More Than A Name Upon A Wall
Jerry Don Giesecke
Corporal C CO, 2ND BN, 3RD INFANTRY, 199TH INFANTRY BDE, USARV Army of the United States Comanche, Texas June 30, 1948 to December 18, 1969 JERRY D GIESECKE is on the Wall at Panel W15, Line 70
It sounds professional, even a bit clinical, doesn’t it? And yet once upon a time not so very long ago, as time goes, Jerry Don Giesecke was a young man, just like the rest of the young men in this country. Of course, we’d all heard of Vietnam, the nightly news made sure of that, but I doubt that any of us could have told you where it was or found it on a map without quite a bit of searching.
And then, Jerry Don was drafted and sent to a place that suddenly we all knew more about than any teenager should have to know because Jerry Don Giesecke was one of those boys who didn’t make it home from the jungles of the hell hole that was Vietnam.
“THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY HAS ASKED ME TO EXPRESS HIS DEEPEST REGRET THAT YOUR SON PRIVATE FIRST CLASS JERRY D GIESECKE, WAS KILLED IN ACTION IN VIETNAM ON 18 DECEMBER 1969. HE WAS AT A NIGHT DEFENSE POSITION WHEN SUPPORTING ARTILLARY FIRE DIRECTED AT A HOSTILE FORCE LANDED IN THE AREA. PLEASE ACCEPT MY DEEPEST SYMPATHY. THIS CONFIRMS PERSONAL NOTIFICATION MADE BY A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY.”
The telegram was signed by Kenneth G. Wickham, Major General.
It wasn’t too long after the death of his son that Jerry Don’s father, Chester Giesecke, became my teacher. Of course, I knew that Mr. Giesecke had lost his son, but it would be another decade before I understood what that look on his face really meant. It would be much longer before that fine Christian man and I would sit down and talk about the pain that comes with the loss of a child.
“I have the honor to inform you that Jerry has been awarded posthumously the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, and the Good Conduct Medal, and the Sharpshooter Badge with automatic rifle and rifle bars.’
Again, Major General Wickham signed the letter.
The Moving Wall wwas featured in Comanche during the 2014 Pow Wow. I viewed it with Chuck and Carolyn Ratliff of Comanche. Chuck is a Vietnam vet whose own story is featured on texansunited.com. Click here to read.