The database page for David Lloyd Wightman
Dave was my best friend from the eighth grade through high school and beyond until his untimely death. When he left us he was a newlywed with a charming and supportive wife, the former Aimee Winkenbach. He was an optimist with a great sense of humor. He could find something to laugh about in most anything. He had a wonderful sense of the ridiculous. He was a simple and gentle soul and a brilliant artist. Shortly before being sent to Viet Nam, he got the backing and sponsorship of Wayne Thiebaud, a nationally known artist and professor of art at the University of Californian at Davis. His foot was in the door.
He landed in Viet Nam on his twenty first birthday, April 27, 1967. He was killed on August 3 that same year, the victim apparently of an American land mine that reportedly detonated and killed Dave as he was placing mines around what was to have been his squadron's encampment for the night.
Dave was a gifted athlete. He did not like sports, he was just genetically blessed with quick reflexes and the ability to run faster than most everyone else. He also liked to be challenged physically, so when he was sent to advanced infantry training, he excelled. Those of us who knew him well were all worried when he got his orders to go to Asia. We had a hard time believing that he could survive in a truly hostile environment. We worried that he would come face to face with an enemy and die in that instant of hesitation that you'd expect such a gentle soul to experience before taking another life. After all, this was a guy I once saw broken hearted over the death of a feral dove.
David and his art touched many lives and even today, more than forty years later, his light burns brightly in the hearts of those who knew him, either directly or through his art.
I believe that he was awarded a Bronze Star for his brief service.
General Douglas MacArthur once said of the American troops in Korea "They have met all tests there, and I can report to you without reservation, that they are splendid in every way." I know that Dave tried his very best to be the best at whatever he did. Although I never got to see him again after he left for the Army, I know that as a soldier he met all tests and he was splendid in every way. He is loved and missed by many.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 17 Mar 2008
Last updated 08/10/2009