This "empty chair" sits at the table which is the life of Ron Bennington:

My Friend

The person that I decided to write about is a man named George Franklin Myrick.   I love George Myrick and I would like you all to love him to.   Some people here may think that statement is a little odd,  that a man would say that he loves another man,  but let me tell you about George Myrick and then you'll understand.

George Myrick was from California,  six feet tall,  red hair and red face,  twenty-two years old and a smile as big as the whole out of doors.  He had a low quiet hypnotizing voice,  almost Pied Piper like.   George had joined the Navy,  because like so many who had served,  he believed he could help the people of South VietNam stay free.

He volunteered to be a Navy corpsman,  not that he was gung ho to be in the fight,  or to be where the action was,  but because he felt that was where he could do the most good.

I met George in September of 1967 and,  right from the get go,  I was amazed with him.  He was smart,  not just book smart,  which he was,  but he had an all 'round intelligent and uncommon common sense.  And that voice... that voice saved my career on a hot night in December when a Lieutenant was discussing the medal he was going to get for getting two of my friends killed with a senseless charge up a hill. I thought that the Lieutenant should get it like they were: posthumously.  George,  with that voice,  stopped me before I would have done something I would have surely been courtmartialed for.

He would go hungry because he would give all of his food to the children and lull us into doing the same.  He was a teacher,  not a school teacher,  but he would hold classes on how we,  who were guests in someone else's country,  should act so as to make our mothers proud.  He was truly my friend.  Only my wife,  Donna,  has come that close to me.  I didn't know,  until after a lot of years of beating myself up,  just how much he really taught me.  He was caring,  loving and helpful above and beyond the call of duty.

It's ironic that that now I have the ability to write this because it just so happens that 32 years ago today George Myrick saved my life in VietNam.

In the beginning I asked you all to love George Myrick ... for you see,  without his unselfish caring for his brother human being,  I would have bled to death 32 years ago.

Later on that same day,  the United States lost one of her most precious resources,  a son,  and the world lost a true humanitarian.


--- General / Personal ---
Last name: MYRICK
Home of Record (official): LOS ANGELES
State (official): CA
Date of Birth: Sunday,  August 19,  1945
Sex: Male
Race: Caucasian
Marital Status: Single

--- Military ---
Branch: Navy
Rank: HN
Serial Number: B817902
Component: Regular
Pay grade: E3
MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): HN

--- Action ---
Start of Tour: Unknown/Not reported
Date of Casualty: Sunday,  March 17,  1968
Age at time of loss: 22
Casualty type: (A1) Hostile,  died
Reason: Air loss - Crashed on land (Helicopter,  non-crew)
Country: South VietNam
Province: Quang Nam
The Wall: Panel 45E - Row 013

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