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Ronald Dickerson Hines
13 Jul 1938 – 16 Apr 1964
 
Killed in action in Vietnam,
aged 25 years
Interment: West Point Cemetery,
West Point, New York

Ronald Dickerson Hines

Class Memorial Pages\D-2 Ron Hines.pdf

TO MY HUSBAND I offer this tribute of love from all of us who knew him best.

Ron was born in Amarillo, Texas, on 13 July 1938. “The biggest midget Texas ever grew,” he used to say. He was slight of build but big in heart and personality. He knew no boundaries when honor and courage were demanded of him. He loved life and lived it to the fullest.

“I remember Ronnie with his laughing eyes, his easy-going manner, his love of family and life . . .”

“There’s so much about him we’ll always remember — his stubbornness, his jauntiness, his fun and quick humor . . .," said two of his childhood friends.

His last tour of duty, the 2d Armored Squadron, IV Corps, Vietnam, found him advisor to an outstanding unit commanded by a fine Vietnamese captain, Huynh-Van-Tam. Theirs developed into a brother-like friendship with a mutual respect for each other. Ron died saving Tam’s life. He has just been awarded the Vietnamese Cross for Gallantry as thanks from that grateful nation. From our own government he has been awarded the Purple Heart, the Silver Star, and has been promoted to the rank of captain.

More comforting, perhaps, are the words sent to me by his friends and fellow officers.

“Devoted to his family and devoted to the United States Army . . .” — A friend

“I owe my life to him . . . I cannot put into words my grief, nor will I ever forget Lieutenant Hines or what he did for me.” — Captain Huynh-Van-Tam

“To our fullest ability, Mrs. Hines, we share your grief . . .” — Robert S. McGowan, an Armor major then serving in Vietnam

“And soonest our best men with Thee do go.”

“His pleasant personality, generally happy spirits, and greatness as a person will always have a high place in our hearts and minds.” — An infantry colonel in Vietnam

“The respect held for him by the Vietnamese unit he so ably advised was evident in the unusual and solemn honors they accorded him.” — Lieutenant General Westmoreland

“He was more than an advisor to the troops, he was completely accepted as a member of the organization, and he enjoyed the confidence, respect, and affection of all members of the unit. We have lost a cherished comrade. The circumstances of his death bespeak the quality of his service at all times, that of unselfish devotion to duty and an unquestioned loyalty to his friends. Although no other Americans were there at the time, you may be sure that he was with his friends at the last moment. We shall reserve a fond niche in our memories which will belong only to him.” — Major Donald J. Benson, Ron’s senior advisor

To our sons, Glenn and Randy, Ron has left a priceless heritage, and they shall never know him as he was — a soldier of the finest breed. He has also left them a special code for manhood:

“Make us choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong . . .”

It is with deepest pride that I quote the last stanza of our “Alma Mater” for my husband:

And when our work is done,
Our course on earth is run,
May it be said, “Well done;
Be thou at peace.”
E’er may that line of gray
Increase from day to day,
Live, serve, and die, we pray
West Point, for thee.

— Lucky Koch Hines

ASSEMBLY, Fall 1964

 

Ron lived across the hall from me. He was a Yearling at that time. It seems to me now that he was one of the few Cadets that lived Schofields Definition of Discipline. He was quiet in demeanor. His corrections to Plebes were also fruitful without the harsh, crass rhetoric of others. I will never forget Ron. He was the kind of person I wish I could have known better.

Our friend Ron has now reached the end of his earthly toils. The brittle thread which bound him to earth has been severed and the liberated spirit has winged its flight to the unknown world. The silver cord is loosed; the golden bowl is broken; the pitcher is broken at the fountain; and the wheel is broken at the cistern. The dust has returned to the earth as it was, and the spirit has returned to GOD who gave it.

Thank you Ronald Dickerson Hines. I shall visit you the next time I am at West Point.

So mote it be.

Jerry L Crosby Sr x-'62

Ron,
I can still remember your smiling face. May you rest in peace.

Harry Calvin  D-2 1960

Ron was one of the most joyous and effective officers in the 2d Squadron, 8th Cavalry when I joined the unit at Ft. Lewis Washington in the fall of 1962. His wit and enthusiasm motivated everyone around him to their best efforts. He was an inspiration to all those with whom he served.

Fred Bothwell



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