The Passing of LTC (Ret) James (Jim) L. Pritchett, Golden Brigade Chapter Secretary and Quartermaster.
I had the privilege of knowing Jim for much too short a time. Jim deployed with us in 1968 as Platoon Leader of the 358th Radio Research Unit but I meet him years later at an 82nd Convention.Â The 358th was a little known secret unit that monitored enemy radio and Morse code commo to pin point where the VC and NVA were located. Jim retired after almost 30 years in the Army but he was most proud of his service with the 82nd in Vietnam. I always kidded him and referred to him as Robert E. Lee II because of his soft southern Virginia accent and gray beard.
Jim passed away from a massive heart attack and never suffered â€“ which is a good thing.Â He left behind a devoted wife, Marie, and a loving family devastated by his sudden departure to the big drop zone in the sky.Â Almost as important, he left behind a community that loved him as well.Â After his retirement he volunteered for every organization that he could â€“ the Boy Scouts, American Legion, DAV, an organization for homeless Veterans, and the Golden Brigade Chapter. Marie was his every present â€œstaff memberâ€ who supported him in every way that she could.Â The myth was that he would propose a project and she would say â€œOKâ€.Â Jim, I donâ€™t know how you did it but you should have canned it and sold it when you were alive.
His funeral services were jammed to the point that the Funeral Home was overflowing and people were standing outside the door to say goodbye. People came from all over to pay their respects to a very fine person.Â Many tears were shed including mine.Â
Jim Littig and I brought the chapter colors and his unit guidon to the funeral to honor him.Â A Golden Brigade challenge coin was also placed on his chest to take with him to challenge Saint Peter- maybe heâ€™ll get a cold beer out of it when he slams his coin on the counter!
Jim, you will be missed but not forgotten â€“ you were my friend. â€œYou done good!â€
In Honor and Tribute,
Â Richard F. Oâ€™Hare