Showing posts with label Vietnam Memorial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vietnam Memorial. Show all posts

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Peoria

'The Wall That Heals': Hundreds visit traveling replica of Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Peoria

Arizona Republic
Nathan J. Fish
March 16, 2019
Ballman walked over to another section of the wall, getting down on his knees and pointing to another name near the bottom, Alton L Staples III. Ballman knew him as Tony.

Staples and Ballman were in the Boy Scouts together before Staples dropped out of high school to join the military at age 17.

George Ballman looks at the name of his fallen friend at a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Pleasant Harbor at Lake Pleasant in Peoria on March 16, 2019. Nathan J. Fish/The Republic

As hundreds of visitors walked along the traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Peoria to search for the names of their family and loved ones, George Ballman, an Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam, held back tears as he remembered his fallen friends.

"You stand back and you walk through and you look at all these names," Ballman said. "They had a life, they had a family, they were real people. They played baseball, they played golf, they were kids."

Ballman gestured to one name in a sea of thousands on the wall, Harvey M. Reynolds — Mike, he called him.

"He got killed in a chopper accident, he was a mechanic … he went up in the chopper to help the pilot troubleshoot the problem," Ballman said. "He didn't make it back."

Ballman, a snowbird from Missouri, decided to volunteer at the park to help set up, but after experiencing multiple emotional moments, he decided to keep volunteering throughout the weekend.
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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Dedicated

Vietnam Veterans Memorial dedicated

Near the end of a weeklong national salute to Americans who served in the Vietnam War, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington after a march to its site by thousands of veterans of the conflict. 

The long-awaited memorial was a simple V-shaped black-granite wall inscribed with the names of the 57,939 Americans who died in the conflict, arranged in order of death, not rank, as was common in other memorials.

The designer of the memorial was Maya Lin, a Yale University architecture student who entered a nationwide competition to create a design for the monument. Lin, born in Ohio in 1959, was the daughter of Chinese immigrants. Many veterans’ groups were opposed to Lin’s winning design, which lacked a standard memorial’s heroic statues and stirring words. However, a remarkable shift in public opinion occurred in the months after the memorial’s dedication. Veterans and families of the dead walked the black reflective wall, seeking the names of their loved ones killed in the conflict. Once the name was located, visitors often made an etching or left a private offering, from notes and flowers to dog tags and cans of beer.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial soon became one of the most visited memorials in the nation’s capital. A Smithsonian Institution director called it “a community of feelings, almost a sacred precinct,” and a veteran declared that “it’s the parade we never got.” “The Wall” drew together both those who fought and those who marched against the war and served to promote national healing a decade after the divisive conflict’s end.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Veterans in other news October 28, 2018

Motorcycle shop provides custom bike for local disabled veteran

KTVL 10 News
by Jennevieve Fong
October 27th 2018

MEDFORD, Ore. — Central Point veteran Jed Morgan is finding meaning through motorcycles. As a double amputee, Morgan is not letting his disability stop him from taking a ride.

Morgan served in Afghanistan and was hit with an improvised explosive device in 2012, damaging his right hand and forcing surgeons to amputate both his legs.

With the help of Thunderstruck Custom Bike, he was fitted for a custom-fit motorcycle on Saturday, which will allow him to drive with his prosthetics.

“They help us in so many ways we can’t even imagine, so if we can give freedom or anything back to a veteran...some piece of mind...a little bit of mobility whatever it may be...we’re all into doing it," shop owner Mark Daley said.

Organized by Combat Hero Bike Build, the motorcycle will be given to Morgan for free as a thank you for his service. Daley said a custom bike like this ranges from $20,000 to $30,000.
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Elgin funeral director goes above and beyond for Vietnam War veteran

Daily Herald
Doug T. Graham
October 25, 2018
Daniel Symonds, pictured here on tour in the Middle East, is a member of the Army Reserve and an Elgin funeral home director. courtesy of Joy Symonds
Daniel Symonds' unique opportunity to help a fellow veteran came last year when he received a phone call from Kane County Coroner Rob Russell.

The body of a homeless man, who had served in the Vietnam War, had been brought to the coroner's office. The man's background made a funded military funeral impossible: He had gone AWOL and was charged and convicted.

"He came home and he just walked away one day," said Symonds, who has been a funeral director for 23 years and a member of the army reserves for 16 years. "He was done."

The man, whose name Symonds declined to disclose, was eventually pardoned, along with many other AWOL Vietnam veterans, by President Gerald Ford. But the man had lost his military benefits.

"I knew absolutely I had to help him, even if I have to reach into my pocket," Symonds said. "The whole leave-no-man-behind-thing is important to me."
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Discussing the impacts of Agent Orange

October 27, 2018
“I’ve got a charcoal foot now because of it which went crooked. I had open heart surgery a little less than two years ago because of it,” said Jeron Hendricks, a Vietnam War Veteran.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A chemical sprayed on troops by the US military during the Vietnam War is continuing to impact the lives of veterans and their families. One Michigan Vietnam veteran is teaming up with the group Vietnam Veterans of America to do something about it.

Philip Smith conducts meetings like this one Saturday in Grand Rapids throughout Michigan to warn veterans about a silent killer many of them are unaware of Agent Orange.

Smith serves as the director for Vietnam Veterans of America.

“When Admiral Zumwalt was alive and he was the Admiral of the Navy.” “’He says don’t spray that stuff ‘well guess what we did and the ultimate factor is the disease that came down with it afterward,” he said.
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Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Dorchester damaged by vandal

Boston Globe
OCTOBER 26, 2018

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Dorchester was vandalized this week, and State Police are searching for those responsible for the defacement, which left the stone memorial damaged and an American flag cut in half.

State Police said a woman passing the memorial, a neighborhood landmark on Morrissey Boulevard, on Thursday noticed the damage and alerted State Police.

Bricks had been thrown at the memorial, leaving marks on the stone, an American flag was cut up, and a Massachusetts flag was taken off its pole and found near trees with trash littered on top of it, State Police said Friday in a statement.

A POW/MIA flag was also missing from the memorial, and vegetation in the area was uprooted, said State Police Lieutenant Tom Ryan.
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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Every name from Florida on Vietnam Memorial Wall, has a face to go with it

Researchers find photographs of every Floridian whose name is listed on Vietnam Memorial Wall
Pensacola News Journal
Melissa Nelson Gabriel
Sept. 4, 2018
The final photograph posted by the group was of Army Pfc. Thomas J. Burton of Pompano Beach who died on Nov. 20, 1968, in Binh Duong Province at age 21.

After months of intensive work, researchers have found photographs of all 1,957 Floridians killed during the Vietnam War.

The statewide effort, spearheaded by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter in The Villages, is part of a national project to create a virtual Wall of Faces. Florida is the 34th state to find photographs for each person who listed the state as home.

The photographs will eventually be included in an education center, which will be built adjacent to the wall in Washington D.C.

John Thomstatter, a Vietnam veteran from The Villages, coordinated the search effort for the photographs. Thomstatter credited his volunteer research team for tracking down the many hard-to-find photos. The volunteers included private investigators, genealogists and people who knocked on doors and scoured libraries and archives around Florida.
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Sunday, August 5, 2018

Vietnam Veteran Honored Same Name On The Wall

WARNING: Have tissues ready when you go to watch this video.

Vietnam vet honors familiar name on wall
ABC 57 News
By: Jess Arnold
Posted: Aug 5, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- During his first ever trip to the wall, one Vietnam vet honored an all too familiar name on the wall.

The name--his own--Robert Berta.
A Robert D. Berta was born the same year (1946) as this vet, Robert L. Berta--also in South Bend.

They served overseas at the same time, where the former was killed in action.

“Scary considering I was there at the same time. We could have, we didn’t know who was going to be coming home, me or him. It seemed like I made it and he didn’t. and we never think that way. We figure we should be there, too on this wall, because we all did our job. Maybe I should have been on this wall myself, so that’s the way I feel about it," said Robert L. Berta.
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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Granddaughter of Vietnam Veteran Tribute Goes Viral

‘Like Bricks In My Chest’: Teenager Pens Essay In Honor Of Vietnam Veterans
CBS 4 Denver
By Jeff Todd
June 11, 2018
WELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s a group known for not having a proper welcome home, but Weld County is working to change that history for Vietnam Veterans.

“It really made me feel like I’ve been welcomed home,” said Steve White.

Weld County started holding pinning ceremonies in 2016. The ceremony on June 2 honored 62 veterans with pins and certificates of appreciation, but it was even more special for White.

“To see them and shake their hands and thank them for their service, it was amazing,” said Caitlyn Olson, White’s granddaughter and the Keynote Speaker at the event. “How grateful they were for being recognized because that wasn’t something that happened at the time. That’s not how it should have been.”
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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Vietnam Veterans Wall Permanently in Kentucky?

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall officially opens in Elizabethtown
By Fallon Gli
Apr 28, 2018
The permanent wall, which was built by veterans themselves, was years in the making.

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) – A near replica of the original Vietnam Veteran's Memorial is officially complete in Elizabethtown and opened to the public on Saturday. Those who served in the Vietnam War say this local memorial is now a place of healing.
The more than 58,000 names carved into the black stone each have a story.

“I was a medic and unfortunately there were a couple that I couldn't save,” veteran Richard Uhler said. “And they're listed on this wall.”

This Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall is 360-feet long, an 80 percent scale of the one in Washington D.C. Now fully finished at Veteran's Tribute Park in Elizabethtown, the men’s and women’s names represent the cost of soldiers left on the battlefield and the impact on those left behind.

“I've found some guys that I knew that I flew with, some that I kind of lived with in basic training ... sometimes it's just really hard to recognize, like someone said, that you got to come home and they didn't,” veteran Bradley Burkholder said.

For many who proudly donned their veteran hats, they remember the war like it was yesterday. Some took a knee to get an up close look at the names that weigh heavy on their hearts.

“It did bring a tear to the eye, that's right,” Uhler said.
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Friday, December 9, 2016

Vietnam War Dead Remembered in Lake County

Cities to get plaques with names of Vietnam War dead
Orlando Sentinel
Amy Rippel
December 7, 2016
"It left a big hole in my heart. I want to let the veterans know we have not forgotten what they mean to the country."
Ron Putnam
Vietnam veteran Don WIlson helps set up the traveling half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Lake Eola Park on January 16, 2012. The traveling exhibit also features a museum with information about the war. The Wall That Heals will be at the park today through January 22. (Jacob Langston/Orlando Sentinel) (Jacob Langston / Orlando Sentinel)
GROVELAND — Ron Putnam wants Vietnam War veterans to feel welcomed and honored. On Friday, he plans to do just that.

Putnam, 69, purchased seven personalized plaques to be presented to Lake County cities that were home to Vietnam veterans who died during the war. Each plaque is engraved with the hometowns and names of those who died. It's his way of showing respect and encouragement to Vietnam veterans who died in the war and others who were scorned when they returned home.

"I feel as though it's time to give something back to the Vietnam veterans, to let them know we support them and we are behind them," he said.

Putnam, who served at Luke Air Force base in Arizona from 1966 to 1970, said he started thinking about a dedication specific to local Vietnam vets shortly after he learned "The Wall That Heals," a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., was visiting Groveland. The Wall will remain in place until 2 p.m. Sunday.
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Friday, October 7, 2016

TIME Doesn't Remember Longest War Was Vietnam

Ok, it has been 15 years and we lost a lot of lives during combat and afterwards. The thing is, we lost a lot during Vietnam, during combat and afterwards. It seems as if that war has been edited for convenience.

The first American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Air Force T-Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. He is listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having a casualty date of June 8, 1956.
The last American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Kelton Rena Turner, an 18-year old Marine. He was killed in action on May 15, 1975, two weeks after the evacuation of Saigon, in what became known as the Mayaguez incident.
As you can see from the Vietnam Memorial, it was one month shy of 20 years. When will any of these reporters figure that one out? 
The Longest War in U.S. History Began 15 Years Ago. See Its Effect on One Veteran
October 7, 2016

The United States began the War in Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001

When the U.S. began its attack on Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, Nick Mendes was an 11-year-old who loved to play video games.

By the time ten years had passed, Nick Mendes had become Sgt. Mendes of the U.S. Army. In 2011, in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province, he was blown up by an IED and paralyzed from the neck down.

“I remember ten seconds afterwards,” he recalls, “but then I blacked out.”

Afghanistan has become America’s longest war, and American troops still remain in the region years after the official 2014 end of the conflict. Sgt. Mendes, now 26, is one of more 20,000 U.S. service members injured in that war—numbers that don’t include traumatic brain injury and PTSD. Sgt. Mendes’ life was saved by battlefield practices that have been honed and improved after years of such incidents in the region. He and many others are part of the population of service members who would likely have died in previous conflicts, in the days before modern battlefield medical protocols were introduced, but instead have returned home to drastically different and often devastatingly challenging circumstances.
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Would be a good idea if they did remember considering none of the wounds or problems these veterans face are new. Would be good to mention that with all these decades of "addressing" PTSD, suicides, VA claims and Congress funding bills that don't work while holding hearings on the increase of suicides, especially with veterans over the age of 50, it would all be more worthy of their struggles to actually do some meaningful reporting on all this.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Vietnam: Medal of Honor quest for Maj. George Quamo

A breakthrough in Medal of Honor quest for Maj. George Quamo
Times Union, Albany, N.Y.
By Paul Nelson
Published: August 29, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (Tribune News Service) — Friends and family of George Quamo hope two more testimonials — one from a former military medic and another penned by one of his fellow special service members — will bolster the case that the Green Beret from Averill Park deserves a Medal of Honor for his heroism during the Vietnam War.

Two notarized letters — from William Harris of North Carolina and Richard Mullowney Jr. of Alaska — bring to three the supporting documents that supporters will be submitting to the Defense Department requesting that Quamo be posthumously awarded the nation's highest military honor.

The Army Major who graduated from Averill Park High School in 1958 was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for leading a dangerous helicopter mission in 1968 that rescued 14 Green Berets and dozens of others who were invaded by two North Vietnamese battalions and were pleading for help at the Lang Vei Special Forces Camp in central Vietnam.

Quamo (pronounced Cuomo) died in a plane crash on April 14, 1968.
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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Vietnam Veteran Rides To Washington Honoring Lives Lost on USS Frank E Evans

Vietnam veteran cycles to Washington D.C. to get names added to wall
WDBJ 7 News
By Noell Saunders
Jul 22, 2016

SALEM, Va. (WDBJ7) A 74-year old Vietnam War veteran is riding his bicycle all the way from Texas to Washington D.C.

Del Francis is on a mission to get his 74 comrades' names added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Francis almost died on a warship 47 years ago after an Australian aircraft carrier cut it in half. The ship sank and all 74 sailors perished that day.

After writing numerous petitions and letters, Francis decided to do something different.
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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Maine Vietnam Memorial Right Next To Restrooms?

Local Vietnam veterans upset about restrooms next to Vietnam memorial
By Joey Prechtl
July 6, 2016

MADAWASKA, Maine (WAGM) - "What it represents to them is shame to their sons."

For Vietnam veteran Jack Meyers, he says the new restroom facility built adjacent to the memorial is a shame and a sign of disrespect to the fallen. This Vietnam memorial is hallowed ground he says and It's a statue to remember the ultimate sacrifice paid by the 21 men from the St. John Valley.
"We honored those families, those boys came back and they were dead. You can't change that. They gave their lives. Those families didn't have to give up those boys. The government gave up on us, and what now is the town of Madawaska giving up on us," Meyers said.

He co-founded the statue 20 years ago. He said he still remembers the emotions he felt the day it was unveiled to the Valley.

"It was amazing, and I felt like I had said thank you to my boys."

Town manager Ryan Pelletier said the town never meant to disrespect the veterans. The land is owned by the Diocese of Portland and the town is a tenant, so all permanent structures must be proposed and approved by the Diocese before construction. The local Parrish would only approve a location if it was okay with the neighbors of the park, and the neighbors rejected all other possible locations.
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