Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Letter About My Father's Death.

My father, Robert E Pugh, died in Vietnam over forty years ago. Today I was rummaging in my closet and found this letter to my mother. It is dated 30 May 1967 and is from LTC Robert L. Moore.

I am trying to decide how to display such items from my mother's that deal with my father's death. I don't want this items to get lost in my closet.

I thought some of you might find the letter interesting. In case you are curious, my dad was sent to Vietnam when my mom was seven months pregnant and she got news that he died when I was five weeks old.

Dear Mrs. Push,

I was recently assigned as the Commanding Officer of the 87th Engineer Battalion(construction); shortly after I arrived, I was made cognizant of the circumstances surrounding the death of your late, beloved husband. It also became readily apparent ot me that he was held in very high esteem by many of his comrades who remain with us and who knew not only of his contributions to our efforts against the enemy but also of his personal contributions to the Battalion and his associates.

At the time, it was suggested to me that it would be both fitting and appropriate to dedicate a facility, constructed by this Battalion, to the memory of your husband. I wholehearteldly concurred and there was a consensus of opinion that the most meaningful structure that could be memorialized would be the South Beach Amphitheater which is the principal entertainment facility on Cam Ranh Peninsula. This particular structure erected in order to better cope with the Viet Cong threat; rather, it symbolizes the universal quest for understanding and a communion of ideals. The Amphitheater has already payed host to such notables and dignitaries as Bob Hope and Cardinal Spellman.

This week, the Battalion received approval from General Westmoreland's Headquarters to dedicate the South Beach Ampitheather to the memory of your husband, and to redesignate the facility as the "Robert E. Push Memorial Amphitheater." In this regard, I would like to request your concurrence as to the memorization and I would like to note my regret that we are unable to request your presence at the formal dedication ceremonies tentatively scheduled for 2 July, 1967. The distance involved and the military situation preclude any possibility of requesting your presence.

There are two requests that I would like to make of you; first, if at all possible, I would appreciate a very brief resume of your late husband's early life in order that pertinent portions my be extracted for inclusions in the General Order which officially memorializes the Ampitheater. In addition, I would appreciate your informing any relatives that you may deem appropriate of the pending memorization and, in this regard, I will attempt to forward you any pictures and other material that maybe available and which are of such a nature as may prove to have a sentimental value for you.

My best regard to you and yours and with a sincere hope that I shall hear from you in the near future.

Respectfully Yours,

Robert L. Moore


PlainCatholic said...

God bless your dad and all who bravely served this country to protect our freedoms!

Lady Rose said...

Wow, that is so neat that they named the ampitheater after your dad! Have you ever visted there?

deb said...

Thank you both.

Lady Rose, no I haven't visited the ampitheater. I don't even know if it still exists. I would love to go to Vietnamn though, if just to stand on the same beach that my father must have. He took a lot of photos of the Vietnamese people, so he must not have had any resentment against the people whose country he was in.

Lily said...

Such an honor to have bestowed upon your family. May your dear father rest in peace. He must have been an amazing man to be recognized so specially during a war that had a high cost in lives and many heros. Thanks for posting this. God bless.

deb said...

Lily, thanks. From everything that I have been told, my dad was a pretty amazing guy. I wish that I could have known him.

john said...

Hi Debra,
You visited my web page and left a message regarding your dad. The 87th Combat Engineer was a Company, your dad was in the 87th Engineer Battalion. When I first got on the internet and look up the 87th engineers, I would be reading about your dads unit. I would tell myself that I do not remember being in Cam Ranh Bay then I would put it together I was in the 87th Eng. Company not Battalion. My company was north of Saigon Cam Ranh Bay was so nice that it was an in country R&R area. Most of us were not resentful of the people. They were making the best of the situation and most of them were not resentful toward us. Oh, what governments make young men do?

deb said...

Thank you, John! I see my mistake now. I got companies and battalions mixed up. lol

Now that I know the difference maybe it will be easier to find someone who knew my dad.

Gibby said...

I was with the 87th when your dad was killed. I was not in the same company as your dad, but his best friend was transfered to my company after your dad was killed. I am sorry I can not remember his name but he took it real hard.
If you happen so look in the archives of the Bob Hope Shows from Cam Rahn Bay, that is the amphitheater that was named for your Dad. It was a firs class vacility.
I think your dad was the first person killed in action for th 87th. I am sorry but that is about all I can remember.
J.David (Gibby) Gibson

deb said...

Thank you gibby for writing me. I am really lucky, I have some photos of the amphitheater that were sent to my mom. If I can figure out how to, I will post them.

deb said...

Thank you gibby for writing me. I am really lucky, I have some photos of the amphitheater that were sent to my mom. If I can figure out how to, I will post them.

Anonymous said...

My father was stationed in Vietnam driving supply trucks from base to base during '67 to '68. He passed away August 13, 2008 in the afternoon. He was a Corporal in the Army. I'm only sharing this because tonight I felt lonely and was missing him and found this blog. If he was here with me now he would laugh and probably even joke around that he knew your father. I have spent the last 25 years getting to know a wonderful man and I feel for you that you did not get that same opportunity. I just wanted you to know that visiting your blog tonight has brought a great comfort and feel as though I should thank you for sharing this with us. Sean (Indianapolis, In)

deb said...

Sean, you were very lucky to have gotten to know your father. I bet that he was a wonderful man. Thank you very much for sharing that with me.

rich rankin said...

I worked with Bob Pugh in B Company 87th Engineers,Earth Moving Plattoon.I can not tell you how deeply his loss hurt use.He was like the rest use, just wanting to do his time in-country and return home to his wife and new baby.If you would like more info. please e-mail me at

Anonymous said...

My name is Larry Pasch and I new your father. I would like to share some information and stories with you about him. Most too long to post on this site. Is it possible to get an email address where I can contact you?

deb said...

Just click on my profile to the right and my email should be listed.

deb said...

Hello Larry. My email is listed in my profile to the right in blue. Scroll down to you find the section called About me. Click on 'About Me' and that will take you to my profile and my email address.

Keith said...

I was watching Bob Hope's DVD and stopped it at Cam Rahn Bay when it displayed "Robert E Pugh Memorial Ampitheater."

I wondered who he was, Googled, and came to your site.

Thank you for posting the letter from LTC Robert L. Moore. I'm sorry you never knew your father.