United States Army
2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
(As related by his friend, Dave Paquet)
The 101st Airborne Division Association was created almost sixty years ago by Screaming Eagle veterans for Screaming Eagle veterans. It is now approaching 10,000 members. Their website claims their insignia to be “the most recognized division insignia in the world” and that “Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle”. Glenn Hoppert was an Eagle.
He was a former president of the Association’s Washington, D.C. area chapter. In 2002 he co-chaired the 50th Airborne anniversary reunion in Washington at which he received the 502nd Infantry Regiment Distinguished Member of the Regiment (DMOR) award. The award recognizes “the special place in regimental continuity, tradition and esprit de corps” for those selected.
Glenn was born in Baltimore, Maryland on February 6, 1947. He attended Baltimore schools and graduated from Baltimore City College. He enlisted in the Army and volunteered for the Airborne. By all accounts, he was an exemplary individual.
He was awarded both the Bronze Star and Silver Star for combat heroism. He joined the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department after completing his military service, including one year in Vietnam, and rose to the rank of Commander, Criminal Investigations Division. He retired from that position in 1998 after serving as president of the Metropolitan Police Officials Association, which represents the D.C. department’s ranking officers, from 1988 to 1992.
His Silver Star award citation reads as follow:
For gallantry in action against a hostile force on 13 January 1967 in the vicinity of Kontum, Republic of Vietnam. Specialist Hoppert was serving as a member of the point lead element while the company was moving along a ridgeline, toward high ground. Specialist Hoppert suddenly detected an enemy ambush, established along the intended route of travel. Without concern for his own safety, Specialist Hoppert charged the enemy position and killed one of the enemy soldiers, causing the remainder to flee. After the company had traveled forward a short distance, it was brought under a tremendous volume of fire from an entrenched enemy
element of estimated squad size. On the initial burst of fire, the command element of the company was pinned down. Reacting quickly and with disregard for his own safety, Specialist Hoppert charged through intense enemy fire and placed effective fire into the enemy position. As he neared the position, he threw a grenade and killed four more enemy soldiers and caused the remaining enemy to retreat. Specialist Hoppert’s valorous actions resulted in the destruction of the two enemy positions, five enemy killed and the saving of several American lives. Specialist Hoppert’s outstanding display of gallantry in action and his avid devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
His Bronze Star award citation describes a similar action on September 19, 1966. His former company commander in Vietnam, Michael McFadden, described Glenn this way in his nomination for the DMOR award:
Glenn spent the majority of his time on the point … where he was half of a point/slack team that has the enviable and distinguished record of NEVER … yes NEVER … having allowed those who followed him to be ambushed, surprised by enemy fire, nor come in contact with undiscovered booby traps …. Glenn was the sort of young man who possessed a certain maturity and quiet confidence that made him a role model and informal leader … one of the troopers within the ranks who hold everyone together as the potential danger increases. The other troopers strove to meet the intelligent, tough, warrior standard he exhibited. In a unit where mutual respect flowed strongly between all ranks, Glenn was a man among men …
Glenn Hoppert died of colon cancer on June 17, 2005. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
Dave Paquet, a friend of Glenn, organized a memorial service for Glenn at the Worcester County Veterans Memorial at Ocean Pines on September 24, 2005. The memorial tributes to Glenn include the following:
I only knew Glenn for a short period of time. In that time, I knew Glenn to be a gentleman, an excellent golfer, and when I heard about his war record, he was indeed an American hero. I am thankful to Glenn for protecting our freedom and the American way of life. May he be remembered here in this memorial among the other veterans who have served our country bravely and honorably. Susan and I feel privileged to have known him.
– Joe Pantone
My Friend Glenn
Glenn had just retired from the DC police force,
He was a quiet kind of guy who I met on the golf course.
We quickly became good friends,
Playing golf and reminiscing about life trends.
Police work, Vietnam, divorce, and golf were the norm,
For a couple of guys who shared similar storms.
You could see that he tried to take things in stride,
However, you knew that he held a lot of things inside.
His golf was pure on most of his rounds,
He always kept his feet on the ground.
He often mentioned Donna, Steven and Darren with pride,
About promotion, tragedy, adventure and went along for the ride.
His battle with cancer was a courageous one,
However, a battle that could not have been won.
He was a good husband, father and friend,
And will always be remembered as a man called Glenn.
– Dave Paquet
USMC chaplain Father Dennis Edward O’Brien is a Guadalcanal veteran of WWII, 11th Marines and the chaplain for the 1st Marine Division Association penned this most appropriate tribute to veterans like Glenn.
It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier, who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.
For Those That Fought For It, Freedom Has a Taste And A Meaning, The Protected Will Never Know – 101st Airborne Division Association website