On pay day Nov. 1, 1969, Green Beret Gunther Wald could not play in his favorite pay-day pot-limit poker game because he was preparing to launch with his team into Laos for a top secret mission as the team leader of Reconnaissance Team (RT) Maryland, based at Da Nang, Command and Control North (CCN) base for another mission during the eight-year secret war fought during Vietnam War.

As we walked through the white sand at CCN from the Mess Hall, the then-staff sergeant told me that he couldn’t play poker, but taunted me to be sure to win a lot money so he could win it from me when he returned from this mission.

Tragically, none of the three Green Berets on RT Maryland, Wald, Sgt. Bill Brown and Sp4 Don Shue, returned from that mission on Nov. 3, 1969.

On Aug. 30, 43 years later, at Arlington National Cemetery, the remains of those three Special Forces soldiers will be interred with full military honors, together for eternity in the hallowed grounds of Arlington.