Marvin L. Franklin Jr.
Tomb PositionAssistant Relief Commander, Sentinel
Tomb DatesJan 1966 - Jan 1967
Military DatesJan 1965 - Aug 1967
Society MembershipLifetime Member
Home City / StateOklahoma City, OK
ObituaryMarvin “Lyle” Franklin Jr., 22, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, entered into eternal rest on August 31, 1967. He was born on July 15, 1945 in Oklahoma City, where he graduated from Putnam City High School in 1963. He was a member of the Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, the Putnam City Methodist Church, and the Bethany Masonic Lodge where he served as Senior DeMolay. He was an automobile and woodworking enthusiast whose hobbies included rebuilding car engines and restoring furniture. In 1965, he enlisted in the United States Army. He was initially assigned to the 3rd Infantry Regiment "Old Guard", where he served as a Sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from July 1966 until February 1967. After his service in the Old Guard, he was assigned to the 1st Calvary Division. He was killed in action at Binh Dinh, South Vietnam. His parents, Marvin and Phyllis Franklin, came to Washington D.C. after his death to receive several posthumous awards, including the Bronze Star, on his behalf. At the special invitation of his fellow Tomb Guards, his parents became the first civilians to participate in the Christmas Wreath Laying Ceremony honoring the Unknowns laid to rest at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This is an annual event cherished by Tomb Guards. His parents were honored by the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by bestowing upon them lifetime Legacy Memberships in the Society.
Memories & Condolences
Lyle was my first cousin, the sweetest guy in the world, and all the family was so proud of him for his service and the honor he held as Tomb Guard. We have many generations of veterans in our family but only Lyle was KIA. My husband will visit both the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and The Wall, when he participates in the Central Missouri Honor Flight #59 on August 19, 2019. I will be thinking of you all day, Lyle, with love and tears, wishing I were there too.
Thank you for your service and sacrifice. May you forever be remembered for the ultimate dedication you bestowed upon your fellow soldiers and country.
Thank you for your service, and sacrifice. This Memorial Day you are remembered. My deepest condolences to your family and friends. You are now part of my Arlington memory, and I shall pay tribute to you, and your family, with every visit I make.
Just a little note to say Thank You for your service, your bravery, your spirit! I'm am so proud to be an American because of brave men like you who gave the ultimate sacrifice for me and my family! R.I.P dear Marvin, you will not be forgotten my hero!
As a social studies teacher doing research, I was touched by this hero's story. Every life is so precious. God bless his sacrifice and his family!
Rest in peace Marvin. It was a very sad time for me, but such an honor, as the Sgt. of the Guard at the time, to be able to travel to your home in Oklahoma City, meet with your family, and help them plan the military part of your funeral. Tomb Guards never forget
Rest in eternal peace! I appreciate and thank-you for your service to our great country. We had a special bond that can never be broken by time nor death. You will always be in our memories. Ps:121
On behalf of your brothers in the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, we will never forget your service to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and our Nation, and your sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy. Line 6 - Tomb Guards never forget.
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Units & Campaigns3rd US Infantry (Old Guard), Tomb Guard Platoon, Company E (Honor Guard), Ft Myer, Virginia
1st Cavalry Division (Air Mobile), Vietnam
Awards & DecorationsBronze Star
Army Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Tomb Guard Identification Badge
Combat Infantryman's Badge
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The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) is able to provide our programs, events, assistance, scholarships, and services due to the generosity of its members, organizations, and individuals. SHGTUS does not receive institutional funding. Note: The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your contributions may be fully tax deductible.
Did you know?
How long does the Sentinel hesitate after the facing movement to begin the return walk? Is the rifle carried on the same shoulder all the time?
The Sentinel does not execute an about face, rather they stop on the 21st step, then turn and face the Tomb for 21 seconds. They then turn to face back down the mat, change the weapon to the outside shoulder, mentally count off 21 seconds, then step off for another 21 step walk down the mat. They face the Tomb at each end of the 21 step walk for 21 seconds. The Sentinel then repeats this over and over until the the Guard Change ceremony begins.