In Memory

Mike Padilla

​​​​​​Michael David Padilla is honored on Panel 51E, Row 11 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  Michael was interred in Mountview Cemetery, Billings, MT.



Always remembered.


Almost 50 years and you are always remembered. A good man gone too soon

Semper Fi, Marine.


Remembering An American Hero


Dear LCPL Michael David Padilla, sir

As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

With respect, Sir

Curt Carter

Class of 67



Classmate...You have been missed as well as remembered at all our class reunions.. 10-20-30 and this last year our 40th..

Rest in peace and thank you for what we have today.

Always With Us


"Sleep my son, your duty done…for freedom’s light has come. Sleep in the silent depths of the sea, or in your bed of hallowed sod, until you hear at dawn the low, clear reveille of God."

I finally was able to visit your gravesite on Memorial Day 2006. You will always be in my heart and prayers. Keep playing your guitar and we'll jam again sometime. Rest in peace, Bro.


Never Forgotten



"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you....and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go.....Be not ashamed to say you loved them....
Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own....And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind...."

Quote from a letter home by Maj. Michael Davis O'Donnell
KIA 24 March 1970. Distinguished Flying Cross: Shot down and Killed while attempting to rescue 8 fellow soldiers surrounded by attacking enemy forces.

We Nam Brothers pause to give a backward glance, and post this remembrance to you, one of the gentle heroes lost to the War in Vietnam:

Slip off that pack. Set it down by the crooked trail. Drop your steel pot alongside. Shed those magazine-ladened bandoliers away from your sweat-soaked shirt. Lay that silent weapon down and step out of the heat. Feel the soothing cool breeze right down to your soul ... and rest forever in the shade of our love, brother. 

From your Nam-Band-Of-Brothers

Behind the Name


Behind every name carved on The Wall is a face. Behind that face is a young life that will never grow old. With that life that was sacrificed is a family that suffered great loss. May God bless those that hold Mike's memory close to their hearts.

Not forgotten

POSTED ON 4/20/05 - BY DAVE KRUGER, 196TH LIB, 66-67

Michael, Although we never met, I just want you to know you are not forgotten. You gave the ultimate sacrifice, your life for what you believed in. Sleep well and thank you.

Thank you


Dear Sir,
I am a sophomore at Gridley High School where I am involved in the Gridley High School Posting Project. This assignment recognizes the patriotism in each student by giving us the opportunity to honor those who fought for America during the Vietnam War. I hope that the future generations of the United States can show a commitment to their country as great as yours. You have set a worthy example for the rest of us, and I see you as a true hero. Thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice so others could live in freedom. You will never be forgotten.

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03/01/17 02:46 PM #1    

Steve Janich


From our early years at North Park,,Basketball,scouts and I going to your house and you to mine for after school and weekend trying to avoid big brother Terry..  You were outgoing humorous and friendly.. Spoke to your Mom after losing you in Nam.. She was truly Devastated.. We salute you Mike and may you always Rest in Peace...


05/10/17 03:07 PM #2    

John Armstrong

Thank you, Mike, for your courage to fight for your country. You are a true American hero. I remember wrestling you quite a few times since we were in the same weight class at Lincoln Jr High. We had many classes together from seventh grade on. You left this earth too soon and my condolensces to your friends and family.

05/11/17 12:24 PM #3    

Russ DeVerniero

I have been quietly reading the various comments when I saw some regarding Mike. Outside of his family, I doin't think anyone knows Mike as well as I do. We joined the Marines together, went through all of the training together and went to Vietnam together. We were assigned to the same Company, same Machine Gun section and the same gun squad. We fought side by side together up till the moment he was killed on April 19, 1968. He was my best friend, a brother and part of my family. We had many plans together. We were going to go into business together after we got out of the Corps. I was his squad leader the day he was killed and I will never forget every moment of that day. I have missed him more deeply than anyone can imagine. I wish it had been me instead of him that was killed that day. I lost 4 good men in a battle that lasted 4 days and 3 nights of non-stop fighting. I have carried that burden and responsibility with me for 50 years. Mike and I were an amazing team and I was devestated when I heard he was killed giving cover fire to several of us who were trapped and surrounded by the NVA. He is in my heart always and I still have dreams of that fateful day. I have the deepest regard for him. Our bond was forged in the fires of combat. That bond can never be broken.

05/22/17 12:31 PM #4    

Albert Nelson

"One lovely summer day
As I was walking through the grass
Reflecting on the very fondest
Memories of my past

I past an unfamiliar place
And stopped a while to see
Completely unsuspecting
Of the change this place would bring

I stood before a wall of names

Fifty-eight thousand, two hundred and seventy two
Engraved upon a monument
That pierced the shining sun

And though, to all these names
I was a brother passing by
I looked upon these names
And there was some that caught my eye

It may have been a moment
Or an hour, or a year
I walked up to the names
And leaned in close so I could hear

I closed my eyes and listened
To the pure and priceless truth
And came to understand the love
Of which, this wall is proof

It's said that he who bears
The very greatest love of all
Will sacrifice his life
Before He'll see a dear friend fall

Though people often wonder
Whether such a man is real
I see him now
Through these engraved letters that I feel

He's sitting with his brothers
telling stories as they laugh
Of the greatest game's he'll ever pitch
Of the biggest fish he'll catch

He's standing by his colors
On a hillside far away
He's diving through the amber fire
While others run away

I search through all my memories
Of the noble and the grand
The courage and the truth
That I've been taught to understand

Of all the stories that are told
This shall be told of you
Dear Marine, How you gave your life
For those you never knew."


​You are still with me, Mike.

04/20/18 06:58 PM #5    

Albert Nelson

Hey Marine.  50 years ago today you were taken from us.  As long as I breathe and wear your KIA bracelet you will not be forgotten.  Keep a seat warm for me in Fiddler's Green.  Semper Fi.



04/21/18 09:29 AM #6    

Harley Phillips

Amen! Semper Fi

04/21/18 01:50 PM #7    

Russ DeVerniero

Inoticed a few comments regarding Mike and I would like to share a few more. First, Mike was killed in Action on April 19th. in the afternoon. I know because I was there.
I am currently in Virginia, near Quantico. Golf company, 2nd Batallion, 9th Marines had a reunion, memorial starting on the 18th of April. We, the survivors, of a horrific 4 day, 3 night battle came together to honor all those that we lost on those days at Bridge 28. Our company suffered over 60% casualities, killed and wounded during that battle. We honored over 30 Marines who died there. The ceremony was held at the National Museum of the Marine Corps Chapel. It was a moving service. We then had a reception at the Museum. The next day we all went to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in DC and placed a plaque by the wall under the names of Mike and the others that are listed there. Marines came from around the country to honor our fallen brothers. It was a beautiful service, and a wonderful experience to be apart of that. Too all that have served in our Military, I wish to say Thank You and God Bless.

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