Monday, May 26, 2008

Breaking Away from Energy Issues on Memorial Day To Remember a Friend: John Lawrence Beek

The nickname that fit U.S. Army Captain John Lawrence Beek was “General.” You knew Larry would be one someday by the way he conducted himself, treated others and performed his mission, so that's what I called him.

Larry was an information officer with the Berlin Brigade Headquarters and was a great help to me personally when I arrived in West Berlin in 1966. We last met in December 1969 after I had completed my Vietnam tour and stopped over in San Francisco on the way home and civilian life. Larry was from Oakland, and his tour with the 25th Infantry Division would begin after the holidays.

Larry arrived in Vietnam on January 7, 1970 and died 24 days later in a helicopter crash in Tay Ninh Province that claimed the lives of seven men. Losing him after such a short time in-country was almost beyond comprehension.

Like nearly all Vietnam casualties, Larry’s name is found online only on sites related to the war. Maybe his daughter Leslie will find this blog in a search for her father's name someday and see that Larry was remembered here on Memorial Day 2008.

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