Allen Oatney 

CPL – E4 – United States Army
11B20 - Infantryman
E Company, 5th Battalion, 12th Infantry
199th Light Infantry Brigade

199th LIB

Tour began on March 10, 1970
Married with one son and two granddaughters
20 Years Old
Waterville, Kansas
October 4, 1949 to June 22, 1970

 

Bob Moses remembers Allen...

My wife, Dixie (Oard), was in Allen's high school class at Longford and I
thought he had graduated from Longford.  I remember Allen, although I did not
know him well since I was two years older.  Over the years I have thought
about him a great deal and traced his name on The Wall in Washington when
we were there in 1988.  I intend to visit his grave in the future.  I remember
the terrible sadness in the Longford community when we received the news
that Allen had been killed.  I "Googled" his name on the computer tonight and
was thrilled to see that he has been honored in this way.  We live in Olathe, Kansas.

 

This message was left in the Faces On The Wall
notebook that travels with the tribute...

Tobby favors Allen, don't you think?  Allen would be proud to know Tobby today.

 

Heath Oatney leaves a message about his uncle...

Hello.  My name is Heath Oatney.  Allen was my uncle.  I never got to meet him
because I'm only 18 years old.  I think it's cool to see his picture on the web.

 

The Marysville Advocate
July 2002

Tobby, Chelsie and Kendall 

Tobby Oatney and his daughters, Chelsie, 11, and Kendall, 7.

Vietnam Wall replica brings sense of loss
for son of countian who died in Vietnam

"Seeing my dad's name engraved on the moving wall has made me realize just how
much I've lost," said Tobby Oatney, Marysville.

His father, Allen Oatney, died in the Vietnam war in 1970.

"My father died a hero just like every man during that war.  When you go stand in
front of the moving wall and you can barely see the other end, you realize
just how many fallen heroes there were."

"As a young man I heard people degrading Vietnam," Tobby said.  "People would make
fun of the deceased and living veterans.  Those people should stop and realize that
so many people died for them and this country.  The vets that made it home still
live their unfortunate experiences every day.  My father, Allen Oatney, was one
of the men who did not make it home.  My father died before I was born.  For years
I was angry at him for joining the Army and not making it back home.  As I became
older, I began to understand why he died.  Just like all the young men, it was either
join the Army or be drafted."

"His dying affected so many people close to him.  My mom (Maxine Plegge) and dad were
married in February and he left for Vietnam in March of the same year.  He got killed
on June 22, and I was born in November.  I can only imagine what Mom went through
trying to raise a baby and coping with her own loss.  Fortunately, I had a good father
figure in my life since I was 3 years old.  But even having a wonderful stepfather (Larry
Plegge) cannot take the place of my real father.  He and I both realize that he could
never have taken the place of my father but, if I had to have a stepfather, I'm glad it was him."

"There are many people whose lives were affected from this war.  I am just one of them.
A few of us know how it feels to never know their dad, to hear their father say, 'I love
you and I'm proud of you."

Tobby has never been to Washington, D.C. to see the Vietnam Memorial, but friends
who have been there brought back rubbings of his father's name.

He learned a lot about his father as a young boy growing up in Waterville from his
mother and grandparents.  "They say I am a carbon copy of my father, they say
I look like him and have the same interests."

Allen Oatney was "very soft spoken."  He liked to fish and hunt and liked farm life.  On
Sundays he used to go to the car races in Manhattan.  "They told me he always
thought about others instead of himself," Tobby said.

"At first I really didn't understand about my father's death, but later when I was about
6 or 7, I started asking question.  I still have a lot of questions, a lot of what if's."

In one of the letters Allen Oatney sent back to his wife, he told about his plans for the
future, about what he wanted to do when he got home from Vietnam.  He wanted
to move to Colorado, live on a ranch and have horses on that ranch.

"He was three weeks from coming home, three weeks from making that dream come
true," Tobby said.

"He was shot in the head.  Someday I hope to locate and talk to his buddies who were
with him when he died."

Tobby has a birthmark in the same area of his head where his father was wounded.  Tobby
treasures the photo album and scrapbook that has pictures of his father as a young
boy and as a soldier.  The scrapbook has the Western Union telegram that notifies Allen's
parents, Harris and Maxine Oatney, Waterville, of Allen's death.

The telegram read that he was killed in action in Cambodia on June 22, 1970, and is
signed by Major General Kenneth G. Wickham.  "He was on a combat mission
when a hostile force was encountered," read the telegram.

Allen spent most of his life in and around the Manhattan and Waterville communities.
He graduated from Valley Heights High School in 1969.  He was employed by the Co-op
elevator in Barnes at the time he was called to the Armed Forces in September 1969.
He took basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and Fort Ord, Calif.

He married Maxine Anderson on Feb. 21, 1970, and left for Vietnam on March 11, 1970.
He had been in Cambodia for six weeks and would have left there in a few days when
the sneak attack of hostile action took his life.  His body was recovered shortly
after he was killed.

While at Fort Leonard Wood he was the top marksman in his company.  He was a
member of E Company, 5th Battalion, 12th Infantry of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade.
He had just qualified for radio and telephone operator for the captain and would have
been promoted to Specialist 4.

A service was held June 30, 1970, in Waterville at the United Methodist Church and burial
at Riverside Cemetery, Waterville.  Casket bearers were members of the military
from Fort Riley.

The Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart and citation were presented posthumously to
Oatney and given to his widow, Maxine Anderson Oatney, in a ceremony in the home
of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Otis Anderson.

Tobby and his wife, Shanna, live in Marysville.  They have two daughters, Chelsie, 11, and
Kendall, 7.  Tobby works at Georgia Pacific, and Shanna works at Bloomer's.

The family attended the ceremonies at the wall last week and made etchings of Allen
Oatney's name.

 

Tobby Oatney is looking for information about his father...

Tobby Oatney contacted me and wanted to post a message on his
father's page.  Tobby is looking for anyone who served with his father
or anyone who may have known his father.  Tobby was born three months
after Allen was killed and he would really like to learn more about his father.
If you have any information please contact
facesonthewall@yahoo.com and
I will give Tobby the information.  Thank You.

 

Marshall Harless remembers Allen…
Mudkat3@aol.com
A Fallen Hero

I would like to express myself to the Oatney Family that there is not a day that goes by
that I do not live what happened that awful day, but let me tell you, you had a very
fine, outstanding Son or Husband. I lost two more friends that day in June. I too was
born in October 1949, we shared that same birth month and would not or could not
feel all the sorrow that you his family members went through. But let me assure you
he is looking down on us with his great big smile. Thank God for friends like
Allen. May God Bless each and every one. Marshall.

 

If you would like to post your remembrance
about Allen, please
click here.

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