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In Memory

Henry (Hank) Boye - Class Of 1967


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Rest In Peace Hank

Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Marine Private First Class Henry Joseph Boye, Jr. was born to Sarah Elizabeth Parkinson Boye and Henry Joseph Boye, Sr. on June 26, 1949. He was their first child and was followed by two brothers and a sister.

Henry, Hank to his friends, spent his childhood playing organized sports such as football and baseball with various township teams. He was a better than average athlete and turned out to be a talented starting third baseman for his high school team - the Overbrook Regional Rams.

Always the practical joker, he was responsible for many gray hairs for the teachers who had him in their classes. Henry was a decent student in school, but definitely took more joy in his friends and shop class rather than academics. He loved to work and tinker with cars, as did many of his friends. His pride and joy was a white '65 Mustang that he bought his senior year of high school.

Henry graduated from Overbrook Regional High School in June of 1967. After graduation, he worked at various jobs until becoming a butcher's apprentice in the summer. In the fall, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and went off to Boot Camp and finally off to Viet Nam early in 1968.

He was only there for four months when he was wounded. He wrote to the family and told us how lucky he was to have only received superficial cuts from shrapnel. On May 31, 1968, less than a month after receiving his letter telling of his luck, Henry was killed in action in Quang Tri Province, Viet Nam. He was one month from his nineteenth birthday. His death occurred during the Tet Offensive, a major insurgence of North Viet Nam into South Viet Nam.

Henry was awarded the Purple Heart, as well as several medals from the Vietnamese government. He left behind a mother, father, two brothers, a sister, and many friends.

It is difficult to sum up my brother's life after almost 30 years. The saddest part of the entire thing is an emptiness that can neither be filled or even explained. You ask yourself what might have been if he had lived. Unanswered or unanswerable questions are always the toughest.

I think the foremost thought that continues to surface is that his life and death had meaning. It is important that we never forget the sacrifices that have been made. The reasons why we were there can be argued on both sides. The reason my brother and over 50 thousand died should not be an arguable point. They fulfilled their duty.

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12/06/08 05:08 PM #1    

Joe Coller (1969)

Hank was my mentor on the ORHS varsity baseball team. He stood up for me in the face of many seniors who were less than appreciative that a 10th grader was impinging on their turf. He sat with me on the bus to avert any trouble from the others.

I'll never forget what he did for me.

His death brought home the horror and the reality of the war. Until that moment in time, it was merely something that happened to other people. It was background noise and TV news while we ate dinner. That changed with the news of Hank's death.

I think of him often.

03/01/09 10:27 PM #2    

Robert Bauer (1967)

Hank was always a good friend. One day in study hall with Mr. Lipton John Baynes and I were throwing trash from notebooks into the receptacle which was six or so feet away. Hank would not participate, afraid of detention by Lipton, but we egged him on. Finally he threw one rolled up notepaper at the trash can and was quickly caught by lipton. He received a tongue lashing and three days detention with lipton and the chess team. Hank immediatly gave me up by telling lipton to look in the trash and see whos name was on all the papers. Of course it was mine. Lipton called me to detention as well, and Baynes quickly said, "But Bob who will take the chicken soup to your mom in the hospital?"

I said in my most forlorn voice that I did not know...

Lipton said nothing

That afternoon, Baynes and I walked by Liptons room with an unhappy Hank Boye sitting in dentention. Hank spied us and yelled to Lipton,, he's suppossed to be here too! Lipton hustled out of the room to confront me, asking why I was not in his detention. I replied, "Don't you remember Mr. Lipton I have to take the chicken soup to my mom in the hospital.

Lipton wheeled around, back into his class and as Baynes and I walked away, Lipton gave Hank three more days of detention for playing with him.....It's a great memory and Hank, John and I laughed about it for several years.

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