The men of India Company who fell on
July 24, 1966
Rest in Peace, heroes
I had just
turned 11 when Tink died. I don't remember a lot of things
about Tink. He was always busy doing teenager things while I
was doing what a 9 and 10 year old would do. One thing I do
remember is the time he was chased by the police on his motor
scooter. He drove it through the bushes and dumped it in the
back yard. Of course, I would remember anything to do with
the cops. It was my passion, as much as the Marine's were
One of the hard
things for me was the way I found out about Tink's death.
That day, I was riding along with a neighbor in his dump truck.
He hauled gravel and as an 11 year-old, that was pretty cool.
We had worked all morning hauling but then he needed brake work
done so he went to a shop in Elgin, IL, about 15 miles from our
home. The shop happened to be next to the recruiting office
where Tink had enlisted. So, knowing the Sergeant from when
Tink signed, I decided to pay him a visit. I walked in and
asked for him but he was out. As I turned to leave, he and
another Marine came walking through the door. Little did I know, they had just
gotten back from my house.
He looked at me funny, with my smiling "good to see you"
face. He asked if I had been home. I said no. He
asked how I had gotten there and after telling him, he then gently
told me there was a problem and I needed to get home right away.
I asked if it was my brother. He said "yes".
I asked "Is he hurt?" Yes, he said.
"Bad?" "Yes." Finally, tears
welling up in my eyes, I said "Is he dead?". As
soon as he said yes, I bolted for the door.
Running to the shop, crying probably uncontrollably, I told the
neighbor what I had been told. He got extremely angry and
said that if this was a joke, he was going to knock some teeth
down somebody's throat. He went over to the recruiting
office while I stayed at the shop. He came back shortly,
told the mechanic to put the truck back together and he took me
Our house was next to a big gravel lot where this guy parked his
truck. As we pulled in, my sister Bonnie came out of the
house and walked through the lot toward me. I jumped from
the truck and ran to her. She was thinking she would have to
break the news to me. I just said "I know" and ran
to the house. I went to my room and picked up the combat
helmet Tink had given me on his last leave. I just sat there
with it for what seemed like hours until a cousin came in and
started to take care of me.