Leeroy Eldred Peeks

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
30 July 1949 - 31 January 1968
Daytona Beach, Florida
Panel 36E Line 030


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Leeroy Eldred Peeks

14 Apr 2006

Leeroy Peeks was a fine young man whom I knew only as a kid, well, a teenage kid, in high school. I was a bit younger than he was, and I wasn't interested in dating yet, not anyone, but I think, I rather knew, that Leeroy took to me, ha ha. Even my mother knew, who now, almost 40 years later, agrees with that scenario, and mothers know those things.

According to my mother he was a very nice and quiet boy. I remember him as being polite, attentive and oh so courteous, really quite a gentlemen, which was probably rare for a teenager. He acted very mature for his age, but come to find out, years later, he was the man of his household, as he had a mother, but no father, and at least one younger brother. I've always wanted to meet up with them and chat about Leeroy.

A couple memories for me of Leeroy involve a hotdog and a boomarang. You see, cooking was not yet my cup of tea, but I wanted to impress Leeroy. So one day, when he came to our home to visit, I offered him something to eat. I cooked/boiled him a hotdog, ha, I don't even remember if I served it on a bun. But Leeroy seemed mighty appreciative of that tasty morsel.

Another time, Leeroy and I were outside. I was so proud of my new boomarang. Well, Leeroy just had to show me his boomarang skills. He threw it, it never came back, and I wasn't a happy girl, but I forgive you Leeroy. :)

It wasn't until years later, after high school, I think at my my tenth reunion, that I asked about Leeroy. It was then that I discovered that he had enlisted in the service, went to Vietnam, and was killed soon after. I asked about his family, but no one seemed to know anything about them.

And I have just discovered, at this time, that Leeroy was killed in the same month he arrived in Vietnam.

After discovering the Vietnam Wall I wondered how to search for his name. Back then one would either call or write those in charge to find a name. I wrote a letter, but didn't hear anything. Months later, on the news, on TV, I heard where the woman in charge of the wall rubbings had died. So I then called, and a wall rubbing was immediately sent to me.

Years after I received the rubbing, I was visiting a daughter, in DC, who is responsible for me writing this, and she took me to the Wall. There, I saw Leeroy's name. Gosh, I didn't even know he spelled his name as one word; I felt silly. But at the same time that I felt such silliness, I felt complete sorrow and broke down in tears at the sight of his name. His name kind of brought everything back and gave closure all at the same time, not that I felt such closure immediately; I only felt the pain of losing a friend.

At some point here I want to thank all those involved who have made this searching for friends and loved ones a possibility. As I was JUST a high school friend to Leeroy, friend, man, soldier. I can't imagine the pain of those who knew him, and others like him, that were/are spouses, parents, siblings or children.

So, thank you for making this possible. Thanks to my daughter, Leah, who brought this to my attention. It has meant a lot, and hopefully this wonderful service, for lack of a better word, will continue to all. Thank you.

Deborah Smith Ford

E-mail address is not available.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Although trained as a rifleman, Pfc Peeks was assigned to the Military Police Company, HQ Battalion, 1st Marine Division. The HQ Bn Command Chronology for 31 Jan 1968 contains the following entry:
"0645 - Rcvd word from MP Co motor patrol along RT-1-FLC area hit a mine at NAMO village at 0610. Three KIA, 1 WIA, further info to follow."
The three men who died in the mine explosion were
  • Pfc Derrick C. Cabness, Washington, DC;
  • Pfc Leeroy E. Peeks, Daytona Beach, FL; and
  • Pfc Jose G. Viruet, New York, NY.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009