American Military Figure. He is remembered as the youngest American serviceman, at the age of fifteen, to be killed in action in Vietnam. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a fourteen-year-old. When he was eleven years old, his mother died and his father remarried relocating part of the family from North Carolina to Brooklyn, New York. He did not like living in the North. As a usually quiet teenager, he forged the date on his birth certificate to show his age as eighteen-years-old in order to join the Marine Corps on September 18, 1968. His father became aware of what he had done, but let him continue. He finished boot camp at Paris Island, South Carolina on December 10, 1968. Although he had a manly build of 160 pounds, he occasionally lagged behind the older, more-matured recruits in the long distance runs while at boot camp. Some felt protective of him, yet others bullied him. He arrived in Vietnam on May 8, 1969, stationed at An Hoa Combat Base west of Hoi An in Quang Nam Province. He was assigned the task of rifleman to Fox Company, Second Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment. According to United States Vietnam Casualties, he is listed as being killed by small arm fire a month later on June 7, 1969. While he was playfully sparring with another Marine, the other Marine injured his thumb making him unable to man a firearm. Although Bullock had originally been assigned to cleaning duties that evening, he took the injured Marine's assignment, according to the New York Times, of guarding the airstrip Delta sector. An usually quiet assignment, there was a surprised assault from the Viet Cong during the wee hours of the morning leaving all four Marines in his bunker killed in action including Bullock. Since there was no military service or marker for his grave at the time of his burial, many rallied to see that this was done in 2000. After hearing Bullock's story, television talk-show host Sally Jessy Raphael donated a headstone for his grave, yet he would have been eligible in 1969 for an United States Military grave marker from the Veteran's Administration. For his memorial service, the New York Rolling Thunder and the North Carolina Rolling Thunder motorcycle clubs escorted a caravan from New York to Goldsboro. Contributing to the service, the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base provided an Honor Guard and the North Carolina National Guard assisted with other duties. He was recognized on Memorial Day 2017 with a North Carolina Highway Historical marker and a road named in his honor.
Bio by: Linda Davis