Edward Eugene Greene

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
29 September 1944 - 02 January 1967
Lenoir, North Carolina
Panel 13E Line 109


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Edward Eugene Greene

28 Feb 2006

I was Ed's Platoon Sergeant from the time he arrived in-country fresh from a "shake and bake" school. Two days before he was killed he took over the Platoon from me as I was starting my out-processing to head home.

News of his death hit me hard. Ed had been my drinking buddy (he was a rum & Coke man). That evening I closed the NCO club sitting alone at a table with perhaps 10-15 untouched rum & Cokes across the table from me, with a like number of empty glasses in front of me. Every time my glass was empty a waiter brought me and my buddy another round.

As best as I can remember not a soul spoke to me that night.

Here is a poem that was written for all the Edwards of this world. It is introduced by a Leo Buscaglia on another site as follows -

"There was a girl who gave me a poem, and she gave me permission to share it with you, and I want to do that because it explains about putting off and putting off and putting off - especially putting off caring about people we really love. She wants to remain anonymous, but she calls the poem 'THINGS YOU DIDN'T DO' ..."


Remember the day I borrowed your brand new car and I dented it?
     I thought you'd kill me, but you didn't.

And remember the time I dragged you to the beach, and you said it would rain, and it did?
     I thought you'd say, "I told you so." But you didn't.

Do you remember the time I flirted with all the guys to make you jealous, and you were?
     I thought you'd leave me, but you didn't.

Do you remember the time I spilled strawberry pie all over your car rug?
     I thought you'd hit me, but you didn't.

And remember the time I forgot to tell you the dance was formal and you showed up in jeans?
     I thought you'd drop me, but you didn't.

Yes, there were lots of things you didn't do, but you put up with me, and you loved me, and you protected me.

There were lots of things I wanted to make up to you when you returned from Viet Nam.

But you didn't.

- Author unknown -

From a friend,
Lee Helle

Notes from The Virtual Wall

Charlie Company, 2/28th Infantry, lost three men to a mine on 02 January 1967. SP4 Garland G. Fugate of Dayton, Ohio, tripped the device and was killed by the blast. SSG Edward E. Greene and PFC Elmer F. Spina of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, were wounded in the explosion; both died the same day from injuries received.

The reference to "shake and bake" has to do with the Army's need for non-commissioned officers during the troop build-ups in Vietnam. Recruits who were judged to have the maturity and ability needed in NCOs were run through NCO schools, primarily at Harmony Church, Fort Benning; if they completed the rigorous course of instruction they were promoted to Sergeant (E-5).

Staff Sergeant Greene's name appears in another context. Several years ago several Americans purchased a number of apparently authentic dogtags while in Vietnam (Note: the manufacture of fake dogtags is a cottage industry in present-day Vietnam). One of the recovered tags bore SSG Greene's name. According to the Cana Mission site SSG Greene's tag has been returned to his family.

Finally, the poem "Things You Didn't Do" is sometimes attributed to Rabbi Jack Riemer. The Virtual Wall has not come across any such claim to authorship by Rabbi Riemer himself.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Lee Helle
28 Feb 2006

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 03/07/2006