Troy Edward Hirni, II

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
23 July 1945 - 31 January 1968
Warrensburg, Missouri
Panel 36E Line 015

Combat Infantry

Bronze Star (Valor), Purple Heart (3 awards), Army Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, RVN Military Merit, Gallantry Cross, and Campaign medals
Troy E Hirni

The database page for Troy Edward Hirni, II

03 May 2003

Troy was married and was living in Warrensburg, Missouri, when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was killed in action in Gia Dinh, South Vietnam, on 31 January 1968. Troy was 5 years older than me but I knew him because we were from a small town. I knew his parents a lot better though. His Father was the Superintendant of Schools in Holden and his Mother was one of my High School teachers, whom I knew well and thought a lot of. His parents and wife were very deeply hurt when word of his death arrived, as was all of Holden. He was the first casualty of the war from our small town. Troy was very much liked by everyone and will always be missed by all. I am proud to say I knew him and thanks Troy for giving your all so the rest of us could live in freedom.

10 May 2003

I went to visit Troy's parents and while there looked at his awards and medals.

When he completed Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, in 1966 he received a trophy for the Outstanding Soldier Award as well as Expert badges in Pistol and Mortar and a Marksman Rifle Badge.

His decorations include the Bronze Star; 3 awards of the Purple Heart (two earned in the Mekong Delta in the summer of 1967 and one for 31 Jan 1968); Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Republic of Vietnam Military Merit Medal; Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm; and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. And he received the Combat Infantryman's Badge.

Troy never saw his son, Troy E. Hirni III, who was born while Troy was in Vietnam ... Troy now has three grandchildren.

From a friend and fellow veteran,
Frank Hobbs
SP4 Combat Medic
Kingsville, Missouri
13 Feb 2004

Eddie Hirni, one of my older boy cousins, lost his life in Vietnam in 1968. I was 14 years old.

I asked our dad why there had to be war. He told me that we needed to stay free so if we wanted to ride horses like Eddie whenever we wanted, we could. I understood that.

Eddie loved horses and they loved him back. He loved to spend time at our grandparents' farm and they loved to spend time with him. I did too.

He would play games with us or give us a ride on his horse, if we begged him long enough. I loved that.

He would talk like Donald Duck and make us laugh. I can still hear that.

He taught me that if you opened both sides of a can with an opener it pours easier. I always think of him when I do that.

One day I watched him stop and count the cars on a passing freight train. I still do that.

Eddie was a small town boy who loved life and everything in it. I still love him for that.

His cousin,
Susan Mullis Evanoff

29 Sep 2006

This poem is for my great great great grandpa
Who died for the South in the Confederate army
Who even after he had served his time,
Was chained to a wagon wheel and whipped to death.
Who refused to fight anymore. Tired of killing, death, cold
And starvation.

This poem is for my great great great grandma
Who traveled by ox and cart over virginia mountains
To retrieve her loverís broken body.
Who picked up his body,
Brought him back to the Carolinas, and didnít cry a tear.
The Grey had stolen all of her tears.
She owed them no more.

This poem is for both of my grandpas who fought in WWII.
Who never received a pension for giving up this part of their lives.
Who never really talked about their time or their friends they lost.
Who both served honorably in the Navy.
Chief Petty Officer: Destroyer Escort
This poem is for their entire "Greatest Generation" who loved our country.
Who fought for our freedoms we take for advantage today.

This poem is for my handsome cousin Eddie.
Who had a mischievious movie star grin.
Who left his pregnant wife and flew to Saigon.
Who was awarded two puple hearts in the Mekong Delta
Who was hit by shrapnel in í68 before he ever had the chance
To hold his baby son.
Who gave up his 18 year old rights to fight in a war which still
Confuses and plagues us.
Who left behind brothers and cousins
Who still carry the guilt for not joining with him.

This poem is for my father in law, Larry,
Who gave up dreams to live in a hell called the jungle.
Who wore wet clothes for months straight and received 3 beers for it all.
Who fought for seven hours straight, surrounded on Hill 875.
Attacked by his own helicopters.
Whose radio saved his life when he was shot in the back by the NVA.
Who works harder than any man I know, Yet who sacrificed college because of the draft.
Who was welcomed home by hippie protestors
Hating him even though he didnít choose to go.
Who tells us stories, shows us slides, gets a far away look and cries.
Who remembers those left behind.
- H.N. -

From the daughter of Eddie's 1st cousin - Mike McGhee,
Haley Newcomer

24 May 2007

"Most of those who died in defense of our country were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives - the one they were living, and the one they would have lived. They gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up everything for their country ... for us. And all we can do is remember."

President Ronald Reagan
Arlington National Cemetery
11 November 1985

From a cousin,
Mike McGhee
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

A Note from The Virtual Wall

A web site for the 3rd Bn, 39th Infantry contains the following entry on its Honor Roll:
"Hirni, Troy E. II - Holden, MO - Long An - Jan 31, 1968 - 36E 015"
but that entry is not correct. It appears that SP4 Hirni served with Alpha 3/39 in the Riverine forces, where he earned his first two Purple Hearts, and subsequently was assigned to C Company, 52nd Infantry. That assignment is reflected in the Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii database and in SP4 Hirni's Letter of Condolences file at the LBJ Library. Further, he was not killed in Long An Province but in Gia Dinh Province.

C Company, 52nd Infantry was a rifle security company assigned to bolster the capabilities of the 716th MP Battalion, which was responsible for providing security to the US facilities in the Saigon area. The Status of Forces agreement between the US and the South Vietnamese government prohibited stationing US combat forces in Saigon; one result of that situation was that the 716th MP Battalion was equipped only with hand-held light arms. When The Tet Offensive assaults began on the night of 30/31 Jan 1968 the Military Police - and C/52nd Infantry - found themselves faced with not only superior numbers but superior armament as well.

Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, the 716th MP Battalion acquitted itself very well indeed - none of the facilities in their charge were captured during the VC assault. The Battalion's performance during Tet was recognized by the Presidential Unit Citation, but the award came at a high price indeed - including SP4 Hirni, 27 members of the Battalion are known to have died during the first day's fighting:

  • 527th MP Co, 716th MP Bn:
  • A Co, 716th MP Bn:
    • SGT Michael A. Grieve, Hazel Park, MI (Silver Star)
    • PFC Roland M. Bowen, Iron City, GA (Silver Star)
    • PFC Thomas C. Hiley, Omaha, NE

  • C Co, 716th MP Bn:
    • SGT Douglas W. Doody, Cleveland, OH
    • SP4 Carey C. Anthony, Marianna, AR
    • CPL Warren E. Kenerly, Griffin, GA
    • CPL Nestor Ojeda, New York, NY
    • PFC Richard A. Gilley, Maspeth, NY
    • PFC Jessie E. Harris, Peoria, IL
    • PFC Ivan D. Homsley, Aledo, TX
    • PFC Danny L. Lasure, Albany, OH
    • PFC Harry F. Richardson, Alexandria, VA
    • PFC Terry L. Riegel, Indianapolis, IN
    • PFC James Seidensticker, Brentwood, NY
    • PFC John T. Smith, West Babylon, NY

  • C Co, 52nd Infantry, 716th MP Bn:
    • 2LT Stephen L. Braddock, Abilene, TX
    • SSG Rafael A. Ruiz-del Pilar, Quebradillas, PR
    • SGT Robert B. Stafford, Kingsport, TN
    • SP4 Frank E. Faught, Coweta, OK
    • SP4 Troy E. Hirni, Warrensburg, MO (Bronze Star "V")
    • CPL Randall K. Schutt, Sioux Center, IA
    • CPL James E. Walsh, Dayton, OH
    • PFC Lester G. Yarbrough, Kingsland, GA

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend and fellow veteran,
Frank Hobbs
SP4 Combat Medic
Kingsville, Missouri

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 03 May 2003
Last updated 11/15/2007