Joseph L. Mirgeaux Jr., U.S.M.C., Ret.
note: Joe Mirgeaux was grievously wounded on Operation Hastings in July 1966
while leading a platoon of Mike Company 3/5. He was medically retired
in February 1967. Many years and multiple operations later, he died from his
wounds. His family has tried, for years, to have his name added to the Wall,
with no success. This is a letter his sister left at the Wall. The
price of his service is still being paid)
October 8, 1988
came here today knowing that I would not find your name in this honored
place, so I am leaving a testament to your incredible sacrifice. it is the
very least that I can do for you.
the years of pain and suffering that you endured after your return from Viet
Nam should not be in vain. You
must know that we, your family, loved you beyond words. Our hearts broke as we watched you suffer with every surgery
– as little by little your once strong and proud body was whittled away by
doctors. We couldn’t imagine
how all that you went through affected your once proud marine determination.
Every time that you were near death, and there were many, we prayed
that your suffering would end. Not
because we didn’t love you or want you to be with us, but because
witnessing your slow road to the end was almost unbearable for all of us –
especially Mom & Dad. They loved you as no Mother or Father has ever loved their
child. Their hearts broke with
every setback and as parents, felt helpless – there was nothing they could
do to ease your suffering.
would make us prouder Joe than to see your name rightfully engraved on this
monument, but in leaving this letter to you, this is our way of honoring you
with our love and appreciation for not only defending this country, but for
sacrificing everything for your family.
You and Mom are together now – I think of you both everyday and
know that you are watching over
all of us. You are both happy
and free of
any worries or pain – finally at peace.
Until we meet again Joey….I leave my love here with you.
email address is firstname.lastname@example.org)