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Passing of true American hero - Earl P. Hopper Sort by:
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Posted on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 22:39

From USVETDSP - Author POWSMIA Earl P. Hopper, Sr. - Obituary Colonel Earl P. Hopper, Sr., US Army (Ret), 86, a native of Glendale, AZ passed away on July 11, 2008. He attended Washington Elementary School and Glendale Union High School where he graduated in 1940 where he excelled in both football and baseball. Earl enlisted in military service with the Arizona National Guard, the 158th Infantry known as the Bushmasters on May 1, 1940. Late in 1942 he returned from Panama to attend OCS at Ft. Benning, GA. Earl served with distinction in WWII with the 101st Airborne Division; during the Korean War with Military Intelligence and as an adviser to a South Vietnamese Brigade during the Vietnam War. His 30-year military career also included 2 peace time tours of duty in Germany and 1 in Korea as well as 3 peace time tours with the 11th Airborne Division and 2 tours as an adviser to the Arizona National Guard. He also served as the Executive Officer of the Student Brigade and later the Deputy Commander of the Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning, GA. In addition to many peacetime awards and decorations including the Legion of Merit and the Good Conduct Medal, his combat awards and decorations include the Silver Star, 4 Bronze Stars, Presidential Unit Emblem (101st Airborne, Battle of the Bulge), Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart, the Belgian Fourragere and Master Parachutist Badge. He attended a wide variety of military schools including Officer Candidate School (1943), Infantry Officer?s Advanced Course (1943), Airborne Jump School (1944), Intelligence Officers Course (1952), Command and General Staff College (1956), and the US Army?s Special Warfare School (1964). In 1968 Earl was inducted into the Infantry Officers Hall of Fame, Ft Benning, GA. After his oldest son, LTC Earl P. Hopper Jr., US Air Force, was lost over North Vietnam on 10 January 1968 and retiring from military service, Earl began his ?second career? becoming a nationally and internationally recognized leader in the Prisoner Of War/Missing In Action issue. In addition to meeting with Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush on this most vital issue, over these many years he met with numerous Senators, Congressmen and other US Government officials. In 1985-86, Earl worked as a Special adviser to Congressman Billy Hendon (R-NC). As a leading expert, he testified before many Congressional hearings on behalf of our missing countrymen. He also felt honored to have been 1 of 10 people chosen to officially break ground for the Vietnam Veteran?s Memorial in Washington, DC. In addition to being a member of many veterans? organizations, Earl was a charter member of the National League of Families and one of the founders of Task Force Omega, Inc. Earl was well known for his dedication to his family, country and God; and was truly one of the finest of ?The Greatest Generation? that ever served our nation. He is preceded in death by his parents, first wife, 1 daughter and 5 brothers and 2 sisters. He is survived by his wife, Patricia B. Hopper, sister-in-law Nadine Hopper of Marysville, CA; brother-in-law David S. Reed of Glendale; sons Michael B. Hopper and wife Barbara of Phoenix, Larry D. Hopper and wife Kelly of Las Vegas, NV; Daniel W. Hopper and wife Leanne of Phoenix; David ?Buck? Hopper and wife Rhonda of Wittmann, AZ; stepdaughter Tracy B. Hopkins and husband Seth of Phoenix along with 14 grandchildren and 8 great grand children as well as numerous nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and great grand nieces and nephews. Donations in Earl's name may be sent to Task Force Omega, Inc, 14043 N. 64th Dr., Glendale, AZ 85306, a non-profit organization in which he was extremely active. Oh Great Spirit, Whose voice I hear in the wind, Whose breath gives life to the world, Hear me! I come to you as one of your many children. I am small and weak. I need your strength and wisdom. May I walk in beauty. Make my eyes behold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things that you have made, And my ears sharp to hear your voice. Make me wise so that I may know the things That you have taught your children-- The lessons that you have hidden in every leaf and rock. Make me strong, not to be superior to my brothers, but to be able to fight my greatest enemy: myself. Make me ever ready to come to you with straight eyes, so that When life fades as the faded sunset My spirit will come to you without shame. John Yellow Lark Be with God Great Navajo Warrior...


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