Charles Kent Purcell, II

Private First Class
Army of the United States
23 September 1947 - 13 May 1967
Valparaiso, Florida
Panel 19E Line 111



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Charles Kent Purcell, II

30 May 2001

Two 19 year old guys became friends and bonded very fast, and enjoyed each other for only 1 month and one did not make it.

But never forgotten.
I will always remember you, Charlie.

Your friend
John Harris

26 Mar 2004

All of your Cast Mates from "Up With People" Cast C think of you with the most fond and cherished memories. Thank you Charley for your sacrifice.

From a friend.

Note: "Up With People" is an international program aimed at developing and connecting young people from around the world through unique multicultural, international educational programs. It was initiated in 1965 and continues today.

06 March 2005

Chuck Schultz was reading letters from Vietnam last month, and this story surfaced about PFC Charles Purcell. Chuck believes it to be very appropriate to have it inserted on a The Virtual Wall Memorial for Charles Purcell and for all us Vietnam Veterans. Mr. and Mrs. Purcell sent a letter to C Battery that included a poem written by Charles shortly after arriving in Vietnam. The Purcells also sent a copy of the poem to Congressman Sykes of Florida, who read the poem to the full House of Representatives in Washington, DC.

The following was included in the "Congressional Record" in 1969, as Congressman Sykes addressed the House:

"Mr. Speaker, young Charles K. Purcell is dead. He was nineteen. His parents live in Valparaiso in my district. Two weeks before his death he wrote a poem. His Mother gave it to me when she told me that he hade the supreme sacrifice for America. This nineteen-year old had a home and a wonderful family. He had a girlfriend, too, and a great many friends, for he was a wholesome American boy. All of them know what he has done and what other nineteen-year olds are doing for their country. Perhaps his poem will help the rest of us to do more - even just a little more - to bring about victory."

The poem follows.

by Charles K. Purcell II

I'm an American soldier,
     My country I protect.
But I fight in Vietnam
     Which I did not select.
I was happy, I was care-free,
     Still young and full of life.
I was torn from my world
     To help end this strife.
I didn't want this war,
     I just can't see the light.
It's for our homes and families
     So I will have to fight.
The Cong is our enemy,
     The fight is always near.
But at home the draft card burners
     Are attacking from the rear.
At home they pay no notice
     They could care less.
"Let the fools go over there,
     Heck with the bloody mess
The clergy pray for us,
     The Mothers fret and cry.
We lie here and hope and wait,
     At home they all just sigh!
"He was a good ole guy,
     too bad it had to be.
I know it is a terrible thing,
     But better him than me."
The girl friends drop the soldiers.
     They cannot wait for some
Who are fighting to protect them,
     But never may come home.
The war continues on,
     So I will let it ride.
I can last for just a year,
     For God is on our side.

House Congressional Record
22 May 1969

From a comrade-in-arms,
2/13th Artillery,
William Novakovic

29 Jan 2006

Upon my arrival in Vietnam to the 2/13th Arty as a Second Lieutenant, I was assigned to Headquarters Battery. In those first few days, I was assigned to inventory the personal effects of Charles Purcell and ship them to his loved ones. I never knew him, except through those effects which included some touching poems.

For a new 2LT in Vietnam, having to do this task reminded me that each man under my command was a real person with a family waiting at home. I made up my mind right then that I would do everything I could do to make sure my men made it back. We went through Tet 1968 and none under my command were lost. Maybe the sobering experience of handling Charles Purcell's effects contributed to their safety. I believe so.

From an officer in his battalion,
George E Tucker, Jr.
76 Woodland Square, Petal, MS 39465

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Fire Support Base Caroline was located at Sui Da in Tay Ninh Province. The base was isolated, and was responsible for providing covering fires on the road between Dau Tieng and Tay Ninh. In view of Nui Ba Den, the Black Virgin Mountain, the fire base was hit by a devastating recoiless rifle and mortar attack on 13 May 1967. C Battery, 2/13th Artillery, lost four men during the attack:

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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