Calvin Binder II 

CAPT 03 United States Army
1981 - Rotary Wing Aviation Unit Commander
A Troop, 3/17th Air Cavalry
5th Infantry Division

5th Infantry Patch

1st Aviation Brigade

1st Aviation Brigade 

Tour began on May 27, 1970
23 Years Old
Rembrandt, Iowa
His parents were long time residents of Clay Center, Kansas
December 25, 1946 to June 29, 1970

 

Jim remembers his friend...

Calvin and I were in the same flight school class.  When I got married he walked
my wife down the isle.  I have some old 35 mm negatives of him in his dress blues
that day.

 

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

He was a good man!  Always willing to do his best for his country.

 

Calvin Binder 

 

Calvin & Freda 

Calvin with his mother, Freda

 

This book is a memorial to our Son, Bill.  Bill's helicopter was shot down and he
was killed in Vietnam.

CPT. C.W. BINDER II BORN DEC. 25, 1946, DIED JUNE 29, 1970

In the days that followed the death of our son, Bill, we were sorting through some
of his personal effects and found these "quotes".  We would like to share them with you.

This day nothing will come my way that God and I can't handle together.

You can't drink your cup dry, without lifting your eyes to God.

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

Our worst fault, is the preoccupation with the faults of others.

Anger is sand in the machinery of life-Love is the oil.

A man's life is what his thoughts make it.

I shall allow no man to belittle me by making me hate him.

God, teach me to laugh again, but never let me forget I cried.

There are times when nothing a man can say is really so powerful, as saying nothing.

He surely is most in need of another's patience, who has none of his own.

To carry care to bed, is to sleep with a pack on your back.

Advice is like snow, the softer it falls, the longer it remains, and the deeper it sinks
into the mind.

To be conscious you are ignorant is a great step toward knowledge.

Your life is God's gift to you, what you do with it, is your gift to God.

Let me give so much time to the improvement of myself that I shall have no time
to criticize others.

Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.

This day, look for the best in yourself, and not the worst in others.

Love is not blind, it sees more, not less, but because it sees more, it is willing to see less.

Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active.  It is concentrated strength.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could find other things as easily as we find fault!

Standing your ground is easier when you are grounded in faith.

The Lord sometimes takes us into troubled waters, not to drown us, but to cleanse us.

The center of life is not making a living, but making a life.

Where there is faith, there is love; where there is love, there is peace.  Where there is
peace, there is God.  Where there is God, there is no need.

 

A poem by Louise Faust

God needed a special helper one day,
So He sent Bill to war, and then took him away.
It has taken a while to work through the grief and accept that his life,
no matter how brief, had a special meaning for the time he was here;
And he made memories for us to hold dear!

 

Calvin wrote this letter to his parents, Calvin and Freda, in April 1970...

Dear Mom & Dad,
It is most difficult for me to orally state what I've wanted to tell you for several
years.  Therefore, I'll try to express myself in writing as best as I can.

Many times I have wanted to convey my thankfulness to you for being such wonderful
parents.  Your constant support during trying times has been greatly appreciated.

I only hope that when I become a parent I can learn to be as understanding with
my children and devoted to their development as you have been.  You have deprived
yourselves of many things to enable us kids to receive schooling and attend extra
curricular activities.  This has given us an appreciation for different phases of life.
You've set a difficult but truely fine example to follow.

These next few months may be very trying for you, but believe in our countries cause.
I have been looking forward to serving my country in RVN for some time.  The
primary reason for extending my active service was to help other devoted American
soldiers in RVN.  I strongly believe that what our government is doing in RVN
is right.  I sincerely hope that you too will have faith in our efforts and trust God
that we succeed.  Always remember that I am leaving for RVN willingly and am
anxious to give my support.  Never, please never, speak harshly against our actions.
Accidents will happen, lives will be lost, but we have a purpose and will succeed.
Whatever I do, I like to do well, and I work doubly hard for something I believe in.
I believe in our country's actions in RVN and am willing to defend them at all costs.

This letter by no means is meant to sound like a final farewell.  I have within me a
foiling desire and an assurance that there is a great challenge for me to meet within
the next few years.

Many personal opportunities lie ahead and I'm anxious to discover them.  But now, my
obligation to my country comes first.  Dad, you've instilled in me a great sense of pride
to be a member of the armed forces and to serve our country.  For this I am thankful.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Cpt Calvin W Binder II

Letter 

 

Letter 

 

Letter 

 

Calvin at home 

At home in Rembrandt, Christmas 1969

 

Dennis Sassman remembers his friend...

I think of Bill often but more than usual during the Christmas Season.  I imagine
part of that vivid memory is because of his birthday being December 25th.  More
than any other time of the year many of us pause to give thanks and remember
all we have to be so grateful for at Christmas.  Bill is special because he gave the
supreme sacrifice for us.  He was a good friend and I have many memories that will
always be special.
We went fishing together and slept overnight in my 57 Chevy at the Iowa Great Lakes
near the end of school our senior year.  He loved life and enjoyed it.  Bill loved people
and treated everyone with respect and friendliness.  When I grumble and complain,
I often pause to reflect on how short his life was and again it makes me remember
how much I have to be thankful for.  His spirit lives on in many of us.  I'm honored
to have known Bill.

 

6th Grade Poem 

Calvin (Bill) wrote this poem while he was in the 6th Grade.

 

Rog Gustafson remembers Calvin, (Bill)...

A very few people are ongoing companions with my inner being.  Bill is one of those
persons who has remained a model for my life.  He is a person whose principals and
values I often try to mirror when making choices.  His mortal life was far too short,
but his ongoing presence far outlives the typical.  Bill is truly one of God's special
creations.  He lives in paradise.

 

Michael Hadenfeldt remembers Calvin...

Calvin Binder II, or Bill as we called him, was a classmate of mine during many
years of school and in the graduating Class of 1965 at Rembrandt High School,
Rembrandt, Iowa.  Rembrandt was a very small town with a very small school.
There were about 75 students in High School (grades 9-12).  The graduating Class
of 1965 boasted 10 guys and 4 girls.  Bill was one of those 10.  Because our class,
school and town were so small, everyone knew everyone quite well.  Most
everyone was involved in sports in order to even field a team.  Bill was the
baseball team's catcher, and a darn good one.  Basketball player, serious.  He
was competitive, and a swell person, straight shooting, determined, and always
kind to everyone.  In a recent talk with his father, Calvin Sr., he talked about
Bill always wanting to be the best at everything he did.  Fellow students and
friends in this small Northwest Iowa farming community knew of that
determination and they also knew of his kindness.  He was a classy person.

When the news came that Bill had been killed, small town Rembrandt was
deeply affected.  Myself, serving in the USN and Vietnam at the same time,
was unable to get home to be with Bill's family and the community
during his funeral, but my heart was there.

There are no bad memories of Bill because Bill never created any.  His
 positive attitude would shine through.  A classmate, a friend, a doer
and just a really great person were much of what Bill was about.

Bill and I met and spent a little time together in about 1969 when we
were both home on leave and Bill was the same type person then as he
was in school in Rembrandt.  I think of Bill, not everyday, but at times
that are unexpected.  And Memorial weekend is for remembering
Bill and others like him who died while serving our country.  Memorial Day
means much more to me because of Bill.

Like everyone on Faces On The Wall, Bill is much more than a picture.
He was an integral part of my life for many years, and it was all good,
all of it.  Although I didn't realize it at the time, I now know that those
years in school with Bill were an honor.

"No greater love hath any man than that he lay down his life for another"
and that is what Bill and all the others on this site have done.  God bless
the memories of them.

Mike Hadenfeldt
Class of 1965
Rembrandt High School

 

Calvin's Medals 

 

Calvin Binder II 

 

Funeral Program 

 

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

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