Memory of Vicente Aguilar, Jr.
Aguilar Jr., served with the 3rd Marine Division, 2nd Battalion,
4th Marines, Company G in Vietnam.
In April-May 1968, the Marines of G/2/4 came up against the 320th
North Vietnamese Army Division.
fierce fighting that ensued was one of the most costly USMC battles
in Vietnam in casualties and wounded Marines. Vicente Aguilar, Jr. was
awarded the Silver Star for his heroic actions on behalf of his fellow
Marines, although severely wounded himself.
behalf of Vicente's family, friends, and fellow Marines, I am honored
to display Vicente's Silver Star Citation. God bless you forever, Brother
Vicente Aguilar, Jr.
Aguilar's Silver Star Citation
President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the
SILVER STAR MEDAL to:
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS VICENTE
UNITED STATES MARINE
for service as set forth
in the following
conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving
as a Machine Gun Team Leader with Company G, Second Battalion,
Fourth Marines, Ninth Marine Amphibious Brigade in connection
with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam.
1 May 1968, Company G was attacking a numerically superior North
Vietnamese Army force occupying the village of Dai Do in Quang
Tri Province when the Marines came under a heavy volume of hostile
artillery, mortar and automatic weapons fire and sustained numerous
quickly, Private First Class AGUILAR moved through the hazardous
area to a dangerously exposed position, and directed accurate
suppressive machine gun fire against the enemy, enabling his platoon
to regroup and evacuate its casualties.
four hostile soldiers crawling down a path toward his platoon,
he immediately took them under fire, killing all of them. Having
nearly exhausted his ammunition supply, Private First Class AGUILAR
fearlessly moved about the hazardous area and rapidly collected
additional ammunition for his weapon. Noticing a North Vietnamese
soldier attempting to envelop his gun position, he killed the
man and seized his weapon.
he returned to his position, he alertly observed two injured Marines
lying 100 meters to his front. With complete disregard for his
own safety, he crossed the fire-swept area to aid his wounded
comrades. Although they had succumbed to their wounds, he resolutely
carried one casualty to his perimeter, and started moving toward
the other one when his unit resumed its attack.
forward, the platoon received heavy automatic weapons fire from
an enemy bunker. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Private
First Class AGUILAR unhesitatingly maneuvered toward the hostile
emplacement and destroyed it with a hand grenade, killing three
enemy soldiers. Continuing his determined efforts, he again exposed
himself to the intense enemy fire, and while obtaining additional
machine gun ammunition, was seriously wounded.
this courage, gallant actions and selfless devotion to duty at
great personal risk, Private First Class AGUILAR upheld the highest
traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval
H.W. BUSE, JR.
LIEUTENANT GENERAL, US. MARINE CORPS
COMMANDING GENERAL, FLEET MARINE FORCE, PACIFIC
Vicente was coming home to his country
home in Harper, Texas early on the morning of November 16, 1993. The
country road was curvy, and it had just started to rain. His car slipped
off the road, overturned, and he was killed immediately. Thanks to the
Lord, his days of suffering were over.
spent 13 years with this amazing hero, listened to his stories, took
care of him the best I could, and loved him through to his soul. He
was only 45 when he lost his last life, as he said many times, "The
cat has 13 lives, I've seen many more than that.~Mardi Gonyea
(left) and Golf Co. 2/4 Marines
Love and Admiration
my big brother joined the Corps,
got a man, a true Marine.
some men I've met since or ever seen.
loved life and all living things.
never hurt or killed anything or anyone,
for food or in defense of his life,
his country or fellow Marines.
loved my big brother,
now I wished we'd had more in common.
always defended me, and all others
were disabled, he treated with
was the only man alive who could
he always did it nicely, he was never mad or rude.
memory of my big brother, Vince.
wrote the following poem in December 1989.
He was going through a particularly hard time with PTSD.
Daddy, Daddy why are you crying?
Is it something that we've done?
It's things from way back in my past
Things that I cannot tell you son.
Daddy, Daddy why are you angry?
Are you hurt, or is it something what we've done to you?
Yes my sons, I am hurt, but it's not anything you've done.
It's things from my past that make me sad, and angry too.
Daddy, Daddy why are you leaving?
My sons asked me. crying.
I'm leaving 'cause I love you so.
I don't want you to see me dying.
Daddy, if you're sick we can take you to the doctor.
I know if you are feeling ill, he'll make you feel better.
It's not that kind of sick, my sons, it's something worse, I fear
But, it doesn't matter where I go, I'll love you guys forever.
My sons don't understand that I'm already dead.
That I don't call this living, of man I'm just a shell
They just know that I cannot work or play with them.
My family, my being in my life, shot all to hell.
If the good Lord should take me, while I'm here in bed.
It's something I look forward to, it's not a thing I dread.
I've hurt my wife, kids, and even my Father and Mother.
If the good Lord would take me, then I could hurt no other.
Times may come and times may go,
But PTSD goes on and on.
THERE ARE MANY, many
thorns...one would think,
to a rose,
BUT...NOT IN TEXAS
It is the symbol
texas pride...that yellow rose
is there where in
life, i always wanted to live
it is in texas
my spirit grew
where his soul did live
got to share it with him,
for this i am so proud
because i asked him to take
that he did
when he left the world
and in texas he died
texas heart, his marine corpS pride
family will have the opportunity
To see him every single
a friend of mine..
honored him so special now.
please, take this texas rose
sweet usmc wife friend
know, you will be thanked endlessly
by not only vicente's family,
but by your new
gonyea nicklin ~
of Contents] [What's
New] [My Marines] [FMF
Poems, Memoirs] [Reunions]
Vicente courtesy of Leo Aguilar, and Mardi Gonyea Nicklin )
(Enhanced picture of Vicente made with love by Jude Ribbing)