The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, SP4 Charles Robert Vest, who died in the service of his country on July 26th, 1967 in Quang Ngai, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Sniper. At the time of his death Charles was 24 years of age. He was from Lynchburg, Ohio. Charles is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 24E, Line 30.
The decorations earned by SP4 Charles Robert Vest include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, 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.
(Note From Cacti KIA Researcher Dick Arnold. Though Charles did not die from his wounds until 1974, we list his Date of Death as the day he was wounded.....July 26, 1967.)
Sunset Memorial Gardens
Plot: Everlasting Life Gardens, Lot #621, Grave 3.
On 26 July 1967 PFC Charles "Bob" Robert Vest was mortally wounded during a firefight while on patrol near Duc Pho in South Vietnam, an area that Paul Vest (Bobs Brother) said was known for a lot of action. He said Bob was shot by a sniper.
According to an article from timesgazette.com in Hillsboro OH, Roberts brother Paul said: "Quite frankly, he should have died on the battlefield, but he didnt. We dont know why he didnt,"
Bob went from the battlefield to a field hospital, from there to Saigon, then to Yokohama Japan, San Francisco, Cincinnati and finally Fort Thomas, Kentucky, where he spent the last seven years of his life. Throughout his 7 year struggle, his wife, Lynchburg native Marcie Cooper, never gave up hope.
The effort to have Vests name added to The Wall was an even longer struggle because Bobs military records could not be located. The effort was led almost solely by his brother, one of two of the 10 Vest children still alive. Paul Vests struggle began in the mid-1980s when the Traveling Wall came to Portsmouth and he noticed his brothers name wasnt on it. In the 20-plus years since, Paul Vest ran into all kinds of stumbling blocks, so many that at one time he gave up. But he took up the battle again 1990s.
Paul, also a Vietnam Veteran released from active duty in 1967, had said at one time early in the effort: "It occurred to me that if I didnt do something, it might not happen at all". Paul finally heard in 2010 that Bob Vests military records had been found and his name would be added to The Wall.
On Memorial Day, May 30, 2011, at the annual ceremony at The Wall, the name of Charles Robert Vest will be read along with the other names being added, so it finally will be official. His brother Paul said the Bob was not one who wanted to draw attention to himself, but he thought that Bob would be grateful to have his named added after all these years.
Bob Vest graduated from Minford High School in 1961, and left for Cincinnati to enroll in the Cincinnati Milling Machines apprenticeship program, and at the same time attended the University of Cincinnati.
Vest graduated from college in 1966, and entered the military that same year. After basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, and additional training at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
In March 1967, Vest was sent to Vietnam where he received a debilitating head wound in July of the same year just outside of Duc Pho.
Vest was taken from the battlefield to the field hospital, to Saigon hospital, to Yokahama, Japan, to San Francisco, to Walter Reed Medical Center, to Cincinnati Veterans Hospital, and finally to Fort Thomas, Kentucky, to a Veterans nursing home, dying in October 1974.
Read more: Portsmouth Daily Times - Bob Vest Finally Gets His Place On The Vietnam Memorial Wall