Gregory A. Antunano

Posted on February 25, 2010

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Gregory was reassigned from Charlie Troop to Bravo Troop and was killed in Action on July 24, 1971. Gregory was a Pilot of an OH-6A Light Observation Helicopter. Greg was awarded the Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and a set of Army Aviator Wings.

This is how Gregory is remembered by his cousin, Denis Viri

I’ll always remember Greg as having that humor that wouldn’t quit. As kids, we could count on Greg to either instigate or gleefully play along with antics and pranks that would leave all of us laughing and enjoying ourselves. We were all part of a large Italian family that had a number of holiday feasts where we cousins would get together to share our experiences and confide in one another about family and personal matters, I’ll always remember Greg as one who would break the tension during some of these discussions with a joke as a reminder not to take ourselves so seriously.

Greg especially admired my dad, who was a policeman and a very formidable-size one at that. As Greg grew into an adult, he loved to talk to dad about their comparative sizes and would offer a challenge to “take him on” in a playful way. When Greg joined the army he first served as a Military Policeman in Korea and we all assumed he would eventually become a civilian cop, partially due to my dad, but also because we thought it was a career well-suited to his personality and temperament. He would have been a striking figure in blue and an officer of great integrity.

The last time my brother Pete and I saw Greg was while he was on leave at his home in south San Francisco before shipping-out to Vietnam for a volunteer re-enlistment. He was happy and full of enthusiasm about that anticipated tour. He had come to love the army and expressed his desire to go to Vietnam and be part of what his brothers-in-arms were trying to accomplish. He had clearly bonded with the Army and articulated a strong sense of loyalty and patriotism, especially where it concerned those with whom he served.

Some time after Greg disappeared in Cambodia, and it was determined that he would not be found, there was a military service held in his honor at the Presidio in San Francisco.  Although Greg’s body was never found his family never gave up hope that some day he would come walking through the front door. Greg gave his all back then but the void he left behind is still here with us.

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