In Memory

James Brink

James Brink

We believe Jim was the first of our classmates to go. He lost his life as a Marine in Vietnam. The link below will connect you to the virtual Vietnam Wall, as well as to the information below, provided by the military.

DOD: 12/14/66

James Richard Brink

  Home of Record:  Sacramento, CA
  Date of birth:   07/11/1944

  Service:         United States Marine Corps
  Grade at loss:   E4
  Rank:            Corporal
  ID No:           2140501
  MOS:             0311: RIFLEMAN
  Length Service:  01
  Unit:            F CO, 2ND BN, 9TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV, III MAF

  Start Tour:      
  Incident Date:   12/14/1966
  Casualty Date:   12/14/1966
  Age at Loss:     22
  Location:        Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam
  Remains:         Body recovered
  Casualty Type:   Hostile, died outright
  Casualty Reason: Ground casualty
  Casualty Detail: Other explosive device


ON THE WALL        Panel 13E Line 043

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12/02/11 08:32 PM #1    

Carl Lowery

Semper Fi my friend

03/23/12 10:48 PM #2    

David Disinger

Jimmy and I did a year of post-grad together at Baker and became close friends, challenging each other (along with Tom Cawley -'63) to excel in Mr. Doris's physics class. We all got A's, due mostly to the push we got from one another. It was a great life lesson. Jim went off to San Diego State to major in Architecture, while I stayed home and went to SU/SUNY ESF to major in Landscape Architecture, and we started corresponding regularly. We even joked about going into business together some day. When he got his two-year degree, he joined the Marines and went off to 'Nam. We wrote back and forth two or three times a month, and I still have all his letters tucked away somewhere in the attic. I had just closed up his last letter saying he'd be home for Christmas when my phone rang - it was my girlfriend Cindy, who lived across the street from Jim's mom. She was crying her eyes out, telling me that two servicemen had just notified his mom of his death. It happened while he was on patrol, one he'd volunteered for, just 36 hours before he was due to ship out for home. The guys in his unit said he was a real stand-up guy, right to his last breath. I have no doubt about that.

I'm not an overly emotional person, but I flat-out lost it when I visited the wall in DC a few months after it was built, and found his name. If you've never been there, prepare to be moved like you could not imagine. Seeing Jimmy's name among the dead, having known the kind of person he was, was difficult enough. Looking up and down in both directions and seeing over 50 thousand names was almost unbearable. When you remember Jim, remember the sacrifice that he and so many others made. Whether or not you think the cause was just, they still gave what Abe Lincoln called "the last full measure of devotion." I guess we were still kids at heart back then, but some, like Jimmy, became men much sooner than the rest of us.

Please remember Jim as one of America's best.

Dave Disinger

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