A Glenville family with a military tradition that spans generations was reminded of a tragedy, and also their family pride, when Glenville town historian, Joan Szablewski, recently came across some obituaries in old editions of the Scotia-Glenville Journal.
She noticed an obituary for a young man who was killed in the Vietnam War in 1968, who might have been the brother of Roberta Porter of Delmar, who works at a diner in Glenville that Szablewski and her husband frequent for breakfast.
Szablewski told Porter about the obituary for David Vollmer.
We mentioned it to her, and she said that was her brother. Then she said there was another article that I apparently missed so I went back and looked for it," said Szablewski.
That's when she noticed a letter that was published in the Scotia-Glenville Journal that dated back to Nov. 28, 1968. It was from Vollmer, who was killed in action on Nov. 17, 1968, at 21 years old. He wrote the letter to tell everyone in town about things in Vietnam, but by the time the letter had arrived " 11 days after it was written " Vollmer had been killed in action.
When Szablewski approached Porter with the news, Porter was reminded of her family's military tradition, which continues today.
"Three of my brothers were in the U.S. Marine Corps and David was the only one who served in Vietnam," said Porter.
"After David was killed my other two brothers were exempt," said Porter.
Porter said that her father was extremely proud of being in the military " he was in the Navy and served during WWII and then enlisted in the Navy Reserves and served from 1958 to 1968. Three out of his four sons " with the exclusion of his youngest son, Timothy " were Marines.