SFC Robert R. Bode
"Most of the men really don't understand what they are doing here, I try to explain it as best I can. But the truth is that most of them have never even seen a Charlie (VC)." These were the words of SFC Bode, Platoon Sergeant of 3rd Platoon, Alpha Company to a correspondent in May of 1966 near Trang Bang, South Vietnam. His men were fighting an enemy that operated in the shadows and left them frustrated by the cat and mouse tactics. By all accounts, SFC Bode was thoughtful, passionate leader who chose to go with the men he trained to fight alongside them. His family remembers him as a kind man who loved God, the Army, his wife and his children.
On 06JUL66, SFC Bode was struck in the chest by enemy small arms fire during a Search and Destroy mission and passed away. Though I obviously never could have met the man, I did serve in 3rd Platoon, Alpha Company, 2-14th Infantry many years after. At the time, I knew that I was serving in a unit with a long, bloody history but it doesn't truly sink in that men like this served, fought, and died while representing the same thing I fought for until long after.
SFC Bode forever earned his place at the Right of the Line, I'm sure ready to stand and fight with his Soldiers once again if called to do so.
I've been doing these small memorials for some time now both on Facebook and on my previous site. The purpose is to not only remember our fallen brothers from the 14th Infantry Regiment, but to show the families that we will always care and never forget.