Fallen sol­dier hon­ored at cer­e­mony

Kingston na­tive Cpl. Chester Joy was killed in Viet­nam in 1967

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE -

More than 100 peo­ple at­tended a cer­e­mony Sun­day af­ter­noon in mem­ory of Cpl. Chester Joy, a Kingston na­tive who was killed in ac­tion in Viet­nam on May 16, 1967.

The cer­e­mony took place on the grounds of the Na­tional Guard Ar­mory on Kier­sted Av­enue.

Joy, the sec­ond lo­cal Viet­nam ca­su­alty, would have ended his tour in Au­gust of that year but suf­fered a mor­tal head wound in Quang Tri Prov­ince.

Known to his loved ones sim­ply as “Buddy,” Joy was just 20 years old when he died. He served with F Com­pany, Sec­ond Bat­tal­ion, in the vicin­ity of the 26th Demil­i­ta­rized Zone, at­tack­ing hos­tile forces in a push by the U.S. Marines.

“He was a bright young man, with all sorts of pos­si­bil­i­ties be­fore him, but he chose to serve his coun­try, and so he put his fate in his lead­ers, and in God,” said Wil­liam Forte, chair­man of the Kingston Vet­er­ans As­so­ci­a­tion. “To­day isn’t a day to de­bate why these brave men were sent. Odds are a lot of them didn’t agree with or un­der­stand those rea­sons. The fact is, once some­one starts shoot­ing at you, you don’t care why you are there. ... There are two un­break­able rules in war: num­ber one, peo­ple die; num­ber two, no­body can change rule num­ber one. Buddy knew this when he en­listed.”

“Our fam­ily is over­whelmed by the num­ber of peo­ple who have come to this me­mo­rial ser­vice,” said speaker Vir­ginia “Ginny” Dou­glas, Chester Joy’s sis­ter. She thanked the of­fice of state As­sem­bly­man Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston, for help­ing to or­ga­nize the event, and also lo­cal vet­er­ans’ or­ga­ni­za­tions for their par­tic­i­pa­tion.

An Amer­i­can flag, 20 by 30 feet, was pre­sented and do­nated to Ul­ster Hose Com­pany 5 in mem­ory of Joy. Dou­glas said the ges­ture was made in re­cip­ro­ca­tion for a flag do­nated at the time of Joy’s death.

“That flag was flown over the head­quar­ters of 2nd Bat­tal­ion, 26th Marines, at Phu Bai dur­ing the war,” she said.

Joy was the re­cip­i­ent of the Pur­ple Heart, Na­tional De­fense Ser­vice Medal, the Viet­nam Ser­vice Medal and the Viet­nam Cam­paign Medal.


Wil­liam Forte, chair­man of the Kingston Vet­er­ans As­so­ci­a­tion, speaks dur­ing Sun­day’s cer­e­mony at the Kingston ar­mory hon­or­ing the mem­ory of Cpl. Chester Joy, who was killed in ac­tion on May 16, 1967, in Viet­nam.


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