Skip to comments.Vietnam Vet In Famous Photo Dies
Posted on 12/27/2005 3:54:33 PM PST by lunarbicep
Another South Dakota soldier has died. But he was a veteran of another war in another time. If you don't recall the name, Perry Shinneman, there's a good chance you'll recognize a photograph of him.
Vietnam. It was America's longest war and most controversial. Not only did we lose over 58,000 dead, there were three times that many wounded including 30-year-old Marine Lance Corporal, Perry Shinneman of Sioux Falls.
He'd already been awarded a purple heart after being injured in battle but his war came to an end in 1966 near DaNang when he was nearly ripped in half by a Viet Cong booby trap. After four months in the hospital, and minus one leg, he arrived home on a rainy day where he was greeted by his wife, Shirley.
Perry Shinneman said, (2004) "She came running out and I grabbed her and when I grabbed her, my crutch fell so I hung on."
The emotional and poignant moment was captured on film by Argus Leader photographer, Ray Mews. It was soon circulating in magazines and newspapers all over the world and came to symbolize the whole Vietnam experience. It also made Shinneman something of a reluctant celebrity.
Perry Shinneman, said, (2004) "This is what they tried to portray me as the big war hero and i'm not. I was just one of the injured."
Schinneman went on to serve a long career in corrections and was a tireless volunteer at the Vet's center. Eight years ago the other person in the picture, his beloved Shirley, died of a heart attack. In the years since, he's suffered several health setbacks including a broken pelvis after a fall in late October, congestive heart failure in November.
And this last Sunday, Christmas day, with his daughter, Shayleen at his hospital bedside, Perry Shinneman, died of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 70 years old.
Shinneman eventually became comfortable with his famous photograph especially after learning just how many people had been inspired by it. Perhaps he realized too that it was a part of him that will live forever.
Funeral services for Perry Shinneman will be 1:30 Thursday at the Chapel Hill Funeral home in Sioux Falls.
R.I.P. and God bless you brave soldier
He was a hero after all.
Marines are not soldiers.
Rest with the Lord.
Very touching. He sounds like a good man. God bless his family.
I don't remember ever seeing that photo before. It's incredible!
From the halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli,
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea.
First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean,
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marines.
Our flag's unfurl'd to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far-off northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes,
You will find us always on the job
The United States Marines.
Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.
He should be comfortable with it. God bless him and his family.
Sometimes, like this, it doesn't matter ......
Bite me, and this was the wrong thread to say that.
RIP to a great Marine.
You're in big, big trouble now! Suit up!
God bless his soul.
Real heroes don't brag. They just do what needs to be done and go on.
I will make him an honorary member of our members of the "Big Hanger in the Sky" at www.longthanhnorthaaf.com. RIP Brother
Squids rule! "
He certainly does sound like an exceptional guy.But then,his wife certainly sounds like an exceptional woman as well.Her having stuck with him is,IMO,an act of true love *and* bravery.
May they both rest with God!
Thanks for posting this.
During the "end of the millenium" time period, I browsed a "century of
photographs" website (by AP?).
There were some fantastic photos...but this was the keeper.
And lacking much caption, I always wondered what happened to the couple.
Marine, not soldier.
"No, but they are closet homosexuals.
What a genuinely sensitive human being you
are. Thank you for being born and for being
such a great gift to humanity. You couldn't
have posted a more appropriate response in
such a time as this--and all to show what a
marvelous wit and sense of humor you have.
Please tell you parents and your family "thank
you" from all of us. If you EVER need anything
from any of us, please let us know. I'm sure
we all are grateful that you would simply call
on us to meet the needs of one of the great human
beings of the world.
(I have not served. My tagline honors my son and my cousin.)
Thank God for the Moderator. I was about to be profane in a personal attack there and threaten some violence.
Thank you Moderator for helping keep me on the good side.
Please repost this thread so that all comments can be erased that are here.
Tell the Moderator that is why you reposted the thread.
God Bless our Vietnam Vets
I respectfully disgree with him, he was indeed a hero. I've never seen that photo before. God bless and keep him. He's finally back with his wife in a better place.
GOD BLESS he and his wife.
(must be some dust or something in the air)
I remember watching, live on TV, the homecoming of the first group of POW's from Vietnam. I sat there and just cried for joy the entire time, after laughing at what the families of the soldiers did. If I'm remembering correctly, after having to listen to some politician bloviating for a bit, one of the POW's had to make a statement, but while he was doing that, the families just started running for their husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons. It was a wonderful chaos, and exactly what those men needed.
Rest in peace brother. Tell God to send more like you, we need them.
Prayers and condolences to your family.
Only true in a very narrow sense. I always find it awkward to hear Marines called soldiers, but in only a slightly broader sense of the word, they are.
Besides, the modern Marine Corps functions as light assault infantry. They don't stand in the halyards and fire muskets at the capt'n on the deck of the enemy ship.
Me, too. That's why I posted what I did. Ain't trying to be snotty or nuthin. The average person may not know that. Since I was both a Marine in the USMC and a soldier in the U.S. Army, I have a little bit of knowledge on the subject. Marines shouldn't be called soldiers any more than sailors or airmen are, no matter what their function was.
Thank you for pointing this out to me. I have learned something new. I have the greatest respect and appreciation for all members of our armed services and always wish to address appropriately.
He is whole once again.
Too often, a hero is simply the last guy left standing; or, in the words of Pogo when answering the comment, "Pity the people without a hero," calmly said, "Pity the people who need one."
GOD BLESS THE MARINES!
One day, after my wife and I had been married awhile, she referred to my father as a "rubberneck". When we stopped laughing we explained that the term was leatherneck.
You said it better than I did. Thank you.
Did she also call him a "bottlehead"? ";^)
You've got to do something about that tag line. Not all of us that came of age in the '60s were like that. In fact, I rather suspect that I am definitely in the majority. I think we've discussed this before.
Your post reminded me of another fairly well known photo out of Vietnam. The fellow with the chest wound is Eugene Hodges of Lufkin, Texas, my neighbor and acquaintance in the 1960s. His family lived about four homes down from my family on what is now Brentwood Drive. Unfortunately, Eugene died from the wounds he received that day. It nearly destroyed his parents when they first saw the photo in, I believe Life Magazine, because it was published about the same time as Eugene's funeral. A short story of the photo can be found at http://digitaljournalist.org/issue0107/ss08.htm.
"Marines are a department in the Navy".
No way, Jose! The Marines are a separate Independent Service in the Department of the Navy.
Yes, the MENS department...
Yes, the MEN'S DEPARTMENT