Ronald James Shewman

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
09 August 1946 - 24 May 1968
Los Angeles, California
Panel 69E Line 002


Ron Shewman

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Ronald James Shewman

19 Sep 2004

My Brother

The telegraph arrived with the news that you would not be coming home. I was numb and drifting as though in a long tunnel with quiet voices on the other end. Mom was nearly inconsolable, no doubt feeling a strong sense of guilt. I was angry because we didn't have more time. I wanted to know you better. I wanted you to know me better. We were both cheated. It just wasn't enough time. You were taken away when you were just a baby to live with Grandma and Grandpa. That wasn't fair. You may have had a better material life but you missed growing up with your brothers and sisters and that cheated everyone. I cried so many tears. I refused to believe it was really you. They must be mistaken. He is only 21. He was just married a few months back and his little baby will be born in November. I too was waiting for you. You were going to come and rescue me. You were going to be my HERO. You are my HERO. I read and reread your letters. I cried more. I wished I had written more. I had a recurring dream that you were lost in Viet Nam wondering the streets and didn't know whom you were. No one here identified your body. They said it was too bad to look at, and I never believed them. If no one looked at the remains then maybe it wasn't you. They make mistakes all the time, right. I couldn't stand to see movies about war or documentaries or anything that would bring back the pain of losing you. I think of you every time I hear the song "Groov'in On A Sunday Afternoon". I remember the silly banter we had back and forth about where "It" was really happening. You said L.A. of course and I said San Jose or San Francisco to be more specific. You talked about the movie studios and the recording artists and the great sounds that came from L. A. and I told you that it was about the Haight Ashbury and Jefferson's Airplane. You said Jack Parr was the greatest and I argued it was Joey Bishop. You and your friends took me to the county fair and had that caricature drawn of me on a surfboard. I had such a great time. I felt special for the first time I can remember. You seemed to actually like me and enjoy my company. You used to call me "Squirt". I felt guilty after you died that I was a HIPPIE and that I hated the fact that we were at war. I never really understood why you went back. I know you said that your buddies had died and you had to finish it for them, but I selfishly wanted you to stay for me. I was so angry when you died because you didn't have to go back. I didn't understand. I think I do now. You will be in my thoughts forever and never forgotten. Thank you for the glimmer of hope you gave me in a very dark period of my life. Thank you for standing tall and being not just my HERO, but a HERO to our country. Your sacrifice is remembered by many. I will love you and miss you forever.


Left to right - Robin (Squirt), Marjorie (Mom), sister Patricia holding Jimmy, and Ron.

Ron, sister Patricia, and brother Bill

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Kilo 3/27 Marines lost six men on 24 May 1968 during "Operation Allen Brook" in southern Quang Nam Province:
  • HN Richard C. Fina, Hudson, WI
  • LCpl Paul Lewis, Saugerties, NY
  • LCpl Ronald J. Shewman, Los Angeles, CA
  • Pfc Jerry L. Hilbert, Louisville, KY
  • Pfc Joseph M. Kaminski, Wilmington, DE
  • Pfc Gary W. Purcell, Torrance, CA

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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