Upon departing for training, Marine Corps Lance Corporal Mark Ryan Black told his family, “Don’t expect me to write much.” Contrary to expectations, he spent much time in country composing both written letters and tape-recorded audio letters, communicating the details of what he was seeing, feeling, and experiencing. Speaking into a tape recorder allowed him to “talk” to his family, friends, and community back home; in his letters, he provided frank descriptions of combat and going on patrol. Stationed in Quang Tri Province with a Combined Action Company (CAC) unit, he was killed by enemy fire during an attack on his compound on August 14, 1967. His letters, transcribed by his mother after his death and presented along with 341 photos that he took in-country, eloquently document one Marine’s service in Vietnam.
We honor you, Mark Black.