The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, PFC Boyd Grayson Garner, who died in the service of his country on March 12th, 1967 in Kontum Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death Boyd was 23 years of age. He was from St. Paul, Minnesota. Boyd is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 16E, Line 68.
The decorations earned by PFC Boyd Grayson Garner include: the Combat Medical Badge, the Bronze Star with V, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
"A Pacifist Medic Dies Beside a Soldier"
by Robert Pearman
(A member of The Star's Staff)
Near the Cambodian Border West of Pleiku - About 9 o'clock in the morning Sgt. Joe Towner, Seaside Calif., was pushing the 1st platoon of Alpha company through the thick jungle growth about a mile from the Nam Sa Thay river, which at this point separates Cambodia from Vietnam.
The company, part of the 2nd battalion, 35th Infantry, 25th Infantry division, was checking out the area after a B-52 strike.
Up ahead on the trail the point man saw an enemy soldier, dressed in the uniform of the North Vietnamese army. He called back the word to Sergeant Towner who sent a squad forward. They killed the enemy soldier, but the point man, moving forward to check the body was shot and dropped.
THESE MEN HAVE BEEN cut off in the jungle at night and surrounded by the enemy. They have seen their buddies die, get wounded and had been unable to help them. The strain of combat shows on their faces. - (Kansas City Star photograph by Robert Pearman).
Boyd Gardner, the platoon medic, was a conscientious objector and even refused to carry a weapon. His duty, he thought, was to aid the wounded, not to kill people.
Like many soldiers he had decorated his helmet cover: "Would you believe I'm a medic?" "Don't follow me I'm lost too," it said in the back. "I don't make house calls." "Vietnam No. 10."
When the point man went down Gardner rushed forward to help him. A machine gun bullet split the brim of his helmet, struck him between the eyes and killed him.
The fire continued. The first platoon, separated from the rest of the company, was cut off. All that day and that night they, and the rest of the battalion, would fight for their lives with an estimated two North Vietnamese army battalions.