Karl Lowe

Fall in. Answer up. Be accounted for. Post a memory, photo, greeting or question. If nothing else post that you are still alive because some of us are likely to be glad you did.
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Delta75
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Karl Lowe

Postby Delta75 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:45 am

Karl Lowe, Delta Company CO in 1970, and historian for the 31st regiment association is presently in the hospital with two brain tumors. His son Kris has sent the following email request to another Delta Brother.

"I am not sure if this is fair to ask of you but I was wondering if you could ask other people that knew my father from Vietnam if they could write a quick statement on the impact my father had on their lives or significant events that they experienced with my father. I would like to share these memories with my father and the rest of my family while he is still able to process information. I understand if this is asking too much. "

Respectfully,

Kris Lowe

As many of you know, Karl has been the backbone of the 31st Association for many years. Without him the association would have disappeared years ago, and without him, the future for the association would be bleak. Please remember him and his family in your prayers.

If comments are added to this input, I will provide his son Kris with a link so that he can read them to his Dad.

I am afraid that the 31st Regiment website is still found lacking; therefore, this is the only website where we can communicate Karl's condition.

Best regards
Jerry White, Delta Company, 1969
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Re: Karl Lowe

Postby Niner Alpha » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:26 pm

When I first learned of this bad news I didn't want to post anything about it because of the personal nature of the news and out of respect for Karl and for his family. I thought it best to not intrude into their lives. Now that his son has made his families wishes known I see that my original judgement was wrong and am proud that this site can play a part in aiding the request made by Karl's son.

In my own memory, Karl was the CO of Delta Company while I was an enlisted man FO team member in Alpha. I never knew him in Vietnam, but knew him from early on when I started my internet battalion site back a dozen years ago. We would email back and forth over different things over the years. Sometimes, like in something recent, we were on the same page and working for the same end. Sometimes we were miles apart in how we saw things and what we wanted in relation to organizations and the reuniting of individuals from way back then. But... out of all the 31st Regiment people through the years, of those with any status at all, he was the only one that would always talk TO me rather than AT me. If he goes I wonder what is going to happen to the 31st Association. He has been the glue that holds it together for as long as I've been aware of its existence.

Hopefully medical science can work some wonders and he will be functional for years to come. I know more than a few people are wishing that will be so.
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Re: Karl Lowe

Postby pointman » Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:22 pm

Enjoyed a few emails back and forth. I have read about him, read what he wrote. One email in particular, he lay bleeding from a wound in Vietnam, while trying to remain conscious, had someone writing a letter to his wife hiding the seriousness of it so she wouldn't worry. Don't remember the total story of it any more, but the person writing the letter screwed him up and spilled the beans to his wife. Funny the years later when he wrote it, but upsetting to him at the time.

If at all possible, do believe he will mount a counterattack.
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Re: Karl Lowe

Postby Delta75 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:53 pm

Latest email from Karl. It does not look good.

Over the past few days, we've learned that I have two GBM4 Malignant tumors in the left side of my brain. Although we caught it early, the spread is very rapid, so the outlook is not good. I still have all my faculties for awhile and am still physically strong so anything remains possible and I will pursue chemo and radiation therapy as soon as the probes heal sufficiently for treatment.

I must as a caution, however, resign all my roles in the 31st Infantry Regiment Association--Senior Director and Historian, so that someone can assume those responsibilities to keep the body of work alive that I have so long ago taken as a mission of love for my comrades of all generations of this proud regiment.

Bill, I leave it to your judgment and counsel from the team as to how to best proceed. I cannot attend the change of command at Drum as planned and will be unlikely to attend further reunions unless my fight succeeds.

Grady, I listed you first in this string because I have been derelict in passing off my historian's hat but of all those I've worked with in the association, I believe you have the historian's soul and talents greater than mine to take up the mantle. I have lots of material that I need to pass off before I lose the ability to do so and will endeavor to get it in sufficiently intelligible form if you are willing. For the next 7 days I'll be unable to see anyone but would like to arrange a hand-off if we can later this month.

My greatest devotion and respect to you all. Pro Patria
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Re: Karl Lowe

Postby garyweckwerth » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:47 pm

I served with your father in Vietnam in 1970. I was a raw young soldier who was questioning (many of us were) the war and what exactly we were doing. Your dad provided leadership to us and myself in a very meaningful way without telling us or implying he had all the answers. He was strongly committed to country, the service and what we stood for. I admired him very much for this and respected his perspective on things and how he carried out his leadership of our company. I had a fair amount of contact with him as I was a RTO for the first part of my tour and often would be part of the communication with him. His leadership helped me to be a better solider during a very difficult time. He wrote a wonderful article about LT Weed who was my Platoon leader. I still feel the pain of that loss, as he does I’m sure. It’s one of those thoughts, feelings you think…. what could I have done better to avoid such a tragic loss. It bothers me to this day. Following Lt. Weed’s death, your dad continued to be the leader we needed and I was very much excited when I received a call a few years ago about the reunions. We connected again and I couldn’t have been happier to see him and find out about what he had accomplished following his last tour in Vietnam. After he left our company, I felt we lost and never really regained the quality leadership he provided us during an unpopular war. My prayers are with him as he goes through this difficult time.

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Re: Karl Lowe

Postby The Pelion Kid » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:28 pm

I never served with Karl Lowe.I met him briefly at a reunion..I enjoyed the history of the Polar bears as he presented it..May the Lord be with him on this rough challenge..
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Re: Karl Lowe

Postby jbayer » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:02 am

Kris Lowe, please share these thoughts with your dad and tell him I am thinking about him every day and pulling for his full recovery.
Not long after arriving in Vietnam in January 1970, I was sent to the 2/4th Artillery and then attached to Delta Company, 6/31st Infantry as a forward observer. My new boss was Captain Karl Lowe, who had recently taken over as company commander. I took an immediate liking to Karl because he was experienced (a previous tour), knowledgeable (he spoke the language), and a true leader (he didn’t need to yell at people to get them to follow orders). For a new guy, an amateur soldier like me, he was the consummate professional. It was easy to follow Karl because he always led from the front, setting an example for every troop in the company. Unlike many of us, he didn’t smoke and he didn’t drink. Even under the toughest circumstances he kept his cool and made sure the mission at hand was accomplished. A couple of months into my tour Karl asked if I would take over one of the platoons. After some thought I told him I didn’t feel qualified because I didn’t have infantry training. Although I turned him down, I was honored that he thought I could handle the job. (Later, I felt a bit guilty about my decision because I always wanted his respect.)
In May the battalion was sent into Cambodia as part of a follow-on operation after the ARVN armor assault into the Parrot’s Beak. The night before we were to chopper in, Karl briefed the platoon leaders and me about the operation. The other butter bars and I were surprised and didn’t know what to expect, but we all knew that we would be in capable hands after we crossed the border. Our biggest battle was at Chantrea village, where Delta and other elements of the 6/31st went up against a battalion of NVA. When some of the enemy escaped down the trail to another village called Tnaot, Delta pursued and ran into the teeth of an ambush. I was with the company command element when we were hit, and from that point on Karl was seemingly everywhere orchestrating our attack on well concealed bunkers. We were taking mortar fire and after about three hours finally broke contact when an errant gunship rocket landed on top of us. We had been holding our own up to that point because of the extraordinary courage and determination of a core group of Delta grunts. After the Cambodia operation, Karl made sure they all were decorated for their valor. He was awarded the Silver Star and probably should have gotten another purple heart, but I think he passed on that. Karl was that kind of leader—modest, unassuming and concerned first and foremost about the welfare of his troops.
After the war we all went our separate ways, but I reconnected with Karl about twenty years later when I flew to Baltimore with my family for an academic conference. We drove down to Fairfax and were graciously received by Karl and Sandy. I’ll always remember Karl playing with our two-year-old Michael. Over the years I checked in with Karl a couple of other times and then finally made it to a 31st Regiment reunion in 2012 in Washington and again in Dayton last year. My wife Peggy went with me to that reunion, and we spent some quality time with Karl and Sandy at the final banquet. I cherish that time together more than ever now. Peggy agreed that Karl looked just as he had so many years before, seemingly ageless. His commitment to the regiment as historian and senior director speaks volumes about the kind of man Karl is. He is a take-charge guy who never shrinks from the responsibilities and challenges of leadership. I knew many officers during my time in the Army, but none of them could compare with Karl Lowe. He was the finest soldier and is one of the finest men I have ever been blessed to call a friend.
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Re: Karl Lowe

Postby Delta75 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:02 am

Latest input from Karl:

Jerry, Thanks for your thoughts. I'm still pain free and have fairly few side effects from radiation and chemo. My worst reaction is chronic fatigue, causing me to sleep periodically during the day but when I am up, I do what I always did before being diagnosed. I built a cabinet in my garage from a scrapped kitchen cabinet, have plans for another one, am building a work table for my study from some scrapped kitchen cabinets, have cut down a 30-foot fig tree and will cut down another next week, and have been trimming bushes, picking weeds, and doing other work in our yard. That said, I'm a fully functional person, but fatigue intrudes on the pace a nd scope of what I can accomplish at one time.

I will complete radiation therapy this coming Tuesday and then have a 30-day rest (no form of therapy), followed by an MRI to determine what progress resulted from 4 weeks of radiation and 2 weeks of chemo. I had to be taken off of chemo altogether for the past 2 weeks because my body isn't producing enough blood platelets to avoid risk of a catastrophic brain bleed. That said, one of the most well-known doctors in brain cancer research at Johns Hopkins Cancer Center in Baltimore remarked that I am among a very small group of patients he's ever seen who exhibit a stronger sense of mind, body,and spirit in dealing with cancer generally, giving me strength to cope with the consequences in ways others cannot. I'm still a soldier at heart! Pro Patria, Karl
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Re: Karl Lowe

Postby Niner Alpha » Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:31 pm

Now it's over. See this link.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3690
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Re: Karl Lowe

Postby Niner Alpha » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:49 pm

From Karl's son.

Save the date notification:


My father Karl Lowe will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors on Wednesday 29 April 2015 @ 1300. As we finalize the details and have a better breakdown of events additional communication will be sent. We look forward to sharing this special day with those can attend. Please pass this along to others that may want to attend the burial service.


Pro Patria

Respectfully,
Kris Lowe
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Re: Karl Lowe

Postby Delta75 » Mon May 04, 2015 10:45 am

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Re: Karl Lowe

Postby Charlie Salisbury » Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:40 am

On my trip to DC, I went out to view my Dad and brother Tom's graves at Arlington National Cemetery. What surprised me was that I was able to pay my respect to our CO's grave, Karl Lowe. I was so stunned to know that they are all very close together. Karl does not have a headstone yet, at least when I went, but it was an emotional moment to say the least. If you get a chance, go, a beautiful place for sure! Charlie
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