Lance Corporal Louis Cussins

A young Lance Corporal arrived in South Vietnam. They assigned him to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Third Marine Amphibious Force. This young eighteen-year-old’s unit got sent to the Quang Tri Province. During his short time in the military, he received numerous commendations and awards. On that sad day in February 1968, he died from his wounds.

Louis Wade Cussins was born five years before me in several states away. I never knew of his existence until I saw his name listed on the Vietnam memorial. Still out of respect for his service and sacrifice, I spent several solemn moments standing before his name.

I have family members with history scattered across the United States. A lot of the family members only know about each other through Facebook and other family members. I have always been told the uniqueness of the way our last name spelling C.U.S.S.I.N.S. makes us a direct relation.

Call it mystical or some unforeseen force that guides us all. Several years ago, I became interested in a group of soldiers from Quang Tri Province, near Da Nang Vietnam. I have since written several stories about that group of soldiers. Then when I visited the traveling version of the Vietnam memorial, a strange connection to the Lance Corporal came about.

My story has some variations from actual people and events. I started out with the characters being Marines. Because of the timeline, I changed them to Army. The time of my writing follows months after Lance Corporal Louis Cussins’ death. While writing the first few drafts, I could visualize the terrain of Quang Tri Province.

Some may call me getting inspired by a ghost, or a traveling spirit, some may discount it as a mere coincidence. I don’t believe in coincidences. I am diligently working on taking that story through the editing process. My goal is to finish the stories and make it a tribute to Lance Corporal Cussins and the others who have survived and died for our basic freedoms.