Julio Quinones, JrPrivate First Class
A CO, 4TH BN, 23RD INF RGT, 25 INF DIV
Army of the United States
27 December 1950 - 17 July 1969
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The database page for Julio Quinones, Jr
Julio Quinones, our childhood friend and neighbor. "Weenie" was his nickname. His mother is Emily, his father was passed on before we became neighbors. Genie, Debra and Vanda were his sisters and he had a younger brother Harrington. They were our neighbors for a while in 1963. It was just for a while.
Years passed and we met up with the Quinones family again in 1969, Julio was already in Vietnam. But he remembered our family, especially my sister Betty Ann, I remember back in 1963 he used to chase her around and tell her how beautiful she looked and he tried to kiss her dozens of times.
They started writing to each other. He would send her gifts, like the Vietnamese girl doll and a Vietnamese woman's silk outfit. My sister and I shared the same bedroom,and she used to share her letters and their dreams with me. He asked her to be his wife. He wanted to get married as soon as he finished his time there. She said "YES". The letters were so full of love and my sister was so happy.
On one of those nights I was sitting there on my bed with a new writing tablet and pen, my sister was on the other bed, she was reading a letter that she had received. I remember telling her that I wanted to write a song, and was thinking what I was going to write about. My sister was deep in thought reading her letter, she didn't feel so good and was bothered by what she was reading. I asked her what was wrong, what did he write? And she read her letter, he told her how he and his friend were going to drive each other's tank the next day, they were going to switch tanks. They were going into battle and it didn't feel good. He said he "felt like there was no tomorrow". Then he went on saying he wished he was back home in Hawaii, and couldn't wait for their wedding day. I told my sister, that's it, that will be my song, The title was, "Like There's No Tomorow". I wrote about the two of them and the circumstance that they were in. The next day I mailed it to a record company. My sister never got over that letter.
A couple of weeks later Betty got a call from his sister - Julio was not coming home. Months later I received a record contract from a record company. But I let it slip away, for I could not think of what my sister would go through every time she would hear that song. It took a long time for my sister to move on with her life, but I do know a part of him will always be with her.
Julio, you will always be our hero, you will always be in our hearts, and Thank You for fighting for Our Country.
I was Julio's squad leader. We all knew him affectionately as "Pinapple" because of his Hawaiian ancestry ... What a guy! He was indespensable to our squad, could spot an enemy target a mile away ... I can still see that "sheepish" toothy grin of his when he would pull a joke on someone. We all were a close family and had lots of grins in spite of being in a God forsaken war ...
I was shot on June 6th 1969 and Julio was right there to help pull me off of the battle field ... Since I was sent back to the States at that time it was almost 25 years before I learned of his death ... It was a sad day when I found out. But, having known "Pineapple" that short period of time, still brings a smile to my face when I think of how goofy he was.
Dave and Al and I talk about you every time we are together, "Pineapple". You were a true friend and a brave warrior.
I miss you, brother.
SSgt Rick Lewis
A Note from The Virtual WallPFC Quinone was the driver of his squad's armored personnel carrier (APC), a vehicle designed to carry troops and much more lightly armored than a tank. According to another squad member, PFC Quinones was killed when his APC hit a land mine while enroute to pick up a platoonmate who had been bitten by a snake (Vietnam possesses some very poisonous snakes!) while out on an ambush.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009