IN MEMORIAM
        LCPL Gregory Paul Kelly, USMC    
July 30, 1944 - June 10, 1967

USMC
Vietnam Campaign Medals

In Loving


Gregory Paul Kelly

Beloved Son, Brother and Friend

Memory of

 

 



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Greg and I grew up together in La Crescenta, California, a small quiet valley in the San Gabriel Mountains behind Glendale, in wonderful Southern California.

In 1953, we were only 9 or 10 years old.. to a boy, the best years of our lives. Our lives were full of innocence and careless play. Mischief, too, for we were real boys! So full also of hopes and dreams for the future and full of the joy of living, that is so cherished with fondness by grown men... A time called boyhood.

Greg and I would often race to school on our bikes.. This was back in the days when you thought you'd live forever.

They were gentle times; times when the only care was if you were having fun or not. We had lots of fun. That was in the post war years of the early 50's. We continued this carefree joyful outlook through Junior and Senior High School, where we both graduated in June of 1962. Back then, who would have ever thought that a war in a far distant land would call us both into the service of our country; then, who would have ever thought that this gentle friend of my childhood would lay down his life for his country in a hot and steaming jungle in far away southeast Asia, far from his home and loved ones? Who ever thought any of us would surrender our innocence in such a way? Yet today, this wonderful young man is only a memory, a wonderful, beloved memory and lives on in the hearts and minds of those who knew him and loved him.

Greg was always a model citizen and always chose the high ground in every aspect of his life. He was in the photo club, and also on our Yearbook staff. He was also a member of the Key Club and distinguished himself as a 'class act' in whatever he did. He was friendly, had a warm, loving smile and a friendly, put-you-at-ease personality. I never heard him ever say anything in anger, and I never heard an unkind word come out of his mouth. Knowing that freedom comes at a high cost, he chose to enlist in the Marine Corps.

There just was no other way for him. A true Patriot! He died as he lived, bravely and with honor. He is a model of what I'd hope to be.

Greg was killed in a firefight by small arms fire in Thua Thien Province, Republic of Vietnam on 10 June 1967. His body was recovered and today, lies peacefully in the Gardens of Honor, Court of Freedom, in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. Greg, we miss you so much and love you. Rest in Peace, Greg!

Semper Fi! ~ Your Friend,
Jake

Hoover Class of '62 - 'The Biggest and Best'

Greg's Grave from across the Court of Freedom, Forrest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California

This is the Court of Freedom, Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California, where my friend and classmate  Greg Kelly, lies peacefully.. His was the only grave there, decorated proudly with two American Flags, a symbol of his dedication to our Country, come what may, and his patriotism, wherein he gave his life to preserve those cherished freedoms, we all have come to enjoy, and often take for granted. Gazing at this peaceful setting, upon all those graves here, including Gregs, one remembers the great price many have paid so we can have the right to forget. But we shall never!

Greg's Grave at the Court of Freedom, Forrest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California

The Above Plaque, placed on Greg's grave by his family, reads as follows...

In Grateful Memory of our Cherished Son and Brother
Lance Cpl Gregory Paul Kelly, USMC
July 30, 1944   ~  June 10, 1967
Who gave his life in the service of his country
in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam
The strength of your character, the
unselfishness of your bravery,
the sparkle of your smile will ever be
our inspiration
Our Pride in you, Greg, is endless

In the belief that a heart, filled with love, knows no separation from those who live on in memory, these words, spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ, are inscribed here:

"This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that  a man lay down his life for his friends..." ~ John 15:12-13

We love you Greg, we miss you, and always will. This single rose is a symbol of one's lasting Devotion, and I place it here, to show how much you are loved and truly missed by myself, and by those who knew and loved you.

This Devotion can never end, as long as there are Roses to give one another, and loved ones to give them to. This Rose is laid here at this memorial to call Remembrance to the lives lost, but never forgotten; it signifies the Love and Devotion and National Gratitude for the Sacrifices which all the names on this Wall have made so that we Americans can live, sleep, work and play within Free and Safe Borders.

~ Jake ~


Wall Database Loss Data

Wall Database Information supplied by The Vietnam Casualty Search Page

--- General / Personal ---
Last name: KELLY
First name: GREGORY PAUL
Home of Record (official): LA CRESCENTA
State (official): CA
Date of Birth: Sunday, July 30, 1944
Sex: Male
Race: Caucasian
Marital Status: Single

--- Military ---
Branch: Marine Corps
Rank: LCPL
Serial Number: 2222475
Component: Regular
Pay grade: E3
MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 2511

--- Action ---
Start of Tour: Unknown/Not reported
Date of Casualty: Saturday, June 10, 1967
Age at time of loss: 22
Casualty type: (A2) Hostile, died of wounds
Reason: Gun, small arms fire (Ground casualty)
Country: South VietNam
Province: Thua Thien
The Wall: Panel 21E - Row 083

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Read about my return trip to California, a Trip for Healing.

9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam Era (Aug 5, 1964 - May 7, 1975) and 2,594,000 served in the country of Vietnam and where  more than 58,202 never returned home. Greg was one of them. See the Vietnam Statistics Page for more details

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