Marvin Lynn Biscamp

Army of the United States
02 August 1952 - 12 April 1972
Omaha, Nebraska
Panel 02W Line 135

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Marvin L Biscamp

The database page for Marvin Lynn Biscamp

31 May 1999

Marvin L Biscamp

In early 1972 my family received a letter from my brother-in-law, Lynn Biscamp. It contained a free-form poem which, after his death, was published in a local newspaper in the following form:

"He Can Save a Life or Take One;
Sometimes He Has Wept"

In March of this year, Sgt. Lynn Biscamp, 19-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Biscamp, 3928 North 95th Street, Omaha, sent a poem to his parents.

He said he and a buddy had written the poem one night. He didn't name the buddy.

A month later, Sgt. Lynn Biscamp, a squad leader in the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam, was dead. On April 12, 1972, at about 4:15 in the afternoon, Squad Leader Biscamp was moving ahead of his patrol when he stepped on a booby trap. He saved his squad, but it cost his life.

Besides his parents and two sisters, he left behind a widow, two daughters and a son.

The poem he and his unnamed buddy wrote expresses the anxieties, monotonies and frustrations a young soldier faces in a far-away foreign land where he sometimes isn't sure who the enemy is or why he is fighting. The young soldiers called the poem: "Fighting for Twenty-One."

Fighting for Twenty-One

The average grunt in most units is 20, but he's all man.

Under normal circumstances, the pink-cheeked, tousle-haired, tight-muscled fellow would be considered to be half man, half boy, still wet behind the ears and a pain in the unemployment chart.

But here and now, he is the beardless hope of free men.

He is, for the most part, unmarried and without material possessions . . . except for an old car at home and a transistor radio here.

He listens to rock 'n roll, 105 millimeter howitzers and the laughter and screams of his buddies. He has learned to drink beer 'cause it's the thing to do.

He is a private first class, a one-year military veteran with one or maybe two years to go.

He still has trouble spelling, and writing letters home is a painful process.

But he can break down a rifle in 30 seconds and put it together in 29. And he can tell you what "frag" means and explain how a machine gun operates; and he can use either if the need arises.

He can dig a foxhole, apply first aid to a wounded buddy, march until told to stop and stop until told to march.

He has seen more suffering than he should have in his short life.

He has stood among hills of bodies and he has helped build those hills.

He has wept in private and in public and not been ashamed, because his pals have died in battle and he has come close to joining them.

He has become self-sufficient.

He gets clean clothes once a week and a shave and shower twice a month . . . or at every stream.

He sometimes forgets to clean his teeth, but never his rifle.

He keeps his feet dry and his canteens full. He cooks his own meals, fixes his own hurts and mends his own rips, both material and emotional.

He'll share his water if you're thirsty, he'll break his rations in half if you're hungry, and he'll split his ammo if you are fighting for your life.

He can do the work of two civilians, draw half the pay of one and see the ironic humor of it all.

He has learned to use his hands as weapons and his weapons as hands.

And he can save a life or he can take one.

At 20, he's a veteran. And he's fighting to make 21.

24 November 2003

Lynn, your mom passed away November 15, 2003, so now y'all will be together again. I will miss her a bunch but now she's not suffering. I miss you and think of you every day.

Love, Rick

12 Apr 2004

Lynn, it's been 32 years today and we still think of you and miss you every day.
God bless, Rick and family.

From his brother-in-law,
Rick Bennett

2 Aug 2004

Lynn, today is your birthday and we're thinking of you and still miss you very much - Rick, Yvonne, Marvin, and Brenda

05 Aug 2005

Lynn, today's the 5th, I missed your birthday, but I have been busy, still think of you often, Rick

August 2nd, 2007. Lynn, it's your birthday today. We miss you every single day, Your dad is doing pretty good for 84. We miss you and love you.

Rick, Yvonne, Marvin and Brenda

From his brother-in-law,
Rick Bennett
23 Feb 2004


We miss you so much and wish you could still be here. My mom, Jenny, misses you and so does Shelly and Grandma. I wish you could be here to see your 5 grandaughters grow up. We are all doing well. I sometimes sit and wonder what it would be like to know you, but I know you are at peace and you died defending your country and family. You are always in my prayers. WE LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU MORE EACH DAY!!!

Love, Alyssa

02 Feb 2007


It's been awhile but I think of you often. Things are going great for me, I got into a very nice college and I am enjoying life. Ashley, my sister, Jennie's middle daughter, is doing amazing in sports. Abby is doing ok, but please be with her and help her through out her problems because I cannot always be there for her. Mom, well she is doing ok, but she needs your guidance, please be with her. Gramma is doing alright, but please be with her. Love is the srongest emotion. She still can't talk about you or baby Lynn but I have contacted some people who I hope can help me get some answers.

Please be with me and keep me safe through out my college career, my long trips, and my rugby games. I know you hear my prayers to you. Please keep us all safe. We miss you and think of you often.

I Love You, Grandpa,

From his granddaughter,
Alyssa M. Klitz
15 Feb 2007

He is our great uncle. We have never met him but we still love him.

From his great-niece and nephew,
Katy and Wade

10 Aug 2007


It's been a long time. I still think about you and the guys sometimes - actually quite often. My family and I were in Washington, D.C. last summer and visited the Wall. We looked up your name and I told my wife and son about you.

I remember that day. I will never forget. I remember how you walked "point" ahead of us. I remember how you put the safety of your men ahead of your own ... guess that's why I am writing this.

It was an honor to know you and to serve with you.

Well, it's late - I work the second shift. Check you later...

Respectfully and Fondly,
Rich Montoya, Machine Gunner
B Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Reg., 1st Air Cavalry
Garry Owen
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

03 Sep 2007

Dad, Just wanted to take this time to say I miss you terribly and would give anything for you to be here. I have three wonderful girls, Alyssa, Ashley, and Abigail. You would be very proud of them. They are great kids. Mama and Papa got the chance to meet them one day when we went to visit you at Forest Lawn Cemetery. That was the last time that I got to see Mama. I miss the Biscamp side of the family tremedously. I think of you every day and value your courage for standing up for what was right. I am proud to say that I am your daughter, even though I did not get to spend much time with you. I look at your picture every day and also of baby Lynn. I miss you DAD!!! I know that you are watching over me, mom, and the girls. Please keep us safe and remember, YOU will never be forgotten.

From his daughter,

29 Dec 2007

Hey!! Dad, just wanted to say hi! You would be very proud of me. I have 3 beautiful girls. Alyssa is a sophmore at Wayne State University and plays rugby. Ashley is a sophmore at Byran High School and plays volleyball, basketball, and soccer. Abigail is a 7th grader at La Vista Junior High School and plays basketball and volleyball. They are all doing well in school and I am very proud of them. I also would like to let you know that not a day a goes by that I do not think of you and I miss you tremendously. I wish that I could just talk to you - face to face. I just sometimes would like to be able to get your advice and thoughts. Dad, I miss you soooo much. My heart will always be broken. I just wish that you could help me!!! I often think to myself what would dad do or say if he was in this situation. I, then, laugh to myself and see you standing there - I could only guess. Please watch over me and keep me safe. Dad, I am trying!!! Please help!!!!

From his daughter,

A Note from The Virtual Wall

After Basic and Advanced Infantry Training, Biscamp was selected for the Non-Commissioned Officer Course at Fort Benning. He was a member of Class 505-71B, 83rd Company, and was graduated with 171 others on 25 May 1971. He was promoted to Sergeant and reported to B Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, on Monday, 11/01/1971.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his brother-in-law,
Rick Bennett

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 31 May 1999
Last updated 03/08/2008