Galloway memorial

FILE - Author Joe Galloway talks to reporters after services for retired Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, in at Fort Benning, Ga. Galloway, best known for his book recounting a pivotal battle in the Vietnam War that was made into a Hollywood movie, has died. He was 79. A memorial service will be held for Galloway on Saturday in his hometown of Concord, North Carolina.

A memorial service will be held for Joseph Lee Galloway Jr., award-winning journalist, war correspondent and author, at the First Baptist Church in Concord, North Carolina, at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Galloway died Aug. 18, 2021 at his Concord home at the age of 79.

Galloway is best known for his experiences alongside the soldiers of 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment “Garryowen” in the Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam in 1965 which led to the best-selling book “We Were Soldiers Once … And Young,” which he wrote with Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore in 1992. The book was adapted into the 2002 film “We Were Soldiers,” with a cast that included Mel Gibson, Greg Kinnear and Sam Elliott, with Barry Pepper as Joe Galloway.

It was there that he saw first-hand the horrors of war, and there that he performed the acts of valor that led to his being the only civilian to receive the Bronze Star from the Army during the Vietnam conflict, which he was awarded for carrying a badly wounded man to safety under heavy enemy fire.

He would continue to cover members of the 1st Cavalry Division throughout Vietnam.

Allen Wood, a family friend, set up the memorial service at the request of Galloway’s wife, Grace.

“I’ve often said Joe Galloway saved my life,” Wood, who served in Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division from 1968-1970, said on Monday. “Until I met Joe, I lied about and discarded my memories of service in Vietnam. Joe gave me the open space to talk about it. He was a very good listener to what I had to say. He understood, because he had been there.

“He was a good man. God didn’t waste a human being with Joe.”

Among those remembering Galloway will be retired Army Col. Bruce “Snake” Crandall, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions as a pilot during the battle of Ia Drang, flying 22 missions in an unarmed helicopter into enemy fire to evacuate more than 70 wounded; John Walcott, Galloway’s editor for many years at U.S. News & World Report, and Knight Ridder; Diane Carlson Evans, who served as a nurse during the Vietnam War and founded the Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington, D.C.; and retired Army Lt. Col. Robert L. Bateman, a longtime friend.

Coming from Fort Hood, Members of 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment will also attend on behalf of the unit, according to the unit’s current commander, Lt. Col. Brennan Speakes.

Immediately following the service, a reception will be held at American Legion Post 51 in Concord. The First Baptist Church is located at 200 Branchview Drive SE in Concord, and the American Legion Post 51 is located at 165 Wilshire Ave. SW.

For more information on the memorial, contact Wood at 404-713-7570.

dbryant@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7554

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