This is a tribute to my uncle, Wayne D. Jenkins, who died in Vietnam in 1968 just before he would have turned 21. I was only four years old when he passed, so I never got to know him. I will always wonder what his life would have been like and what additional family members we would have had if he was not taken so young. He is a hero to our family.
From the Find-A-Grave website:
SP4 Wayne Daniel Jenkins, Vietnam Veteran, Native of Bryson City, NC.
Specialist Four Wayne Daniel Jenkins was a casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Army Selective Service and a Draftee, SP4 Jenkins served our country until September 12th, 1968 in Bing Long, South Vietnam. He was 20 years old and was not married. It was reported that Wayne died from small-arms fire or grenade. His body was recovered. Wayne was born on September 16th, 1947 in Bryson City, North Carolina. SP4 Jenkins is on panel 44W, line 038 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. He served our country for one year.
Sp4 Jenkins, this is in remembrance of you and the members of your squad who were ambushed on September 12, 1968, while on reconnaissance 5 kilometers Northeast of Loc Ninh, Binh Long Province, Vietnam. That day was a long and sad day for Alpha Company, 1st Battalion 28th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. You will never be forgotten. Niner One.
He was the son of Mr. Ed C Jenkins, Bryson City, NC.
He served with Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, USARV.
He was awarded The Combat Infantryman’s Badge (CIB), Bronze Star Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart Medal for his combat-related wounds, the Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal, The Army Achievement Medal, and The Army Commendation Medal.
-I will never forget that day. We lost 11 men. Richard Smith, 11571 Hadar Drive, San Diego, CA.
-I served with Recon 1st/28th. I won’t forget you or that day. Love and Peace to your family. Recon was as close to family as you can get. Larry Schluter, Renton, Wa 98056
-Brother, I miss you. Thank you to all who survived and knew Wayne Jenkins. God Bless You! Ed Jenkins Jr., 333 Ed Jenkins Rd, Bryson City, NC (My Uncle Ed has since passed away)