo

17 Apr 2001

Danny Gray

Danny was a brave and fearless soldier. He served with 3rd Platoon, Co C, 2nd of the 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division.

The photo was taken October 30, 1968, 20 minutes before he was shot and mortally wounded.

Our company was operating out of a patrol base east of Cu Chi, named Crockett. Choppers picked us up that morning and dropped us off within eyesight of the camp along a stream with a hedgerow on each bank. When we jumped out of the choppers we were knee deep in water. We ran for the hedgerow to secure it. Several VC had been in the hedgerow and they left in a big hurry! They left behind a pot of rice cooking on a small fire. When we crossed the stream it opened out into a large rice paddy field. The fleeing VC left a clear trail through the rice stalks.

Danny was walking point. He saw where their trail had a spur to it. He followed it and stumbled over two rifles, an AK47 and a SKS that they had hidden under the water. Nearby was an ammo can filled with documents. We both stopped and posed for pictures. Minutes later we continued following their trail. Danny came upon them hiding in the rice stalks. He opened fire, killing one. The other VC returned fire hitting Danny in the chest. The platoon came forward and shot the remaining VC.

Later that evening our platoon leader came over and told us Danny didn't make it. Danny arrived in Vietnam Oct 4th and died Oct 30, 1968. He didn't even make it a month!

It wasn't a big battle.
It didn't make the news.
But it had an impact on 3rd Platoon -

We lost one of our own.

From his squad leader
Larry Coulter

16 Jul 2003

Danny Gray was a favorite cousin and good friend. He was a hero who wasn't afraid of anything, except that wild hog that chased him and some of his hunting buddies up a tree once!

He was good to his parents and always tried to please them. I wonder what he would be doing now if he had lived. We think about him often and miss his laugh.

Initia Watson Doherty

14 Sep 2005

I never knew Danny but he has left an inpact on me that still exists today. I met up with his sister during a hiking trip in Arkansas several years ago and some way we got into a conversation about freedoms that we have. Annie never went into full depth about the loss of her brother but I could tell in part that the loss was very deep and the impact that it had on the family was a void that could not be filled ever again.

I often think as an American the freedoms that I enjoy have been paid for by individuals like Danny. Every time that a story goes on about the fighting going on in different parts of the world, I think about the price that is getting paid by the family which has given up one of their own.

Even after these few years he has not been forgotten by the average citizen and forever he will be MY HERO.

From an American,
Arlan Newman
608 N 2nd, Okeene, Ok. 73763

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his sister,
Linda Gray Trujillo
13 Apr 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 02/24/2006