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Vietnam War Redcatchers Gather in St. Louis

Brad Choat
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Retired Major General Burn Loeffke and members of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade hold hands at a memorial service in St. Louis on May 26, 2013 (KMOX/Brad Choat)

Retired Major General Burn Loeffke and members of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade hold hands at a memorial service in St. Louis on May 26, 2013 (KMOX/Brad Choat)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – At the end of a memorial service, Sunday, retired U.S. Army Major General Burn Loeffke asked the men of the Vietnam War’s 199th Light Infantry Brigade to join hands and recite a popular Lee Greenwood lyric, “I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men and women who died who gave that right to me…”

The Redcatchers brigade- as they’re known- are holding a Memorial Day Weekend reunion in St. Louis.

General Loeffke says the 750 Redcatchers killed in action in Vietnam must never be forgotten, “The chaplain said something very beautiful, earlier. Those who are allowed more days, we should make them worthy, to honor those who are no longer with us.”

Brigade member Murph Archibald of Charlotte, North Carolina says these types of reunions are like a mosaic, “When you’re in the Army at the very lowest level like us, you don’t really know much beyond what happens a few feet from you. Every year you fill in a bit more of the mosaic.”

General Loeffke asked the living members of the 199th to consider sharing stories for a book. He wants them to talk about what it means to be a peacemaker.

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