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.