Sunday, April 29, 2012

SFC Gerald Valentine, United States Army, Ret.

Gerald Valentine was born September 5, 1944 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana  and passed away on March 27, 2012 in Temple, Texas at the age of 67.

Gerald proudly served his country in the United States Army for more than twenty years, as an engineer, and retired with the rank of Sergeant First Class.  He then was employed as an engineer in the civil service.

Gerald's military service include duty in Vietnam, where he was a platoon sergeant.  Although he didn't know it at the time, he was a self-described "dead man walking".  For it was his exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam which led to his death from prostate cancer.  At the end, he chose to die on his terms.

Gerald met, and married, his wife, Karin, in Ulm, Germany in 1970.  Gerald was a proud Harley owner and enjoyed riding his motorcycles with his wife.

Funeral services were held on April 3 at the St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church in Harker Heights, Texas.  In attendance were the Patriot Guard Riders who formed a  line of American flags at the entrance to welcome the family.

After the service, the Riders led the funeral procession to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Killeen, Texas.  There the family was greeted by fifty American flags lining the roadway.

The flag draped casket was moved from the hearse to the committal shelter by the United States Army Honor Guard.  The Riders  formed a line of flags around the shelter as final prayers and honors were rendered.

An Army Non-Commissioned Officer read the eulogy, and Army Captain Opra, a Catholic Chaplain, performed the rite of committal.

The Army detail of  five rifles fired three volleys of fire representing Duty, Honor and Country.

A bag piper played the mournful tune, taps.

The Honor Guard carefully folded the American flag that draped the casket into a tight triangle and passed it to an Army Staff Sergeant.  He presented the flag to Karin on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for Gerald's honorable and faithful service.

SFC Gerald Valentine was then laid to rest on the plain of the hill, as the American flag flew at half-staff, in his honor, at the top of the hill.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, two sons, a daughter, a brother, three grandchildren and a host of other dear family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Prostate Cancer Foundation on line at

Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed by thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.

With thanks to the Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home for biographical information and additional photos.

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