Keith Allen Campbell

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
03 March 1946 - 08 February 1967
Arlington, Virginia
Panel 15E Line 008

Combat Medic, Two Campaigns

Army Parachutist
Keith Allen Campbell

The database page for Keith Allen Campbell

Collage created by Tom Murtha
for "Mom" Campbell,
derived from a number of sources.

10 Dec 2000

My son is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

He was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart. He died saving the lives of others.

We never stop missing him.

Esther B. Campbell Gates
1 Towers Park Lane, Apt 2011, San Antonio, Texas 78209

APO San Francisco 96558



1. TC 320. The Distinguished Service Cross is AWARDED posthumously to:

KEITH A. CAMPBELL, Specialist Four (E4), United States Army,
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne),
503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade (Separate).

Awarded: Distinguished Service Cross
Date action: 8 February 1967
Theater: Republic of Vietnam
Reason: For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Specialist Four Campbell distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 8 February 1967 while serving with elements of the 503d Infantry assaulting a Viet Cong bunker complex. During the initial engagement, the lead company had suffered numerous casualties, including the medical personnel. Specialist Campbell volunteered to assist in treating the wounded, and dauntlessly moved up to the front line. Exposing himself to the intense hostile fire, he began to administer aid to the wounded soldiers. Discovering that one casualty lay fifty meters in front of the friendly lines and next to an insurgent bunker, Specialist Campbell called for covering fire as he maneuvered forward. Disregarding the extreme dangers, he fearlessly ran through a hail of bullets and exploding grenades, but was forced to take cover behind a low mound of dirt. From this position, he killed a Viet Cong sniper who was firing on him from a tree. Undeterred from his mission, Specialist Campbell then crawled the last twenty meters to the stricken man. Dragging the soldier to the cover of a nearby tree, he started to administer first aid. As he fearlessly protected the man from further hostile fire, Specialist Campbell was mortally wounded. His unimpeachable valor and selfless sacrifice against insurmountable odds succeeded in saving a fellow soldier's life. Specialist Four Campbell's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Authority: By direction of the President under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved 9 July 1918.


Chief of Staff

Adjutant General


Peace has come.
Now you can truly sleep my son.
The muddy field where you were laid
Flag-draped, will now be green.
Redbud and cherry blossoms can be seen
Soon in bloom above your head.
Arlington's Eternal Flame
Flickers across granite rows
To illuminate your name;
And then beneath it (with lightning's calm)
Strikes in black the word


On your own stone.
Peace has come.
Your medals may turn green
In time, like your beret.
But forever there are those who'll say,
"I live because he cared--he came!"
You need no longer wander a tormented soul.
You achieved your personal goal
Of saving lives, easing pain.
Now sleep in peace, my son. Sleep!
Our Nation has assured
You did not die in vain
And I no longer weep alone.


I wonder if you walk at night
Among those granite stones
Awakening sleeping souls to flight
To rattle history's bones.

I wonder if you sit to chat
At Mr. Lincoln's knee
Discussing all the "this" and "that"
That makes up history.

For history is what stretches wide
Before my brimming eyes
As the shimmering Potomac's tide
Blends with the lighted skies.

Row on row they sleep
Below me, now and forever more.
I count the stones (like counting sheep)
From each and every war.

"Can there be peace?" I'm sure they ask
At Mr. Lincoln's knee.
"To bleed and die was our task,
And now we're history.

But we did not love--we did not live
There was so little time.
Is twenty years too much to give
To fill an empty shrine?"

And as I stare and listen well
I'm sure that I can hear
A quiet splash in the columned cell
That's another Lincoln tear.


Out of the clouds I tumble
To survey the earth below.
With a snap of my billowing canopy
I glide like a bird, and slow.

The wind kisses my face
Like a welcoming friend--
Takes my hand to lead the way.
The other hand grasps St. Michael's wings;
In this exhilerating game we play.

The thunder of the silence
Soothes my soul
As I drift in laughter's wake,
And I dance on the air
With the earth my goal
All for my country's sake.

--Esther B. (Campbell) Gates


I stood beside the empty grave
Waiting for my friend,
Saying deep within my soul,
"This cannot be the end."

Then I heard a mighty roar;
Looked into the blinding sky
As four planes in close formation
Streaked above to say good-bye.

In a single moment
One pulled out, up, and away
And left a gaping hole
In that formation on this day.

As he did a "barrel roll"
(Bounding upward to disappear)
I heard my friend's bright laughter
As I wiped away a tear.

In that priceless, shining moment
My heart leaped up with pride
For I knew my friend would forever fly.
I knew he had not "died."

26 Jul 2004


You ran before you walked.
You sang before you talked.
You laughed before you cried.
Others live because you died.

Esther B. Campbell Gates (Your mother)

15 Feb 2001

My Dear Keith,

For over 30 years I have grieved your loss. The past two years I have searched for answers and in doing so have found your brothers. The brothers you saved and served with. My how I understand more than ever why you sacrificed as you did. We love them so much and they love you. We feel strongly that you are looking down with your Medic skills at the healing that is continuing. Yes, after all these years! Doc, job well done, but the fight isn't over. There is so much awareness we need to bring to the public about their sacrifices and yours. I will fight the good fight until justice is done for you and for them. You used your body as a shield to save your brother ... no greater love doth a man have than to lay down his life.

I love you,
Your kid sister,
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

also - Acting Secretary, 173d Abn. Brigade Chapter IV
Serving our brothers past and present and in loving memory of you, Keith.

My brother Keith is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, next to his childhood friend and my ex-boyfriend Philip Newman Malone and another friend Stephen Gavin. The "three musketeers" are reunited, side by side, but they are so terribly missed.

26 Jul 2005

My Dear brother Keith,

The dreams we shared as a family were changed forever on that fateful day, but as the years progressed and grief lifted its ugly veil, I found continued healing. A belief that you are watching every step and the Doc's healing continues. It has not been easy along this journey and even often downright painful, but just as Mother taught us, if you believe in something give it your all and always remember to do good for others. For what really counts is a man's heart and the ability to have freedom to express that heart. Your life and that of your brothers' is not in vain. We are a blessed Nation because of you. We will keep up the good fight and dream this dream for all of mankind. You will always be missed, but you will never be forgotten. I love and miss you deeply.

Your Baby Sis,
Judy Campbell Campbell
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry, lost two men on 08 Feb 1967: SP4 Keith A. Campbell from HHC and PFC Millard F. Meadows, Boonville, MO, from B Company.

Keith Campbell also is memorialized on the
Arlington Cemetery site

Philip Newman Malone left; Keith Campbell right.

Visit the
173rd Airborne Brigade

Visit John Dennison's
Medics on the Wall
memorial which honors the
Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen who died in Vietnam.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his mother,
Esther B. Campbell Gates
1 Towers Park Lane, Apt 2011, San Antonio, Texas 78209
10 Dec 2000

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VA State Index . Panel 15E
503RD INF RGT Index

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/08/2005