Reuben Charles Williams

Second Lieutenant
United States Marine Corps
12 August 1944 - 30 August 1967
Altamont, Tennessee
Panel 25E Line 073



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Reuben Charles Williams

12 Mar 2005

I Could Not Cry Then

I never cried when you died, Charley Williams.
I never cried when anyone died.
It was a day's work then,
An every-day event.
It happened all the time.

Marines don't cry.
Death is a fact of war,
Part of our job.
We can't afford to cry
While death hovers near.

I was already crying
Even before I found your name
Written on a cold, black, granite wall
20 years after your death.

Look at me now
Tears slide down my cheeks,
Too ashamed to sob,
Too moved to stop.
Crying for the first time.

Is it for you that I cry?
You've been dead for 20 years,
You and the other names I remember on that Wall,
And the names I no longer can recall.

I never cried when you died, my friend,
I never cried when anyone died.
I could not cry then.
I can now.

C. Douglas Norberg
1st Lt USMC

Reuben Charles Williams was the supply officer who roomed with me at Montford Point, Camp Lejeune, N.C. He died when the truck he was riding in was hit by a Katusha rocket. What was he doing in a truck as a supply officer? He was taking a ride to see what the war was like.

Doug Norberg

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Two men were killed in the convoy ambush on 30 Aug 1967:
  • 2ndLt Reuben C. Williams, Altamont, TN, HQ Btry, 12th Marines, and
  • LCpl Donald R. Okamoto, National City, CA, A Co, 9th Motor Trans Bn.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 04/22/2010