Burbank has lost one of its beloved and revered heroes.
Richard Marc Cutter, a 1964 graduate of Burbank High School, died suddenly on December 5th in Fresno. He was 65. Marc was well known in Burbank, active in many community service organizations supporting veterans, charity organizations, and local community groups.
Marc was remembered on Sunday during a ceremony attended by family and friends at Burbank’s McCambridge Park War Memorial.
As an Army Lieutenant serving in Vietnam, Marc received numerous decorations for actions in combat, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star (with “V” device for valor and 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Soldier’s Medal, Purple Heart (indicating Marc was wounded in combat), and the Air Medal. A group of brothers from “A” Company of the 2nd Battalion, 60th Regiment, 9th Infantry Division at Tan Tru, Marc’s unit in Vietnam, traveled from all corners of the United States to participate in his memorial.
Marc’s involvement with veterans did not end upon return from Vietnam. According to Mickey Depalo, lifetime friend of Marc’s, in addition to being active in the Burbank Veterans Commemorative Committee, Marc and his wife Karen also founded Hands Across the Battlefield, a project which collected and shipped more than 60 tons donated materials to men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Marc had a tremendously positive effect on everybody he encountered in his life” added DePalo. “He came home (from Vietnam) and had a silent commitment to give back to his community, he exemplified what a Vietnam veteran is.”
Friends, family, and colleagues had a chance to say a few words in tribute about Marc. All focusing on Marc’s sense of humor, good nature, and desire to give.
In the tradition honoring all American veterans who have died, Marc was provided a ceremony which included a military detail providing an American flag to his family. With the sound of bagpipes playing Amazing Grace, taps from a lone bugler, the honors detail leader presented Karen Cutter the flag, with the solemn statement:
“This flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service.”
Donations may be made in Marc’s name to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund to build a new educational center near the Vietnam Wall, 2600 Virginia Ave., NW, Suite 104, Washington, DC 20037.