Hospitalman George Alfred Marks, Jr. is one of only three men from Brockport whose names are inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.
Currently, there are no photos of Marks on the Virtual Wall. There are also no photos of Gerald Joseph Downey and Ronald James Fegan, the other two men from Brockport whose names are inscribed on The Wall.
But it may finally be time for that to change.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has issued a National Call for Photos in order to collect a photograph for each of the 58,272 men and women whose names are inscribed on The Wall.
George Alfred Marks, Jr.‘s name is the first name inscribed at the left side of Panel 39W Line 028 on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.
His name is also inscribed on a Bollard in the Rochester Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Highland Park.
George Alfred Marks, Jr, was a Navy Corpsman assigned to Headquarters & Service (H&S) Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.
His Navy Enlisted Classification code was HM-8404 – Medical Field Service Technician/Fleet Marine Force Combat Corpsman, which meant that he served side by side with the Marine “grunts” in Vietnam.
Marks wore the same dirty, stinking, torn, green utilities that the Marines grunts he served with wore. He took the same chances the Marine grunts did. He lived in the same mud-filled holes they did, and ate the same cold C-rations they did.
Then, in the heat of battle, when he heard the cry, “Corpsman Up”, he would move forward, under enemy fire, armed only with his B-1 medical kit, to aid the wounded Marines.
“It wasn’t a matter of living or dying or fighting. It was a matter of helping your friends.”
Corpsman Robert Degeus
It was one of the most dangerous jobs in Vietnam, and it took an extraordinary amount of courage to do it.
In Vietnam, 638 Hospital Corpsmen were killed in action; and 4,563 were wounded and earned the Purple Heart. H&S Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment lost 32 Corpsmen Killed in Action in Vietnam.
George Alfred Marks, Jr. was 23 when was killed by artillery fire in Quang Nam, South Vietnam on November 6, 1968. He was single.
He was born February 27, 1945. He grew up in Brockport, where he started school at the former Campus School then finished grades 8-12 at Brockport Central School. He graduated from high school in 1963.
Before he went to Vietnam, George Marks served the Brockport community as a member of the Protectives, a volunteer firefighters association. He was also active in the Brockport Fire Department Ambulance Corps. He was well respected by his fellow firefighters and in 1968 was nominated Fireman of the Year. He is still remembered today on a monument at the Protectives Fire Hall on West Avenue in Brockport.
After high school, Marks enrolled in classes at SUNY College at Morrisville, where he was a horticulture major because of his love of flowers and floral design. He had expressed an interest in opening a flower shop in Brockport.
After college he worked briefly at the General Electric plant in Brockport before he enlisted in the Navy in December 1965.
He was the son of George A. Marks, Sr., and Mrs. Frances Marks. His mother died in 1966. He also has a brother Christopher and a sister Sally.
When he was growing up, George Alfred Marks, Jr. lived at 46 King Street in Brockport. The house is now owned by David Markham. Ironically, George was David Markham’s best friend in 7th grade, and they used to “hang out” together all the time. David says, “George was a great guy”.
Here is all you have to do to upload a digital image of George Alfred Marks, Jr., for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s National Call for Photos
- Go to http://www.vvmf.org/
- Click on SEARCH THE WALL
- Scroll down and type in the Frist Name, the Last Name, and the City.
- (e.g. George Marks, Brockport)
- Then scroll down and click on Submit.
- Click on Profile to open the Virtual Wall web page for Gerald Joseph Downey.
- Scroll down
- Click on Post a Remembrance.
- Follow the online instructions.
NOTE: The file for the digital image MUST have a .gif, .jpeg or .jpg extension and must be no larger than 400K in size. Also, the width of the image you are uploading must be less than 200 pixels wide, or it will not display correctly. So, use a graphics program (Paint, Photoshop, etc.) to shrink the image as needed.