Tomas Gonzales’ nickname was “El Gato” because he looked like a cat and. back then, the cartoon “Tom (Tomas) and Jerry” was pretty popular at that time. He was active in sports, especially baseball and football. He was also a big time jokester and kidder. We grew up two blocks from each other and spent many a day playing together as youngsters. He had 4 brothers and three sisters, being the fifth oldest of the seven. He was married but had no children. Tomas, or Tome, as we also knew him, joined the Marine Corps sometime in 1967 at my urging or daring. He was serving as a rifleman with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion 9th Marine Infantry Regiment, 3rd Marine Division at the time of his death. His rank was Lance Corporal (E-3). When his body was returned to Beeville, most of the businesses in town closed for the day in respect for his death.
Submitted by his friend and fellow Marine, Eloy Rodriguez
Tomas Gonzales was serving as a rifleman in G Company of the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines on April 19, 1968. His unit had been assigned to provide support at Bridge 28 on Highway 9 to another Marine unit in the area, which was surrounded by steep hills. Gonzalez’ unit came under heavy fire from a North Vietnamese Army force. He and 24 other Marines were Killed In Action. Tomas was 22 years old and married.
He is remembered on Panel 50E Line 047 of the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial.