Michael John Synod

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
03 July 1950 - 01 November 1968
Detroit, Michigan
Panel 39W Line 005



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Michael John Synod

21 May 2005

I knew him only a short time, but he was a good radio man. After being wounded myself (on October 31, 1968), while still in the hospital, I was asked to identify his body at the 1st Medical Battalion.

I think about him when we put our flags on display at our home. We fly American and POW/MIA flags year round in memory of him.

Plea for Life

As I lay here, thinking of those killed,
Of those wounded,
I really wonder why, these men I knew for only a short time,
These men gave their lives,
So that we all may live.

As I lay here in my hospital bed,
Listening to the crying, moaning, dying,
I thank God for allowing me to live.

Last week I had fifty-three men under my command.
Now, there are only seven or eight.
Each man trying his best to gain land,
They know will never be theirs.

These men have fought and travelled this land,
In the same place many a time before.
But, time after time, they must fight,
And sometimes die to regain the same ground again.

This poem is dedicated to those men,
Who fought and died trying to retake this unforgettable land.

Written by Sgt Franklin R. King
"H" Co, 2nd Bn, 5th Marines
FPO San Fran 96602 - 4 Nov 68

Dedicated to my radioman, Mike Synod, Pfc, USMC

From his Platoon Sergeant and friend,
Franklin R. King (Hershberger)
SSgt USMC (Ret.)

06 Sep 2005

I grew up with a Mike Synod in Detroit, in the 1950's. (I was born in 1950 in Detroit, so he would have been my age and in my class at Von Steuben School - I suspect this man honored here is the Mike Synod I knew).

I felt a kinship and strong attraction to him from the beginning. He, like most boys of that age, didn't have any interest in girls. His younger brother (Danny? In the first grade, at the time) liked me. I walked him home from school one day and Mike was sitting on the porch when we got there. He saw how much his brother liked me, and saw that I was sensitive to his feelings. He loved his brother so much, from then on Mike was especially nice to me.

I actually became attracted to and started dating a boy in high school (in California) because he bore such a strong resemblence to Mike.

I'm heartbroken to know that he's gone, at such a young age. I often wondered what had happened to him. I will always remember him as a beautiful person. May God rest his soul.

From an old schoolmate,
Nance Parry

17 Feb 2006

I am Mike's younger sister, we were only a year a part. He was a wonderful brother, always very protective of his little sister and always watching over me, the way big brothers do. I always looked up to him and he was so loved by our family and was very close to us, especially to my Mom. When he went off to war my Dad was very proud having a Marine for a son and we never expected his life to end at the young age of 18. We often wonder what he would have become but God is the one that gives life and takes life and for this reason it was sadly his time.

We all (Johnny, Jimmy, Ann, Robert, my Mom and me) miss him every day and pray that somewhere out there in the jungle of Vietnam he met Jesus and he is home with him right now.

I will always be blessed that he was my brother and although he was a strong and brave Marine he was still a warm and sensitive man who fought for all our freedoms.

Thanks to all of you that shared with us about knowing Mike.
Forever in our hearts

Denise Chmiel

11 Nov 2006

Mike is the only person I actually knew who is on the Wall. I lived in Roseville, Michigan when Mike went in the service. When I see the Wall I always go to visit Mike. God took him home before we really got to do a lot of stuff together, but we were good aquaintances. I attended Mike's funeral at the big Greek Orthodox church in Detroit. What a sad day for all of us, it was. I used to see Mike's brother Johnny once in a while, but it's been years now. I think of them both, often. Today being Veterans day, and I attended another Michgan soldier's funeral, really brought Mike's memory back. I guess I'll never forget him, and the sacrifice that he and his family made, so that we can all enjoy freedom.

From an old friend of Mike and his brother Johnny,
David Bailey
30104 North Cobus Drive, Elkhart, In 46514

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 01 Nov 1968, during Operation HENDERSON HILL, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, lost seven men near Thu Bon (1) on Go Noi Island:
  • E Company:
    • Pfc Dieter R. Vater, La Mesa, CA

  • H Company:
    • 1stLt John C. White, Dayton, OH (Silver Star)
    • Cpl Stanley M. Harrell, Miami, FL
    • LCpl William J. Morrison, Middleboro, MA
    • HN Larry T. Waltz, Harrisburg, PA, H&S w/ Hotel 2/5
    • Pfc Norman G. Cates, Rochelle, IL
    • Pfc Michael J. Synod, Detroit, MI

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 24 May 2005
Last updated 08/10/2009