Lester Allen Rogers His Sacrifice for our Nation February 23th 1936 - February 28th 1966
Lester Allen Rogers was born February 23th, 1936 in Kansas City, Missouri. During his time, Lester would have been familiar with the suburban sprawl the city was facing as well as the booming railroad economy.
Lester graduated from East High School in 1954 . The Bears were famous for their agricultural and horticultural specialties, with a strong R.O.T.C. influence.
Lester attended the United States Army's Officer Candidate School (OCS), located at Fort Benning, Georgia . This prestigious and rigorous course provided training to become a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.
He arrived in Vietnam on Wednesday December 1st, 1965 and was assigned to the Ninh Thuan Province with MACV Advisory Team 39. First Lieutenant Lester Rogers received his commission with OCS Class 7-63 at Fort Benning. At age 29 he was older than most, the average was only 22.
February 28 th , 1966 After less than three months in Vietnam, he was killed in Ninh Thuan, South Vietnam from hostile gun fire. It was only 5 days after his 30th birthday.
Lester was proud to have served , he gave his life for his country – a sacrifice we will never forget. His dedication to America and its people is breathtaking. He could have taken many ways out of the war, but instead he chose to serve. He was leaving behind more than most , a young family and the future he could have had. Lester’s decision speaks for itself about the type of person he was. The reception for the returning soldiers was harsh, they were largely ostracized from society, however this is not the way these heroes should be remembered . We must preserve their lives in our hearts and minds. His Memory
Silver Star Due to the brave acts preceding his death, Lester received a posthumous Silver Star from the President of the United States. This prestigious award bore the following message:
“ While on a combat patrol the unit was subjected to heavy Viet Cong fire from a well prepared ambush position. Though isolated from the remainder of the group, along with two other seriously wounded American advisors, Lieutenant Rogers immediately began placing suppressive fire on the enemy positions until the hostile fire ceased. After administering emergency medical treatment and moving his injured comrades to a safer location , Lieutenant Rogers attempted to locate the remainder of the patrol. Failing to do so, he returned to the wounded soldiers and established a small defensive position. When the insurgent force began the attack once more, Lieutenant Rogers disregarded his personal safety to engage the hostile force until he was mortally wounded by the communist fire .”
Lester was buried on March 11th 1966, Plot B-2361E in Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery , Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Who was buried in Plot A-2361E, right next to him ? His loving wife Jeanette, seven years later.
His name will eternally rest on the Vietnam Veteran’s War Memorial in Washington D.C. on Panel 05E Line 091.
“ We may have grown up without you, but not a day went by that your courage and bravery did not influence the persons we were to become. ” -Teresa Jean Rogers Jones, daughter “ You are always in my thoughts. I am so proud of you both as a father and a soldier. I will always love you. ” -Norma Sue Rogers Hersh, daughter “ My father was a special man and an outstanding soldier… Thanks for the time we had. ” -Lester A. Rogers II, son In Loving Memory…
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Brittany David March 2010 Crocker 8 th Westlake High School