Ronald James ChapmanSergeant
CAP 2-7-4, 7TH CAC, 2ND CAG, 3RD MAF
United States Marine Corps
06 June 1946 - 06 February 1970
Panel 14W Line 106
The database page for Ronald James Chapman
wife of Sgt. Ronald Chapman,
and is included on this page with her
permission. She wrote this for a book for her daughters,
wanting them to never forget the wonderful daddy they had.
One cold February day in 1969, Ronnie came home from the base at 2:00 P.M. He walked in the house with a large envelope in his hands. The children were asleep. The house was quiet. I was in the kitchen cooking pudding; a treat for Tricia because she had been so helpful that morning with a very irritable 4 month old Michelle. I looked at Ronnie's face. There was no smile. There was pain in his eyes.
I reached out and took the envelope he was handing me. As I touched that envelope, I felt a wave of dread spread over my spirit. I opened my mouth and said quietly, "You can't go there, you will die there."
I hadn't even opened the envelope, but I knew by the look on Ronnie's face that he had received orders to go back to that hell in Viet Nam. We just stood there in silence and looked into each other's eyes. We both began to tear up. Just then Tricia woke from her nap and ran out into the living room and jumped into Ronnie's arms. She was so happy to see daddy home early, she shouted, "I'm glad to see you!"
It seemed like a funny thing for a four year old to say, but when she said," I don't like it when I can't see you. I wish you never had to go to work again so we could go fishing all day!" I broke down and shook and cried from the deepest part of my heart. I knew in a very short time that we would have to explain to this little angel that she wasn't going to see daddy for many many days and nights. I didn't know how we would ever tell her.
After dinner that evening Ronnie and Tricia went night fishing. He tried to tell her about the far away place he had to go and that the children who lived there. He explained how they did not have enough food every day and were afraid to sleep because they did not always feel safe. He told Tricia that he was going to try to help those children to feel safe and to be happy if he could. He told her he would be away for many nights and she would have to be brave and when he came home he would never leave us again.
Tricia accepted his explanation and wanted to help too. Ronnie asked us to say the rosary every day for him and for the children of Viet Nam.
We are still saying that Rosary.
in loving memory of her Dad.
My Dad, Sergeant Ronald J Chapman
Some of you may have had the chance to know him, some of you may have not, for my sister and myself we are somewhere in the middle. Sgt. Ronald J. Chapman was taken from us Feb. 6th 1970. I was 18 months old and my big sister was four. We have no memories of our own of him, but only ones our Mother gave us. She made sure of that!
Dad always told us to be a tight-knit group no matter what.
He was gung-ho - protected and looked over his guys. He tried to be the best Marine and husband and father he could be every day. He died trying to save someone - he only had 40 days left until he would finish his second tour and would have been home for good.
I remember when I was in Kindergarten and we were to make a drawing of what our daddys did for a living, well when I handed my drawing in the teacher called my mother for a conference. When she showed my mother what I had drawn my mother asked me what it was. It was a picture of the night sky with big sparkling stars, they both were confused, so I simply said "My Daddy's job is to shine the stars in heaven."
My mother had to explain to my teacher that Daddy was killed in Viet Nam.
Sgt. Ronald J Chapman was one of the GOOD GUYS and loved us all and still watches over us when he is shining the stars.
The original memorial to
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
E-Mail may be forwarded via the
31 Aug 2001
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 06/19/2003