Remembering

Jeffrey David Hounshell

Specialist Four, Army of the United States

B CO, 52ND SIGNAL BN, 2ND SIGNAL GRP, 1 SIG BDE

From Decatur, Georgia

30 January 1948 - 30 November 1968

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Jeffrey David Hounshell is on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Panel 37W Line 011.

14 Feb 2006

I didn't go to war. I went to college. Then I went to medical school and became a physician - a family doc - still am. I did not earn that privilege. By God's grace I was able to have a goal, a dream, and reach it.

We were the occasional classmates at Druid Hills High School. We were not really friends, not buddies, just acquaintances. What dreams, what hopes did you have, Jeff? I doubt you had time for any life plans, other than to survive a hitch as a soldier. You didn't.

Age 20 - exactly 2 weeks older than I. I'm a junior at Georgia State U., fretting over term papers and exams. You're on the far side of the world, well trained but almost surely scared, doing your best, trying to stay alert, hoping you can make it through to come home. You couldn't.

Did you have brothers? sisters? Were your parents still together so they could cry and hug? Are you forgotten by all but your family? You aren't.

I have said your name many times to many people over many years, Jeff. At the close of a local newscast in the '80's, upon completion of the Memorial Wall, the camera was panning over a very small portion of that very large and sobering monument. And there you were - Jeffrey David Hounshell - briefly but unmistakenly.

I knew you but not well. I have described you as "quiet, unassuming, just a nice kid". I recall where you sat in one class. Would you have recalled me? Was I kind to you? Did I ever say anything to you that either built you up?, I hope - or that tore you down?, I pray not.

It's Memorial Day, 1999 - a fitting day to record these thoughts, but by no means the only day of the year I've thought of you and your family over time. I have been so richly blessed, have had so many opportunities, so many chances - chances to succeed and chances to fail - chances you never had, Jeff.

Are you remembered? - you are.
Is your memory somehow sacred to me? - it is.
And, as I enjoy the gift of growing older,
does that memory give me
a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes?

Yes - at this very moment - it does.

God bless you forever, Jeff Hounshell.

Jack Roof, Jr. MD
DHHS Class of 1966

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a classmate,
Jack Roof, Jr. MD

jroof@tds.net

The database page for Jeffrey David Hounshell

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           14 Feb 2006
           Last updated 02/15/2006