Remembering Jess Burton Boicourt Jr.: A Memorial Day Tribute


Memorial Day is a time to honor and remember the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. This year, I visited The Wall of Faces, a site dedicated to those who gave all in Vietnam. Among the many heroes, I chose one person at random to highlight and this turned out to be Jess Burton Boicourt Jr., known to his friends and family as “Rusty.” His story of bravery and dedication is a testament to our countries heroes, and I wanted to share his legacy with you.

Early Life and Background

Jess Burton Boicourt Jr. was born on October 23, 1945 to Jess Burton Boicourt and Pauline Mary Marsh and lived in Nampa, Idaho.  He grew up with a strong sense of duty and responsibility, qualities that were evident in his decision to join the Marine Corps. Rusty enlisted in September 1966, not only to serve his country but also to support his divorced mother and younger brother, John.

Military Service and Operations

After completing boot camp in San Diego with Platoon 1128, Rusty became a Mortar Man (MOS 0341). He arrived in Vietnam on March 28, 1967, as a member of H&S Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines (1/9). Rusty’s time in Vietnam was marked by participation in numerous operations:

  • Operation Chinook II
  • Operation Prairie IV
  • Operation Cimarron
  • Operation Buffalo
  • Operation Fremont
  • Operation Kingfisher
  • Operation Kentucky
  • Operation Neosho I
  • Operation Scotland
  • Battle of Khe Sanh

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Tragically, Rusty’s service was cut short during the Battle of Khe Sanh in the Quang Tri province. On March 11, 1968, just days before completing one year in Vietnam, Rusty was killed by mortar fire. His sacrifice is a poignant reminder of the cost of war and the bravery of those who serve.

Honors and Recognition

Rusty’s dedication and bravery did not go unnoticed. He was posthumously awarded several honors, including:

  • Purple Heart (x2)
  • Navy Presidential Unit Citation
  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
  • Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
  • Combat Action Ribbon
  • Vietnam Service Medal (x3)
  • Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation
  • Navy Presidential Unit Citation

These awards reflect Rusty’s valor and the high regard in which he was held by his comrades and superiors.

Remembering Rusty

Rusty’s memory lives on through the stories shared by those who knew him. One comment on his memorial page captures his spirit perfectly: “Rusty was a proud, squared away guy who respected everyone he met. He joined the Corps to help his divorced mother financially so she could raise his brother John. He loved my mom’s fried oysters and came for dinner the week before he was deployed to Nam. RIP Brother.”

Why We Remember

Memorial Day is not just a holiday; it’s a solemn reminder of the sacrifices made by soldiers like Rusty. His story is a testament to the bravery, selflessness, and love for country that define our armed forces. As we enjoy our freedoms, let us remember the cost at which they come and honor the memories of those who gave their all.

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I wonder if Robin Ware/Robert L. Peters/JRB Ware/Pedo Peter/idiot Biden will spend Memorial Day making up a new death scenario for Beau and looking at his watch for when he can leave for the beach?

HAD 3 friends in 7th Marines fighting at Khe. Tense is right; all gone! GOOD MEN!

OOOOOOOO-Rah Devil Dog.