|Birth: ||Dec. 14, 1947|
|Death: ||May 27, 1999|
My Brother- My Hero
Gean (Geno) was my brother and my best friend growing up. He was a rebel all his life and didn't let anyone take advantage of me or my sister, Linda. We were the baby girls that my mother left when she died at the age of 30. I was 11 months old and Linda was about 2 years old. Growing up not poor but going without due to the stepmother we had, Geno found ways to feed himself and always looked after me and my sister. He killed quails and doves in the cemetery behind our house and fried them like chicken. He wanted me to try it but I was afraid. Now I did do other things he said because he was my brother and my best friend. He taught me how to fight, jump off houses (although I fractured my arm) climb trees, etc. I was sadden when he joined the Marines right out of high school but it was best because he had started down the wrong road and boys his age were getting shot on street corners. And so it was Gean Douglas Banks embarked on board August 11th 1967 at MACS EL TORO, CAlifornia as a Private in the United States Marine Corps. His military records show that he signed up on 2/2/1967 and served his country from 8/11/1967 until 2/1/1971 earning the National Defense Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Purple Heart Medal, Vietnamese Service Medal, Vietnamese Campaign Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal and the Vietnamese Cross or Gal. Geno was a radio telephone operator, known as Signal Corps in todays times. He traveled the world fighting in many combats based on his military records. Geno's test scores were high especially in Electronics Information. This was due to training with our father while growing up. Our father was a Master ELectrician for over 30 years ( self taught with an 8th grade education) and later became the first black City Electricial Inspector in the City of Houston.
Back to Geno, he scored 110 and 103 in Electronics and passed with high scores in all other phases of his job as a Marine. On February 10th 1968 he was wounded by shrapnel while in Quang Nam Province, RVN. He never gave up and as soon as he was able he started on other missions. On April 18th 1969, CPL Banks was recommended for promotion to SGT, however he didn't maintain this positiondue to his choice to leave active duty. He would have had to hold the position for 2 years to keep the rank. Based on his separation date of 2/1/1971 CPL Banks was shy of 2 months to remain a SGT. What a shame after serving his country and being wounded they couldn't or wouldn't give him those 2 months. Cpl. Banks did serve in the Reserves until Janusry 1973.
Geno also had deep thoughts about life. Sometimes we didn't understand him after he returned to the USA. After reading his military file and a letter he wrote to me in May 0f 1984, I felt the deepest sadness I could ever feel. Even deeper than when he died in May of 1999 of a brain aneurysm. He was fond of quotes and he was sad about Mother's Day. Excerpts from the letter: Sorrow is brief, but joy is endless. And hope urges on, and tells us tomorrow will be better. He made a comment that he knew our mother loved us, but it was so brief and not nearly enough time to withstand the tragedy of her passing. He said that the tragedy and neglect of our childhood did not destroy the brief but lasting love she gave us. Geno said, if we are to be filled by her love, then we must give love to each other, the love she gave us. It's not a fragile love, but a strong and enduring love that even time cannot change. It is both promise and fulfillment and we can know that it is ours, forever. God's grace to you.
Earnest Banks (1919 - 1992)
LaConia Moore Banks (1921 - 1952)
Houston National Cemetery
Plot: SECTION M2 SITE 125
Created by: Connie BANKS- Smith
Record added: Oct 01, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 42594479