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Born on June 20, 1948
Casualty was on Sept. 4, 1967

Panel 25E - - Line 107

HN James C. O'Reilly, Jr. served with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, India Company. He was Killed In Action during Operation SWIFT. His name stands proudly on the India 3/5 Wall of Honor alongside his Marines and fellow FMF Corpsmen. Semper fi, Doc. We will never forget.

Operation SWIFT

Semper fi, Doc

The people of India Company 3rd Bn. 5th Marines would like all to know that this Corpsman was our friend. Our Corpsman are very special to us as Marines. Thank you Doc. for all you gave. Semper Fi.

Sgt. Curtis Eidson
India 3/5 67-68


To grow into young manhood with best friend Jimmy, challenging the limits, reckless in high school on adventures and in the streets. Learning how it's all done, measuring our potential, finding a brother in each other. Then he joined the Navy, became a medic for something to do. Got assigned to a Marine infantry unit.

 I was proud of him, I was afraid for him. He came back on last leave before his tour in South Vietnam. We laughed, we drank from starry filled nights to bright sunny mornings ending with the good-bye moment. "If I don't come back" he said. "Never happen," I said.

 Eight months later my world crashed when the Navy sent back my last letter "address does not exist." How could I tell myself the spirit that sparkled in his eyes is gone, destroyed. How could I tell myself Jimmy is dead. I visited his sister and mom for strength, I couldn't visit the closed casket. How do you ever explain it to yourself. I cried for 3 days. Somehow I knew one day I would to end up in the Vietnam I saw on TV and he wrote about. Looking for Jimmy, looking for answers. Sept. 1967. Patrick Trainor


Rows of still endlessness 
white stones for eternity
 standing at attention 
all becalmed 
to the four somber horizons 
when i found Jimmy 
in that great pale dead sea 
unbecomingly was he 
waiting for me patiently 
resting quietly 

James Conrelius O’Reilly, Jr. 
June 20, 1948 
September 4, 1967 

we talked while i cried 
trying to make peace
 with the past.

Patrick Trainor

Jimmy 1967 To 1988

He joined up
went away to train
came back a medic
stayed for 30 days last leave
partied like it was the last of it
before he went
straight to hell

His letters recorded
the changed young man
till one of my letters
was returned unopened
"address does not exist"
the body bag came home
with a don't open note

His mom got our flag folded
in the perfect triangle
I only had his mom and sister
I cry a river for 3 days
and floated away
on historical events

The stage was set
with world wide issues
and I was haunted
by the answer to the question
as was my male generation
to be or not to be
 I wanted to know

I want to see inside the black hole
not listen to someone else's
second hand opinion
and I missed Jimmy
I went way to train for 18 weeks
I came home for 30 days last leave
I partied like it was the last of it

I rode a big silver bird
a 24 hour ride staring
out the little window
at the great Pacific
for a trace of Jimmy's wake
in the oblivion
of that blue ocean that never ended

I reached the mud and sweat
the 360 degree tension
the immense poverty
the rotting stink
the strange dark brooding 
cold blooded haunted world
of night noises
and the ringing between your ears
and the anticipation
and the inhumanity of it all
 I changed

Nothing's the same
nothing will ever be the same
years haven't faded the smells
or images flashing
full of emotions

sooner or later
I see him in a crowd
his eyes never catch me staring
he's still 19
he never stops to recognize me
it's a big joke I tell myself
but it's not funny,
it will never be

Patrick Trainor


(FMF title graphic by Redeye)
(3/5 FMF Corpsman Memorial graphic by Vic Vilionis)


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