Memorializing a hero


Cemetery fundraising for new Pitsenbarger memorial

By Sam Wildow - swildow@aimmedianetwork.com



Pitsenbarger


Pitsenbarger’s inspirational story:

Airman First Class William “Bill” H. Pitsenbarger died in the Vietnam War during a battle near Cam My, a few miles east of Saigon, on April 11, 1966.

Pitsenbarger, a pararescueman, was lowered from a helicopter to where soldiers were caught in an ambush by the Viet Cong. After extracting approximately half of a dozen wounded soldiers, one of the helicopters that returned was hit by enemy small-arms fire.

Instead of leaving with the helicopter, Pitsenbarger stayed to aid the remaining 20 infantrymen still alive. Pitsenbarger was later killed by Viet Cong snipers. It is reported that Pitsenbarger’s actions helped save nine lives that day.

For his sacrifice, Pitsenbarger was initially awarded the Air Force Cross posthumously, which was later upgraded to the Congressional Medal of Honor in December 2000. Many Air Force facilities across the United States have been named in his honor.

A movie is currently in production called “The Last Full Measure,” which will depict the political drama of investigators uncovering what happened during Operation Abilene, also known as the Battle of Xa Cam My, the same battle in which Pitsenbarger was killed. The movie will also depict the struggle to convince Congress to award Pitsenbarger the Medal of Honor.

COVINGTON — While the city of Piqua may have been the hometown of Medal of Honor Recipient Airman First Class William “Bill” H. Pitsenbarger, the village of Covington is his final resting place.

Pitsenbarger’s grave is located in Miami Memorial Park Cemetery, of which one of the owners has begun a fundraising campaign to construct a memorial for Pitsenbarger there.

“We just started it,” said Lora Aleo, president of Miami Memorial Park Cemetery. The fundraising campaign has mostly been word of mouth thus far, raising approximately $2,000 of their $25,000 goal. Now they are hoping to get the community involved.

“It’s going to take a community effort to build this memorial,” Aleo said.

Currently, there is 24” x 12” bronze memorial marker supplied by the Veterans Administration. Aleo hopes to add benches and possibly a granite memorial to commemorate Pitsenbarger and his sacrifices during the Vietnam War.

“We have a special spot in the cemetery that’s dedicated for this purpose,” Aleo said.

Aleo was inspired after the Friends of the Piqua Parks raised nearly $90,000 for the statue of Pitsenbarger that is now located at the Pitsenbarger Park and Sports Complex in Piqua.

“I saw the beautiful statue in Piqua,” Aleo said. “This is so beautiful. They did such a beautiful job … I feel that his gravesite is not memorialized the way it should be, and I feel that we should do more.”

How to donate:

There is a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the memorial at www.gofundme.com/bill-pitsenbarger-memorial or checks can be made out to Miami Memorial Park and mailed to the Miami Memorial Park, 7875 N Crescent Dr., Covington, OH 45318. In the notation or memo spot on the check, Aleo asks that people put Bill Pitsenbarger’s name.

For more information, contact Aleo at (602) 565-2687 or at the Miami Memorial Park Cemetery at (937) 473-3038.

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this article had the incorrect phone number of Miami Memorial Park. The correct phone number is (937) 473-3038.

Pitsenbarger
http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2017/07/web1_Pitsenbarger-mug-1.jpgPitsenbarger
Cemetery fundraising for new Pitsenbarger memorial

By Sam Wildow

swildow@aimmedianetwork.com

Pitsenbarger’s inspirational story:

Airman First Class William “Bill” H. Pitsenbarger died in the Vietnam War during a battle near Cam My, a few miles east of Saigon, on April 11, 1966.

Pitsenbarger, a pararescueman, was lowered from a helicopter to where soldiers were caught in an ambush by the Viet Cong. After extracting approximately half of a dozen wounded soldiers, one of the helicopters that returned was hit by enemy small-arms fire.

Instead of leaving with the helicopter, Pitsenbarger stayed to aid the remaining 20 infantrymen still alive. Pitsenbarger was later killed by Viet Cong snipers. It is reported that Pitsenbarger’s actions helped save nine lives that day.

For his sacrifice, Pitsenbarger was initially awarded the Air Force Cross posthumously, which was later upgraded to the Congressional Medal of Honor in December 2000. Many Air Force facilities across the United States have been named in his honor.

A movie is currently in production called “The Last Full Measure,” which will depict the political drama of investigators uncovering what happened during Operation Abilene, also known as the Battle of Xa Cam My, the same battle in which Pitsenbarger was killed. The movie will also depict the struggle to convince Congress to award Pitsenbarger the Medal of Honor.

Reach Sam Wildow at swildow@aimmedianetwork.com or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at swildow@aimmedianetwork.com or (937) 451-3336