The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, PFC Lawrence Benjamin Banek, who died in the service of his country on September 27th, 1968 in Quang Duc Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death Lawrence was 22 years of age. He was from Cumberland, Rhode Island. Lawrence is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 42W, Line 26.
The decorations earned by PFC Lawrence Benjamin Banek include: the Combat Infantryman 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.
Lawrence is buried in the Mt Calvary Cemetery in Cumberland, RI
(His BSV Citation)
Award Of The Bronze Star Medal For Heroism
For heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Private First Class Banek distinguished himself while serving as a Rifleman with D, 2/35th Infantry. On 27 September 1968, Company D was called to the aid of a five-man listening and observation post which made contact with a large enemy force in a well-camouflaged bunker complex. Private First Class Banek's company, upon reaching the beleaguered patrol, was immediately placed under a devastating barrage of light weapons and grenade fire. Private First Class Banek immediately upon contact moved out to the flank to provide security for the point element. With complete disregard for his personal safety, he moved well out in front of the maneuvering element and engaged the enemy. Private First Class Banek eliminated several enemy soldiers by firing his weapon and throwing hand grenades into the brunt of the attack aimed at his position. Private First Class Banek continued his support and cover of the other elements until he was mortally wounded by the intense enemy fire. Private First Class Banek's exceptional courage, personal bravery, and complete devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the united States Army.
While studying the Vietnam War, I was assigned to research several people from Rhode Island who gave their lives during the war. I learned that you, Cpl. Lawrence Banek, 23 were born in Cumberland, RI and were the son of Veronica and Benjamin Banek. As a ham-radio hobbyist, you helped to establish a ham-radio club at your high school. I wish I knew how to use a ham radio. When you graduated you went to Wentworth Institute in Boston and had a job as an electronics-equipment repairman. You were drafted into the Army when you were 22 years old. I will be graduating from college when I am 22 years old. I hope that there is not a draft when I am in college. I am 18 years old now and have just registered for the draft.
David Bourbonniere, Burrillville High School
Sunday, June 04, 2000