Obit: Cwikla, Leroy (? - 1967)
Surnames: Cwikla, Johnson
----Source: THORP COURIER (Thorp, Clark County, Wis.) 30 Mar 1967
Cwikla, Leroy (? - 26 MAR 1967)
LeRoy Cwikla, pessimistic about his fate in Vietnam, was killed by enemy fire East Sunday, after a six-month tour of duty, which was marked with irony.
When he left the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Cwikla, to report for overseas duty, he told his father, "I won't be back."
He arrived in Southeast Asia late in September, where only a short time later he was injured when he jumped eight feet from a helicopter to the jungle floor.
LeRoy was treated for a fracture of one leg and hospitalized for three weeks.
Late in February he was released from the hospital, "Still not ready to fight," according to his father.
There also were coincidences which were met by the Taylor County farm boy who was drafted in April 1966.
In Vietnam he was reunited with a cousin from Minnesota, whom he had not seen for four years.
Also, his death was 13 days after another former Gilman High School classmate became a victim of Viet Cong fire.
The classmate was Marine Lance Cpl. Donald Johnson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Merton Johnson, Gilman, who funeral was held Monday in Stanley.
When an Eau Claire reported contacted the Cwikla family Tuesday night, the father spoke of a letter the family had received from LeRoy on Monday, the same day word came of his death.
"LeRoy said it wasn't bad over there now -- he must have been talking about the weather. He sent us some pictures of the country," the father said.
However, Cwikla was quick to add that he believed his son's life was lost for "Something I don't think was worth it -- it's awful over there."
Besides the parents, a sister, Christine, and a brother, Leonard, survive.
The rites are scheduled at the Lublin St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, with burial in the church cemetery. The arrangement will be completed at the Thorp Funeral Home.
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