Stars and Stripes – Vietnam Veteran Pays Out a Battlefield Loan to the Family of a Fallen Pennsylvania Soldier

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Memorial Day at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC on May 31, 2021.

Tribute at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, May 31, 2021 (Joe Gromelsky / Stars and Stripes)

CITY HANOVER, PA (Tribune News Service) – It has been 55 years since Sidney Katz borrowed fifty dollars from Frank Glovyak, but the debt has finally been paid off.

However, it is about much more than just paying off a loan – it is about honoring a hero.

Gloviak was a young soldier in 1966 when he went to war in Vietnam, never to return: he was 20 years old when he died in action, and since then his family mourns his loss.

Glowyak’s sister, Rosemary Gawat, told a story about her brother that showed what kind of person Frank Glowyak was and how highly regarded he was – much more than the first Plymouth to be killed in Vietnam.

Gawat said her brother was killed in Vietnam on October 27, 1966. She said she kept in touch with several people from his platoon. But recently Gawat was contacted as one of the men in her brother’s squad.

This man’s name is Sidney Katz, he shared with Gawat an amazing story about Glowyak.

It looks like Katz borrowed $ 50 from Glovyak before entering the field for the last time. Katz never managed to repay the debt to Glovyak.

And that bothered Katz for years – decades passed before he decided he needed to pay off the loan.

Several years ago, Katz attended the reunification of the 7th Cavalry, 5th Battalion of the US Army and met his comrade who visited Gloviak’s grave at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Plymouth and contacted Gloviak’s sister, Gawat.

Katz met with Ray Daudi, who was in the same unit that had previously contacted the Glowyak family. Daudi gave Katz Gawat’s phone number. Daudi, who now lives in southern New Jersey, has twice visited Glovyak’s grave and is planning a third visit soon.

“Frank was the perfect soldier,” Daudi said. “We went through basic training together and went to Vietnam together.”

Shortly after the reunion, Katz decided to contact Gawat.

“Mr. Katz contacted me and said he should return the money he borrowed from my brother,” Gawat said. “He said he wanted to hand it over to Frank’s family. Mr. Katz told me that he carried this burden for over 50 years. “

Gawat said this October marks the 55th anniversary of her brother’s death.

“And Mr. Katz told me that he needed a refund and that he wanted me to do something on behalf of Frank,” Gawat said.

A few weeks later, Gawat received a postcard from Sid Katz in the mail. The attachment included a check for between $ 500 and $ 50 for the original loan and, Katz said, for $ 450 in interest over 50 years.

Gawat said she is deciding where to donate the money, but it will be given to the veterans. “I think it’s important to do our best for our veterans,” she said. “Over the years, I have volunteered for several veteran organizations. It is very important for me that veterans get everything they deserve. They deserve it. “

Gawat said she wanted to tell this story and wanted people to know about her brother. She hopes the story gets the attention of the whole country.

Here’s what Sid Katz wrote in a postcard to Gawat:

“More than thanks”

Frank’s family:

The world has victories, but brave people like Frank are needed to win them.

My characters are like Frank, who risked his life for something more.

The hero is more than himself.

Thank you Frank and rest in peace.

Katz now lives in Elma, Washington. He retired after 30 years of military service.

When asked why he borrowed $ 50 from Glowiak, Katz replied that he only needs money to buy things on the postal exchange. “

“Frank was the first guy in our battalion to be killed,” Katz said. “In training, we were told never to go down the same trail twice. That day we went down the trail, returned the same way, and we were shot down. “

Katz and Glovyak went through basic training together. Katz was from upstate New York. He said that he and Glovyak became friends and would eat together every day during training.

“Frank spoke very softly,” Katz said. “He was a very nice guy, very quiet.”

Katz said that the debt he owed Glowyak remained with him throughout his life, and he had to solve this problem.

“I wanted a refund and wanted Frank’s family to do something in his memory and honor,” Katz said.

Ms Gawat said that she can finally close the book on her brother’s military service.

“This is the final chapter,” she said.

– – –

About Frank Glowyak

Biography: He was born on January 3, 1946 and was killed on October 27, 1966. His rank was SP4.

Family: sisters Rosemary Gawat, Barbara Brandon, Joan Bohinski (deceased). His parents were the late Frank (Sr.) and Mary Dovgert Glovyak.

Rosemary Gawat said her father, Frank Sr., died of injuries sustained when he fell from the roof of the family home in Gardner Street in June 1966, the centenary year of the town of Plymouth. She said her brother returned home from the army to attend his father’s funeral. The family asked Frank to be honorably discharged from the service, since he was the only male child in the family, but this request was refused. Glovyak was killed just four months later.

Military service: Glovyak was drafted into the army. He enlisted through elective service and served during the Vietnam War.

He began his tour on August 2, 1966. Glovyak had the title of the fourth specialist. His military occupation or specialty was light weapons infantry.

Killed in action: According to military records, Glovyak was killed on October 27, 1966 in the Quang Tri province of South Vietnam.

Memorial: Glovyak is honored at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. His name is written on the VVM wall, panel 11e, line 118.

Rewards: Purple Heart, Badge of the Combat Infantryman, Badge of Firing, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Citation of the Presidential Army Unit, Vietnam Valor Cross, Medal of Good Conduct in the Army.

(c) The Times Leader 2021 (Wilkes-Barre, PA)

Visit The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, PA) at www.timesleader.com

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