Alfred D (Sonny) SmithPrivate First Class
A CO, 2ND BN, 501ST INFANTRY, 101 ABN DIV
Army of the United States
03 July 1947 - 06 April 1968
Panel 48E Line 034
The database page for Alfred D (Sonny) Smith
Once upon a time there was a war that was not a war.
Communism was threatening the small nation of Vietnam. The US decided to help. Men from every State in the Nation were drafted or volunteered. Fathers, Husbands, Brothers, Uncles, Loves, Nurses and women, went to Vietnam. Many did not return.
A Wall was built with the names of the dead, a cry went out to the nation - "Remember me when I'm gone". They fought for a war that was not a war. Many lives were touched. My first love died from hostile fire in Vietnam. I will always remember my first love.
He joined the Army in June 1967 and was a member of the 101st Airborne Division when he lost his young life.
This page is dedicated to Sonny and to all that were touched by a war that was not a war.
If anyone remembers him please write to me. Thank you,
06 Apr 2006
Sonny, I miss you so, so much. 38 years have gone by. I will always have a place in my heart for you. I'll see you at the reunion.
Love always, Sue
03 Jul 2006
Happy earth birthday, Sonny. Today you would be 59.
06 Apr 2007
Sonny, I will always love you. Love, Sue
28 May 2007
Sonny, a flag was placed on your grave at Arlington Cemetery in remembrance of your final tribute. There have been 39 Memorial Days since your death. I will always love you, Sonny, and will see you again when the Lord says it's time. Soar with the eagles, Sonny, be at peace, know that you will always be loved and remembered.
Always and forever, I love you, Sonny ... Sue
03 Jul 2007
Sonny, 60 years ago you came into this world to loving parents, three sisters, and with eyes wide open. Your life was so short. I am so glad that I knew and loved you. I will always love you, Sonny. Always a place in my heart. Sue
From his fiance',
5005 Stone Pine Drive, Montgomery, Alabama 36116-5150
I was just a young boy when Sonny went to war. My memories of him as a young child have faded with time. I have but a few brief moments that come into view when I think about visits to my mom's childhood home. Mother is Sonny's first cousin. But it was my Uncle Allen I remember being so close to Sonny. I remember how they wrestled out in the yard and talked about hunting, fishing and girls. While my own memories of Sonny are few I know that my cousin gave his all to preserve the freedoms I and my family enjoy. I had the opportunity to visit the Wall and Sonny's grave in Arlington Cemetery. Despite hundreds of thousands of visitors both were lonely places. As you stand there looking over a sea of names and graves I could not help but think of all the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, and yes, cousins that would forever miss them. I did not know him well, we were not particularly close. But I miss him, his youth and his vitality. I miss his joy for the simple things in life. Sonny loved life and he loved his country. He loved them so much he gave his own so all of us living today could be free. We have two memorials in Hattiesburg and another on the Gulf Coast the commemorate Sonny. I have visited them all. I do love and miss my cousin, but most of all I am grateful for his patriotism and courage.
Martin Glenn Blount
Sonny was my second cousin. He died when I was less than a year old. Although he would never know it, he has had a profound impact on my life.
When I was a teenager, I was like most teenagers - carefree and unconcerned about the world. All that mattered was me and my life.
My father took me to Washington, D.C. my junior year of high school. While there, we visited Sonny's grave in Arlington. It was at this moment that I saw my father cry for the first time. I had always pictured my dad as a strong, unemotional man. It hit me hard that visiting Sonny's grave would have such a profound affect on my father, and eventually me. During that trip, I questioned my dad as much as I could about Sonny and his service. I learned that he was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne. It was during this trip that I solidified my own plans to join the Army.
After returning home, I convinced my parents to let me enlist, even before graduating, to become a paratrooper.
I owe that decision to Sonny's sacrifice. I'm a better man today for this impact on my life. As I sit here today, the day before Veteran's Day, I am thankful for Sonny and what he gave for our country.
Godspeed to you. I know you are protecting Heaven now. Airborne, All the way!
From a cousin,
Hello, My name is Linda L. Koon. My brother is Alfred D. Smith Jr. He died on April 06, 1968. I never will forget that day. (Just a reminder)!! It was a Monday morning. My sister (Judy) had taken her kids to school and was driving back home. When she arrived at the house, a vehicle was in the driveway. I guess she knew what would come next. They drove up to the house. Everyone exited the vehicles. The Chaplain proceeded to tell my Mother that her son had been killed. I remember her collapsing to the floor, and saying over and over NO! No! NO!. I won't keep on telling you what happened that day as it is still very painful for me to write this.
Years later, I was surfing the web. I came across Alfred's site. I found out that Sue had created it for him. I am very grateful that she did this for all of us. I just recently got back in touch with Sue. I try to keep up with her. Sue and I were very young when he died. I miss him very much. As he used to always say, LET!!!. I never knew what that meant. My brother was the "BIG BROTHER" to me when we were in school. That always made me feel proud.
Well, Thank you Sue so much. I will always miss Alfred.
From his sister,
I was just 4 when Uncle Sonny died in 'Nam. He was always the inspiration along with my paternal grandfather for my joining the Service. I retired from the US Navy in Feb 2004.
It's a shame that my uncle had to die while so young and that he and Sue never got to tie the knot and have kids. I'm sure they would have made great parents and and had good-looking kids. I'd like to thank Sue for her efforts and continued contact with my family in remembrance of my uncle.
I tried to get the details from the casualty report of the engagement where he and eleven others died, but could get no info.
A Note from The Virtual Wall"A" Company, 2/501st Infantry, lost eleven men on 06 Apr 1968 during operations against NVA forces about 25 kilometers northwest of Hue in Quang Tri Province:
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 25 Jul 1998
Last updated 08/10/2009