Terry Kenneth WilkinsPrivate First Class
C CO, 2ND BN, 503RD INF RGT, 173 ABN BDE
Army of the United States
01 April 1948 - 03 July 1966
Las Vegas, NV
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The database page for Terry Kenneth Wilkins
Terry and I served together with the 101st Airborne at Ft. Campbell, KY, in 1965, when my orders came for Vietnam, and I joined the 2nd Battalion of the 173rd Airborne in Bien Hoa in December of that year. Terry came over in January of '66, and was assigned to Company "C" of the 2/503rd as a grunt.
Terry was a funny kid, kind of a hell raiser and always laughing. Before joining the army and volunteering for airborne, he lived in Las Vegas with his mother. Years after the war I wrote to his mother but could never locate her -- I regret I never found the lady, I suspect she would have wanted to hear from one of her son's friends. He was a blonde kid, but not really cut-out for combat, but then again, who of us were?
I was pulling radio duty in the commo bunker, across from the church, at Camp Zinn one night, and Terry came in loud and drunk and, as usual, kidding around. I yelled at him to get out, which he did -- sadly, that's the last memory I have of my friend. Shortly after, I found myself in 3rd Field Hospital near Saigon, and as a ritual while there I made it a point to read the obits in "Stars & Stripes", and found Terry's name there.
Upon returning to Zinn I immediately went to his hooch and asked his squad leader how Terry had died. The young fellow was clearly upset with the question, and simply told me Terry was shot in the leg, went into shock and died -- that's all I knew for over 30 years. A couple years ago I connected with one of Terry's hooch buddies, and the man told me Terry had been on Listening Post duty, was shot in the foot, did go into shock and died.
For the past ten years or so I've worn Terry's KIA bracelet, taking him with me wherever I go, and often when living at home I'll put his bracelet on and say, "Come on, Terry, let's go get something to eat." Terry was an imperfect soldier, like many of us, and just a kid. I recall him telling me he entered the army using a forged passport, and when he arrived in-country he was only 17. I try to keep the memory of my friend alive ...
Lew (Smitty) Smith
Terry was a good friend while we both attended First Good Shepherd Lutheran School in Las Vegas. Yes, always a hell-raiser, even in a Lutheran school. I lost contact with Terry when we went on to high school, not finding him again until visiting the Traveling Wall in Reno, Nevada, in 1987. Terry is always the first and last I spend time with when visiting The Wall. Just thinking of him now brings vivid memories of him chucking a spit-wad across the classroom. Thanks Terry, we miss you, and Welcome Home.
From a friend,
A Note from The Virtual WallCharlie Company, 2nd Bn, 503rd Infantry, lost four men on 03 July 1966:
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009