RONALD JOSEPH BONERT was born on May 22, 1946 and joined the Armed Forces while in Chicago, IL. He served as a 11B40 in the Army. In 1 year of service, he attained the rank of SGT/E5. He began a tour of duty on July 21, 1966. On June 14, 1967, at the age of 21, Ronald Joseph Bonert perished in the service of our country in South Vietnam, Pleiku. You can find Ron honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Panel 21E, Row 100.
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You In My Daughter's Eyes
I was just
an infant when you died
touched my parents' soul
wonder, joy, and love;
Ron Coon -Ron Bonert was wounded June 2nd 1967. He died from wounds about 12 days later. SGT Bonert was on his last mission that day he and Harmon were going home as soon as we got in. I was in the Hospital in Pleiku for one day before I was Medivac'ed out of country I got to talk a bit with Ron and I thought that he would be OK. When I got back in country and found that he had died, it hit me pretty hard. We were denied extraction that day by an Infantry Battalion Comander and left out there for over 5 hours while the NVA set up all around us. No one should have died that day. Ron was a good team leader and a decent fellow. I think of him always.
Mike Lapolla -Ron was one of the first volunteers for our LRRP unit in 1967. He was quiet, confident, reliable, likeable and one good soldier. When he and Dan Harmon were fatally wounded, it upset many of us. Although we accepted difficult missions, we had a record of having not lost a man in seven months. Ron and Dan volunteered for a mission that they did not have to accept - and were lost upon being extracted when their mission was completed. It is that selfless sacrifice that we remember always.
After 36 years, I re-established contact with the Harmon and Bonert families in the Spring of 2003. Barbara Bonert Badr and Joan Bonert are a delightful mother and daughter who have remained loyal to Ron's memory over all these years. The Harmon family reunited last Summer in Alaska for the first time since they buried Dan 37 years ago. Their gravesite ceremony on June 6, 2003 was special.
Bob Smyers - Ron was one of the "Elite", who of his own accord did volunteer for one of the most dangerous units to serve with, The Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol. Why, why did he do this? I am sure he had his reason(s). For sure, one reason was a sense of mission. He felt this to be best way to serve his country and make it a little safer for many soldiers, soldiers that would never know the great contribution he made. Ron had a calling and he answered. He was a young good looking sergeant that was full of life. He made his rank in one year of service. This tells he was a serious person with leadership qualities. These qualities where honed as he preformed many dangerous missions. These missions would lead him deep into enemy held territory, to obtain information that would enable commanders to better plan large operations. He was respected by his fellow soldiers. Ron was on his final mission and had just days before going home and that was exciting to him. But he and his four man team found they were surrounded by a large unit of the North Vietnams Army, and remain unspotted for five hours. The attempt to extract the team with an armor unit would prove to be fatal. They were ambushed two wounded, one dead.
Danny Harmon ( his close friend ) was killed in action trying to get to Ron, that was seriously wounded. These two were really close and like Ron was going home after this mission. The team was finally extracted. He was hospitalized from serious wounds. It was thought he would be okay, however, Ron was so grieved by Danny's death knowing ,the love Danny had for him.. This was overwhelming and very sad. The grief perhaps is the reason he died twelve days later, seems he just gave up. He was truly loved by the men of the 2nd brigade LRRP, 4th infantry division and each of us was blessed by his presence. Farwell my brother. You may be gone but you will always be in our hearts to the end. Lord, we know your angels were with Ron at the moment You called him home, his heavenly home. Why so young? We have no answer, but trust he is dwelling in paradise with you, just as describe in Your Word.". We thank you for men and women like our brother, who thought it not too much to give his life for another to live....... Lord, this day give comfort to those loved ones that have been all these years without him. Help them to know he is at rest with you and "Warriors" of like kind. May we never forget our freedoms were bought by the blood of others. We thank you God for allowing those of us that knew Ron, the chance to share part of his life. His foot prints will always remain in our heart. We give thanks, in JESUS NAME.