1942 - Harvey, unknown, Lloyd (12 yrs), Pop, Lizzie & Ernie Rohde
Lizzie died this year
1943 - Lloyd (13 yrs)
1946 - Lloyd Hans Rohde, 16 years old
1947 - Lloyd Hans Rohde joins the Army at 17 years old
The letters were filled with excitement about travel, homesickness, discussions about various jobs he was doing while serving, dating girls, news of the weather, how he looked forward to payday, dreams of what he'd do when he got out, news about which other family member he had received a letter from, etc.
He was assigned to many places over his almost 20 year career in the Army: the states and abroad to places like Germany, Korea, and lastly Viet Nam. Only a few short months before he was to retire, he was wounded.
The whole family looked forward to his furlough days.
1959 - Uncle Lloyd is home!
The Stanton's, Borgers, Karl Rohde's, Olsens and Uncle Harvey are there too.
1960 - Lloyd, Harvey, Karl, Ernie, Herman - The Rohde Boys
Last visit home in 1966 prior to being deployed to Viet Nam
Back row: Lloyd, Karl, Harvey, Pop, Ernie
Front row: Millie, Helen, Vie, Lillie
(missing from the picture is Herman who was also there)
This was awarded 3 days prior to his being wounded.
While reading those letters, I found one in 1966 that Mom had written to Uncle Lloyd. She was confiding in him how scared she was that her son Ron had been drafted and she was fearful he would be shipped out to Viet Nam. Ron and I graduated from high school in 1966. She wrote that she had talked to her brother Karl and he had told her because Ron had polio as a child and had one leg shorter than the other, he was confident he'd be assigned to a no-combat zone. As it turned out, that was the case - Ron was assigned to Germany.
News received about Lloyd being wounded on Nov. 4, 1966
In one of the letters Mom had written to Lloyd that her sister Helen had seen him on TV getting off a helicopter. The rest of the family was told and they all stayed up late to see if the news would be repeated showing the footage of him. Mom said she was going to try to stay up for the 11:00 news. In the footage, he appeared to be alive.
One letter was written after spending Thanksgiving at Karl and Eileen's house. The family by then were just waiting to hear news of his return to health after having been wounded. But no news was coming. She writes how Pop broke down at the Thanksgiving meal and how Karl went to the phone and called to demand the family get an update -- I think it was the Red Cross that he called. The news articles below does state that the family contacted the Red Cross and they got an investigation going to get an update. It quotes the telegram received by the family with an update on his health.
Red Cross wants investigation into the health of Lloyd
(Click on the image to make it bigger.)
That letter about Ron, the one about Helen seeing him on the news, about the Thanksgiving call to the Red Cross, and about six others never made it to Uncle Lloyd as he was wounded on November 4 and transferred to a hospital. Weeks after Uncle Lloyd died and even after he was buried, the final letters Mom had sent him in the fall of 1966, were returned, unopened. In the final letters she had written, she knew he had been wounded but was writing to express her prayer and hope that he would be okay.
November 30, 1966 - Uncle Lloyd pronounced dead
Condolence letter to Grandpa from the Commanding Captain of Company G,
3D Battalion, 21st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade Infantry
December 12, 1966
The letter above describes that the operation Uncle Lloyd was involved in when he was wounded was called Operation Attleboro. It is described here: http://www.ptsdsupport.net/operation_attleboro.html in an article called "A flawed battle plan turned a combat training exercise in War Zone C into a bloody battle during the fall of 1966." By Colonel Charles K. Nulsen, Jr., U.S. Army (ret.). There is also a Wikipedia article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Attleboro. Another article, "Operation Attleboro: The 196th's Light Infantry Brigade Baptism By Fire in the Vietnam War" can be found here: http://www.historynet.com/operation-attleboro-the-196ths-light-infantry-brigade-baptism-by-fire-in-the-vietnam-war.htm
Silver Star Award Letter
Uncle Lloyd's medals: From the Virtual Wall: http://www.virtualwall.org/dr/RohdeLH01a.htm [NOTE: The linkmaster for the Virtual Wall, Jack L. Morrison, gave permission to use the updated information and graphic for the updated version at The Virtual Wall. "The first file can be used to replace the screen print you have on your site of his memorial page. I adjusted it to show the Silver Star Medal; and his Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) has a star above it because he was awarded it once in Korea and again in Vietnam. Once I finish it up tomorrow, it will go up to our webmaster for posting but that is what it will look like with the exception of the star above the CIB and the cluster on purple heart. I made that especially for you. The star won't show on his finished page at top, but I put it in the text area. The medals box is program generated and we don't track that in our database." Jan 2013.]
Left from top to bottom: Silver Star, Combat Infantryman badge with Star (2nd award for Korea & Vietnam),
Left bottom Row of ribbons: Purple heart with Oak Leaf Cluster (awarded twice), National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign medal with 60's device (for participating in one or more campaigns - SSG Rohde participated in Counteroffensive, Phase II 1 July 1966 - 31 May 1967)
Bottom row of shoulder patches: HQ, US Army, Republic of Vietnam (USARV), 196th Light Infantry Brigade, and 21st Infantry Regiment
Each family member saved flowers and ribbons from the funeral
The Army Escort praises the town's support
Used with permission from webmaster at the Virtual Wall: Email to Patti on 1/26/13: "Also attached is a copy of the CIB with star graphic as well as a copy of his headstone in the cemetery. You may use it for your page if you choose. I got it from FA Grave with the photo poster's permission. On the stone are the initials "SS - PH & OLC" which means Silver Star and Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster"