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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Viet Nam Memorial - The Moving Wall

At the Fort Benning Infantry Museum
As I stood and looked at this wall, I was filled with an overwhelming feeling of sadness. I don't know any of the soldiers whose names are inscribed here, so the only explanation can be the realization that war affects all
of us no matter how far we may be from it. My mother's brother went to Viet Nam in the 60's. He left a fun-loving and mischeivous 20-something. He came home an alcoholic and drug addict.

Maybe his name should be on this wall; the best parts of him never came home.
James D. Olson
1948-2005

Note: Having 'outed' my uncle and exposed his life challenges, he was many years sober with a son and grandson for which he was extremely proud when he passed away.

The following information comes from the website for the moving wall.  
"The Moving Wall" is the half-size replica of the Washington, DC Vietnam Veterans Memorial and has been touring the country for more than twenty years. When John Devitt attended the 1982 dedication in Washington, he felt the positive power of "The Wall." He vowed to share that experience with those who did not have the opportunity to go to Washington.
John, Norris Shears, Gerry Haver, and other Vietnam veteran volunteers built The Moving Wall. It went on display for the first time in Tyler, Texas in October of 1984. Two structures of The Moving Wall now travel the USA from April through November, spending about a week at each site.

A "Sponsor" is any organization or group of individuals that wants The Moving Wall to visit their area and is willing to do the work to make the local arrangements as described in "Scheduling a Visit of The Moving Wall." Sponsors are frequently civic groups, schools, or veterans' organizations. Sponsoring normally requires months of planning by dozens of local volunteers.

2 comments:

cieldequimper said...

I'm glad he found the strength later in his life to overcome. very interesting post, I went to the Washington, D.C. wall on Memorial Day 2002 and was so impressed. To think that France pulled out of Vietnam...

Jacob said...

Vietnam was a disaster on so many levels! I missed it being married with kids...but I tried.

I've know a number of Vietnam vets...used to bring them into my American history classroom every year to do a special presentation...so many were so messed up!

Glad your uncle came back!