Remembering Orange County’s Vietnam War Military Casualties

Pvt. Brian Engelhard, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), Hotel Company, places American flags at headstones in Section 64 of Arlington National Cemetery during “Flags in,” May 21, 2015, in Arlington, Va. The Old Guard has conducted “Flags-in,” when an American flag is placed at every headstone, since 1948. (U.S. Army photo by Rachel Larue/released)

Remember William Forbes Eisenbraun. He was from Santa Ana and his friends called him “Ike.”

Remember Roland Troyano from Newport Beach.

And Victor Reyes Hernandez  and Stephen Gravrock from Fullerton.

Remember Steven Michael Larrabee from Irvine and Laguna Beach and James Calvin McKenzie from Yorba Linda.

Eisenbraun, Troyano, Hernandez, Gravrock, Larrabee and McKenzie are six of the 320 Orange County U.S. service members who died in the Vietnam War. The remains of seven, including Eisenbraun, never were recovered.

Altogether, 58,220 members of the U.S. military died in Vietnam, including 5,575 from California, according to the National Archives. Most of those who served and died were 18 to roughly 27 years old.

Voice of OC used the National Archives database to create a list of the Orange County casualties.

For some VOC readers, those who died may have been family, classmates or neighbors. Please feel free to add your memories to our comments page.

For the rest of us, Memorial Day is a way to remember all service members who died so we can live in freedom.

And please visit the Orange County Register’s 14-page Gold Star edition published in September 1945 with photos and some family information about the men from Orange County who fought and died in World War II.

  • Daniel Lamb

    When I think of all the young (and no so young) men and women who gave it all in service to this country, it gives me the strenth to take on (at considerable risk) what I know to be this county’s corrupt or at least very problematic political establishment. If a simple guy like me can be censored, intimidated and thrown aside for speaking his mind and trying to make the world a better place, it undermines the legacy of our veterans. That is why I fought so hard this weekend to fight the censorship of this blog. I emailed and called editor Noberto Santana along with Disqus to ensure that my comments would be permitted to remain visible for the few, if any, to read. Our vets fought and died protecting our way of life and we owe it to them to preserve what they so nobily provided, our security and liberty.

    • LFOldTimer

      Censorship? Really? Do you mean your comments aren’t posted at all? Sometimes you have to choose your language carefully. Even well intentioned comments sometimes go into moderation due to the content (sometimes words have double-meanings).

      Although I’ve reviewed some old blogs (3 months old or longer) and noticed some perfectly acceptable comments mysteriously disappeared.

      Not sure if VOC controls the DISQUS comment board. Perhaps. But don’t know for sure.

      Who knows why comments disappear?

      • Daniel Lamb

        I can write pretty quick, but I generally choose my language carefully and I am never offensive. It it pretty clear what is going on, and I have some experience with it. This blog, among others, censors, or tries to, what they don’t like and then claim the content was offensive, or spam. It can be tantamount to slander, or in some cases, libel.

        Voice of OC is not the worst, or perhaps they are just smarter. It probably helps, in this case, that I have the ability to go to a third party, Disqus, when I feel I am being improperly censored.

        Ultimately, though, a blog has the right to pull down whatever they like. They DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to lie about why they are doing so with slander and libel, as is the case with Greg Diamond and Orange Juice Blog, if they are even still around. What they did to me, was extremely wrong and mean-spirited

        Thanks for paying attention to me! I really appreciate feed back!

  • dc matthews

    Thank you VERY MUCH for doing this.

  • LFOldTimer

    As a vet myself I’ve lived long enough to know that Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day are mostly an excuse for people to take the day off from work and eat BBQ spareribs or get drunk. IMO the only people who should get those days off are veterans and their families. People who had skin in the game. The rest? meh. Make them work. They sacrificed nothing.

    If these people who CLAIM they honor the vets really walk their talk they should fight the City of Irvine if the phony politicians stick the vet’s cemetery out in the strawberry fields next to the freeway pollution, as opposed to putting the gravesite at the site of original attention namely THE GREAT PARK – where the vets would gain the most HONOR!!!

    But the developers – their crony politicians and the rich foreign nationals who want to purchase property at the Great Park disapprove of honoring our vets by giving them a resting place at the Great Park because it would hurt them in terms of dollars and cents. So they want to shove the vets out to the back nine – out of sight – out of mind.

    So when you see the phony politicians who want the vets shoved out into the Irvine strawberry fields at the Memorial Day ceremonies – laugh at them. Openly mock them. For they are all phonier than a $20 bill with Obama’s picture on it. For them it’s all about money and power. In reality they couldn’t care less about the vets and only go through the motions to increase the value of their own political capital.

    Today my hat comes off for all my vet brothers and sisters who gave the ultimate sacrifice when called by our nation to defend our way of life.

    And that’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…..so help me God.

    • dc matthews

      I agree we should not create more delay with changes on the cemetery AND that most of the agency and legal Vet support in OC is not so supportive .

      • LFOldTimer

        Not all vets support other vets. Some are just ordinary run-of-the-mill bureaucrats who prioritize other interests over and above the pursuits that would best serve our vets.

        That’s another unfortunate truthism that I’ve learned over the years.

        • Daniel Lamb

          Thank you for your service sir.

          • LFOldTimer

            Ah, that’s a nice gesture but you don’t have to thank me, Daniel.

            I went in voluntarily. No one forced me to go in. And I knew what I was getting into. There were no surprises. I was just a kid. I wasn’t a Harvard or a Yale child born with a silver spoon in my mouth. It was the best thing for me to do with my life at the time. Plus, I obtained an education free of charge. For that I thank you and all the taxpayers from the bottom of my heart.

            Now if I was forced to go in against my will or I lost an arm or a leg – yes – that I think would deserve some thanks. But I was honorably discharged with all my body parts. All in all it was a good experience for me.

            But I do think that veterans deserve a resting place in the front of the bus and not in the back. That’s why I oppose the City of Irvine shoving the deceased vets out into the strawberry fields as opposed to honoring them w/ a cemetery in the Great Park. The vets should take priority over increased profits for the greedy developers, most of whom probably never wore a uniform or heard a shot fired.

          • Daniel Lamb

            Sir, it’s my pleasure. I thought a lot about enlisting all the way to the age of thirty, but I found myself in difficult circumstances and I ultimately decided that I had to serve my country in another way. I agree that’s it’s important to provide our Vets with a proper resting place, but speaking of priorities I think we can all agree, those here with us and those in a better place, that we should concrentate our efforts on the living. The VA is failing our Vets and that is an obscene disgrace. We need to double down on taking care of our Vets while they are alive. It’s the only right thing to do.

          • LFOldTimer

            Actually vet care is pretty decent. What you read in the news are the worst of the worst cases. Most vets are very satisfied with their care. Don’t believe everything you read or see on TV. The media catastrophizes because that’s what sells newspapers and increases viewing ratings. VA healthcare gets high ratings by those who are actually treated at the VA. And that’s the truth. Are there some horror stories? Sure. But there are many horror stories in the private health care system too. Probably many more than in the VA system.

            I firmly believe that the vets deserve more honor than the home developers, their crony politicians and the foreign nationals. And I will not budge from that belief, regardless of the excuses I hear. The deceased vets deserve more than the strawberry fields.

            Everybody has his or her own story. The military is not for everyone. And it would be a mistake for those not cut out for that vocation to join. But everyone should do something in service to their country. Unfortunately, most don’t.

            Thank you for the dialogue.