Staff Sergeant James Vanbendegom
FUNERAL HOME
Proko Funeral Home
5111 60th St.
Kenosha, WI
Staff Sergeant James

VanBendegom

1948 - 2014

James 'Jim' Lee VanBendegom, 18, died July of 1967, while a POW during the Vietnam War.

A resident of Kenosha, he was born Nov. 28, 1948, the second of four sons of the late Robert Paul and Virginia VanBendegom. His father, a World War II veteran was a machinist and member of Local machinist Union 34; while his mother was a full-time home maker and exceptionally active in various functions at their family church.

As a member of Trinity Lutheran Church he attended Sunday school, sang in the youth choir, and participated in numerous youth events, such as Luther League. Upon completing required classes he was confirmed as an adult member.

He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his father, brothers and friends alike. Jim delivered newspapers for the Kenosha news, and as a high school student worked at Sunnyside Grocery store. He was known for his quite, charismatic and free-spirited demeanor especially with the numerous young ladies whom he dated.

Jim attended Kenosha Public schools, including Tremper High School until the fall of 1966. In January 1967 after volunteering for induction into the Army he received basic and advance training at Fort Jackson, S.C. as an infantryman and recoilless rifle specialist. Following a 30-day leave, he departed his Kenosha home on Father's day for Vietnam where he was assigned to 3rd platoon of B Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division. On July 12, 1967, during his unit's most costly combat engagement in Central Highlands near the Cambodian border, Jim was severely wounded and captured by enemy forces. With unverifiable information as to his fate, Jim was classified as Missing-In-Action for several years that followed. Based on circumstantial evidence in 1969, his family was informed Jim maybe alive and a Prisoner of War. In 1973, returning Prisoners of War reported Jim had died of his battle wounds in July 1967 shortly after capture while a prisoner. His remains could not be recovered at the time.

On Oct. 17, 2014, Jim's family were informed a portion of his remains had been recovered and positively identified through DNA testing. After 47 years he will be returned to Kenosha and laid to final rest with full military honors.

For his actions and personal sacrifice, he was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation, and the Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal Unit Citation, first Class. He was also awarded the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge with Recoilless Rifle Bar, and Sharpshooter Badge. While classified MIA and a POW, he was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Jim's legacy of living life to the fullest and forsaking his life in defense of his nation's values will be remembered by those whom were blessed to have known him.

Continuing to morn his loss, he is survived today by his mother Virginia; brothers, Michael (Darlene) of Madison, Wis.; Bob (Sue) and Gary of Kenosha; nieces – Kelly, Melinda, Jodi; and nephews, Jeff, Ken, David and Jim.

A graveside side service with full military honors will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 11, (Veterans Day) at 11 a.m. at Sunset Ridge Memorial Park.



Proko Funeral Home & Crematory

5111-60th Street Phone: (262) 654-3533

Visit James Online Memorial Book at:

www.prokofuneralhome.com









Published by Kenosha News from Nov. 2 to Nov. 9, 2014.
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104 Entries
God Bless the Memory and Honor of Staff Sergeant James Vanbendegom's service and sacrifice for the United States of America. Lord have mercy on the surviving family members.
Cassandra Clarke-Belgrave
November 28, 2014
Welcome home Staff Sgt James Vanbendegom RIP THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND ULTIMATE SACRIFICE GOD BLESS YOU ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
NANCY VELEZ
November 13, 2014
This story touched me greatly when I was a youth. I am glad for some closure For you. May God comfort you and give you peace.
cindy ford breed
November 11, 2014
May you rest in peace now, home at last. I wore your POW/MIA bracelet for many years until it broke (I still have it). I hope this can bring your family come peace. Thank you for your service from the Hagberg family (my grand partents lived next door to you).
Janice Hagberg
November 11, 2014
My our loving God surround you with His love and grace. May He bring you peace during this very difficult time. Jim will always remain in our hearts.
Kathy
November 11, 2014
Welcome Home Hero, may you finally Rest in Peace.
November 11, 2014
Kenosha welcomes you home Sergeant. Prayers to the family.
November 11, 2014
Welcome Home and finally RIP
William Helmick
November 11, 2014
RIP Staff Sergeant James Vanbendegom ... You will never be forgotten. Thank you for your service.
Diana Dahlberg
November 10, 2014
Thank you and rest in peace
anthony buckley
November 10, 2014
Welcome home HERO and Thank you.
Cindy Blizard
November 10, 2014
Rest in peace.
November 10, 2014
as someone sang MOMMA I"M COMING HOME ...words are hard to explain in times like this ...
squirrel w
November 10, 2014
just RIP JAMES and your family is glad your home so sad but sure it brings them joy
squirrel w
November 10, 2014
May you and yours gain the rest you all deserve. Home with family.
Denise Evans
November 10, 2014
Welcome home!! From a fello Vietnam vet!
James Hoffman
November 10, 2014
Welcome home, soldier, may you rest in peace.
Anne Vanden Broek
November 10, 2014
Thank you for your service and sacrifice. We have the watch. Far well and following seas.
Crystal Moua
November 9, 2014
As John Maxwell Edmonds said "when you go home tell them of us and say 'For your tomorrows, these gave their today' Thank you James. Rest in peace.
Gerrie - Palm Harbor FL
November 9, 2014
My heart goes out to your family. I thank him for his service and I am so glad he is home and being put to rest where he should be.
Nicole Maurer
November 9, 2014
Welcome Home Brother. May you rest in peace with all our brothers who gave their last full measure of devotion. From a fellow 4th Infantry Div. comrade, 67-68.
John Oberst
November 9, 2014
RIP
Thankful your family will have the memories of Tuesday.
November 9, 2014
VanBendegom family,My condolences. How blessed you are to have been his mom/brother.So proud of his bravery and the sacrifice he gave for our country.
We wrote while he was in Vietnam,he said he missed WI.Now he is home. Amen.
Cecelia Niccolai
Cecelia Niccolai
November 9, 2014
I am so thankful that James made it home.I thank him for his service. Virginia God Bless You and thank you for your sacrifice. May God support you and keep your family in his arms during this time.
Jane Wright-Combs
November 9, 2014
My condolences to the Family of SSG James Vanbendegom and Salute to this Soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice for his service to our Great Nation. Rest in Peace on American soil. God Bless this Soldier His Family and the U.S.A. From a Proud American and Proud member of the Warriors' Watch Riders.
David Fjeldheim
November 9, 2014
Welcome home Staff Sgt. Our nation is forever indebted to you and your family for your sacrifice to protect our freedom. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. Welcome home.
Theresa Lee
November 9, 2014
Our prayers and thoughts are with you today as James is returned home to you. He stands tall in the company of HEROES.

Joel Eaves...2nd of the 7th Cav, late '66-'67
November 9, 2014
Welcome home Thank you for your service and sacrifice.
Lynn
November 9, 2014
"You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord.Who abide in His shadow for life. Say to the Lord, My Refuge. My rock in whom I trust.And He will raise you up on eagles wings. Bear you on the breathe of dawn. Make you to shine like the sun. And hold you in the palm of His hand."
Welcome home. And may you rest in peace.
Renee' Fettinger
Renee Fettinger
November 8, 2014
Thank you for your service, rest in peace. prayers being said for the family!
November 8, 2014
Please accept my condolences. Thank you James and his family for stepping up and serving in a time when it was not popular.
Richard Simmons AXCS USN Retired Trevor,
November 8, 2014
Thank you for your service. May you rest in peace. God bless your family.
Lynn
November 8, 2014
Thank You for your servce, you were never forgoten. Welcome Home. RIP
November 8, 2014
It is going to be a true honor to escort you home on Sunday and to your final resting place on Tuesday. May God be with you always and know that you can now rest peacefully because you are home. Thank your for your service and your ultimate sacrifice to our country.

Kenosha Police Sgt. Cindy Fredericksen
November 8, 2014
Welcome Home ....I still have your POW bracelet which your brother asked me to wear.
Ed Mueller
November 7, 2014
My brother was KIA in Nam in 66, so I understand the loss, but my heart aches for you knowing that James was a POW. Thank you, James, for your service. I'm so sorry you had much to endure. I'm glad you're coming home. I hope to be there to help honor you as you go to your final rest. Rest in Peace!
Dian Chapman
November 7, 2014
Welcome home, we are so very thankful for your service. R.I.P. and God bless you.
Tom and Debbie Beales
November 7, 2014
Thank you for your service
Russ and Donna Dayton
November 7, 2014
Welcome home; thank you for your service to the USA. RIP. My prayers to the VanBendegom family.
November 6, 2014
Thank you thank you, more than we can say. Rest in peace. Jan and George Huxhold
November 6, 2014
Hey Jim look how much you've touched all these people. Welcome home.
Dennis Steinseifer
November 6, 2014
THANK YOU---GOD BLESS---R.I.P
November 6, 2014
May your Family find peace with your return..RIP,James. A fellow Viet Nam Veteran, Bob Glinski
November 6, 2014
Welcome home brother.May you rest in peace
November 6, 2014
Welcome Home Brother. SALUTE. You are home.
Phillip
November 6, 2014
Welcome home! Thank you for your service!
Gen Sterenberg
November 6, 2014
Welcome home! RIP Finally back in your hometown! I graduated from Bradford in 66.
Jim & Diane Hebert
November 6, 2014
Our condolences and prayers for the entire Vanbendegom family. Thank you, James, for your service and ultimate sacrifice for all of us. We will say an extra prayer on Thanksgiving for you.
Cathie & Fred Carrubba
November 6, 2014
Thank you for your service. May you rest in peace
Ginny Blush
November 6, 2014
Welcome home brother.
Bob
November 5, 2014
None of you will ever be forgotten as long as their are still some of here from The Nam. It could of been any of us at any time but now you are home and when I cross over, you can come with Norbert Butch Bonn who was in my Squad and is with you now also from Kenosha. I know that your family will never have complete closure in losing you but they do now that you are home.
Norman "Butch" Petit
B Co 1st Bn 5th Infantry 25th ID
Cu Chi Vietnam 1966
November 5, 2014
I send my condolences to Jame's family and friends. I thank God that he has finally been brought home and thank those who brought that about. I am so sorry for your loss. I served in the Navy 1973-77, obviously I have a special place in my heart for James and my other service brothers and sisters. God Bless you all and give you peace.
Gina Levek
November 5, 2014
RIP fellow veteran Thank you for your service.
Jack Joseph
November 5, 2014
May God continue to keep you and your family now in this time of emotional upheaval in his loving arms. Sgt. VanBendegom, you paid the ultimate sacrifice for this nation and for that I'm truly grateful to you and your family. I pray for peace, as now there may finally be closure, for the VanBendegom family at this time. May God bless you all.
November 5, 2014
So glad they fially found you. You are now with my brother Arden G. Sonnenberg
who was killed in vietnam Aug.25th. 1968.
I will be at your grave site on veterans day to say the last goodbyes to you.
LANA eDWARDS
November 5, 2014
Bob, Sue and family,
God 's peace to your family. Jim has been home with his Heavenly Father all these years, now he's finally come home to you, forever young in your hearts.
Bob and Judy Bernhardt
November 5, 2014
You have all been in our thoughts & prayers.
Paul & Debi Maerzke
November 5, 2014
Welcome Home my Brother!

Vietnam Area Veteran.
Michael Zindars
November 5, 2014
It will be an honor for me to attend your services , may god bless you , and thank you so much for your service and your sacrifice . Finally you family gets closure !
November 5, 2014
Hooah! Welcome home soldier! Good job very proud!

May the family find comfort knowing their soldier is home, in their time of mourning.
Jamie schmaling
November 4, 2014
God Bless you all at this time
Alexis
November 4, 2014
RIP You are finally home. God Bless You & your family. Thank You for your service,
Roberta Galley
November 4, 2014
Thank you for your service to and sacrifice for your country. I'm glad that your family has closure and that you are finally coming home.
C Larsen
November 4, 2014
Welcome home god bless you.
Deeanna Demoulin
November 4, 2014
Welcome Home....and Thank you for your service and sacrifice for our country. RIP
Debby Robinson
November 4, 2014
Thank you for your service. You have a grateful family and country saluting you! Rest in Peace.
November 4, 2014
may you rest in peace in Heaven ~ May you know that your death was not in "vain" You are home "
Penny
November 4, 2014
Welcome home Jim!! You were never forgotten by a grateful nation. Thank you for defending our freedoms that we all enjoy, and for your ultimate sacrifice. God bless you and your wonderful family. <3
Sharon Stein
November 4, 2014
God bless you. Thanks for your sacrifice. Prayers for your family.
Jennifer Dunlevy
November 4, 2014
Welcome home, thank you for your sacrifice. May God bless your family and friends. And hold you in his loving arms. Rest in peace.
S. Jennings
November 4, 2014
welcome home soldier...RIP...semper fi
Tony-Vietnam vet
November 4, 2014
Wow! Was only a baby. Thank you so much for your services. May you finally rest in peace.
Tricia Baldwin
November 4, 2014
After all these years you are home, hero. You were never forgotten by your family or a grateful nation. Thank you for your service and welcome home.

Rest Safely and Securely in God's Loving Arms, James.
Sandra Christensen
November 4, 2014
Thank you for your service and ultimate sacrifice. God Bless!
Meggan Flament
November 4, 2014
Rest in Peace James.
Jennifer Lynch
November 4, 2014
Salute Soldier! Welcome home, an Ia Drang survivor 1st Cav 1965.
Roger Martin
November 4, 2014
May he Rest in Peace, God Bless him...
Kathleen Romanak
November 4, 2014
I thank you for your service to this country and am glad that you have finally returned home to your family.Rest In Peace SS Vanbendegom.
Eleanor Hough
November 4, 2014
Welcome Home James. Thank You.
Dorothy Whyte
November 4, 2014
Jody Cramer
November 4, 2014
The loss never easy when our family or loved ones are the subject of such loss. My best wishes of Love and Light to all who are affected by this.
Gregory Yanasak
November 3, 2014
Thank you for your service and sacrifice. We are truly blessed that you gave of your time to serve our country. Glad you've been guided home to family and friends who continue to love and care for you and your memory. Peace
Julie & Michael Schmit
November 3, 2014
A bitter-sweet time for all the family. He was missing for so long, but in God's hands all this time. Now you are all at peace. God's blessings!
November 3, 2014
We cannot feel life's losses without first feeling the blessings of its fullness. Jim I'm sorry I never got to meet you, I know I would have loved you, you are my hero thank you for your ultimate sacrifice for us and your country. You will always hold a special place in the hearts of many. Love, Bob and Sue
Susan VanBendegom
November 3, 2014
So glad you are home. Hugs to your family and friends!
Love, Ken and Carol
November 3, 2014
I am so sorry for your loss. To have to go through this again is very hard. So I pray that god and His Angels wrap you in comfort during this time...
Diane Franklin
November 3, 2014
From a fellow 1967 Tremper classmate: welcome home Jim, you are no longer MIA. I hope this brings closure to your family and friends.
Ken Hill, Sgt. USAF
November 3, 2014
We are so sorry for your loss. We are proud of our soldiers. He is home.
Deb and Michael Donoho
November 3, 2014
You are not forgotten Brother SSG James. You are missed by this nation, but unfortunately too many don't even know. Continue your rest in piece.
Larry Ginsberg
November 3, 2014
R.I.P. Sgt. Welcome home. Prayers for you and your family.


95th Evac Hosp,Danang
Don Brewer
November 3, 2014
RIP Jim I am so glad your family has the peace of knowing you are home. You were always a good guy. Thank you for giving your life for your country.
Suzanne Miller
November 3, 2014
He is finally home - never forget our servicemen and women - POW and MIA. Blessings on your family and the ultimate sacrifice paid by your loved one. Well done, thou good and faithful servant!
K Moran
November 3, 2014
GOD BLESS THIS FAMILY AND RIP BRAVE HERO BROTHERS IN HEAVEN.
WOODY DUNCAN
November 3, 2014
Welcome Home Sergeant Vanbendegom! Thank you for your services.
Christina Blough
November 3, 2014
Condolences to the VanBendegon family. How appropriate that this young American soldier return to American soil on Veterans Day.
Bill Dermody
November 3, 2014
Welcome Back Home SIR~...Thank You for your Service~ You are a Hero! God Bless You and your family daily. Rest In Peace SIR~Denise
Denise Stevens
November 2, 2014
R. I. P. Jim.
Bill Sorensen
November 2, 2014
I was in HHC 1/12 firing 4.2 mortars for B Company July 12, 1967. I am praying with and for you all. Welcome home James.
[email protected]
Gilbert Taeger
November 2, 2014
Welcome home Sergeant. I am glad your family was able to get closure and you will be able to return to the states. You are not forgotten. I wore a bracelet with your name on it in junior high.
LeeAnn Bembenek
November 2, 2014
glad you are finally home RIP brother Jim
Michael Kwas
November 2, 2014
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