Skip to comments.Tribute to Julia Moore (Lt.Col Hal Moore's Wife)
Posted on 03/18/2005 6:26:24 PM PST by ArmyBratproud
TNT is showing We Were Soldiers tonight. It is the story of Hal Moore and the men he led into battle in Vietnam.
I thought if appropriate to pay tribute to Julia Moore, Lt. Col. Moore's wife.
There was not much national news of it, but she passed on to heaven last year.
As a proud member a group of individuals known as Military Brats, I know how important the Military Wife/Mom is to the foundation of the Military Family Unit.
Mrs. Moore was an outstanding example to all military wives.
Below are two links- One is a post by the folks at Ranger25.com.
The other is a link the piece written after her death by Joe Galloway, the reporter who shown in the movie.
Both are great tributes to Julia Moore.
I just thought it a good way to remember her at show a tribute to all Military Wives.
GARRY OWEN and Drive On!
Julia Compton Moore
Career Army Wife
Mrs. Julia Compton Moore, 75, whose extraordinary care for the wives and families of fallen soldiers was portrayed in the Mel Gibson movie, "We Were Soldiers," died in the arms of her family in Auburn, Alabama on Sunday, April 18th. The cause of death was cancer.
Born at Fort Sill, Oklahoma on February 10th 1929, Julia ("Julie") Compton Moore was the only child of Army Colonel Louis J. Compton and Elizabeth Boon Compton. Since the age of 12, Mrs. Moore has sent the men she loved to war. Her father fought in Europe in World War II, her husband was wounded in Korea and Vietnam, and one of her sons fought with the 82nd Airborne Division in Panama and the Gulf War. Her early and lifelong experience with separation and the risk of loss in war provided her a unique empathy with, and understanding of, the lives of families in war.
Mrs. Moore was married under crossed sabers in 1949 to Hal Moore, who later commanded the first battalion, 7th Cavalry in the battle of the Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam in 1965. The Ia Drang was the first major engagement between the forces of the United States and the forces of the People's Army of Vietnam. Over 1,000 Vietnamese were killed, at the price of 121 American lives. The impact of this battle at home in Columbus Georgia, where Julie lived with her five young children, was depicted in the 2002 Paramount release, "We Were Soldiers," and brought to millions of Americans the carnage of combat and its terrible toll on families. Notices of combat deaths in Columbus were delivered to wives and families typically isolated in small apartments, trailer parks, and one-room walk-ups. Mrs. Moore challenged and stopped the Army's impersonal practice of delivering these notices by taxi. Assuming the responsibility required by her position as the commander's wife, she personally comforted each bereaved family and attended every funeral of every soldier lost in combat under her husband's command. Pressed by this example, the Army instituted the practice of delivering compassionate notices through uniformed personnel, and built support networks for the families of slain soldiers. These practices have become standard throughout the military.
In 2002, Mrs. Moore wrote:
"I was a stay-at-home Mom, volunteering with the Red Cross and Army Community Service. My main love and focus has always been the Army family and especially our Child Care Centers.
"Not very exciting when I write it down but I have loved every minute (well maybe not every minute, like when the dog throws up on your carpet just as the doorbell rings with the General arriving for dinner, or a child falls out of the tree and breaks his arm minutes before you are due at a reception in your honor, or the movers lose all the trousers to your husbands uniforms etc. etc.) and wouldn't trade with the wife of any other profession."
Mrs. Moore was a graduate of Chevy Chase Junior College, Chevy Chase, Maryland and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as a member of the Pi Phi Sorority, prior to her marriage. Wherever her husband was stationed, Mrs. Moore became an integral part of the community, serving as a Brownie and Girl Scout Leader, Cub Scout Den Mother and Red Cross volunteer in the Army hospitals. She supported the day care centers and worked with the wives clubs to take better care of the enlisted soldier and his family. Mrs. Moore was especially active in setting up the Army Community Service organizations that are now a permanent fixture on all Army posts and which assist each soldier as they process into their new duty stations.
Mrs. Moore is survived by her husband of 55 years, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Harold G. Moore, and their five children: Greg Moore of Dallas, Texas; Lt. Col. (Ret.) Steve Moore of Richmond, Virginia; Julie Moore Thompson of Granbury, Texas; Cecile Moore Rainey of Denver, Colorado; and Lt. Col. David Moore of Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey. She has twelve grandchildren. Mrs. Moore maintained homes in Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado and Auburn, Alabama.
Mrs. Moore will be buried at the Post Cemetery in Ft. Benning, Georgia, alongside the men of the 7th Cavalry whose funerals she attended in 1965 and 1966, and whose families she sustained through their sudden and terrible loss.
Funeral Services will be held at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Auburn, Alabama at 9:30AM (CST) on Thursday, April 22nd. Visitation will be at the Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home in Opelika, Alabama from 5:00PM - 7:00PM on April 21st. In lieu of flowers, donations should be sent to the Ia Drang Scholarship Fund, 302 N. Main Street, Copperas Cove, Texas 76522.
Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home is directing.
Please Pass this Ping on to as many folks that you can think of..
Army brat of a vet that was right behind Moore in Benning and Ia Drang. Two tours he survived. My Dad and hero
I am watching the movie now and am seeing the part where Mrs. Moore is delivering the telegrams. I have seen the movie twice and that part really gets to me.
If possible, please pass the ping on.
A thank you to all the military families out there.
Army Brat myself.
Touching story, wonderful woman, condolences to Gen. Moore and his family.
BUMP and God Bless Julie Moore!
I can't believe no one pinged you to your own movie! :-)
BUMP and God Bless Julie Moore!
Have Foxnews on right now and am watching Hannity, but as soon as abominable "Gretchen" Van Sustern comes on, I'm switching over to "We were soldiers". I starts again at 10:30pm EST.
Sustern = Susteren
HAL G. MOORE: The Legacy and Lessons of an American Warrior
An extraordinary woman. She put a more human casualty notification system into place than ever existed. The least of her legacy.
Yes, me too. Just can't help but cry. It's so moving. What a wonderful woman she was. A silent partner doing heroic things of her own. No medals, nothing like that but...the changes she made are lasting. She was a valiant SOLDIER.
In many ways the women and children left behind are called upom to be as brave as their soldiers.
You bet. They too are heroes. No two ways about that.
Mrs. Moore was a wonderful woman. I hope the General and his children are well, and I will pray for their comfort after this loss.
Thanks for the ping!
God bless Julia Moore. She was (& still is) an inspiration.
God Bless Julia Moore.
I watched the movie tonight. Great, great movie.
YES! From Concord Bridge till now and the future to come. All who have worn the uniform of America have made Her what she is and will preserve Her. God Bless America and All who have and will serve Her.
In your honor...
Wow, what a trailblazer for all that the military does for its servicemembers. God bless Mrs. Moore and her remaining family. I saw part of the movie last night on TNT and I have it on DVD. It's one of my favorites.
Lt. General Harold G. Moore, the real-life protagonist portrayed by Mel Gibson in We Were Soldiers, talks with The New American about the movie, his book, and Vietnam.
Looking back: As a lieutenant colonel, Harold Moore heroically led American troops to victory in the first major battle of the Vietnam War al Landing Zone X-Ray in the la Drang Valley, 1965.
Lt. General Harold G. Moore (Ret.) graduated from West Point in 1945, commanded two infantry companies in the Korean War, was a battalion and brigade commander in Vietnam, and later commanded the 7th Infantry Division in Korea. A master parachutist and Army aviator, he helped develop and launch the concept of the Air Cavalry in Vietnam. General Moore co-authored with Joe Galloway the best-seller, We Were Soldiers Once and Young (now a major motion picture), the dramatic and moving account of the 7th Cavalrys epic action in the Ia Drang Valley in 1965, one of the Vietnam Wars bloodiest battles. He was interviewed by William F. Jasper, senior editor of The New American.
TNA: First of all, General Moore, allow me to compliment you on a stunning and stirring achievement; your book provides an unflinching look at the horrors and heroism of war, a moving tribute to those who gave their all. Plus, it offers insights and revelations concerning the political decisions that caused our debacle in Vietnam, something that is desperately needed to counter the liberal-left revisionism that has dominated all media and academic commentary on the Vietnam War for more than three decades. It is one of the best Ive read.
Moore: Thank you.
TNA: I understand that you were a consultant to the film. Did you go on location for the actual filming?
Moore: Actually my wife and I visited the sets at Fort Benning, Georgia, three or four times. And then we visited Fort Hunter Liggett in California, where the Ia Drang battles were recreated, twice, for three or four days each time. We probably viewed maybe a total of 4 or 5 percent of the total viewing. We were not there to be the boss or to offer running critiques. I was a consultant, which means that whenever they asked a question of me I answered it to the best of my ability. If I saw something that was grossly wrong, I would respectfully inform the director. Otherwise, I didnt look over his shoulder; nobody was looking over my shoulder during the fighting in the Ia Drang Valley.
TNA: Did you have input on the movie script?
Moore: Actually, I saw about five scripts, starting in 1995, when Randy Wallace got serious about wanting to do the movie. He sent me the screenplays and I marked them up and they got progressively better. But it really got good after Randall went to Ranger School for two weeks at Fort Benning and learned about Army culture, history, heritage, tradition, dos and donts. Hes the only guy that I know of over the age of 50 who ever went through two weeks of Army Ranger School, which is the toughest course in the Army.
TNA: Early in your book you point out that because of political decisions, you went into battle at Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley greatly under-strength. How much did this contribute to your disadvantage in battle and, ultimately, to the casualties you suffered?
Moore: Significantly. Lyndon Johnson wanted to get elected in his own right and he didnt want anything to happen that would sour the country on him. He was really a dove in hawks clothing. Before we went to Vietnam, he ordered that no man with 60 days or less service [remaining] could be shipped out [to Vietnam]. And he didnt freeze discharges or enlistments, like President Bush did in the Gulf War. And so we went in under-strength. Then, after a month in Vietnam, I began to have casualties from malaria, other tropical diseases, several guys got wounded. Fortunately, I had great non-commissioned officers, most of whom were regular army, which means they werent up for discharge. And I did get a crop of young lieutenants before we went to Vietnam, so we had to train them up real fast, and the way you do that is tell them to listen to what their platoon sergeant tells them and keep their mouths shut unless they have a question. But the end fact is that when you get into battle with an under-strength unit, what happens is the non-commissioned officers unconsciously begin taking over and performing subordinate roles, like being a rifleman or a radio technician, instead of leading. The result is that I lost a lot of non-commissioned officers in LZ X-Ray because of that. Then I had 2nd lieutenants who took on the subordinate role of NCOs, and I lost a lot of lieutenants. So the impact is that it moves downstream when you go in under-strength. Somebodys got to do these jobs and it wound up being those NCOs and 2nd lieutenants.
TNA: Was this even more of a factor at Landing Zone Albany, where your sister battalion was decimated a couple days later? They had an even higher ratio of new recruits and replacements didnt they?
Moore: Yes. I was not in that battle, but from what Ive read and heard, thats precisely what happened there as well. But dont get the idea that my battalion was a completely new battalion. I probably had 75-80 percent of the men I trained, which is significant enough that the unit personality and mentality that I trained into those guys those great troopers for 14 months was ingrained into them. And General Kinnard, the Division Commander, later told me in writing to the effect that "although I had many good battalions, Im glad it was yours that ran into that rats nest, because I dont know if any other could have survived." So, what I want to tell you is that we were a good group of men.
TNA: You recount the bitter anger and frustration that you and others in the military felt concerning the decisions in Washington to allow the Communist forces to have safe sanctuaries in Laos and Cambodia from which to attack your positions and the gag orders that were placed on you not to mention these policies to the press or the public. As a result, much of the American public didnt know and still doesnt know that these sanctuaries were a fact and played a crucial role in the wars final outcome.
Moore: Well, those sanctuaries sure as hell were there. The fact is that Johnson would not let us follow the defeated enemy to his death or surrender in Cambodia; so he was allowed to regroup, reinforce, resupply, and redeploy. The fact is that we officers were forbidden to tell a reporter that, yes, we were fighting North Vietnamese, which we did anyhow, because it was the truth. The fact is that the enemy had sanctuaries in Laos, Cambodia, southern North Vietnam and northern South Vietnam. And by handing him these sanctuaries, Lyndon Johnson handed the enemy the tactical and strategic initiative. They could come out of those safe areas at their time and pleasure, take us on, and then go back into those sanctuaries to take care of their wounded, regroup, and get re-equipped. We were denied the tactical and strategic initiative by Lyndon Johnson. The lies and deception of the Johnson administration were so morally wrong, and the enormity of it all is just finally coming out.
TNA: A revealing account that you describe in the book concerns a briefing by your operations officer at LZ X-Ray, Matt Dillon, which you attended with General Westmoreland. When Captain Dillon mentioned that among the enemy dead they had found the body of what appeared to be a Red Chinese officer, Westmoreland blew up and insisted: "You will never mention anything about Chinese soldiers in Vietnam again!"
Moore: If you go to the library and pull up the New York Times for November 17, 1965, you will find on the front page a piece by Charles Mohr, in which he describes a briefing in Saigon where an American briefing officer told the press that one of these Chinese advisors had been captured in South Vietnam in this Pleiku campaign of 1965, and I believe they brought out a North Vietnamese prisoner of war who admitted that in front of the news media. And its my suspicion that what happened after the article came out in the Times is that the White House sent what we call a "back channel" message to Westmoreland in Saigon telling him very sternly never to trot out any Chinese or mention their involvement. Johnson repeatedly said "we want no wider war." Remember that? So this enraged him.
TNA: But you de facto already had a wider war: Russia and China were arming, supplying, training, and advising the North Vietnamese Army and the Vietcong, and both NVA and VC were operating out of Laos and Cambodia. So the war was already wider, the U.S. was just pretending otherwise.
Moore: Of course, that was part of [Johnsons] lies, part of the deception. Captain Dillon was just telling the truth, giving a briefing as he was supposed to. I think when Gen. Westmoreland jumped all over him, he was still smarting from the back channel from Washington. Ive been back to Vietnam seven times in the last 11 years. I think it is pretty well known now that the Chinese advisors were on the North Vietnamese air fields instructing pilots, instructing anti-aircraft units that brought down so many of our bomber pilots. They had to be there; they had to teach them how to operate and shoot those surface-to-air missiles, which were as long as a telephone pole. They had to do all of that. I think there were probably also Russian advisors there. When I went to Hanoi in 1990, there were signs all over the place in Cyrillic Russian. For clothing, books, directions, etc. And when I went back there a year later all those Cyrillic signs were gone. Which is when Hanoi was putting on the big push for normalizing relations with the U.S.
TNA: Your book mentions that when you interviewed General Giap, Vietnams top general during the war, he denied there had ever been any Chinese advisors or presence in North Vietnam.
Moore: Well, those people lie all the time; thats normal for them. They are masters of duplicity. Its still a Communist country. Theyre scared to death of capitalism, of entrepreneurism. The Communist leaders still refer to the United States as the enemy. The Communist old guard knows that the younger generation many of whom have been educated in the U.S. and Europe are attracted to the freedom and prosperity of the West.
TNA: What was it like to sit across the table and interview General Giap, General An, and General Phuong in North Vietnam?
Moore: It was interesting, a uniquely interesting experience. I dont think many general officers of the U.S. Army have had that experience. I met several times in 1991 and 1993 with General An, who was my adversary in the Ia Drang Valley. We were trying to kill each other in 1965. We were both soldiers following the orders of the politicians. We brought our maps and our log books and openly discussed what had happened, the tactics and responses of both sides. It was interesting, and we became friends.
TNA: In your book, you record many instances of the North Vietnamese going through the battlefield executing the American wounded. From what Ive read and from the many veterans Ive interviewed, this was fairly standard practice by both the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese Army throughout the war. Was that their doctrine?
Moore: I questioned Generals Giap and An about that. They denied it; insisted it wasnt their doctrine. I dont know. I dont know how universal it was; I do know that it happened in the Ia Drang. Its easy for someone whos never been in the hell of battle, sitting comfortably and safely in an easy chair, to be very critical of the actions of soldiers in the field who have just been through a horrendous meat-grinding experience with their buddies being shot and blown to pieces. You dont know how youre going to react until youve been there. I know that I never killed any prisoners or wounded.
TNA: Both in the book and the movie, your commitment and your promise to your men, to bring them all home, dead or alive, comes through very strongly. Was that Army doctrine or was that purely Hal Moore?
Moore: No, that was not Army doctrine. I was very close to my men. When we were ordered to Vietnam in August 1965, I had been training my battalion for 14 months. I knew all my NCOs, my sergeants. We trained together intensely. We trusted each other, knew our lives depended on each other. We were a family of fighting men. Before we left for Vietnam, I gathered all my men on the parade ground at Ft. Benning, Georgia, just like in the movie, and I told them that were going into battle far from home against a tough enemy on his own turf. I told them: "Some of us are going to die maybe me, certainly some of you. But I promise you this: If you go down, Im going to bring you back. And if I go down, I hope you bring me back." In later years, Ive had many of my troopers tell me that that promise meant a great deal to them and helped them in battle, because they knew if they went down that they would not be left lying on the ground for the vultures, insects, and weather, but would be brought back to their families for burial. And I never lost a man in two wars, Korea or Vietnam. After the Ia Drang battle, I was promoted, made commander of a brigade of 3,000 men. We lost a man on the Bong Son Plain. He got separated from his unit. I turned out the whole brigade and we hunted for him for two days. We finally found him; he was dead, but we brought him home.
TNA: Hollywood films rarely treat Christianity favorably or depict main characters who are men and women of faith. We Were Soldiers features several scenes of you praying: with your children; with one of your soldiers; over your battlefield dead. As a soldier, was your faith and prayer important to you?
Moore: My prayer before going into battle was always for two things: I asked God to help me accomplish my mission and to accomplish it with as few as possible of my men getting killed and wounded.
I served as the Executive Officer to then-Gen. Moore in Korea in 1969-70. During my service, Mrs. Moore had to return to the States due to the illness of her father. Gen. Moore asked me to “house sit” at his quarters to make sure all went well with his children. I can tell you from personal knowledge there was no finer lady on this Earth than Julie Moore. Gen. Moore was the leader of the family, but Julie Moore was the foundation of the family. She was one of the most wonderful women I have ever met. I did not know of of death until today (2/22/09). I am deeply sorry and I send my deepest sympathies (albeit belated to Gen. Moore and their children.)