Henry Ray Wicker

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
31 August 1946 - 08 May 1967
Lebanon, Kentucky
Panel 19E Line 068

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Henry Ray Wicker

21 Dec 2005

Henry Ray Wicker was a year ahead of me in high school and a year ahead of me in Vietnam. He was a very fun-loving, likable type person during our high school years. Everyone could not help but love his personality, even the teachers. Henry had learned to keep life on a lighter note with his laughter and his charm. Everyone treasured this young, free-spirted patriot's friendship. Many Marion County, Kentucky locals could not understand why Henry would join the military and especially the Marines. Although my Vietnam service was as an Army Infantryman, I can only imagine why Henry chose the path in life that he did. The cry for true Americans to step forward and display their patriotic spirit was stirring to many during those Vietnam War years. Henry answered that call. To join the Marine Corps was a warrior's dream. He became one of America's Finest and made our community so proud of his accomplishments.

No one was prouder of Henry than his younger brother, Bill Wicker. The two brothers were very close family members, but were even closer friends. I have been blessed to have known both brothers in my lifetime. Henry was and still is Bill's true American Hero. Being a close friend of younger brother Bill and a fellow Vietnam Veteran, I have tried to share my war experiences with him. It will not replace the stories that big brother Henry would have shared with the family had he not perished in combat, but perhaps my stories will offer some understanding of our proud, patriotic ordeal called war. Truly "All Gave Some, Some Gave All."

I Am Not Dead

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am diamond glints of snow;
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush;
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds encircled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.

Lyrics by Mary Frye (1932) and Wilbur Skeels (1996)

From a hometown friend and Vietnam Brother,
Ex-Staff Sergeant Barney Tharp
3240 Sam Browning Road, Lebanon, Kentucky 40033

Brother Bill at Henry Wicker's gravesite

23 Jan 2006

I served with LCpl Henry Ray Wicker when he was a member of Hotel Co, 2nd Bn, 26th Marines, before his transfer to 1st Bn, 4th Marines. There is a memorial in Stanton, Michigan, dedicated to the men of Hotel 2/26 which has Henry's name inscribed in it.

Paul H. Minillo

Stanton men to erect memorial
By Ryon List - Daily News staff writer
28 April 2004

STANTON -- Thomas Baker and John Bookwalter were typically close buddies in school.
      When the two Stanton youths graduated from Central Montcalm High School in 1965, they became roommates at Ferris State University in Big Rapids. But not long after starting college, Baker joined the Marines and went off to fight in the Vietnam War.
      He was killed during a battle on Feb. 21, 1967.
      Bookwalter keeps a photograph of his fallen friend in his office and the Stanton man visits Baker's grave about once a month. Now Bookwalter has decided to do something to honor his friend that's not so typical. He plans to build a memorial in honor of all military veterans at his business, Bookwalter Motor Sales in Stanton.
      Bookwalter wants to dedicate the memorial to Baker.
      "This isn't about me and it isn't about the business," Bookwalter said. "It's about them. It's about our veterans."
      A chance meeting recently prompted Bookwalter's decision to construct the monument. A few months ago a Crystal man who served with Baker in Vietnam walked into the dealership and noticed Baker's photograph in Bookwalter's office. The two started talking about Baker, the war and how some veterans were treated after Vietnam.
      "During these conversations I was reminded just how fortunate we are today to be able to live the way we do and enjoy the freedoms we have due to the many sacrifices of all our military veterans," Bookwalter said. "This will honor all our veterans."
      Plans for a memorial started soon after the conversation. It will include a 50-foot flagpole as well as a slate monument surrounded by a small wall. The monument will read, "In Honor of All Veterans, Dedicated to Hotel Co. 2nd Bat. 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division, Vietnam 1966-1970."
      Bookwalter said the monument will list Baker's name and the names of the other Marines from his unit who died.
      "It honors those who served and who are serving," he said. "It's about respect and honor."
      Larry Cannon, who works with Bookwalter at the dealership, also knew Baker. Cannon also graduated from Central Montcalm in 1965.
      He and Bookwalter are working together to build the monument. It has not been constructed yet, though work is expected to begin soon. Cannon said it will be done by June 12. A dedication ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. that day.
      Bookwalter sent letters to schoolmates from the Central Montcalm class of 1965 inviting them to the event. He said he has heard back from people in California and other places around the United States who plan to attend.
      "Most people, I hope, would realize these guys gave up their lives for our freedom," Cannon said. "I think you'll see a lot of tears shed here."

© The Daily News
Greenville, Michigan
Ryon List, Staff Writer
(616) 754-9303 ext. 3050
Used with permission

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, was among the Allied forces engaged in bitter fighting around Con Thien on 08 May 1967. The 1/4 Marines lost 36 men on that day, 13 of them from Alpha Company:
  • SSgt Donald L. Gustafson, El Reno, OK
  • Cpl Robert J. Green, Las Vegas, NV
  • Cpl James E. Harmon, Griffin, GA
  • Cpl Gary H. Kreh, Flint, MI (Silver Star)
  • LCpl Michael P. Finley, Big Rock, IL (Navy Cross)
  • LCpl Charles Jackson, Hammond, LA
  • LCpl William E. Perry, Port Huron, MI
  • LCpl Emmett J. Peters, Green Mountain Falls, CO
  • LCpl James R. Valentine, Johnstown, PA
  • LCpl Henry R. Wicker, Lebanon, KY
  • Pfc Charles W. Daut, Philadelphia, PA
  • Pfc James R. Huckleberry, Jeffersontown, KY
  • Pfc Ronald W. Sanders, Wayne, MI

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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