Name: Walter J Garstkiewicz Jr
Rank: Sergeant / Specialist Five
Pay Grade: E4 Posthumous Promotion
Home of Record: Philadelphia, PA
Birth Date: December 22, 1948
Death Date: January 9, 1970
Cause of Death: "ground casualty gun, small arms fire hostile";
Died in Long An at age 21
The body was recovered.
"Ski" Garstkiewicz's interests ranged from archery to fishing to jujitsu, in which he had earned a black belt. He loved being an assistant scoutmaster and marching in American Legion parades with his father, a World War II Navy veteran. In 1966, Garstkiewicz graduated from Jules E. Mastbaum Vocational High School. He worked for a machine drafting and design firm before entering the Army in June 1968. The 21-year-old sergeant, a rifleman and light weapons infantryman assigned to Company C of the 6th Battalion, 31st Infantry, 9th Infantry Division, died in Vietnam on January 9, 1970. He was survived by his parents and two younger brothers, both of whom were in the armed forces at the time. Walter J. Garstkiewicz Jr.'s last know address was on North Water Street, in the Kensington section of the city of Philadelphia.
The above information was taken from the Philadelphia Daily News supplement of October 26, 1987, entitled THE SIX HUNDRED AND THIRTY: The Stories of Philadelphia's Vietnam War Dead. Ski's name appeared on page 12, left-hand column, bottom of page.
My thoughts on Walter Garstkiewicz: Walter was in my platoon[3rd, c-co]. I remember the first time I saw him and I thought he was 13 years old. A nice looking red haired kid. I always remember he was as pleasant as he was young looking. Absolutely no trouble. I had gotten out of the field when Walter was killed. I was working in the toc that nite and I always took interest in my old platoon. They were just outside the wire at can giuoc and usually nothing happened there. I know when it happened there was some delay in getting a dust off and I contemplated taking a dr out through the wire and getting him. I remember also that his wound was not apparent and therefore difficult to treat.
As with the other men and a tiger scout that I lost , I will always remember them with honor and respect just as I do any soldier who has given the ultimate in any war. The word hero is overused, but is an understatement in these men's case. I think of you often and always touch your name on the wall.
WITH THE GREATEST RESPECT,
Image found in an album left in an abandoned house 2014.