Richard Allen Janigian

United States Marine Corps
02 October 1946 - 21 September 1967
Beaverton, Oregon
Panel 26E Line 103


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Richard Allen Janigian

21 Nov 2001

The first Vietnam memorial dedicated in Oregon was dedicated at the Beaverton, Oregon, Elks Lodge in memory of Corporal Richard A. Janigian. Cpl Janigian was the son of a WWII Marine, "Buck" Janigian. The work on the memorial was started by the Elks Lodge, Marine Recruiters, and the Portland Inspector/Instructor staff. As the Officer in Charge of Recruiting Station Portland, Oregon in 1972 it was my pleasure to host the then Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, Raymond G. Davis, to officially recognize all Oregon Vietnam veterans for their service and sacrifice as he placed a wreath on the "Janigian Memorial". "Buck" not only lost Richard in Vietnam but also another son on active duty with the Marines.

From a friend,
Lt. Col. William Ray Ford, USMC (Ret.)

20 Sep 2004

Half a dollar in his pocket since Vietnam
Jerry Boone
Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Buck Janigian's fingers traced the names cast onto the brass plates mounted on the memorial. There are too many of them. One for every soldier, sailor, Marine and flyer who called Oregon home and died or is missing in Vietnam.

Unlike most memorials that go up after the fighting has stopped and the physical wounds have healed, this one was built while men and women were still dying in Asia. When it was dedicated, no one knew how many names would end up being cast in bronze.

Every one of them matters. But to Buck and his wife, Lee, none as much as Marine Cpl. Richard A. Janigian.

It was the death of their son, a radio operator for a Marine reconnaissance patrol, that spurred the couple to honor Oregon's war losses with what is thought to be America's first memorial to the casualties of Vietnam.

The memorial, at the Beaverton Elks Lodge, 3500 S.W. 104th Ave., was dedicated by Gov. Tom McCall in June 1968.

On Monday, it will be one of the sites where the community will gather to honor the nation's war dead. The Beaverton Memorial Day observance begins at 11 a.m. at the Veteran's Memorial Park at Watson Avenue and Seventh Street. About noon it will move -- with a police escort -- to the Beaverton Elk's Lodge for a ceremony at the Janigian Memorial, followed by a program to burn used American Flags.

Memorial Day activities begin Saturday when the Beaverton American Legion Post holds a prayer breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at the Hometown Buffet, 13500 S.W. Pacific Highway in Tigard, to honor veterans who served in World War II. Saturday will see the formal dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Monday's program is the first time in recent years that all of Beaverton's veterans groups are working together on a single ceremony.

Times have changed since 1968, when Buck and other members of the Elks Lodge lived in a camper in the parking lot to protect the memorial from antiwar activists.

"Things were much more conservative then," remembers Lee Janigian.

She and her husband went to Hawaii when Richard was able to get leave from Vietnam.

"We had to 'sponsor' him, because the military was afraid troops would go to Hawaii and not come back," she says. "I guess we were responsible to see he went back for the rest of his tour. That wasn't a problem with our son. He was an enthusiastic young man who enjoyed the service a lot.

"But, Buck was a pretty gung-ho guy, too," she says. "And I guess I was."

Her husband looks back toward the bar at the Elks Lodge and grins.

A stroke has robbed Buck of much of his speech, so friends fill in the blanks of one of his favorite stories.

Shortly before his son was due to leave for Vietnam, Richard and Buck came to the Elks for a beer and to spend some one-on-one time.

As the night wore on, they talked about going overseas and the potential dangers. They made a promise to come back to the Lodge when Richard finished his tour and have another beer.

Just two Marines, two bar stools, two beers.

Then Richard tore a dollar bill in half. He gave one half of it to his dad and kept the other part for him. It was going to be their beer money.

But Richard died near Quang Tri on Sept. 21, 1967, when he was 10 days shy of completing his tour of duty. He was due to arrive home the day he would have turned 21.

Buck reaches into his wallet and pulls out the plastic-encased, faded, dog-eared half of a dollar bill. He fingers the memento before passing it around for others to see.

Buck's carried it in his wallet for more than 35 years. He's a father. But more than that, he's a Marine.

Semper Fidelis.

Jerry F Boone

The Oregonian

Reproduced under 17 USC �107

From his fellow Elks,
Beaverton Elks Lodge #1989
Beaverton, Oregon

15 Jan 2006

Richard, or Dick as I knew him, wasn't only a Marine, but my oldest cousin. I was only 10 at the time of his death, but it made a big impact on our family.

The memorial is such a great idea to keep the memory of Dick, Mike Janigian and other Oregonians in our thoughts and hearts. Other states should each have such a place to go.

Now that I am nearly 50, I many times wonder about what Dick would be like today and what stories he would have to tell. Uncle Buck and Aunt Lee are my only connection to his past. I only wish I knew more about the cousin I only had for 10 years.

He will never be forgotten.

Linda Schwend White

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 21 September 1967 the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, engaged an NVA force near Con Thien in Quang Tri Province. The ferocious fighting which followed left 18 Marines dead and 15 missing in action. When the Marines returned to the battlefield on 26 Sep and 09 Oct, they recovered the bodies of 14 missing Marines. The remains of the 15th, who had been captured and died of wounds in a North Vietnamese hospital, were repatriated in 1996 but were not identified until 2002.

Golf Company, 2/4 Marines, lost eleven men in the fighting:

  • Sgt Charles W. Roberts, Alexandria, LA
  • Cpl Richard A. Janigian, Beaverton, OR
  • LCpl Willie Greene, Macon, GA
  • LCpl John L. Harris, Baltimore, MD
  • LCpl John H. Kavulak, Omaha, NE
  • LCpl Juan A. Rodriguez, Corpus Christi, TX
  • LCpl Gary R. Schafer, Bel Air, MD
  • Pfc William J. Kildare, Ogallala, NE
  • Pfc Robert S. Mueller, South Haven, MI
  • Pfc Walter Sauer, Hinckley, OH
  • Pfc Clarence D. Sheibley, Elliottsburg, PA

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Lt. Col. William Ray Ford, USMC (Ret.)
21 Nov 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 11/13/2010