Russell Michael Zgrabik

Army of the United States
14 September 1946 - 26 January 1967
Cleveland, Ohio
Panel 14E Line 084

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Russell Michael Zgrabik

11 Jun 2002

Russell Zgrabik was one of the "big guys" but he always made sure us littler and younger ones were not bullied. Russell had a moped motorcycle that he ran his paper route with. I was 13 when the news hit our little community of his death.

Russell, your mom, dad, and sister were devastated. You looked so strong, and brave, at your funeral. Your mom died a few years later, followed by your dad. Your sister Lois died (about age 26), so there are no more Zgrabiks anymore. Driving past your old home, just, well, lets me never forget you. You are also on the memorial in front of town hall. Wish I could have gotten to know you.

From the "little kid" down the road, thank you.

11 Jul 2006

Hi, Russell. I found your gravesite last weekend. Doesn't look like you've had a visitor in quite a while. I cleaned it up and also left you a Bud Lite. I know you're still 20, but we'll keep it between you and me.

I'm troubled. You had playmates, classmates, buddies, girlfriends, teachers, co-workers, bosses, and comrades in arms. No one has added to your memorial. Sad. I won't forget. Thank you for your sacrifice.

From a neighbor kid,


I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came her date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life's actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

�1996 Linda Ellis
Linda's lyrics
The Dash Movie
(may not work with some browsers)

A Note from The Virtual Wall

C Company, 3/39th Infantry, lost five men during the period 23-26 January 1967, all to enemy gunfire. Four were killed out-right; the fifth, Corporal Zgrabik, died of wounds. While The Virtual Wall cannot positively associate Corporal Zgrabik with the 23 or 25 Jan incidents, it seems likely that he was wounded on one of those days. The other four men were
  • 2LT Billy W. Flynn, Greensboro, NC (01/23/1967)
  • SSG Jerome Conner, Memphis, TN (01/25/1967)
  • CPL Arthur E. Donovan, South Ozone Park, NY (01/25/1967)
  • SFC Archie M. Ellyson, Richwood, WV (01/25/1967)

The following e-mail has been received:
From: "Doug Pratt"
Subject: Corporal Russell Zgrabik - 39th Inf. - Comments on "A Note from The Virtual Wall"
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2006
Good Morning;
Your note says that you cannot positively associate Corpoaral Zgrabik's death with wounds received in action on January 23-26. I would like to help.
I was one of the Medics in C Company at that time. Russell was wounded in that action on January 25 and later died in transit to the hospital or at the hospital. Of the 5 men you mention Art Donovan is the only one I don't have a clear memory of.

Doug Pratt

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index Z
OH State Index . Panel 14E
39TH INF RGT Index

Contact Us

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 11 Jun 2002
Last updated 08/10/2009