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LCpl Lester Robert Atherden
Birth: Sep. 6, 1944
Milford
New Haven County
Connecticut, USA
Death: Mar. 4, 1966
Quang Ngai, Vietnam

US Marine Lcpl Lester Robert Atherden, Vietnam Veteran, Native of Milford, Connecticut.

US Marine Lance Corporal Lester Robert Atherden was a casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Marine Corps, LCPL Atherden served our country until March 4th, 1966 in Quang Ngai, South Vietnam. He was 21 years old and was not married. It was reported that Lester died from small arms fire or grenade. His body was recovered. Lester was born on September 6th, 1944 in Milford, Connecticut. LCPL Atherden is on panel 05E, line 100 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. He served our country for 3 years.

My name is Akhee Elsworth Boss and I served in Viet Nam with your brother. The picture I sent was taken in the area of Qui Nhon, Viet Nam. The kids lived in a near by village and they came around some time and ask for food. Your brother would always share his rations with the kids. I thought that was pretty cool. I remember him being a hard working, quiet, dependable guy and a good Marine. Semper Fi,
Boss.

Though it's been 43 years this month since your passing, Les, you are still remembered by your friends and classmates of Lincoln School, Harding High from the East End of Bridgeport, CT. You are memorialized in the Remembrance Section of our web site: www.east-enders.itgo.com. Gone, but not forgotten. God Bless. Jim Sullivan, sully@ipass.net.

Dear Lester, There is so much I would like to say, but I'm having a hard time knowing where to start, it's been 40 years since you were taken and I have never forgotten you and what a true friend you were, I had taken a picture of you, Berg and I about 3 weeks before your death, I had it enlarged and framed and it hangs on my office wall, at times it causes me pain thinking of the sacrifice that you and others made at such a young age, but also at times it gives me a sense of joy knowing that I had the honor to know you and be your friend. I also wanted you to know that though the efforts of a few good men " Marines" a "G 2/7" reunion has been going on for a few years, I was able to make last years and thorough that I was able to make contact with your brother Dave, we have had a number of good conversations and I'm looking forward to meeting him and visiting the Vietnam Memorial Wall together, neither of us have been there yet. I know my friend that God has blessed your soul and hopefully we will meet again some day. Semper Fi, S.A. Steven A. Green, sgreen@tcpi-dbv.com.

Les, Once a Marine, always a Marine...Once a Friend, always a Friend. I was there with you on that fatal day and I have missed you every since. My life has had it's up and downs but one thing that has remained consistent, my fond memories of the good times we had together in Oceanside and Okinawa. I'll always miss you. Continue to rest in peace. Melvin Tate, m.tate@sbcglobal.net.

BROTHER: LESTER ROBERT ATHERDEN, LESTER,WE ALL MISS YOU. YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND SACRIFICE.MAY YOU REST IN PEACE AND GOD BLESS YOU. CORPORAL DAVID ATHERDEN, 2912 EAST MALDEN AVE NORFOLK VA 23518, datherden@verizon.net.

My School friend. Class of 1962. Lester, no matter how long time passes, we your friends of the 1962 Warren Harding High School in Bridgeport,Ct, will forever hold you dear to our hearts.We will meet once aging on the shores of the river Jordan. William Perez, 128 Hocutt Farm Drive Clayton NC 27527, inspwmperez2005@yahoo.com.

Friend, My Dear Friend - Gone But Not Forgotten. I think of you often. I miss you. I wish there where more years left to share our friendship. Your sacrifice is not forgotten. Patty Massaro Tavella, 553 Mohave Circle, Shelton, CT 06484, pattyelv@aol.com.

My cousin: God Bless You Always. Your family still holds you with love in our hearts. Thank you for what you did. We do not forget. God Bless us All, forever and ever Amen. Veronica Rotzal Peters, Stratford, CT 06615, vpeters@snet.net

Brother-in-law, I Never Knew You, Brother: Lester, I never met you but your sister, my wife, has told me a lot about you. She says that you and I had similar personalities and that we would have gotten along real well. When we met in Hawaii she only talked to me because I was a Marine like her three brothers. I would have liked to have met you and shared a beer or two. Semper Fi Les! Robert Cowan, 4608 Krick Street, Norfolk, VA 23513, anglicomarinefiredude@yahoo.com.

Caption for photo number 4. This is a picture of my father Frank Schimansky with your brother Lester. My dad told me about Lester roughly 36 years ago. He told me they were best of friends. I have been helping my father with his veterans benefits and medical coverage for about two months. Up until about 2 months ago Vietnam was not mentioned much in my family but I knew it was taking a toll on him. I got him joined up with the local Vietnam Veterans of America chapter and a couple of very good VA doctors. I submitted some disability claims. Last week I was searching everything on-line about Golf 2/7 that I could find and came across the www.Golfco7thmar.com site and was searching for pictures or stories of my father. I came across a letter/poem that really hit me hard, so I printed it and the next day when talking to my father on the phone I was telling him about the letter that a Marine named Lester Atherden had wrote home, he repeated the name to me in amazement, I had my mother get him to the site, he is not to good on the computer, once he saw Lester's picture and the other guys from his unit I could hear him in the background happy as can be. I wasn't really sure if I should open old wounds or bring back the memories of war for my dad, but what are the chances of his son finding a letter from his best friend 45 years ago. I now believe I did the right thing. Him and Lester must have had something special. I am sorry for your families loss, from what my father tells me about Lester, he was a great person and a huge loss to a lot of people. I got my father's pictures today and I will scan them and email them to you as soon as I can. Take Care, Frank Schimansky III

FROM MARINE LESTER ROBERT ATHERDEN:

WHO IS HE? YOU SIT AT HOME AND WATCH YOUR TV SIPPING A REFRESHING COLD ICED TEA, THE NEWS COMES ON AND THEN YOU HERE, THE ALL-STAR GAME IS DRAWING NEAR, THEN YOU SEE A FAR OFF LAND, WHERE MEN ARE DYING IN THE SAND, A FROWN APPEARS ACROSS YOUR FACE, YOU'RE TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT THIS PLACE.

WHO CARES ABOUT VIETNAM ACROSS THE SEA, IT'S FAR AWAY AND DOESN'T CONCERN ME, YOU'D RATHER HEAR THE BEATLES PLAY, THAN LEARN ABOUT THE WORLD TODAY, BUT STOP AND THINK A MOMENT OR TWO, AND ASK YOURSELF,DOES THIS CONCERN YOU? IT'S GREAT TO BE ALIVE AND FREE, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE GUY ACROSS THE SEA, HE'S GIVING UP HIS LIFE FOR ME, SO I CAN LIVE UNDER LIBERTY. HE'S FAR AWAY FIGHTING A WAR, INSTEAD OF FIGHTING AT MY FRONT DOOR.

THIS GUY WHO LIVES IN FILTH AND SLIME. HOW CAN HE DO IT ALL THE TIME? HE'S ABOUT MY AGE SO WHY SHOULD HE CARE, ABOUT A WAR SOMEONE ELSE SHOULD SHARE. YOU CALL HIM VILE NAMES AND MAKE FUN OF HIS CAUSE, YET HE IS ALWAYS FIRST TO WIN YOUR WAR. YOU LUCKY GUY, YOU LAUGH AND SNEER, BECAUSE YOU'VE NEVER REALLY KNOWN FEAR. THIS YOUNG MAN FACES DEATH EACH DAY, BUT HE'S ALWAYS GOT SOMETHING FUNNY TO SAY. NO MAIL AGAIN, AGAIN A TWINGE OF SORROW, OH WHAT THE HELL THEIR ALWAYS TOMORROW. THE MORALE IS LOW THE TENSION IS HIGH, SOME EVEN BREAK DOWN AND CRY.

HE WANTS TO GO HOME AND SEE A LOVED ONE. HE WORKS ALL DAY AND STANDS GUARD ALL NIGHT. HE'S TIRED AND SICK BUT CONTINUES TO FIGHT, THE COLLEGE CROWD THINKS HE'S A FOOL, BUT THAT'S WHAT MAKES HIM HARD AND CRUEL. YOU DON'T APPRECIATE WHAT HE WILL DO, LIKE GIVING UP HIS LIFE FOR YOU. HE SACRIFICES MUCH YET HR ASK NOTHING IN RETURN, JUST SO THAT YOU CAN STAY SCHOOL AND LEARN. HE BELIEVES IN FREEDOM AND AMERICAN LIFE, NO PARTIES AND DANCES FOR THIS YOUNG MAN, UNTIL HE COMES HOME AGAIN.

THE DAYS ARE HOT AND THE NIGHTS ARE TOO, WHAT WONDERS A COLD CAN OF BEER CAN DO! HE DREAMS OF COLD BEER AND A THICK JUICY STEAK, WHEN SOMEONE SHOUTS, WE'VE GOT A HILL TO TAKE. SOME WILL BE HEROES BECAUSE THEY ARE BRAVE, AND OTHERS WILL GET A WREATH ON THEIR GRAVE. YOU'LL RECOGNIZE HIM AS HE WALKS BY, THERE'S A SADDENED LOOK IN HIS EYE, HE WALKS SO PROUD YET LOOKS SO MEAN, HE'S CALLED THE WORLD'S GREATEST FIGHTING MACHINE. NO WONDER HE'S PROUD, HE'S A UNITED STATES MARINE!

SEMPER FI, CPL. DAVID ATHERDEN, U.S.M.C. 1965-1969; Taken from a letter written by his brother, Lester Atherden in 1965. Lester was killed March 4, 1966.

Les, we spent many days and nights in our fighting holes in Viet Nam in the heat and the monsoons. Sometimes frightened, sometimes bored, we were just passing time trying to make it home. It hurts me to think you didn't make it. I think about you all the time. Rest in Peace Brother. Semper Fi! Tom Wilmot, tplamesa@cox.net.

He served as a Lance Corporal(LCpl) with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, 3rd MAF.

He was awarded The Combat Action Ribbon(CAR), The Purple Heart Medal for his combat related wounds, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Vietnamese Military Merit Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm, Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation, Navy Presidential Unit Citation, The National Defense Service Medal and The Good Conduct Medal.

Three other Marines from Golf Company died that day: US Marine Pvt Gary Charles Allen , US Marine LCpl Isiah Baker III , US Marine LCpl Heriberto Armentia



 
 
Burial:
Saint Michaels Cemetery
Stratford
Fairfield County
Connecticut, USA
Plot: Sect.14, Lot # 254, Space 5& 6
 
Created by: Tom Reece
Record added: Jun 09, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 38139810
LCpl Lester Robert Atherden
Added by: Tom Reece
 
LCpl Lester Robert Atherden
Added by: Floral Designer
 
LCpl Lester Robert Atherden
Added by: Tom Reece
 
 
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-
 Added: Jul. 4, 2015
In memory of a hero
- K Todd Sherer
 Added: Jun. 30, 2015
I may have not known you But, I have read your story. I am a Retired Navy Veteran and I am heartfelt of your sacrifice to duty. May the Lord comfort you always LCpl Lester Rober Atherden and the people of the US Least Not forget You. David Moore
- David Moore
 Added: May. 9, 2015
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This page is sponsored by: Tom Reece

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