Noel Keith Garrison, Vietnam War CasualtyPorter County Data on Vietnam War Casualties . . . .

Noel Keith Garrison
Warrant Officer, 68th Assault Helicopter Company
Date of Birth: October 2, 1947
Date of Death: July 17, 1969
Cause of Death: Helicopter Air Casualty (non-hostile)
Hometown: Valparaiso
Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Panel 20 West, Row 10

Newspaper Notices:

Dead GI's Medals To His Parents

LIBERTY TWP -- Honors came to Noel Keith Garrison, 21, posthumously Friday.

The 1965 graduate of Liberty Township High school, who was a warrant officer serving in Vietnam at the time of his death in a non-combatant helicopter accident July 17, was honored for meritorious achievement with a Bronze Star, and a Presidential Citation of the Air Medal.

In addition, the frame of medals included the Vietnam Campaign, National Defense, Good Conduct and sharp-shooting medals.

Presentation of the posthumous awards was made to the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Garrison, RFD 5, Long Lake, by Lt. Col. Fred I. Baker, Jr., commander of the First Battalion, 60th Artillery. A brother, Myron, also participated in the ceremony.

The Bronze Star was won by Garrison for meritorious service between last Dec. 21 to July 17. the Air Medal, with 21 gold clusters, covered the period from last Dec. 31 to July 17 during which he flew 25 missions.

Second District Congressman Earl F. Landgrebe briefly expressed his personal sympathy and that of the district to the parents and family. "He gave his life for his country," said Landgrebe.
Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; November 29, 1969; Volume 42, Number 125, Page 1, Column 1

Special Meaning In  Gift From Christmas of 1968

Christmas means different things to different people, depending on the varied circumstances of the persons involved.

A season expression entitled "A Gift From Last Years' Christmas" conveys a special meaning felt by Mrs. Myron (Jean) Garrison, of RFD 5, Valparaiso. Her thoughts, and those of the family revert back to her brother-in-law, Warrant Officer Noel K. Garrison, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce R. Garrison, of Long Lake, who was fatally injured in a helicopter crash this past July.

These are the thoughts of Jean Garrison:

"Lots of Christmas presents this year won't survive until next year. Perhaps if they do last, we won't remember who it was that gave them to us. That's the way it goes . . . gifts are given and received and then forgotten.

"We received a gift last Christmas that has much more meaning now, than it did at that time. Neither will we ever forget the one who gave it to us.

"We had to celebrate the holiday early in 1968 because my brother-in-law was being shipped to Vietnam about Christmas Day. It seemed a bit strange to have a family Christmas dinner three weeks before Christmas Day, but, for once, I had my shopping all done.

"The kids thought it was wonderful to have Christmas last for several weeks. They looked forward to opening presents at Grandma and Grandpa's and to all the delicious goodies at dinner. No one notices how much they eat their fill of candy and cakes.

"Out family is big and usually the adults don't exchange gifts. The fun comes in watching tiny members of the clan open boxes with soft, cuddly toys. The older children feel important, as they take turns playing Santa and passing out presents. It's an event much anticipated by the whole family.

"As we all gathered around the bountiful, festive, table that day, Grandpa thanked God for his family and the blessings of the past year. Excited children, grew quiet in the reverent hush of the moment.

"As soon as the 'amen' was spoken, the happy sounds of family fellowship came bubbling out again. Spoons clinking against good china dishes, coffee cups rattling in saucers, and "pass the mashed potatoes", blended to fill the air with good sounds of a happy season.

"After dishes were done, we cleared a space for the children, in the center of the cozy living room. Presents were handed our by 'Santa's helpers', Extra hands, eager to help, joined to untie fancy red ribbons.

"Screams of delight filled the air, as a joyous little girl pulled a long-awaited doll from the box. Big trucks and pull toys began to clutter the space until traffic was impossible.

"When all the gifts from under the tree had been handed out, my brother-in-law quietly left the room. He returned with an arm load of long boxes. He gave one box to each couple. His tall, gangly legs took easy strides over the debris in the middle of the room and he looked slightly self-conscious as each couple opened their box.

"A small golden eagle on a brass pole appeared when the boxes were opened. Then each one pulled out a sharp, new, American flag.

"The children were delighted with the bright colors. The adults grew somewhat subdued as they contemplated the meaning of the gift.

"No one gave a big speech or got on a soap box. Much more eloquence than words could convey was spoken by that silent gift. The mood quickly passed, as children's laughter and quarrels over cherished new toys broke the solemnity of that moment.

"He left for Vietnam, and he came home, dead. He gave his life for liberty. Never has a gift from a Christmas past held such meaning and significance. Never have we valued so dearly a gift received a year before.

"Our Christmas celebration will be joyous and happy again this year. We know we will see him again someday, and he is much better off than we. But there will be comber over-tones, as we gather around the table for prayer this year.

"Each member of this family will thank God for a freedom to worship the Christ, whose birth we celebrate. Each will remember the cost of that freedom and this symbol will fly from our homes on Christmas Day.
Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; December 13, 1969; Volume 42, Number 137, Page 5, Columns 1 to 4

Return to List of Porter County Vietnam War Casualties

Information abstracted and transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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