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Wreath to Be Laid in Honor of Covington Marine Lost in Vietnam War


A United States Marine from Covington who was lost in the Vietnam War will be remembered on Sunday.

Gary Lee Hall was fresh from graduating Holmes High School when he enlisted in the Marines in 1974.

He was last seen less than a year later in Cambodia. He was 18 years old. 

“As a community we can never forget about the ones we left behind on the battlefield. Our primary mission at Rolling Thunder is to remember. We are honored that we have the opportunity to bring awareness to the public so they know we will never forget the sacrifice,” said Todd Matonich, a United States Navy Veteran and Board Member at Rolling Thunder, Inc. Kentucky 5.

On May 12, 1975, the Mayaguez, an American cargo ship traveling from Saigon to Thailand, was seized by Khmer Rouge forces in Cambodia.

Marine forces were sent to rescue the crew.

During the rescue operation, Private First Class Hall was last seen with two members of his machine gun team covering their fellow Marines flank as they evacuated the island of Koh Tang in Cambodia. 

When the Marine forces evacuated, the three men were mistakenly left behind.

Though their fate is uncertain, some reports have indicated that Hall was captured, taken to the Cambodian mainland, and beaten to death. He is one of the eighteen airmen, sailors, and Marines killed in the rescue operation, and is believed to be one of the final American deaths in the Vietnam War.

On Sunday, May 19, Hall will be remembered by Rolling Thunder KY 5, which will host a ceremony at Kenton County Veterans Memorial Park in Crescent Springs Community Park.

A wreath will be laid in Hall's honor.

The event starts at 2 p.m.

-Staff report

Photo provided