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Western Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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The following letter was sent upon the death of PVT Gary A. Craven.

1st 175mm GUN BATTERY ( SP)
11th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein) FMF
FPO San Francisco, California 96602

                                                                                       September 15, 1970

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Craven,

The untimely death of your son, Private Gary A. Craven, U. S. Marine Corps, on September 3, 1970, at the Northern Artillery Cantonment, Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam is a source of great sorrow to me and his many friends in this Battery.  Please accept our deepest sympathy in your bereavement.

During the afternoon of September 3, 1970, Gary was on a detail which was working on improving the position's defenses.  Unknown to anyone, an unexploded M-79 grenade was located in the area in which Gary was working.  Gary discovered this explosive device, which due to exposure to the elements and age was defective.  While handling this device it detonated, mortally wounding him.  A hospital corpsman and a doctor were with your son within minutes after the accident occurred, but due to the extent of his injuries he died instantly.

It may comfort you to know that Gary received the ministrations of his faith shortly after his death from Lieutenant L. G. Rupp, Chaplain, U. S. Navy.  A memorial service was conducted for Gary on September 8, 1970, and was attended by his many friends in the Battery.

During the time that Gary was a member of the Battery he had acquired many friends, had shown a sincere interest and willingness to learn, and was a highly motivated Marine.  I realize that words alone can do little to console you at this time, but I do hope the knowledge that your son will be missed and that we share your sorrow will give you some measure of comfort.

If you feel that I may be of some assistance to you, please do not hesitate to write.

                                                         Sincerely yours,

                                                         ROBERT R. CRAIG
                                                         Captain, U. S. Marine Corps

Craven Detail

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