A Pittston man has organized a memorial ceremony for a young veteran who died 50 years ago in Vietnam.
The gathering will honor Cpl. William R. Kause, who was killed in action on Sept. 20 at age 19 as a result of multiple missile wounds to the head and body from hostile automatic weapons during an operation at Quang Nam Province, according to 1968 news reports.
Kause also was previously wounded in action in March that year while his unit was undergoing a road sweep in Quang Nam, when fragments from a hostile explosive device hit Kause, the reports say.
Edgar Hartman, 60, never knew Kause but was drawn to the courageous Marine during walks past his grave at the Pittston Cemetery as part of Hartman’s cancer recovery.
The gravesite had plantings and was not neglected, but Hartman has spruced it up.
The memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Sept. 22 at the cemetery on Swallow Street.
A Marine honor guard from Wyoming will participate, and Michael and Thomas Malloy have agreed to play a bagpipe and drum, Hartman said.
Hartman has purchased a new U.S. Marine Corps marker for Kause’s grave.
The ceremony also will honor two other Vietnam veterans buried nearby, Hartman said. He purchased new flags and secured a new flag holder from the VFW to replace a broken one at one of these graves.
Hartman said he hopes residents show up for the event, saying sacrifices made by Kause and others should be remembered.
“It’s going to be a beautiful thing. He should not be forgotten,” Hartman said.
Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.