Rocky Pearson O'Ham
HHC, 1ST BN, 77TH ARMOR, 5 INF DIV
Army of the United States
18 August 1951 - 08 May 1970
Kinston, North Carolina
Panel 10W Line 002
The database page for Rocky Pearson O'Ham
|28 Dec 2002
O'HAM, a name that seems to have a special ring to it. A name I
will never forget, yet it belongs to a person I really never got
to know. You see, Rocky transferred to the 5th Infantry Division
from a unit in Germany, if I remember right he said he
volunteered for the transfer. He ended up in the HHC Scout
Platoon. I was working on my second tour in Vietnam, my first
year was spent with the 1st Infantry Division. Rocky and I were
around the same age, in the same platoon, involved in the same
mission. That mission turned out to be fatal for Rocky and life
threatening for several others. Rocky had just arrived at
Headquarters Co., it seems he couldn't have been there more than
a few days when we were given the assignment to take a patrol
out near the village of Quang Tri.
extremely hot that day, we never really knew what the
temperature was most of the time other than it was well into the
100s. I guess we never really cared, we were there and would
deal with it. We were a mechanized infantry platoon and for most
missions we were mounted on M113s, a tracked vehicle. That day
we would travel to an area with suspected enemy activity on our
tracks, dismount and patrol on foot an area along a small
stream. The terrain was rolling hills, somewhat dry, except for
the growth along the stream bank. It didn't appear that we were
following a well traveled trail or an area that we would be
suspicious of any type of ambush. There was some distance to
cover before we reached an area that we thought might be a good
area for enemy concealment. The column was about 8 or 10 of us
spread out several meters apart. I was in the middle of the
column carrying the radio for the Lieutenant. Rocky was up front
with the first 2 or 3 along with our Kit Carson scout, a local
Vietnamese from the area who never liked walking point. It
seemed several had passed by the point of the explosion before
it went off covering the front 5 or 6 in the patrol with
shrapnel, dirt, and each other's blood. I remember the person
behind me was hit and the LT in front of me. The blood I was
covered in did not belong to me, I did not receive a scratch.
The medic worked his way to the front of the column, when I got
there he was working on Rocky. If I remember right he began
giving him CPR, which makes me think the instant of the
explosion was fatal for Rocky. Because we were just outside of
Quang Tri the medivac choppers arrived in a matter of minutes. I
remember helping load Rocky and I think 3 others on the medivac.
I finished out my tour with the Scout Platoon never hearing from
anyone on the other's condition.
the Army and the people of Vietnam 11 more months after that
incident. Rocky gave them everything, forever. I made it home
with a Purple Heart, several bronze stars and lots of memories.
It's strange how you spend years trying to forget about an
experience. And years later for some reason, you think those
memories might give someone a moment or two of comfort, and you
thank GOD you're able to bring them back, one more time. THEY
WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN.
|23 Mar 2003
neighbors and we grew up together, went to school together.
still see you walking down the sidewalk from your house to Mike
Outlaw's house. You were such a good looking young man, a kind
young man, a compassionate young man, a fun loving young man ...
we all still miss you and love you just as much as we ever did!
I will never forget our times together!
My Love To You,
Vicki Poole Hines
The photo is from our
1968 Grainger High School Annual, Kinston, NC.
16 Apr 2006
thinking about you today, Easter, April 16, 2006. Both of my
parents are now buried in the cemetery where you have rested for
so very long. Way too long! So you're all close to each other as
when we were doing our very best to try and grow up on Darby
Avenue. I miss you still and visit your site here quite often.
never forget you, Rocky! We all still miss you so very much
after all these many years!
that you are still with us and watching over us, protecting us
still, as you did when you left to go to Viet Nam to serve our
price you had to pay!
I Love you, Vicki
From a VERY close friend!,
Vicki Poole Hines
|23 Mar 2003
and I went to high school together and even dated some. He was a
wonderful person. Ten years after Rocky was killed my baby girl
died and she is buried in Kinston right in front of Rocky's
grave. It was almost a relief to see that. I feel like he's
watching over her. I still miss him very much.
Joan Conner Walker
New Bern, North Carolina
|14 Nov 2003
I often think of
those who stayed behind
What price they paid for me
Their dreams remain but just a dream
While mine blossom with time
They'll not feel
their mother's pain
Nor wipe away her tears
Their father's ache they'll not console
Yet mine i hold so near
A lover's love they
shall never taste
The child they'll not know
A father's pride, a mother's hopes
While mine forever grow
A walk along a sandy
Sunrise in my eyes
A warm and gentle breeze
Nor the colors of the fall
These simple things they gave
For this they gave their all
They stayed behind so
we might go
Their voices I still can hear
The taste of blood, the stench of death
The pain etched upon their face
Such a god-forsaken place
I'll not forget the
price they paid
The life they held so dear
In hopes we might build a better place
One free of hate and fear
The list grows long
and longer still
Their names carved in granite stone
Fifty eight thousand listed there,
So no one shall stand alone
Some say it was only
Perhaps to ease our mind
Yet as I travel down life's path
My family by my side
I'll always know deep inside
It could have been me not them
Who stayed behind
Dedicated to Hughie,
Rocky O'Ham, and Carlos Chavez
by Larry 'Tex' Fincher
1/77 Armor Scout Platoon
2303 William Circle, Ennis Texas 75119
May they rest in
|10 May 2007
knew Rocky, but I would like to share a poem I wrote long after
returning from Vietnam:
An old man kneels in
Of Crosses row on row,
And at the graves of long lost friends,
His tear begin to flow.
His thoughts fly back
now to his youth,
And as his sorrow grows,
The friends he faced his battles with
Now fill the graves below.
Those friends have
made their final peace,
And now they lay at rest.
And comfort comes to one old man,
Knowing he did his best.
His nation called
when he was young
And asked for all he had.
He stood so tall and felt so proud,
Yet now, a little sad.
For when they called
he was so young,
That little did he know,
About the friends in Silent Fields,
Of Crosses row on row.
I didn't know Rocky
but I knew many young men like him. May he rest in peace.
1SG USAR (Retired)
|The point-of-contact for this memorial is
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 28 Dec 2002
Last updated 11/03/2007