Kenneth Earl Stetson
Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
Longmont, Colorado
January 14, 1946 to February 17, 1968
KENNETH E STETSON is on the Wall at Panel 39E, Line 77

Combat Action Ribbon
Kenneth E Stetson
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"We were married June 25, 1965 in Longmont Colorado. Ken's death in 1968 was a great loss to many of us and brought on dark years for me until in 1971 when the Lord blessed me with a second great husband in June. Richard told me he didn't come to take Ken's place, but to hopefully make his own place and he hoped I would love him as much as I loved Ken. After 42 years, and being deeply blessed, we, as a couple, still visit Ken's grave and remember his sacrifice."

"Ken was such a good and wonderful man, always helping others, watching out for them. He had a kind and big heart and had his whole life ahead of him with lots of hopes. So many lives were affected by the Viet Nam war in a negative way, but in my heart I hope that there too was some good that came from the war and people who might have been blessed because men and women like Ken gave their lives for what they hoped would be a good cause."

"Bless you for keeping the Virtual Wall going so that people do not forget. God Bless,"

- - Janet (Yeager) Stetson Boespflug, wife.
March 26, 2013

Kenneth Stetson was born 14 January 1946 in Chadron Nebraska to Eleanora L. Stetson-Hendrickson (1921 - 2005) and Lester Stetson (1912 - 1973). His family farmed and ranched in the Chadron and Crawford Nebraska area until 1959 when the family moved to the Longmont Colorado area.

It was in High School that Kenny and Janet Irene Yeager met during their sophomore year of high school. He enjoyed and was good at football and wrestling. They were married June 25, 1965 in Longmont, Colorado

Kenny enlisted in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program (DEP) to enter the service. He did not wish to be drafted into the Army so he signed up for the program in Denver, Colorado on December 15, 1966, entering on active duty shortly thereafter. He finished bootcamp and went to Vietnam, arriving June 26, 1967. He was assigned to E Battery of the 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines as part of a Forward Observer Team for Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines.

The February 1968 Command Chonology Report stated for G Company on the 17th: "From 171047H until 171705, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines units located in the vicinity of (YD761205), (YD763207), (YD748027) and (YD759206), were plagued with incidents involving sniper fire, automatic weapons fire, several rounds of B-40 rockets, 60mm mortars and 82 mortars. A 120 rounds of 81mm mortar was returned on suspect enemy mortar positions. Results: 2 USMC KIA, 20 USMC WIA and 10NVA/VC KIA (Confirmed)."

At 1000 hours, LCPL Kenneth Earl Stetson, Longmont Colorado, part of the Forward Observer team from E Battery, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines with G Company, was evacuated as WIA. His records show he "died 2115 hours at 3rd Medical Battalion, Phu Bai, after being wounded by a gunshot wound to the body from hostile rifle fire while on an operation against a hostile force sustained 1000 hours Thua Thien Province." The attachment to G Company was confirmed by a list of KIA/WIA maintained by David Warner's Company Commander Colonel (Ret) Chuck Meadows (Read his story here). Visit the Peace Trees Vietnam Project website.

A journal entry for later that morning reported:

At 1125 hours, 17 February 1968, G Company was on a search and destroy operation near grid coordinates YD774207 when they received automatic weapons and small arms fire. They returned fire with their automatic weapons and small arms. They were to search area. As a result of the contact, the Marines lost one Killed in Action (KIA) and 2 wounded in action (WIA).

One squad member wounded was PFC Rudy Bustamante who was evacuated and recovered from his wounds.

Coffelt Database records show that LCPL John Frederick Lewis, Joliet Illinois, died from his gunshot wounds.

CPL David Howard Warner, Mercer Island, Washington, was killed instantly from gunshot wounds to the head and body.

The First Marine Division, including G Company, 5th Marines, was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for the period 31 January to 2 March 1968, for extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty in action against enemy forces during Operation HUE CITY conducted in Thua Thien Province.

- - The Virtual Wall
April 3, 2013

LCPL Kenneth Earl Stetson is buried near his mother and father in Mountain View Cemetery, Longmont, Colorado. When Ken was killed, his wife purchased a plot for him and one for her believing that her life was virtually over. Ken's parents, when they died, were buried close but not in the same plot. Jan and her husband Richard Boespflug, have a plot not far from Ken's. Her name will be engraved next to Ken's, noting where she is buried with Rich.

The Stetson family included 5 siblings, 4 boys and a girl: Everett, Larry, Kenneth, Lois, and Keith. All but Kenneth survived their mother when she passed away in May 2005 at the age of 84.


- - The Virtual Wall
April 4, 2013

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