Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lasting Memory for Connemara Comrade

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lasting Memory for Connemara Comrade

Article excerpt

Cot Fox survived the Vietnam War, but barely. He was in a Marine Corps unit that was overrun at the onset of the Tet Offensive in early 1968. He was wounded and spent several weeks at a hospital in Hawaii. He recovered from his wounds and came back to St. Louis. He graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia and eventually became an insurance executive.

He does volunteer work for the USO at Lambert airport, and he is a member of an informal group of Vietnam veterans, most of whom served in the Marine Corps.

Last December, Fox and his wife, Kay, were in Ireland. They had lunch in a restaurant that had been recommended by one of Fox's veteran buddies. The restaurant was in a small town called Cashel, in County Mayo. After lunch, Fox saw a framed newspaper article from 1969. The article was about a young man from Cashel who had been killed in Vietnam. Peter Mary Nee was his name. He had been in the Marine Corps. The article said Nee was buried in the Cashel cemetery.

Fox decided to pay his respects. It was a windy, rainy, blustery day. The cemetery is on a hill overlooking the Atlantic. It is a small cemetery, but Fox could not find Nee's grave site. He left feeling unfulfilled.

When he got back to the states, he sent an email to Bill Willert, the buddy who had recommended the restaurant. Willert emailed back a photo of his wife Linda searching in that same cemetery in 1997. The Willerts had seen the same newspaper article and had reacted the same way. They had gone to pay their respects. They had not found the grave site, either.

Fox was not willing to let this drop. Who was this young Marine from Ireland? Why didn't he have a proper memorial?

In the Internet age, it is not difficult to do research. Fox went to the Virtual Wall website. Nee had been with Hotel Company of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Regiment. Hotel 2-5 had been one of the companies in the area where Fox had served. …

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