IN LOVING MEMORY...
LCpl Michael D. Dawson, Knoxville, TN.
From the first days of US involvement in Vietnam the Marines provided the bulwark against North Vietnamese invasion across the Demilitarized Zone. Although almost every Marine maneuver battalion operated at some time in the northern-most Province, Quang Tri was the 3rd Marine Division's area of operations and 3rd MarDiv's assigned units bore the brunt of the fighting, losing 7,259 men during the war - more than any other US Division in Vietnam
On 17 June 1969, during Operation VIRGINIA RIDGE, the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, lost 19 men in a heavy engagement with North Vietnamese Army units.
ON THE WALL: Panel 22W Line 064
Just a tennessee country boy was Mike
Sent into the battle’s rift, a nation to heal
Yet his brave spirit still we fondly feel
Just one of America’s sons
Its favored ones
Sent into a cruel land ruled by guns.
Mike's hallowed destiny
Was to give his all, that we might be
In this land of the brave and free
Mike asked no fanfare or accolade
Sweet memories of him will never fade
For we see him often...when heroes parade.
His brother Dennis brought our lost brother home
Mikes no longer forsaken, no longer alone.
Loved ones and family stand ever with our brother
Now abiding in peaceful rest from dark days of thunder.
Mike's shouldering beside brothers on a sacred black granite wall
Still standing so proud...still standing so tall.
We who love you, warmly salute you, Mike Dawson
For you on this MEMORIAL Day, church bells peel
Gone are days of war, for you, our brother dear
Gone too the horrors which you and I both fear
Leaving behind the eternal question, Why?
We cannot reason why Mike had to die...and not I?
Mike, love for you, my brother, will ever be true
For you helped sustain our red, white and blue
Because of men like you, our nation’s honor will ensue.
Fearlessly you went where so many others feared to be
You gave your life bravely...a Vietnam casualty
Patrolling the Long Khanh, across the heartbreak sea...
Just doing your duty...for me!
Mike Dawson's the best man you could ever hope to find
Painful memories of our brother still play on mortal mind
Rack our earthbound beings left behind unkind.
God's soldiers lifted to the supernal, on the wings of a dove
Rest now in the arms of His perfect love.
God's grace upon the head of valiant warriors is sprinkled
Washing o'er with Holy dew from courtyards above distilled.
Mike's eternally free now, survived this world of harms
Risen to find comfort in our Master's arms.
Risen this brother who’s seen too much
Done too much...suffered trials too much
Pushed too far from the common man’s touch...
Heavenly rewards lie in store for Mikes noble sacrifice
Mikes earned a place in God’s supernal paradise!