Robert Clarence Roper

Gunnery Sergeant
United States Marine Corps
14 May 1934 - 21 September 1967
Rule, Texas
Panel 26E Line 107


Robert C Roper

The database page for Robert Clarence Roper

01 Apr 2001

My D. I.

This is written with a heavy heart
I don't know just where to start.
As far as reasons, I have many.
But respect in retrospect, is as good as any.

As indestructible as we think they are,
DI's can be killed when they go to war.
Why do I have this lump in my throat
and why this tear in my eye?
Why do I feel so way down deep,
this awful need to cry?

I joined the Corps in '66,
San Diego, Platoon 356.
So much time has now passed by,
But I wanted to say "thanks" to my DI.
I dropped a line to Mail Call,
But then I found him myself -- he's on the Wall.

He was the sharpest Marine that I've ever seen -
ruggedly handsome, looking lean and mean:
The perfect specimen of a US Marine.
We met once again in a place called Dong Ha.
How it came about I can't recall.
But I do remember this -- I was standing tall.
I was old, my tour was done.
Gunny Roper's tour had just begun.

We sat on some sandbags and shot the shit.
We spoke of the war
and tried to make some sense of it.
I said that I thought it sucked a whole lot.
He said "Yep, but it's all we got."
How cool it was for me, can't you see,
sitting on sandbags, just him and me.

My teacher taught me a hell of a lot.
So I survived, but my teacher did not.

Thomas J. (Stoney) Burke
4850 N. Hwy 67, Florissant Mo. 63034

07 Nov 2005


I had heard a long time ago that you had departed the Corps for a better place, Heaven. It has taken me this long to get my nerve up to look and see if it was true. You were my DI also in Platoon 356 in 1966 along with Burke and many others who 'made it' Thanks to you!! Your hardness was offset by your geniue concern for all of us 'meatballs'. You made us MARINES and some of the finest MEN the world has seen. How can I ever thank YOU? I have so many fond memories of you and your toughness that ring in my head sometimes for days. I remember one day you jumped me about right shoulder arms ... my movement was all wrong. You leaned into my ear and shouted...
"I'll kill you if you do that again, I don't care who your daddy is!"
You knew at this time that my Dad was a Colonel in the USAF but that made no difference to you! After getting my attention this way, you again leaned into my ear and asked, "How's your daddy like you in the Marines?" I stated " Not at all, SIR" ... you smiled a smile that I'll never forget. I consider you not only a MARINE'S MARINE but one helluva man. I'm proud to have served with you and may you always smile that smile!!
Chuck Sawyer
"C" 1/9 1967
Plt 356 Feb 66 > Apr 66

From a Basic Marine, Platoon 356, San Diego, California,
Chuck Sawyer

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 2/9 Command Chronology for September 1967 reports that at 1435H (2:35PM) on the 21st they received 76 rounds of heavy caliber artillery fire from their west-northwest. Three Marines were killed and four wounded by the barrage. The dead were
  • GySgt Robert C. Roper, Rule, TX;
  • Pvt Charles M. Goff, Indianapolis, IN; and
  • Pvt William G. Pilcher, Golden City, MO.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend - he was my DI -,
Thomas J. ( Stoney) Burke
4850 N. Hwy 67, Florissant Mo. 63034
1 Apr 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 11/08/2005