He began his tour of duty in South Vietnam on April 6, 1969. He was killed by small arms fire 17 days later on April 23, 1969 in
Thua Thien-Hue Province. Knowing that it took up to 10 days or more to process into country, receive orientation, and travel to your final
unit of assignment in the rear and then forward, he may have been
in the field for less than a week when he was killed. No other members of his unit were killed in the event that took his life.
Gary was survived by his parents, Ardella Frances (Jacobs) Neiman (1917-2006), Charles Frederick Neiman (1916-1997), two sisters,
Ardella L. and Dorothy J., and three brothers, Edgar J., William G. (1941-2016 ), and Charles F. Neiman. Gary Preston Neiman is
buried, along with his parents, in Mount Rose Cemetery, York, York County, Pennsylvania. His brother William also served in Vietnam.
Found in a Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind, April 2012 Poetry Issue (Archived),
Ed Neiman (Gary's brother) - Meditation on the Memorial Wall:
Author's Note: A perspective, in reverie, upon a visit to The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C., and Remembering my brother,
Gary Preston Neiman: (1951-1969).
Diaphanous, incorporeal, wrought of reverie,
A soldier's image looms in fantasy
Over the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.
His arms, (as The Wall), extend in earnest plea;
And thus perceived, the colossal eidolon speaks to me:
"Serving America, I perished in far-off Vietnam,
Bereft of blithesome youth's due aspiration.
Dauntless, facing adversary's pestilential gun,
Was I forfeited to vicious strife's abomination.
My arms entreat: Come, see what this war has done!
As now they stretch inert in resignation."
These arms are a wall of burnished granite, (black for mourning):
Poignant is the somber metaphor.
These arms are a ledger unfolded:
Grim chronicle of commitment's tariff.
Names of this war's casualties mortally wounded, (so many treasured thousands),
Here, with profound tribute, are enduringly told.
Not all the rain that bathes these gargantuan arms
Could fade the taint of blood surged from Kinsmen dispatched;
Nor could all the sunshine that warms their graven panels
Disperse the torrent of tears shed by those who loved ones here ennobled.
These arms, downward cant, seem heavy laden,
As ponderously burdened with eons of precious years unspent.
These arms are spread like a tormented V,
-For venture? ... Or for Vietnam?
A V, devoid of conviction, shallow, inverted, signing distress,
Like flagging wings of a valiant Eagle aggrieved,
Or like a shaken Nation's countenance woeful shown.
But yet, A V that strengthens structure,
Bulwark 'gainst the surge of time and tide's obliteration,
Oh, this palpable commemoration!
Its majestic simplicity!
It's enthralling democracy!
Its fervent solemnity!
Pledge of perpetual veneration!
Meditate upon this stately, humble, Wall.
Apprehend its pleading call.
Mute, it speaks with myriad tongues in silence,
Despite the stifling hand of violence.
Listen to the eloquence of hush:
A whisper midst quotidian rush.
Gaze into deepness 'neath its lustrous sheen,
Mirrored in glaze, perceived, unseen.
Touch the singled symbol of address,
As once was dealt the fond caress.
Each name here scribed: a history hewn by tragic conflict,
-Abridged amidst a battle breaking.
Each cherished soul bethought: a private echo in the heart of its beloved,
-A throbbing, wistful, aching.
Each past: some future's fabric weft of sacrifice,
-Demand of calamitous leave-taking.
Honor those absent.
Recall them present.
Wonder: what if...?
But these arms, alas, cannot embrace to grant surcease
Of sorrow's pang, or abate the timeless anguished breath;
Nor ever can they, tranquil, folded be in pose of peace:
THESE ARMS, INSENSATE, ARE INELUCTABLY FROZEN by DEATH.
- - The Virtual Wall, April 20, 2018