Thank you for attending and celebrating the life of Chuck Seketa.

My name is Charles Davis. 

Through a story, an anecdote, I would like to demonstrate Chuck’s character and leadership skills, not only felt by me, but by all of the men of the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, Americal division. 

In another time, and in another place, I was Lt. Davis, 3rd Platoon Leader, Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. Chuck was my Company Commander. In other words, he was my boss. 

I arrived in Saigon from the United States in the morning. The U.S. Army asked for volunteers to immediately go to the Americal Division, in southern I Corps, in the northern part of the country. I volunteered!! I was quickly whisked onto a plane, and in about 2 hours arrived at the Americal base camp at Chu Lai. As I exited the airplane, in my travel uniform, a liaison officer, said,” Lt. Davis, follow me.” These are Army words that you do not want to hear. 

I was led to a room where field fatigues, boots, ruck-sack, weapons and gear were awaiting. The officer asked if I could change in a hurry, as a helicopter was waiting, just for me. He took my paperwork and personal possessions. 

That morning, I was the sole passenger on a Huey helicopter out-bound to the field. Had been in country less than 5 hours. 

I asked the pilot where “we” we going. He laughed and said “we”? “You are going to LZ Center, which has been under attack for about a week.” 

If I knew then, what I later discovered, that LZ Center, and its near-by LZ Ross, were the Devils’ gift to the Infantry. You shuttered when you heard “Center”, “Ross”. 

In-bound, as the helicopter circled and LOWERED to the mountain landing zone, with both its door-gunners firing concentrated rounds for my safe exit, there was this unmistakable sound of “ping”, as incoming enemy rounds struck the helicopter, and “crack” as bullets whizzed by my head, through the helicopter, from one open door through the other. 

As we hovered, the pilot ordered me to jump onto the mountaintop, as he could not land, or linger, or risked being shot down. 

As I, and my 100 pound pack, rolled onto the mountain mud and rock, here comes Captain Seketa, Chuck, crawling quickly, over to me. With certainty in his eyes, concentration in his face, and, in that firm and consoling voice of leadership, he put out his hand to shake mine, and said, “Welcome to Vietnam, Lieutenant.” And he added, “In case you are wondering, it only gets worse.” I was, now, in country, less than 8 hours. 

Fast forward, if you might, plus or minus 40 years, to our Officer’s Call in Indianapolis, Indiana, where Chuck pulled me aside and said,  “I want to apologize for the entire U.S.Army, for what they did to you that day, was both criminal and inconceivable.” I have felt horrible for 40 years.” 

That was Chuck.  Reasonable and demanding!  Demanding and forgiving!  A born leader, who got more calm, and more in control, as the situation tumbled more out-of-control.  He was a man’s man.  He was the very best of what an infantryman can say of each other…a warrior.  And, a friend for life. 

Thank you.

© 2010 - Charles H. Davis, II - All Rights Reserved 


Transcripts From The Memorial Service

PERSONAL COMMENTS presented by (LT) Charles H. Davis, II

    EULOGY presented by (LT) Michael Herber



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