A Marine killed in action during the Vietnam War nearly 50 years ago was honored in a memorial service Saturday, and a headstone and plaque were erected at his gravesite at a South Florida cemetery, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
Private First Class Gregory Carter was killed in action Oct. 12, 1969, in the Quang Ngai province of South Vietnam, according to according to a Vietnam military casualties database on Ancestry.com. He was remembered in a service attended by nearly 200 people Saturday at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Fort Lauderdale, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
“It’s like he woke up to the world again,” Carter’s brother, Anthony Owens, told the newspaper. “His life is meaningful. It means something.”
“No, I did not (expect this many people). It raised our spirits, big time.”
Carter laid in an unmarked grave until the Vietnam Veterans of America discovered him while searching for photographs of Vietnam veterans to place on the black granite Wall of Faces in Washington, D.C., the Sun-Sentinel reported.
Carter was drafted into the Marines on July 4, 1969, when he was 19, according to the Ancestry.com database. He already had a young son and a daughter was on the way, but Carter would never know either of them, the newspaper reported.
The Vietnam Veterans of America worked with the city of Fort Lauderdale and others to get Carter’s grave marker, the Sun-Sentinel reported. The organization also secured a photograph from a baseball team photograph in the Dillard High School yearbook, the newspaper reported.
Gregory Carter now lies with his mother, grandparents, three siblings and other relatives at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
“If you die you’re just lost until somebody thinks about you again,” Anthony Owens told the Sun-Sentinel. “So his spirit is probably all around us right now. It’s a good thing. He’s doing good.”
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