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