In Memory

Gary Sack

Gary Sack

Gary was killed in Vietnam on July 30th, 1968

This was written in an article in the Free Press about Memorial Day services 5/29/18:

Cpl. Gerald Sack, 19, of Mankato, was killed July 30. He was a 1967 Mankato High School graduate and left behind a wife, Kathleen. He was a member of the 101 and 173 Airborn Divisions.

He received the Bronze Star Medal for his final actions. He “dash forward to the point of heaviest contact and began engaging the enemy.” When he realized the machine gun team he was covering was running out of ammunition, he ran back to his platoon to retrieve more. He was killed as he attempted to return to his team.

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02/17/12 10:56 AM #1    

Douglas Smith

Gary and I had become good friends in our senior year and spent a lot of time together trying to stay out of trouble !  After graduation we both knew the draft was going to get us despite me attending MSU that Fall. Gary wanted us to "join"  the Army together and serve only 2 years active duty. I wanted us to join the Air Force and spend 4 years active duty and have a real good chance of coming home alive. Well, Gary had no fear of death so we each went our own way. He volunteered for the Army and joined the 101st Airborne and about 6 months later was on his way to Viet Nam. I was home on leave from the Air Force at the same time he was just before he shipped out to Viet Nam. I drove him to the Minneapolis airport and was the last person from home to ever see him alive. A couple months later I got a call that he has been killed by a sniper.  He did not want to give the military 4 years of his life but instead his decision cost him his life.  I always wonder what he would have become if he had joined the Air Force with me.

06/28/15 05:40 PM #2    

Phil Meyer

I received an email from Gary's nephew, Garrett Sack, letting me know a little more about Gary.

He wanted to make a correction in that Gary joined the 173rd airborne. He says the entire Sack family gathers every year at Glenwood cemetary on Memorial Day to honor Gary's sacarice to this country. He would love to hear more memories about Gary because he never got to meet him.

Those who knew Gary could post a comment here in the In Memory section. I forget there are younger family members who may never have known their relatives and this will help them.

06/30/15 08:43 AM #3    

Ron Swenson

Gary and I hung around together during Junior year while we were in Wood Shop with Rocky Scheoenrock. He was a rebel with longer hair which became the focus of Rocky's daily offers to cut his hair. Best memory is painting the Rock! Gary worked a local paint shop on Front Street and had a plan. I picked him up late one evening with his jacket bulging with spray cans, brushes, rags and carrying 4 gals of white paint. With 2 gals in each hand he climbed on my scooter and down Front Street we went towards the ROCK. With reckless enthusiasm we painted away until after midnight until the ROCK was white, then spraying all sorts of silly stuff including a reference to blowing up the little rock next to the big one. I'm  surprised that nobody ever came over to see what all the ruckus was about at that time of night, obviously the one cop in Mankato was busy that night. Over the next few weeks Gary helped add some credit to it by confirming that this was his plan. This was all far fetched but I think someone took it seriously enough that in the spring of 66', they showed up with a backhoe and buried that little rock. Coincidence? His free spirit was contagious, both good and bad. He left a life long impression, like Doug, I've often wondered what life would have had in store for him.

06/30/15 02:09 PM #4    

Merri Jo Miller

I didn't know Gary very well, but reading the comments about him is so heartwarming. It sounds like he was full of fun!

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