Delaware County man honors brother killed in Vietnam

- A Delaware County man is honoring his brother every day and making sure his brother's legacy is remembered.

"He wanted to go into the Marines—wanted to go into the Marines."

But he was only 17, so Robert Bobby Schatzman was too young to enlist without his parents' permission. 

Kevin Schatzman was 10 years old in the summer of 1967. His big brother wouldn't let it go after all his dad was a Marine.

"Eventually, my father caved in and signed the papers," Kevin said.

The Marine Private First Class and boot camp buddy Billy Adams arrived in Vietnam during reportedly the deadliest month of war.

Bobby's last letter home recount the worst of it.

"There were 29 of us on the bus when we started off20 seconds after the truck stoppedthere were only nine of us left walking," he recalled.

Billy Adams died in Bobby's arms.

Two days later, on May 31, Bobby volunteered to be the point man. His entire squad walked into a well-planned ambush by the north Vietnamese army and no one walked out. He died 23 days into his deployment. Kevin remembers his parents' lifelong agony trying to accept it.

"He blamed himself his entire life cuz he signed the papers," he said. "I think my mother found peace at the end. She was just so bitter."

Since his father's death, Kevin, has been the keeper of Bobby's artifacts and memories.

"I'm at peace but I'm also very proud of him," Kevin said.

More on Kevin and Bobby, here.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories