Sergeant Patrick Hanson Childson, U.S.M.C. Ret., born Nov. 1, 1946, passed away Jan. 8, 2017, due to Agent Orange related causes, at his ranch in Christmas Valley, Lake County, Ore.
Patrick honorably served his country from Nov. 26, 1963 to Nov. 16, 1974. A highly decorated Viet Nam veteran, he was one of the first U.S. combat marines to go ashore in the Viet Nam fighting. He was with a marine detachment sent from Okinawa to Viet Nam on Jan. 21, 1965 to help guard the Da Nang Air Base. Until mid-March, 1965 his unit was the only combat marine unit in country, at which time they moved away from the base and entered jungle combat-fighting as five to ten man units.
An automatic rifleman and sniper, he was a Force-Recon Marine, attached to Infantry Platoon 387, of the First Battalion, Third Marine Division – Re-enforced, D Company, of the 9 Marine Expeditionary Brigade. This was one of the first two battalions deployed to the Republic of Viet Nam and the last to come out of Viet Nam as an intact unit.
Sgt. Childson was one of the first marines to come home, to Salem, Ore. alive. His unit received a Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty in action against the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong forces, in the Republic of Viet Nam operating in the far northern-most provinces during the period of March 8, 1965 thru Sept. 15, 1967.
Among his many medals, Sergeant Childson received the Combat Action Ribbon; Good Conduct Medal with three bronze stars; National Defense Service Medal; Special recognition of military service in Viet Nam by General W.C. Westmoreland; U.S. Army, commanding. Republic of Viet Nam Meritorious Unit Citation: Gallantry Cross Color; Republic of Viet Nam Campaign Medal; Viet Nam Service Medal with two bronze stars and a certificate of appreciation from the Director of the Da Nang Hospital and the Mayor of the city of Da Nang.
Upon returning to Camp Pendleton, Calif. he played Taps for many Viet Nam Soldiers’ Military Funerals.
Sgt. Childson spent the rest of his military career as a military police officer and C.I.D. He was the first marine to qualify expert with all military issued weapons, consistently, for ten years; since W.W. II.
As a civilian, Patrick continued to serve the citizens of The United States of America in the field of law enforcement, graduating from the Oregon Police Academy in 1978, class No. 77. He obtained the rank of Sergeant on multiple departments across the country and was an experienced K-9 handler and instructor.
He served in many departments including, Oregon: Mount Angel Police Department; Willamina Police Department; Douglas County Sheriff’s Department; Nevada: Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department;, Winnemucca Police Department; Florida: Patrick served as an independent K-9 Unit Instructor for the Sarasota County Sheriffs K-9 program and as a reserve for the Key West Police Department.
Patrick was one of the most qualified dog training instructors in the country, training both handler and dog in the fields of obedience; Schutzhund; K-9 (police and military); security; guard and personal protection. He instructed and trained Bloodhounds, as well as their handlers, in the fields of man-trailing (tracking) and search and rescue, in multiple states. He personally owned and trained Bowling Green, Kentucky’s famous and most successful man-tracking Bloodhound: Brigadeers’ Travelling Man (also known as Zeke).
In private life, Patrick served as an independent professional security specialist, high risk specialist (special services international), K-9 specialist and provided a not-for-profit, volunteer search and rescue Bloodhound service, specializing in missing persons and apprehending fugitives from Florida to Oregon. He was also a private investigator, handling high risk cases.
Upon surviving a 200 foot fall down a well shaft in Luning, Nev. in 1996, he retired to Christmas Valley, Ore. where he enjoyed his ranch, breaking and training horses and running cattle.
Sgt. Patrick Childson was preceded in death by his father, Harley H. Childson Sr. U.S. Navy, W.W. II, Pearl Harbor survivor; his mother, Ethel F. Pace-Childson; his younger brother, Harley H. Childson, Jr.; his younger sister, Twila Childson-Lee, Marion County reserve deputy and 911 dispatcher and his nephew Larry Pederson U.S. Air Force, combat veteran.
Patrick is survived by his older brother, Clayton Childson, U.S. Air Force and Army of Malott, Wash.; younger sister, Pam Childson-Pederson, Oregon State Patrol retired; Uncle Dood Pace, U.S. Army and Aunt Joanne Pace, both from Harlan County, Ky; niece Seana Callahan of Salem, Ore.; wife, Shelli A. Watson-Pointer-Childson, International Award Winning poet, U.S. Army; sons: Sergeant Tylor S. Childson, U.S. Army, Ft. Hood, Texas; Patrick H. Hamann, U.S. Army of Hesperia, Calif.; daughter, Felicia A. Fitch and son-in-law Derek P. Fitch both U.S.M.C. of Circleville, Ohio and four grand-children: Heather F. Hamann of Hesperia, Calif.; Nathan A. Fitch, Scarlet A. Fitch and Vanessa M. Fitch of Circleville, Ohio.
As per Sergeant Childson’s last wishes and directives there will be no military funeral, nor services in any form. He will be quietly interred in the military wall, at the Eagle Point Military Cemetery in southern Oregon.
In lieu of flowers or other expressions of sympathy, if you would like to do something helpful, the family asks for you to help a local veteran in Patrick’s name.
May God continue to bless this family for its’ service to our country and all those who serve and sacrifice in uniform.