Henry Lee PratherPrivate First Class
E CO, 2ND BN, 5TH MARINES, 1ST MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
23 January 1947 - 10 January 1968
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The database page for Henry Lee Prather
His nickname was "Trey". He was a quarterback at LSU. He left the LSU football team after the 1966 season to become a Marine. What a mature young man he must have been to give up the 'good life' to go off to war. I think he is the only LSU football alumnus to die in Vietnam. I just wanted to thank him for his supreme sacrifice and to say 'Thank you, Trey" for my freedom.
From a 1966 LSU student and LSU football fan.
14 Jan 2008
It was 40 years on 1/10/08 that he left us.
"Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.
'To An Athlete Dying Young''THE TIME you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.
So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.
And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.'
- A.E. Housman -
Thank you for all you did for me. I am so proud to carry your name, it is my badge of honor. I am 47 now and think of you every day, what an impact you had on a 7 year old. I will see you again, my friend. I did not become the quarterback you said I would, but I think you would be proud of the man I have become. I learned from you that doing the right thing is always right, maybe not popular but right. Thank you for letting a pain from next door hang out and feel special.
P.S #15 is always my lucky number.
From a friend and pest,
I was working in the Staff Section at An Hoa, Vietnam. I remember it was the first week in January 1968 that young PFC Prather was killed. Our Battalion Commander was really upset. LCpl Cheatham was an SEC college football player and played a little pro football. He did not know about PFC Prather's football college experience until after Trey's death. LCpl Cheatham let it be known that if the Colonel knew about the talented PFC Prather he would have put him on his staff instead of being put in a line company. I was asked to type the letter to Prather's family. I remember the day well. I was later in combat at Hue City, Vietnam and was seriously wounded. I would believe that Trey would have wanted no special attention for being a college football player. He wanted to be a Marine; he died a hero.
A Note from The Virtual WallPfc Prather died on 10 Jan 1968 of injuries received from a mine - but the date he was injured is not known. The 2nd Bn, 5th Marines Command Chronology does note that on 09 Jan one Marine from Echo Company was seriously injured when he triggered a 25 pound box mine about 3 kilometers south-southwest of the Liberty Bridge ... but the Marine's name is not included in the entry.
Trey Prather played high school football at Woodlawn High School, Shreveport, Louisiana. Although Prather never became a famous NFL star, someone who played behind him did - Terry Bradshaw, who says
"I played for Woodlawn High and was part of its great string of quarterbacks. Ahead of me was the best quarterback I ever played with, Trey Prather. He played at LSU for a year before joining the Marines; sadly, he was killed in Vietnam."
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 30 Aug 2007
Last updated 08/10/2009