Ed Krukowski


Cullum No. 24367-1962 | June 10, 1965 | Died in Dong Xoai, Vietnam

Interred in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Syracuse, NY

Edward Eugene ‘Eddie’ Krukowski  grew up on the west end of Syracuse, NY, attended Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) where he did well in sports and academics. He then went off to West Point, which both he and his family had wanted. After West Point he attended the Infantry Officers Basic course, Airborne School and Ranger school at Fort Benning, then came home to marry his high school sweetheart, move to Fort Carson, CO, and then off to war. He was assigned as an advisor to a Vietnamese Unit. He went eagerly because he felt there was a cause to defend. While there Eddie wrote about the people, the children, and the country. Eddie had a love for people and a true faith in the good of others.

Eddie was a unique individual who inspired in others a devotion to himself. His exemplary character impressed and inspired those around him. In high school he was captain of his basketball and football teams and president of the student council. He tended to prove his words with deeds. In Vietnam he withstood a superior’s ridicule for his refusal to partake of the war’s questionable diversions, because he knew fidelity to one’s bride and family was a more eloquent proof of manhood, this total commitment to others attracted others to him.

Ed already lived the creed of DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY even before West Point. To him Duty meant something to be loved, done cheerfully, unflinchingly, without questioning the consequences to himself. Duty already transcended a glum “following orders” because he already believed that he had a duty to love other men, to devote himself to them without regard to himself. He was also aware that to him HONOR was an active verb whose direct object was others, and to do this by his actions.

Ed was the first soldier from Syracuse to die in the Vietnamese war and was thus honored and remembered. West Point only broadened the spectrum of his vision: by devoting himself to our Country’s service he found he could thereby best honor the people who are our country. At the Point he came to understand that his ideals and our country’s coincided. It is one’s Duty to Honor one’s Country. He became convinced that West Point’s creed thus contained the substance of laying down his life for his friends (or fellow beings).

To those who did not know him, these outright claims may seem suspiciously exaggerated, but those who knew him will know his true stature. In their association with Ed, they felt themselves richer; those same have lost him, and by that loss are much poorer.

Someone once said, “You lose a life; you gain a bigger life.” Ed Krukowski died with all his ideals intact; he died doing what he believed was right. He lived his life for his faith, his family, and his country. When he died he left a wife and infant son. He had the pleasure of knowing his son for a brief period before his tragic end. His son Mark now has a son Edward to carry on his name and memories. What more can any of us desire?  Ed died in a firefight defending our country and our way of life. We had prayed for Ed to be brought back safely. He was, only not to this world. And so we say, “Well Done. Be Thou at Peace. You will never be forgotten.”

— Family & Classmates

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