Karl Lowe's passing

After the war the 6/31st was reborn at Ft. Irwin as part of the 7th Division and existed until 1988. There has been recent interest in a reunion.
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Delta75
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Karl Lowe's passing

Postby Delta75 » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:58 pm

Dan Wood has informed us that Karl Lowe, the Delta Commanding Officer in 1970, as well as the heart and soul of the 31st Regiment Association, passed away this morning. As one would expect, Karl fought a brave fight against his brain cancer, but in the end, it finally took him to join his Brothers on the other side. Please pray for his family. At this point, I do not know anything as to the schedule for his services.
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Re: Karl Lowe's passing

Postby Niner Delta » Fri Nov 07, 2014 6:31 pm

I was long gone by the time he took command of Delta, so I never got to meet the man.
But I offer my sincerest condolences to his family and friends.
Vern

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Re: Karl Lowe's passing

Postby Ron Heinzel » Sat Nov 08, 2014 2:29 pm

God Bless You Karl
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Re: Karl Lowe's passing

Postby Delta75 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:38 pm

Email from Karl's son Kris,

Thank you for the outpouring of support that we have received over the last 7 months. We have been comforted by your kind words of encouragement, your shoulder to cry on, and your memories of what my father meant to your life.

There will be two services to honor my father:

The first will be a Memorial Service on Sunday, Nov 16, at 3 p.m. at Fairfax Memorial, 9902 Braddock Road, Fairfax, VA 22032

The second will be held in the next couple of months (date and details to be determined) when my father will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. I will send an update once all details are finalized.

All are welcome to attend either or both services. If you would like to share a story or speak at either service please send me an email.

We are looking forward to celebrating the life of Karl Heinz Lowe with you. Please feel free to forward this email to those that I may have missed.

Pro Patria

Respectfully,

Kris Lowe

krislowe75@gmail.com

703-915-1918

http://www.linkedin.com/in/krislowe/

My parents address is:

Sandra Lowe

5101 Portsmouth Road

Fairfax VA 22032
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Re: Karl Lowe's passing

Postby jbayer » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:50 am

I'm flying to D.C. to attend the memorial service and will offer my personal tribute to Karl. I want be there to help celebrate the life and legacy of a truly fine man.
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Re: Karl Lowe's passing

Postby Niner Alpha » Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:30 pm

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Re: Karl Lowe's passing

Postby jbayer » Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:27 pm

I attended the memorial service for Karl Lowe last Sunday in Fairfax, VA. Karl's three children offered moving tributes to their father, and the chapel was filled with many other relatives, friends, colleagues and comrades whom Karl had touched in his life. His is my own tribute to him that I read:

Good afternoon,
First, I want to express my deepest condolences to Sandy and the rest of the Lowe family. You have lost a good and kind man, a man of principle and integrity. Like everyone gathered here today, I also want to celebrate Karl Lowe’s life and legacy. As I reminded Karl this past July when my wife and I visited him and Sandy, “you have touched the lives of many, many people in your time, and they are the better for it.” I also reminded him that, for some of us, he didn’t just touch our lives, he saved them.
After the more than forty years I knew Karl, it still seems strange that his life path and mine would have crossed. From the start, Karl was destined to become a career soldier, a man committed to duty, honor and country. My goals were quite different. I went to college to become a teacher, and it never occurred to me that the military would be in my future. But in 1967, when Karl was on his first tour in Vietnam, I lost my student draft deferment and decided my best option was to complete ROTC training while I was in graduate school at the University of Missouri. Two years later I had a master’s degree and a commission as a second lieutenant. Most of the newly-minted lieutenants in my commissioning class drew infantry slots, but someone up the personnel chain of command apparently decided my degree in British literature was a good match for the field artillery. So off I went to Ft. Sill.
In early 1970, my next stop was the 90th Replacement Battalion at Long Binh. From there I was assigned to the 2/4th Artillery in the 9th Division and then attached to Delta Company, 6/31th Infantry as a forward observer. My new boss was Captain Karl Lowe, who had recently taken over as company commander. I was immediately impressed with Karl for several reasons. First, he was experienced (he was on his second tour). Second, he was knowledgeable (he spoke Vietnamese). Third, and most important, he was a true leader (he didn’t need to bully people to get them to follow orders). For a new guy, an amateur soldier like me, Karl was the consummate professional.
Centuries ago, the Chinese warrior-philosopher Sun Tzu summed up military leadership in this way: “Leadership [he wrote] is a matter of intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage, and sternness.” These are qualities that Karl carried at his core. It was easy to follow him because he always led from the front, setting an example for every troop in the company. Unlike many of us, he didn’t smoke and he didn’t drink. Even under the toughest circumstances he stayed focused and made sure the mission at hand was accomplished.
In May the 6/31st was sent into Cambodia for a follow-on operation after an ARVN armor assault into the Parrot’s Beak. The night before we were to chopper in, Karl briefed the platoon leaders and me about the operation. The other butter bars and I were surprised and didn’t know what to expect, but we all knew that we would be in capable hands after we crossed the border. Our biggest battle was at Chantrea village, where Delta and other elements of the 6/31st went up against a battalion of NVA. The next day, after some of the surviving NVA escaped down the trail to another village, Delta pursued and made contact. I was with the company command element when we started taking fire, and from that point on Karl was seemingly everywhere coordinating our attack on some well-concealed bunkers. After about three hours we finally broke contact when an errant gunship rocket landed on top of us. We had been holding our own up to that point because of the extraordinary courage and determination of a core group of Delta men. After the Cambodia operation, Karl made sure that all of them were decorated for their valor. He was awarded the Silver Star and should have gotten another purple heart, but I think he might have passed on that. Karl was that kind of leader—modest, unassuming and concerned first and foremost about the welfare of his troops.
Karl always kept his cool under fire, and he could also keep his cool when the brass showed up. One incident at FSB Gettysburg will show what I mean. Gettysburg was a postage-stamp-size outpost a few kilometers from the Cambodian border in the middle of a vast swampy area called the Plain of Reeds. All essentials were brought in by air transport, and we certainly didn’t have any hooch maids to clean up after us. On this particular day Karl had decided he needed to do some laundry. He had just hung all his fatigues out to dry when there was commotion down at the landing pad. A chopper was inbound, and it was clear this was no ordinary visit. Our brigade at that time was under the operational control of the 25th Division, and you know who had just shown up—the Commanding General—and he wanted an aerial recon of our AO. Karl had been caught out of uniform, in fact without a uniform. But orders are orders, so off he flew in the general’s bird, in his boxer shorts, to brief the big boss. He got the job done, but later he told me it was just a little brisk up there. But that was Karl, always able to roll with the punches.
After our tour in Vietnam, we all went our separate ways, but I reconnected with Karl twenty years later when I flew to Baltimore with my family for an academic conference. We drove down to Fairfax and were graciously received by Karl and Sandy. I’ll always remember Karl playing with our two-year-old son Michael. Over the years I checked in with Karl a couple of other times and then finally made it to the 31st Regiment reunion in Washington in 2012 and again last year in Dayton. My wife Peggy went with me to that reunion, and we spent some quality time with Karl and Sandy at the final banquet. I cherish that time together more than ever now. Peggy agreed that Karl looked just as he had so many years before, seemingly ageless.
Some of you here today are brothers from the 31st Regiment, and I’m sure you would agree that Karl’s commitment as regimental historian and senior director speaks volumes about the kind of man he was. He was a take-charge guy who never shrank from the responsibilities and challenges of leadership. I knew many officers during my time in the Army, but none of them could compare with Karl Lowe. He was the finest soldier I knew and one of the finest men I have ever been blessed to call a friend.
I will miss him.
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Re: Karl Lowe's passing

Postby Delta75 » Thu Nov 20, 2014 5:05 pm

John...thank you very much for this excellent tribute to Karl. It is an understatement when I say that he will be missed.

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