Gary was involved in his high school student council in both his junior and senior class, and also played lots of sports.
Date of birth: 30 November 1947 Date tour began: 29 April 1968 Date of casualty: 28 May 1968 Home of record: Oregon City, Oregon Branch and Rank: Marine Corps, Lance Corporal, Rifleman Unit: 1st Marine Division, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, F Company Awards: National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Purple Heart Location of name on the Vietnam Wall: 64W, 11
Location of service: South Vietnam, Quang Tri province Died through hostile action - small arms fire.
Schools Attended: Oregon City High School Burial location: Mountain View Cemetery, Oregon City, Oregon Memorials: Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Washington, DC), Oregon Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Portland), Veterans Memorial Coliseum (Portland), Oregon City High School Memorial Garden The following items have been reported as being left as remembrances at the Vietnam Wall: POW*MIA commemorative patch.
This remembrance was originally posted here: http://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/27787/GARY-L-KESTLER On My Mind I didn't really know Gary that well, he was in high school and I was just a kid. We were friends of his family and I would see him from time to time, but I remember thinking he was "pretty cool". I have been brought to tears by reading a few of the other remembrances. Some are profound, others are simple, but they all seem to be from the heart. I hope news of the existence of this web site spreads as I believe there are people somewhere who have remembrances about each name on the wall. And although Gary is the only person I know, I feel an overwhelming sense of compassion for them all. I joined the navy shortly after the end of the Viet Nam war and never experienced actual combat. But I always wondered, and hoped, that in the heat of battle, that I could be counted upon to do my duty as I know Gary and so many others did.
This remembrance was originally posted here: http://www.virtualwall.org/dk/KestlerGL01a.htm Gary and I graduated from Oregon City High School in 1966. Butch, Thomas, Gary, and I joined the Marine Corps on the buddy system. Butch went to Nam before I arrived in Jan 68 and he left in July 69. Gary was killed while I was in the hospital recovering from wounds. Came back to my unit to find out that Gary had been killed. I was badly shaken given the fact that Gary was the one I figured would survive Vietnam. All Gary could talk about our senior year was how excited he was about heading to boot camp. All our attitudes changed shortly after we arrived. Gary was a hell of a Marine. We just had our 40th class reunion this year. It was pretty sad seeing the list of the class members that have passed away. When classmates mentioned Gary's name there were more than a few tears. The battle in which Gary was killed was developed into a book called "Foxtrot Ridge - a Battle Remembered". I will always be proud to have known Gary as a great Marine but most of all I am proud to have had him for a good friend for such a short time. Semper Fi, my brother From his best friend
The Oregonian, Wednesday, June 5, 1968 2 Oregonians Killed In War WASHINGTON (AP) – The Defense Department reported Monday the deaths of two Oregon servicemen in Vietnam. They were Army Pfc. Keven W. Bowdish, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Bowdish of Newport, and Marine Lance Cpl. Gary L. Kestler, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Kestler of Oregon City.
The Oregonian, Wednesday, June 19, 1968 Rites Slated For Marine OREGON CITY (Special) – Funeral arrangements have been announced for Marine Lance Cpl. Gary L. Kestler, killed in action May 28 at Quant Tri, Vietnam, while holding a defensive position against the enemy. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Chester, 213 Barclay Ave. The military funeral will be at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the First Presbyterian Church. Interment will be at Mountain View Cemetery. Born Nov. 30, 1947, in Oregon City, Cpl. Kestler was graduated from Oregon City High School in 1966, and joined the service in August of that year. He had been in Vietnam a month. In high school he had been on the baseball team, and was active in the summer baseball program. In addition to the parents, survivors include a sister, Lori Chester of Oregon City; and grandparents, Mrs. L.C. Hubbard of McMinnville, and Mr. and Mrs. Joe Kestler of Oregon City.