SD Vietnam War Memorial Dedication Please Support the Memorial Soldiers, Heroes, and teachers information



In Memory of U.S. Army SFC

Ronald LeRoy Reil

Wilmot, South Dakota, Roberts County

 May 15, 1926 - September 21, 1968

KIA Pleiku, South Vietnam

Ronald LeRoy Reil was born in Milbank, South Dakota, on May 15, 1926, to John and Hazel (Jonkers) Reil. Ronald had only one older brother, Roland. Ronald attended school at Geneseso 1 Public School where he completed grammar school. Ronald loved to hunt and fish. At the age of 17, on May 21, 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served until March 31, 1947. When he was discharged from the Navy he returned home and on September 30, 1947 married Frances Dargatz. The young couple then farmed for seven years northwest of Wilmot, South Dakota. Ronald and Frances had seven children, Ronald, Randolph (Randy), Robert, Ronda, Rayburn, Rockford, and Robin.

In February of 1955 Ronald re-enlisted in the U.S. Army. Sergeant First Class Reil was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Hood, Texas; and Fort Lewis, Washington. While he was stationed in Fort Lewis, he was sent TDY to Alaska for 90 days. While there he had a chance to go salmon fishing. SFC Reil caught about a 15-pound salmon, which was the biggest fish he had ever caught. He brought the fish back to camp to brag about how big it was, only to find out that was normal for salmon. SFC Reil did three tours in Germany before being sent to Vietnam on April 4, 1968. He was assigned to Company A, 70th Combat Engineer Battalion, 18th Engineer Brigade, stationed at Pleiku, South Vietnam.

SFC Ronald LeRoy Reil was killed when he was hit by a piece of sharpnel during a mortar attack in the early morning hours of September 21, 1968. On Sunday, September 22, personnel from the Webster National Guard 147th Headquarters informed his family as they were leaving church that their father had been killed in action. The hardest part was that every day for about a week they would receive tapes and letters from him, and on September 30th his wife received an anniversary card.

SFC Ronald LeRoy Reil was buried in the Garfield Cemetery in Wilmot, South Dakota. His name can be found on Panel 43W, Row 057 on the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

SFC Ronald Leroy Reil left behind his wife Frances (who is now deceased) and six children: Ronald, Garden City, South Dakota; Randolph (Randy) Watertown, South Dakota; Robert, Rapid City, South Dakota; Ronda Thompson, South Shore, South Dakota; Rockford (Rocky), Wichita, Kansas, and Robin Callan, Toronto, South Dakota.


Rayleen Rathbun, 7th grade, Stanley Count Middle School, Fort Pierre, South Dakota, respectfully submitted this entry. Mr. Randy Reil, Watertown, South Dakota, son to SFC Ronald Reil provided information.


State of South Dakota Main Web site    |     SD Department of Military (site coming soon) and Veterans Affairs

Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce Web site


Copyright 2005 State of South Dakota - Bureau of Administration
All Rights Reserved

Free DHTML scripts provided by

Dynamic Drive

Photos courtesy of the U.S. Army, the National Archives and Records Administration,
the Dedication Committee, and veterans who have submitted their photos for use
in conjunction with the Vietnam War Memorial Dedication.

Music "Mod Indigo" licensed by the State of South Dakota from
Freeplay Music

 free script provided by JavaScript Kit