Guy Franklin Brooks
A CO, 3RD BN, 506TH INF RGT, 101 ABN DIV
Army of the United States
29 May 1948 - 02 February 1968
Joining the Army the same month he graduated from high school, Guy wanted to be a Green Beret. The foreign language requirement kept him from that. He was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne's 506th Infantry. He served in the Army for sixteen months before going to Viet Nam in October 1967. Four months later, Guy was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with a "V" for valor indicating his action was "exceptionally" heroic. He was a radio operator and his lieutenant asked him to go with him to aid in the rescue of three wounded members of his unit. That describes him. Guy was a very giving person.
Born in Pasco, Washington, to my brother Bill and sister-in-law Lucille, Guy also lived in Laredo,Texas, Fontana, California,and Lompoc, California. While in the Army, he also lived in Kentucky and Georgia. He traveled to Greenland and was sent to Detroit during the riots.
The only boy in a family of four children, Guy was a rock. He was also very tender hearted and kind. Born less than a year after his sister, Marlane, she watched over him like a little mother hen. He in turn watched over his younger sisters, Holly and Lucia (who he affectionately called "Lulu"). He had a tremendous sense of humor.
Although I am his aunt, there was less than three years between us. When we were in high school, his older sister, Marlane, our cousin, Millie, and I would talk him into going to the public dances held in Lompoc, California, where they lived. Everyone wanted to dance with Guy. He was tall and appeared older. The "Slop" was a popular dance at that time and he always had funny things to say about our dancing, but he went with us anyway. Guy called me "Crisco", fat in the can, that summer. Still a rural area at that time, Guy and Bob, my marathon brother, and our cousin, Larry, enjoyed long hikes, playing Army in the open spaces. Guy helped take care of his younger sisters. Guy and his family moved back to Washington where he finished high school.
On his last visit home, Guy took the time to fly into Los Angeles and visit with his grandparents. He was respectful and loving, and down to earth. Guy, my father's namesake, was my parent's only Grandson at the time of his death.
Guy was very special to all of us. When I picked him up from the airport for that last visit, I pulled up to the curb and he got in my car. The first thing he asked me was, "Did you notice my purple zipper?" Times were much different then. I felt the blush on my cheek. He got me again. It seems like all service guys, he didn't have a lot of civilian slacks and when he put them on, his zipper broke. Talented Holly put in the new zipper, the only one she had. It was purple. Guy's savings put his sister, Holly, through school. She is gone now too.
Guy told my folks on that visit that he was saving his money to "buy a place of his own". They were so honored that he spent the time with them and so proud of who he was. We all had a lovely visit.
The last time I saw Guy was when I drove him back to the airport. He was in uniform and I can still picture him, turning back to wave as he went inside. He had grown into a handsome man.
In one of his letters to me, referring to the Pueblo incident, he offered, "Tell President Johnson not to feel too bad about losing a ship. The other day, when I was swimming here, some North Vietnamese stole my pants." To this day I laugh at just the thought of those long pants dragging on some short person. Most of all, Guy's ability to find humor in any situation still warms my heart.
Guy was 19 when he was killed during the Tet Offensive in 1968. It changed all our lives. Guy gave his life for his fellow man - that's who he was.
P O Box 409, Mukilteo, Wa 98275