Terrance Lee SnyderSpecialist Four
D CO, 4TH BN, 21ST INF RGT, 11 INF BDE
Army of the United States
31 December 1947 - 26 February 1969
Panel 31W Line 072
The database page for Terrance Lee Snyder
His name was Terry Snyder. He was engaged to be married to Lynda, the girl who lived next door to us. Lynda played the guitar and she and Terry and my sister and I would rock on a metal glider at Uncle's house and sing the folk songs of the 1960's - Puff the Magic Dragon, If I Had a Hammer, Five Hundred Miles. All of the Peter, Paul and Mary songs. We loved listening to the music and singing along and we sounded wonderful, really.
Sometimes we would go across the street to Aunt Gert's house and sit on her front porch gliders instead and play silly games like Truth or Dare or tell "secrets".
Terry and Lynda had graduated from high school. I was not quite ten that summer.
Terry had red hair and he laughed a lot. He really seemed to like us bratty kids and never appeared to mind that we hung around so much. He even laughed the night I whispered in his ear during a round of "secrets" that Elsie, Lynda's mother, didn't like red hair. I have no idea to this day whether that was true or not. I do remember that my mother punished me for saying it.
In December 1968, Terry was sent off to Vietnam. In early February 1969, ten short weeks later, Terry was killed. I lay awake for hours the night my mother told me he had died and for many nights after, my ten year old mind trying to imagine what had happened to him in that far away jungle. I never heard Lynda play the guitar again. We never sang another song together.
I don't recall when Terry slipped off the radar of my nighttime musings. I was probably in eighth or ninth grade. Lynda married someone else about that time. Just before she got married, she took me to the house she would be living in for dinner one night. While I helped her polish a brass headboard I remember asking her how she could love someone else and if it meant that she didn't love Terry anymore. I am dismayed to realize now that I don't remember what she said to me, but I was satisfied with her answer at the time.
During my senior year of high school, I developed an interest in photography. I started scouring cemeteries, taking hundreds of black and white pictures of headstones that caught my eye for whatever reason. One sunny, warm afternoon I glanced to my right while walking between a row of headstones and saw Terry's name. My parents did not attend his funeral. Until that moment, I had no idea where he had been buried. I had never thought about his funeral, just about the moment he had been killed, frozen in time. I did not take a picture of his headstone.
At odd moments over the 27 years since that day, Terry has flitted around the edges of my consciousness. Whenever I hear one of the songs we used to sing together; if I see a Vietnam War vet panhandling along the roadside; every time a song about the war is played on the radio; when I see someone who has the same red hair.
Several years ago I took my son to Washington, DC for a day. It was the first time I had ever been to the Vietnam Memorial Wall. As I gazed upon the long gray surfaces, etched with the names of the 58,229 young men and women who were sacrificed, I was shaken by the realization that Terry was the only person I knew who went to Vietnam, living or dead. My entire experience of the most turbulent era of the 20th century, the era of my childhood, had been shaped by one person; a person about whom I know very little.
Terry was an only child and I do not know if his parents are still living. I am making it my mission to be sure he is remembered. I would love to hear from anyone who knew Terry.
From a friend,
This is just a note from us to let Terry's family know that he is thought of often as we prepare for our 39th and 40th high school reunion. We will honor him in out high school book. We realize that if it was not for Terry and all his brothers, we might not be able to have this reunion. We wish you could be there, Terry.
The Classes of 1965 and 1966
From a friend.
A Note from The Virtual Wall"D" Company, 4/21st Infantry, lost two men on 26 Feb 1969 - SP4 Terrance L. Snyder and SP4 Richard A. Wallick of York, Pennsylvania.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009