Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Vietnam Veteran's Searched The Wall, For More Than Names to Him

Veteran, family look for names of dozens of friends on Moving Wall

By Lydia Goerner
Aug 21, 2017

“I guess my dad is one of the lucky ones because he had a very successful life,” Funfar said. But her father has struggled with PTSD ever since he left Vietnam at age 23. 
“I heard him tell another Vietnam veteran when we were at the wall, ‘Maybe we’re not supposed to forget,’” Funfar said.

Courtesy of: Kristi Funfar Barry Funfar finds the names of the men in his unit on the Moving Wall.
Kristi Funfar gained a better understanding of her dad, Barry Funfar, a Vietnam veteran, when they went to the Moving Wall together, where she learned that 111 people her dad trained with were killed in action in Vietnam.

Barry, a door gunner from 1968 to 1969, went looking for 39 names of the men in his unit who did not come back, but after he visited the wall he recognized a lot of other names. Barry didn’t find all the names of those in his unit because he became “overwhelmed,” Funfar said, but he made rubbings of the men who were his closest friends to send to their families.

“I got choked up just watching how it was for him,” Funfar said. “I don’t really have words to describe how sad.”

Funfar, who lives in Falmouth, said her dad explained that, “he’ll find a name that he remembers and then picture a face and picture moments. They never got to come home and fill their dreams and have a family.”

Barry completed 127 missions as a door gunner, firing weapons while aboard a helicopter. This job was so dangerous that door gunners were read their last rites before they went on a mission.

“He’s never said this, but I think it’s almost a guilty, ‘Why did I get to come home?’ type of thing,” Funfar said.
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