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INTRO CLICK on TV Icon at Bottom Rt. Of Screen – show runs 8:01 Minutes He’s our first born son, a soldier In a land so far away Serving his country, by.

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Presentation on theme: "INTRO CLICK on TV Icon at Bottom Rt. Of Screen – show runs 8:01 Minutes He’s our first born son, a soldier In a land so far away Serving his country, by."— Presentation transcript:

1 INTRO CLICK on TV Icon at Bottom Rt. Of Screen – show runs 8:01 Minutes He’s our first born son, a soldier In a land so far away Serving his country, by living In rain, mud and heat each day WELCOME ! Please Enjoy this Presentation of A TRIBUTE to a Fallen HERO ! Dedication to Our Classmate

2 RICKIE D. SPARKS TIMETABLE He was born in Beecher City, IL, July 26, 1947 He and his family moved to rural Manchester-Clinton area in He graduated from Clinton High School, in June, 1965 He was married in Clinton, MI, on June 18, He left for Army boot camp on September 1, And completed Basic Training at Fort Campbell, KY then completed his Advanced Infantry Training at Ft. Polk, LA He shipped out from Ft. Dix, NJ, on February 20, 1967 He was mortally wounded in action, in Vietnam, on Nov. 18, 1967 We wonder if he knows why, We’re sure we don’t understand Why he and others like him Are in that strange and foreign land His Name

3 Picture taken in January 1967 before he shipped out to Fort Dix, NJ, and left Feb. 20, 1967 for Vietnam. Rickie D completes his boot camp at Fort Campbell, KY, in October 1966 Boot Camp & Fort Dix to Vietnam

4 WEDDING DATE Rickie D Sparks Married Classmate Cynthia Ann Parker on June 18, 1966.

5 WEDDING PICTURES It’s not a war they say And yet our son is there Living in the jungle swamps With danger everywhere

6 VIETNAM PICTURE If it’s not a War, what is it? He’s in danger everyday From an enemy that surrounds him Tell us why it must be this way.

7 VIETNAM VETERANS WAR MEMORIAL – THE WALL, WASHINGTON, DC VIETNAM E WAR MEORIAL RICKIE D SPARKS Panel : 30E Line 019 Army Sergeant / Specialist Five Pay grade E5 Killed in action November 18, 1967 by ground casualty multiple fragmentation wounds hostile, died in Binh Duong South Vietnam. The body was recovered. Home of record was TECUMSEH, MI. Born July26, 1947 age at death 20. A Caucasian Male, Married. Religous affiliation Protestant.CAACF Record Number : Source:

8 BRONZE STAR w/ V & Oak Our First-born son, a soldier Is coming home to stay With a military escort Beside him all the way.

9 MEDALS of HONOR

10 BURIAL

11 “Why” poem written by Rickie D’s Mother, Marilyn Sparks  Last 2 verses were added after he was Killed in Action POEM’ S Toy Cannon When he was 5, his mother bought him a toy cannon and he played war with his friends. His father was proud of his soldier son. When he was 6, he broke the toy cannon and cried in his room all day. His father told him that big boys don’t cry, so he choked back the tears and went on with his life. When he was 10, his mother bought him a machine gun. It sounded like the real ones. All his friends had guns, and they played war in the backyard. Under the watchful eyes of their proud parents. When he was 13, his father told him to throw away the machine gun, because big boys don’t play with guns. He wanted to cry, but remembered what his father had told him when he was young. When he was 18, Uncle Sam gave him a rifle, and sent him off to war. So he went to war, wondering about what his father had told him when he was young. When his parents got the letter, his father cried.—Author, Ron MacLean Why? He’s our first born son, a soldier In a land so far away Serving his country, by living In rain, mud and heat each day. We wonder if he knows why. We’re sure we don’t understand, Why he and others like him Are in that strange foreign land. It’s not a war they say And yet our son is there, Living in the jungle swamps With danger everywhere. If it’s not a war, What is it? Do you know why he is there? Can you tell us the reason? Or do you even care. Our first born son, a soldier Is coming home to stay With a military escort Beside him all the way. There’s no joy in his home-coming Only pain and heartache instead Tears of sorrow to greet him For you see our son is dead.

12 VIEW THE WALL The Society of the First Infantry Division Washtenaw County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Ypsilanti Township Hall Ypsilanti, Michigan Lists: MANCHESTER ALAN H. PARKS ARMY 5/27/70 PETER L. VALENCICH ARMY 5/22/67 JAMES R. BIHLMEYER ARMY 4/15/67 DEAN F. SPAULDING, JR. ARMY 12/15/68 RICKIE D. SPARKS ARMY 11/18/67 Lists: Sparks, R D Lists: LANDWEHR DH SPARKS RICKIE D SGT ARMY TECUMSEH 07/26/47 11/18/67 LANDWEHR DUANE HENRY JR 2LT ARMY CLINTON 06/08/45 06/06/69 Operation Name Date Duration Description - location - Units VC NVA KIA's U.S. KIA's Shenandoah II 27 Sep - 19 Nov 67 1st Infantry Division operation in Binh Long and Binh Duong Province VC NVA KIA's U.S. KIA's From the trenches of Cantigny and the beaches of North Africa to the steaming jungles of Vietnam, dedication to duty and the distinction of being first are traditions of which the 1st infantry Division can be proud. The 1st Infantry Division was the first division to go overseas, land in France, meet the enemy and enter Germany during World War I. In World War II, it was the first to reach Britain and France. On July 12, 1965, the 2nd Brigade of the Big Red One landed in Vietnam, the first element of an infantry division to arrive. Since arriving in Vietnam more than four years ago the Big Red One has participated in many significant battles and operations such as Birmingham, Junction City, Billings, Shenandoah II, Quyet Thang, Loc Ning V, An Loc and operation Toan Thang. One of the major contributions to the peace effort has been the 1st Infantry Division's pacification program. Because soldiers of the Big Red One have ferretted out the Viet Cong infrastructure, villages have gained stability and security. July 1969 marked the beginning of a coordinated war effort between Big Red One soldiers and members of the Army of Republic of Vietnam's 5th Division. This program, which is referred to as "Dong Tien" (Progress Together), resulted in victories over the enemy while preparing the ARVN soldier to assure security in his homeland. In December of last year, President Nixon announced that the 1st Division would be one of the major elements of the Phase III redeployment. The division was reduced in strength and moved to Ft. Riley, Kan. After almost five years, the Big Red One's mission in the Republic of Vietnam was completed. THE VIETNAM WAR - The 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, assigned to 1st Division's 2nd Brigade, sailed from San Francisco for South Vietnam 25 June By fall, 1st Battalion, 16th and other Division forces had joined in the fighting. Three brigades commanded nine battalions of infantry: 1-2, 2-2, 1-16, 2-16, 1-18, 2-18, 1-26, 1-28 & They fought eleven hard campaigns from 1965 to Finally, on 3 April 1970 Division colors were furled at Di An, South Vietnam for airlift home. Unfurling those colors at Fort Riley in mid-April signaled the return of the Big Red One and its reorganization as a mechanized infantry division. Welcome to the 16th Infantry Regiment Association 1 INF DIV was a US Army unit Operation SHENANDOAH II Binh Long Province, III Corps, South Vietnam Location, Loc Ninh Description: The 1st Inf Div cunducted operations in Binh Guong Province that extended to include the Loc Ninh area of Binh Long Province after the enemy attacks the district town on 29 October The operation claimed 956 known enemy casualties plus capturing food, weapons, ammo, and supplies The source for this information was Rand, OOB, Turner 1st Inf p:32 1ST INFANTRY DIVISION U.S. ARMY UNITS Source of Materials, Documents & Photo's of Rickie D. Sparks, are from his Mother - Mrs. Marilyn J. Sparks 209 S. Myrtle St. Beecher City, IL Sources & Links: Authored by John E Hoyt, 1965 CHS class webmaster


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