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Remembering Andy Rackow This Christmas Morning

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Spent Christmas morning hunting a ghost. I want to post his picture here. He died in Vietnam. He was one of the best people I ever knew. I’ve searched on both Cheltenham High School Class of ’64 and ’65 websites but can’t locate him. I see him clearly. I want to place him here, this Christmas morning. I’ll keep looking.

Craig Stiles Jeff…..who are you looking for?

Jeffrey Field It was Andy Rackow. Here’s the funny thing, Craig. We were never friends. Not even acquaintences. I think we were in homeroom together. I always looked up to him. Don’t think I ever spoke with him, but I still recall my memory of what a fine, decent man he was. He was a medic, like me. I made it. He didn’t. I just wanted to honor him this Christmas day.

Jeffrey Field Finally! I found Andy Rackow. God bless you, Andy. http://www.cheltenham1965reunion.com/.../VietnamWarVet...

Jeffrey Field Here’s the full list of veterans from the Class of ’65. http://www.cheltenham1965reunion.com/Service/Service.htmlManage

Cheltenham High School Class of 1965 50th Reunion

Andy Rackow, Vietnam (deceased August 6, 1968)

Andrew Charles Rackow
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class
H&S CO, 2ND BN, 5TH MARINES, 1ST
MARDIV
United States Navy
26 October 1947–06 August 1968
Cheltenham, Pennsylvania
Panel 49W Line 020

Andrew Charles Rackow
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class
PERSONAL DATA
Home of Record: Cheltenham, Pennsylvania
Date of birth: Sunday, 10/26/1947
MILITARY DATA
Service: Navy (Regular)
Grade at loss: E5
Rank: Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class
ID No: B407475
MOS: HM Hospital Corpsman
LenSvc: Between 2 and 3 years
Unit: H&S CO, 2ND BN, 5TH MARINES, 1ST MARDIV
CASUALTY DATA
Start Tour: Thursday, 03/14/1968
Cas Date: Tuesday, 08/06/1968
Age at Loss: 20
Remains: Body recovered
Location: Quang Nam, South Vietnam
Type: Hostile, died outright
Reason: Gun or small arms fire — Ground casualty
ON THE WALL Panel 49W Line 020
www.VirtualWall.org

02 Apr 2008
Andrew Rackow — Andy — was our brother.

He wanted to be a Navy doctor but was sidetracked by the
conflict in Southeast Asia. The terrible effects of the war
bothered him and so, in 1966, he interrupted his studies at
Penn State University and enlisted as a hospital corpsman.
He soon attained the rank of Petty Officer Second Class. His
unit was assigned to duty in Vietnam attached to the
Marines. For many months Andy’s outfit was in the thick of
some of the heaviest fighting of the war.
In August, 1968, he fell in the line of duty.
Shortly after Andy’s death, our parents received a letter
from one of his buddies. Excerpts from that truly
remarkable, comforting note bear witness to Andy’s
courage and the kind of person he was.

“I was with Andy the day he was hit. Your son was a brave
man. He died because he valued the lives of the men and
was willing to take any risk to help them. At the time he
was hit, he was at the very front of the battle, helping a
man who was badly wounded.

“More than one man is alive now because of Andy’s
courage, and I wanted you to know how badly we all feel
and what a great man your son really was.”

Andy’s bravery in action was recognized, as well, by his
superior officers. He was awarded the Silver Star, one of
the highest medals awarded by the Navy.

Andy was our brother but, in a sense, he and all the other
brave men and women who have made the ultimate
sacrifice for this country belong to all America. We would
give anything to be able to tell him how proud we are of
him. We may not all agree with everything our country is,
but it is this country that gives us the very freedom we
have to disagree — and the opportunity to make things
better. And it has always been men and women like Andy
who have preserved the gift of those freedoms.

We are forever proud of and in debt to Andy. We miss him.
From his brothers,
Julian P. Rackow
David M. Rackow
rackowassociates@comcast.net

A Note from The Virtual Wall
On 06 Aug 1968 Fox and Golf Companies, 2/5 Marines, engaged
an NVA company about two kilometers southeast of the Liberty
Bridge. When the enemy withdrew they left 23 bodies on the
battlefield — but two Marines and one sailor died as well:

GySgt Lawrence G. Bargaheiser, Tiffin, OH, Golf 2/5;

HM2 Andrew C. Rackow, Cheltenham, PA, H&S 2/5 (Silver
Star); and

Cpl Robert G. Fante, Roseville, MI, Fox 2/5 (Navy Cross).

“You guys are the Marine’s doctors -
There’s none better in the business
than a Navy Corpsman …”
— Lieutenant General “Chesty” Puller –

Visit John Dennison’s
Medics on the Wall
memorial which honors the
Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen who died in Vietnam.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his brother, David M. Rackow
rackowassociates@comcast.net

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Jeffrey Field

Jeffrey Field

It ain't what you think. Former newsman, car salesman, teacher. Everything is Thou, if you so allow it. You can find some of it at https://youtu.be/w6RtVjMDHzE

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