Sandy Hilly PorterStaff Sergeant
B CO, 1ST BN, 506TH INFANTRY, 101 ABN DIV
Army of the United States
13 October 1948 - 06 July 1970
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The database page for Sandy Hilly Porter
Sandy Porter was my brother. He died from friendly fire July 1970 and is a Bronze Star recipient. We are very proud of him, and miss him very much. He was bright, articulate, funny, loving and quite charming. I would like to hear from anyone who may have served with him in the 101st Airborne Division, B Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry. If you would like to share memories, or if you have any photos of him, my sister and I would appreciate it greatly. I am proud to be the sister of this wonderful man, and am proud of ALL those who have served this great nation! God bless you all!
You can reach me at email@example.com (I'll be working here until mid-October). God Bless!
How proud I am to be your sister, Sandy. Our folks have gone now, but our baby sister (Patricia) and I still miss you and love you very much. On the Christmas before you left, I remember you coming to my bedroom door and then Pat's and sleepily yawning and saying, "Santa Claus came. Santa Claus came." In such a tired, grown-up man voice. Made me laugh. For all of our lives, mom and dad would pile three groups of toys for each of us in the living room, with our name on a 3x5 card above each pile. You always got up before Pat or I and checked everything out. Then, you'd come to wake us up. Only, when we were younger you'd YELL it out: "Santa Claus came!! Santa Claus came!!". Here you were, going off to war, and mom and dad still put piles of toys (well, clothes and cologne) out in the living room with our names on a 3x5 cards. I'll never forget that last Christmas together. Every Christmas after that was just play acting. Everyone 'acting' normal. Happy. Smiling and putting on a brave face for each other. Trying desperately to help each other get through another holiday. You must have been looking at us from Heaven and thinking, "Snap out of it!"
So, this site (God bless you folks for creating it, by the way) ... this site allows me a chance to thank you. I remember when you told Dad you had joined the Army. He was angry and proud all at the same time. "WHY did you do this? Stay in college! WHY, son?" Then you said, "Dad. How can I let the guy down the street go out and fight for my family? That's MY job. If someone has to fight for your freedom, that should be me." It was the most grown-up thing you'd ever said. I was terrified. War. God. But, I was so proud of you. I wanted to put you in the Malibu and drive you over the border to Canada, but didn't say anything. I was 19 and thought you were invincible. How could anything happen to you? Captain of the swim team. Football player. Ladies man. "Mr. Charm".
Remember when you broke your nose in football practice and you were really late getting home because the coach had taken you straight to the hospital (and you wouldn't let him call the folks to tell them)? I was waiting for you by the door so I could say, "Oh, you're in SUCH deep trouble" (Dad had been pacing up and down for hours ranting, "That's it! That kid is grounded! He should have been home hours ago."). Then when you walked in the door, your nose! I said, "WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR NOSE?" And, you said, "Think Dad will notice?" ... "Well, YEAH! Your nose use to be in the center of your FACE!". Dad heard us whispering and came stomping down the hall, all red faced and about to have a heart attack and then stopped dead in his tracks when he saw your face! Then came your operation to have it fixed the next day. I don't know why, but it scared me to death and I started crying. You grabbed my hand as you started to go under and said, "It's okay. I'll be okay". See, that was YOU ... comforting someone else when you were the one going under the knife.
So, while I'm here, just let me say, finally ... after all these years ... I want to say, "Thank you". Thank you for coming to get me when I was on a date when I was 16 that went horribly wrong. Thanks for punching Paul K. in the nose when he got fresh in 7th grade. Thanks for shouting "That's my SISTER!" when I was in the middle of singing, "Hard Hearted Hannah" in our high school play. Thanks for being born one day and two years ahead of me, so we were able to share our birthday for 19 years. Thanks for the advice. Thanks for the strength. Thanks for the fist fight and then afterwards teaching me how to block a right while swinging with my left so I didn't "fight like a girl". Thanks for walking me to school when I was 5 and you were 7 and telling me all the 'important stuff' my first day, like how to get chocolate milk to come out of the milk machine (you color your nickel with a pencil so the machine knows you want chocolate milk). It never worked, but I still did it for about a year. Thanks for my freedom. I can say that now. But for years I was pretty mad. The last thing I said to you before you left that last morning was, "Don't be a hero." You smiled and said, "Nah. Not me. I'll come home." So, you lied and I was pretty ticked off about that. But, proud too. Proud mostly. Proud totally now, after all these years.
"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". That's sure been true since losing you. I think it made us all stronger. It helped me when we lost Mom and then Dad. It sure helped me when we lost my perfectly wonderful husband, Don. Guess you've met him. He went to Heaven December 5, 2001. Great guy. You should be good friends. Hope you're taking care of him and the folks, and grandparents, and especially take care of Rick and Vanita's little baby boy. He'll be the little nipper with Don. Sure miss you guys.
I am so glad that you had such a strong faith. Praise God! Sure makes it easier knowing we'll all be together some day. In the meantime, don't let Don decorate our mansion with camouflage, will ya? He's Air Force and real gung-ho, like you.
The site has allowed me to talk to some of your old buddies from Nam, Pete, Bob, Doug. I've been trying to find Craig Monroe, but no luck. If any of your other friends are out there and want to get in touch, I hope they will. You were lucky, having such good men to serve with. Makes it easier knowing that.
God Bless you, and ALL who serve!!! My prayers are with each and every one of you, strangers though you may be. God Bless you all!
From a proud sister,
A Note from The Virtual WallFire Support Base RIPCORD (Hill 427) was located about 7 miles from the northeastern end of the A Shau Valley, which was a major entryway from the Ho Chi Minh Trail into northern South Vietnam. Established by the 1st Cavalry Division in 1968, the FSB was abandoned, reopened in 1969, abandoned again, reopened again in 1970, and abandoned by US forces for the last time in late July 1970. The primary attaction of FSB RIPCORD was its proximity to the road network into the A Shau and the Co Pung Mountain hill mass about 6 miles to the south - Co Pung had been and remained a major NVA logistical base.
The 2nd Bn, 506th Infantry arrived at RIPCORD area in March and remained until the FSB was closed. During that time - about two months - the battalion lost 63 men in and around RIPCORD, most of them during July.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 17 Apr 2007
Last updated 08/10/2009