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July 3, 2008

Frenchy & 9th Engineers:

Well, I got to the wall early this am and carefully placed your "boots and dog tags " at The Wall with your letter. As you will see from the pictures, it quickly drew a crowd.

The guide at the wall said it would probably stay for the weekend and then go into storage. Soon they will open a
Dog tag for each of the 9th Engineer Battalion's KIA's and one MIA. The Plaque honors their sacrifice.
visitors center where they will show some of the mementos, hopefully yours.

What was really eerie was I finally decided to look at one of the dog tags before I placed the boots at the wall and whose should I see but SSgt Crooks, my platoon Sgt back at Lejeune for 1-2 yrs who was killed by a land mine shortly after arrival in the summer of 66.

Think this is a very powerful piece. I looked no further.

Frenchy, we cannot thank you enough.

Semper Fi,

Bob Nilsson


Frenchy's letter with his Boots and Dog Tags memorial ---

Dear Brothers:

Thank you for your sacrifice. You will not be forgotten.

I think of you guys a lot and I hope you forgive me for coming home. I try to lead a good life and help others, especially kids, to make my coming home worthwhil

Heavy - I met your family a few years ago at the Las Vegas reunion. You have a great family and your parents, wife and kids love you very much. I'm sure you know that.

Ken - I also met your family at this year's reunion in D.C. Your wife, two sons, and two daughters, Ken Jr., Tim, Diana, and Debra. What a wonderful family. They were able to know you a little better. I know you realize it, but they love you very much.

Jimmy - my good friend "I never met." I love you, brother, and I love, Mom. She's a wonderful woman and I wish she were closer so I could visit more often. I love her very much, and I'm sorry for all of the pain she has had to endure over the years. It makes me feel better when I can put a smile on her face. I love her as my own mother, Jimmy. Your sister, Sandy, is also a wonderful lady. After all these years I finally met her last fall. Jimmy,
she's real nice and she has a very special place in my heart. Love your family, brother and love you.

To all my brothers in the 9th Engineer Battalion, 1966 to 1970 who gave everything - May God bless you and your families.

You are in my prayers.

I will never forget you.

I love you all.

I'm sorry for coming home and leaving you.

I hope I've led a good life worthy of what you have given for my family and me.

Semper Fi, Brothers. I love you.


9th Engineer, RVN
June 1966 - January 1968