Dear Mr. Register,
Yesterday, I had lunch in Charles City, Virginia with a friend I have know for a little over four years. I learned during our lunch that she is a widow from the Vietnam War. She told me her first husband, who had been stationed at Ft. Riley, Kansas when sent to Vietnam, died in Cambodia (he was part of a Reconnaissance unit) in 1969. His C.O. wrote to her and told her he would put her husband in for a Distinguished Service Cross. He was eventually awarded the Silver Star (Posthumously). I saw something on your blog from someone who went to high school with him in Decatur, Alabama which said he was "a prince of a man." Do you know of any other people who might be able to offer any comments about Lt Weed, who was obviously a hero in the war? He and my friend's daughter was born just a few weeks after he was killed in action.
I am trying to find his specific Silver Star citation, too, and any other information on him that would be of interest to his widow.
Thank you, Sir,
Major Patricia Summers,USMC Ret'd
my father built the Boy Scout Reservation, as it was called then, and I even went up there and worked on it some with him during one summer. He made no money on it, believe me. I remember Morgan from those days after the camp opened. He really was a Prince of a Man.
Dear Maj. Summers:
Morgan Weed had a rare leadership ability. He led through example and inspired the rest of us to always do our best in what we did. He also was very kind and a great teacher.
I was fortunate to get to know Morgan well as a Boy Scout. Although I grew up in a different town, Dothan, Alabama, he was an older camp counselor at the Boy Scout Reservation in southeast Alabama, and I wanted to be like him, first as a camper and later as a camp counselor myself. I also knew him through our involvement in the Boy Scout honor and service organization, the Order of the Arrow, where I got to be a little like him when I too was inducted into the Vigil Honor. He was, without question, the most outstanding leader and teacher I met as a younger Scout.
It is not surprising that he was honored with the Silver Star posthumously. I am certain his leadership ability showed up in the Army too. My reaction at the time I heard that he had been killed in action in Cambodia was negative, however. I thought it was a terrible waste as Morgan had so much to offer if he only could have come home and continued to inspire and lead all those with whom he would come in contact. It helped turn me against the war. While I did not avoid service, and was commissioned, eventually being promoted to Captain, I was fortunate that the war ended before my active service. The Army let me go to and graduate from law school first, and I graduated in 1973. I thought about Morgan at the time and wished he were still with us.
What more can I say. Morgan was an outstanding young man as your friend, his wife, knows. Tell their daughter to not only always be proud of her father, but also to carry on his tradition of kindness and leadership.
I am taking the liberty of sending copies to a couple of others who were in the same Boy Scout troop in Dothan as Robert Register and I, and who also knew Morgan.
Bar Harbor, ME
Dear Maj. Summers:
Although I knew Morgan Weed, I did not know him well. My brother, Thomas, knew him much better. I knew him as a sterling young man with strong leadership abilities and skills. I had not followed him after I left Dothan for college in 1962, and did not know that he died in Cambodia. That, indeed, was a loss.
William A. Wheatley
I went to Decatur High School with MORGAN WEED.I had heard that he was killed in The Nam....your story about him brought tears to these old eyes of mine.We were good friends in high school and MORGAN was a PRINCE among men.ONLY The GOOD DIE YOUNG !
Please keep up the good work Brother !
Love & Respect !wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwykerJohn D. Wyker aka SAILCATMIGHTY FIELD of VISION FOUNDATIONwww.MFVR.comWorldwide NET RADIO 24/7
Click on the following link if you want to read about a true hero. http://www.vietnam6bn31inf.com/KIA/WeedMorganWilliam.htm
Morgan was from Abbeville & he was Assistant Activities Director at the Boy Scout Reservation near New Brockton. He taught me Nature, Archery & Marksmanship Merit Badge in '62 & '63. In '67, I would become Assistant Activities Director and teach Nature Merit Badge. This experience lead directly to my teaching career in Bilology.Over the years after Morgan moved to Decatur, I ran into him at Order of the Arrow functions and saw him a couple of times during my freshman year at Alabama. I had no idea the Army had pulled Morgan out of Law School at Bama and that he was in Vietnam until a fellow Scout walked into Dr. Strong's Political Science class and told me Morgan had been killed in Cambodia. This was May of 1970 and the University of Alabama was under martial law because of the Kent State protests.
image courtesy of http://www.alflcouncilbsa.org/OA_files/OA_224History.html
Morgan Weed, our Lodge and Area Chief in 1962, was presented the Distinguished Service Award (DSA) at Indiana University in 1965 for his contributions to the Order beyond the lodge level. Morgan was killed in service during the Vietnam conflict. Cowikee Lodge established the Morgan Weed Award, given annually at the Section Conclave, to commemorate his service and dedication to the Order of the Arrow.
from an article by Elaine Brackin in the Dothan Progress http://www2.dothaneagle.com/dea/dothan_progress/news/article/local_scouts_will_gather_at_landmark_park_sunday_to_honor_bsa/128033/. :
February 8, 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was born. Sunday, from 2-4 p.m., Wiregrass participants in BSA, along with their families and friends, will gather at Landmark Park to celebrate this organization’s milestone of service - 100 years.
For one local member, Scouting has been a way of life practically since the day he was born. It could be said Frank Gaines III was born with Scouting in his blood.
“My father (Frank Gaines Jr.) was a professional field scout executive for Boy Scouts of America,” Gaines said as he discussed Sunday’s planned festivities. “I often joke that my first words were, ‘Be Prepared.’
“It was my father’s job to recruit and train scoutmasters. He also raised funds for the Boy Scouts and served as camp director during the summer months. He served in that role from 1947 until 1962. However, my dad was involved in Scouting, as a Boy Scout, since 1926.”
At that time, local Scouts were members of the Choctawhatchee Council. In information supplied by Mr. Gaines, it was noted this council was chartered in 1926. L.L. Gellerstedt of Troy, National Council representative, presented the charter to R.L. Gaines (Frank’s great-uncle), local president, in ceremonies held in the Dothan Opera House. Harwell Davis, Ala-bama’s attorney general, gave the address and then awarded Tenderfoot Badg-es to 125 new members of the Dothan troops.
This council, unfortunately, folded during The Great Depression. However, Scouting was reborn in 1935 with the creation of the Southeast Alabama Council. In 1964, it was renamed the Alabama Florida Council, which remains its current name.
Gaines says he owes much of who he is as a person to Scouting.
“I feel Scouting helps you to have strong character,” Gaines said. “There’s just so much you can learn through Scouting. I believe you develop a great love for your country by participating in Scouting.”
Gaines has such a strong belief in the Boy Scouts program that he has passed his love for it to his children and grandchildren. His son, Frank IV, is an Eagle Scout, and his grandson, Ellis Harville, 5, is anxiously awaiting his opportunity to be a Tiger Cub, when he turns 6 years old.
“In addition to the all of the skills you learn through Scouting,” Gaines said, “you also develop lasting friendships. One of my best Scouting buddies, Morgan Weed (from Abbeville), was a true leader. He gave his life for his country in Vietnam. That was a great loss to me.”
MORGAN WEED from http://www.jim-mac.com/mem02.html
Rank and Organization: 1 Lieutenant U.S. Army, D Company, 6th Battalion, 31st Infantry, 9th Infantry Division
Place and Date of Casualty: Tnaot, Cambodia, 10 May 1970
Home of Record: Decatur, Alabama
MORGAN REED was Platoon Leader of the 3d Platoon, a well-liked officer whose shock of blond hair could always be seen in the thick of things, shedding his helmet to unencumber his vision and mobility. On 10 May 1970, his platoon was left at the edge of Tnaot to react to the left or right, depending on what the 2d Platoon found there. When the 2d Platoon became heavily engaged and needed more grenades and light antitank weapons to attack enemy bunkers, Morgan collected the munitions from his own platoon and dragged them forward in a poncho. Seeing Cliff Macomber bravely leading the effort to extricate one of his squads from an ambush site, Morgan joined the fight, standing erect beside Cliff and firing at another bunker to keep its occupant pinned down long enough for other men to assault the bunker with hand grenades. An explosion occurred just behind Cliff and Morgan, knocking them both forward and wounding several others. Morgan was struck in the back of the head, but remained conscious. As men of the 2d Platoon placed him on a poncho to carry him to a safer place for evacuation, he said "I'll be alright, take care of the others." He died the next day at the 24th Evacuation Hospital in Vietnam. His wife gave birth to their daughter just a few days later.
Information Submitted by Karl Lowe