DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
BURNET — Despite the unpopularity of the Vietnam War among some people during the late 1960s, Burnet teenager Patrick Michael Goble didn’t see it that way. While he might not have fully understood the things that led to the war, he knew the importance of service to his country.
With the war still waging overseas, Goble joined the U.S. Marine Corps.
“He joined the Marines because he wanted to help keep this country safe. He died doing that,” said Carole Goble, a relative by marriage. “Mike, as he was called, was a very well-liked young man and popular with classmates.”
Goble was the son of Burnet resident Louie Goble. This line of Gobles settled in Texas in 1872, making him a fourth-generation Texan. His love for his community and country prompted the teen to join the USCM.
After basic training, Mike was assigned to G Company of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines of the 1st Marine Division. He started his Vietnam tour Feb. 1, 1968.
On May 4, 1968, the unit along with other Marine units joined in Operation Allen Brook in the Quang Nam Province of South Vietnam. During this period and the time leading up to the operation, both the Marines and enemy fighters were getting ready to square off against each other.
While the area was relatively open, the Marines found themselves fighting against an enemy who knew the area, often utilizing fortified structures to their advantage.
Goble was a rifleman with the company, so he was usually in harm’s way. On May 7, 1968, Goble and others with him encountered small arms fire. At one point, he was struck and died.
Goble was 18.
“Family and friends still miss him every day and are proud of him and his dedication to duty,” Carole Goble said. Carole Goble’s husband, Bill, who was Mike’s cousin, was also a Marine in Vietnam at the time of Mike’s death. Bill Goble was present when military officials loaded Mike’s body for the trip back to Burnet.
In Burnet, after his body’s return to his hometown, then-Burnet mayor J.B. McDuff issued a proclamation honoring Mike Goble for his sacrifice and declaring a day of mourning in memory of the teenager.
He is buried in the Burnet Cemetery.