Anton John SchoepkeChief Warrant Officer
A BTRY, 377TH ARTILLERY, 101 ABN DIV
Army of the United States
22 March 1948 - 01 August 1970
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The database page for Anton John Schoepke
I am also from Goleta, California. I did not know you, but I thank you for giving the most precious gift of all: your life.
Thank you, sir, for protecting my freedom. You are a hero to me.
Anton Schoepke and John Hooper served with my father, Robert Reigel. My father was shot down during his tour of duty, and Mr. Schoepke and Mr. Hooper flew into hostile territory to pick him up. Without their courage, my father may not have survived, and I would not have been born 4 years later.
Thank you for your service, thank you for your courage, thank you for your sacrifice. I am a teacher, and I work hard so we remember all of our service men and women. You may be gone, but we cannot allow ourselves to forget.
From the son of a friend,
John, it has been so many years since we served together. Ever year when Memorial Day comes around, my mind slips back to 1969 and 1970 and the time we served together.
It is said that time heals all wounds. It may help but it does not heal them completely. I still get this ache in my stomach and emptiness in my heart. Memories come back, and I remember you and John Hooper. I owe you both and cannot re-pay either of you.
I remember our good times together most of all. When we first met on August 25th 1969, there seemed to be an instant connection between us. I took you, Mr. Schrader, and Mr. Rush under my wing when you were assigned to the Direct Support Section. Others came and went, but the four of us flew the same missions day and night until I went home in May of 70.
I remember the nights in The Club playing Air Force Craps with Colonel Spence; the water fight started by Major Bean; the time we flew together doing a weather check and taking movies that ended up with us pulling a hot extraction of a shot down chopper pilot; the TV nights with popcorn; the Christmas Carol night when we felt that everyone needed to get in the spirit (that was until Colonel Moore paid us a visit); the Aussie Show when we got on stage and danced with the girls - the official letter of reprimand we both earned that night; the night you got drunk even though you were scheduled to be on duty; and the involuntary cold shower you took, fully clothed, after I got back from covering for you!
It seems rather ironic, I was involved when the 101st went into FSB Ripcord in early April of 1970, and you and the rest of the Gunner visual recon Pilots were actively involved when the last man was pulled off the hill. As I understand it, you and John Hooper were conducting visual recon missions in the Ripcord area that fateful day. Though we will never know exactly what went on after you released your Cobra that day, I am sure you were taking that extra step to protect others when you were shot down.
A friend of mine who served in the Second World War once told me that as time passes, you will remember the good times during your military service and the bad times become far less important. I have your picture on my office wall and every morning I remember our time together.
May God Bless your Soul.
A Note from The Virtual WallTwo men of A Battery, 377th Artillery, died when their OH-6A (tail number 67-16628) was shot down, exploded, and burned while enroute Camp Eagle:
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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 Jan 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009