A kid brother gave his life in Vietnam

Ron wasn’t the only member of the Bean family to serve in the armed forces.

Ron served in the Pacific during World War II and also stateside while part of the National Guard during the Korean Conflict.

His oldest brother, Laverne, served in the Army Air Corps during World War II in the European Theatre of Operations. Ron said Laverne came back with more that just war stories he met a German girl while overseas and came back with a wife.

James served at Camp Atterbury with the military police.

While those three came home, a fourth brother David did not.

David was just four years old when Ron entered the service in 1944.

While serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, Staff Sergeant David Bean was killed at the age of 29 on August 14, 1969.

A newspaper clipping that Ron has preserved tells of a ceremony held at the Sheffield residence of David’s wife, Darlene, where David was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with Valor Device and the Purple Heart.

Prior to his death, David had been awarded the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Metal with one Bronze Service Star, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon and the Sharpshooter Badge with rifle bar.

The article includes the text of the Bronze Star citation: “For heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force. Staff Sgt. Bean distinguished himself while serving as non-commissioned officer in charge of a large march unit enroute from Quan Lai to Long Binh. Upon being warned of an imminent ambush from a large enemy force, Sgt. Bean positioned his gun jeep to confront the hostile force. As he opened fire in the midst of the kill zone to protect the men in the road, his jeep was hit by automatic weapons fire and by rockets. In the course of the ambush, Sgt. Bean was mortally wounded. His personal bravery and devotion to duty were in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.”

According to information from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Bean’s name can be found on panel 19W, row 36 of the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C.