The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is a very special time for veterans.
Many of us veterans will go to our local Veterans of Foreign Wars Chapter to have a drink for our fallen comrades and remember our military friends who gave their all. Most of the members of the VFW were in dangerous places and many of our friends did not make it back.
The Jourdanton High School class of 1960 was very small. We were all friends. Tommy Pesek was a very good student and very popular.
I was not a very good student, but with tutoring help from my high school girlfriend I was able to graduate with my senior class friends.
Tommy went to Texas A & I College and I went to Sam Houston College.
We saw each other in the summer, drank some beer and made plans for the future after college.
Unfortunately after graduation from college, I was drafted and became a Private in the Army. I was able to get into Artillery Officer Candidate School and graduated in 1966. Most of us draftees were destined to go to Vietnam. I made it to Vietnam in 1967 as a 2nd Lieutenant Artillery Observer.
The only form of communication during the Vietnam War for us lowly soldiers were letters. My mother wrote and informed me Tommy was also in Vietnam. Mother said he had joined the Marine Corps and she sent me his address.
Tommy’s duty assignment was way up north at a place called the Rock Pile and my duty assignment was down south in the Mekong River Delta.
Tommy and I exchanged several letters and made plans to go to Hong Kong for our R & R. We agreed Hong Kong had plenty of alcoholic beverages, most people spoke English, and the girls were very friendly and very good looking!
In September of 1967, I lost communication with Tommy. Later in the month my mother wrote he had been killed in action on Sept. 7.
According to a 1967 article in the Pleasanton Express,
“U.S. Marine Corporal Thomas J. Pesek was buried with military honors in Jourdanton, Monday morning following services at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church.
Rites for the 25-year-old Marine, killed in Vietnam on Sept. 7, were conducted by the Rev. Francis Kunz, pastor of St. Matthew’s and the Rev. Anthony Pesek, a cousin. Interment was in St. Matthew’s cemetery.
The body of young Pesek, who was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Pesek of Jourdanton arrived by plane from Vietnam Friday night.
Born in Jourdanton on March 1, 1942, he was a graduate of Jourdanton High School and Texas A&I College at Kingsville. He had enlisted in the Marine Corps on July 1, 1966, and had been in Vietnam since last December.
Surviving besides his parents, are four sisters, Mrs. Georgia Lou Rakowitz, Miss Margie Pesek of Corpus Christi, Miss Janet Pesek and Miss Cecilia Pesek of Jourdanton; three brothers, Stanley Pesek, U.S. Coast Guard, Miami, Florida and Eugene and Robert Pesek of Jourdanton; and his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Elizabeth Marek of Jourdanton.
He was a member of St. Matthew’s Catholic Church and also the KJT.
Arrangements were by the Lange Funeral Home.”
-To live in the hearts of our friends, we leave behind… is to never have died.
1st Bn. 83rd Artillery
US Army of Vietnam, Nov. 1966-Nov. 1967