The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, SP4 Stephen Grady Peck, who died in the service of his country on March 6th, 1967 in Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death Stephen was 22 years of age. He was from Trumbull, Connecticut. Stephen is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 16E, Line 30.
The decorations earned by SP4 Stephen Grady Peck include: 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.
Stephen was attached to B, 1/35th from his parent unit, A Battery, 2/9th Artillery
(From an article in the 4/3/67 Tropic Lighting News)
Sp4 Stephen Peck was a very unique individual and the men of Co. B, 1st Bn., 35th Inf., will miss him. Specialist Peck had courage; not the kind of courage that comes on all of a sudden when the going gets rough, but the kind of courage that keeps a man smiling over every miserable, thankless mile of the daily march from tedium to apathy and back again.
Specialist Peck's brand of courage was contagious. He infected everyone he met with his hope, his self-assurance, his lust for life. All these things he put into a poem that he liked to recite for his friends:
Do you fear the force of the wind,
Go face them and fight them,
Be savage again!
Go cold and hungry like the wolf;
Go wade in the streams like the crane.
The palms of your hands will thicken,
The cheeks of your face will tan.
You'll grow ragged and weary and swarthy,
But you'll walk like a man.
Stephen Peck was a young man, a poet and a soldier, and now he is dead.
His life was neither bathed in riches, steeped in fame nor covered. with glory, but he still walked like a man.
From the Trumbull CT. Times, March 9, 1967:
Second Trumbull GI Dies in Vietnam War
A Nichols soldier who last fall described his role in the Vietnam War as "very hard work out in the field, but it's what's got to be done," was killed in action Monday.
Sp-4 Stephen G. Peck, 22 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Peck, 32 Mischa Hill Road, was serving with the First battalion of the 25th Infantry Division along the coast of the South China Sea.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. in Nichols Methodist Church with the Rev. Louis E. Young, former pastor, officiating. Internment will be in Nichols Village Cemetery at the convenience of the family.
Sp-4 Peck's description of war was contained in a letter home to his folks. In it he narrated in terse, sensitive style what it's like to lob out explosive shells into the mysterious darkness of Vietnam at 4:30 in the morning to try to harass the enemy.
"Sometimes you wonder if maybe it isn't harassing you more than it is Charlie" he wrote in the letter, quoted in The Times last Nov. 3.
Steve enlisted in the Army in Bridgeport on Aug. 27, 1965 and requested airborne training.
He was born on Armistice Day, now Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 1944, in Atlanta Ga. He lived most of his life in Trumbull and graduated from Trumbull High School in 1963. He enrolled at the University of Denver that fall and remained there for a year and a half. He was a member of Alpha Lambda fraternity there.
He was a member of the Nichols Methodist Church and the Nichols Methodist Youth Fellowship.
Surviving in addition to his parents are a sister, Lacy E. Peck; his paternal grandmother, Mrs. Louis E. Peck of Fairfield, and his maternal grandfather, H. Ernest Schulz of Largo Fla.
He is the second Trumbull man to die in the Vietnam struggle.
(His BSV Citation)
General Orders 537, Award Of The Bronze Star For Heroism, 4th Infantry Division, 6 April 1967
For heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force: Specialist Four Peck distinguished himself on 6 March 1967 while serving as a Reconnaissance Sergeant attached to B, 1/35th Infantry. When his patrol came under intense small arm and automatic weapons fire from an estimated twenty or more Viet Cong, : Specialist Four Peck quickly realized that artillery support would be needed in order to overcome the enemy. With complete disregard for his personal safety, he crawled into the open and through the hostile barrage with a radio to reach the forward observer and call in effective artillery rounds. During this heroic endeavor, he was mortally wounded, but managed to get within reach of the forward observer. As a result, accurate artillery fire was placed upon the enemy and friendly casualties were kept to a minimum.Specialist Four Peck's outstanding display of personal courage and devotion to duty is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.