Stephen Michael Vuga
"I have been meaning to do this for quite some time now and for some reason
I just never remembered to do it until now. I was the wife and widow of Stephen Michael Vuga. He died
on our first wedding anniversary December 26, 1967. I really don't think that I ever got over that
even though I remarried in 1969 and remain married to my present husband of nearly 43 years.
-- Nancy Himber Vuga Johanson,
In a later email, Nancy sent several more photos and wrote: "I have attached a few other pictures of the 2 of us. One was taken at one of my birthday parties. I am standing with one of my 3 brothers (James Himber) and you can see Steve right between us sitting at the table with his party hat on."
"This photo is of the two of us in his front yard, taken in 1957 when I was 9 years old. We went to grade school together and we said way back then as grade school children that someday we were going to get married."
"A picture of Steve as a child. He had the most beautiful smile and he didn't deserve to die in a faraway land. But I remember what his Dad said after we found out about the helicopter accident. He said that he was probably right up front in one of the first seats and those soldiers likely were the ones killed in the crash. The funeral director told us he died of a broken neck."
"This was taken at my Senior High School Prom."
"I really would love to have him remembered. His only sibling, a sister, Mary Lou Thewes, died about 5 years ago of pancreatic cancer. Steve did earn three (3), I think, purple hearts, as he was wounded twice before the helicopter accident. He also was awarded a bronze star. I may have some of those papers that came with the medals and the telegrams I received packed away in the attic, I will have to look."
-- Nancy Himber Vuga Johanson, 10/13/2012
"Nancy wrote the following poem to Stephen while he was in Vietnam and Stephen managed to get it published in the June 5, 1967 issue of Stars and Stripes."
-- The Virtual Wall
Records show: "Individual died from injuries received while
passenger on miliary aircraft enroute to a Christmas Show when aircraft lost rear rotor and crashed and burned."
Also shows the aircraft was a CH-47, Chinook Helicopter, tail number 66-19006.
-- The Virtual Wall
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