Thursday, April 26, 2012

Oregon V

I arrived in Independence, Oregon very early in the morning. The air was cold as the sun was rising. Many of the trees in the nearby orchards were covered with a semi frozen dew. It was very beautiful.

I stopped and visited and photographed the local Vietnam memorial before anything in the town was open. I was unable, therefore, to get any information that might add to this story.

Internet searches have turned up nothing, but just today, I have spoken with a very nice person at City Hall who is going to do her best to get me any information she can. She was able to tell me that the current location, on the corner of 5th and Main Streets is a newer one. The memorial, previously, had been in the grassy area of the small park behind it. When the new amphitheater was built and the park renovated the memorial was moved to it new, more prominent, I think, home on the corner. I hope she is able to find some additional interesting information. If, or when, she does, I will update this posting, but in the interest of keeping to my "every 5th day at 9:00am" schedule, I will have this much ready to go!

This is the last post from Oregon. Next will be a reminder about VA job fairs. That one will appear on the 1st of May, as always, at 9:00am.

Update, I waited almost two weeks to hear from anyone in Independence with info regarding the site, but none was forthcoming. If this changes, I will post the info.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Oregon IV

One of the most beautiful settings I have found for a memorial is Kelley View Point. High on a hill over looking the magnificent Columbia River and The Dalles, Oregon sit a number of memorials. All Vets, Korea, Vietnam and since I have been there, Desert Storm.

Often misidentified on line, the Vietnam memorial is the one in the center of the picture. I have seen the one to its right called the 'Nam memorial other places. While the one on the right does include Vietnam, the center one is actually the 'Nam memorial. I have isolated a pic of the correct one here. The one to the left is Medal Of Honor Memorial.

I thought the sign identifying the memorial was interesting, too. Simply wired to the chain link fence next to the memorial.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Oregon III

Outside the Elks Club in Beaverton, Oregon is this beautiful and stately memorial. Begun as a tribute to one lost marine, it grew to include every lost soldier from Oregon. Located at SW 106th street at SW Canyon Road the memorial, according to Elks members is the first memorial in the country to Vietnam. While I have seen many over the years I cannot verify if that is absolutely the case, but it sure is one of the first, if not actually the earliest one. My buddy and I were warmly received by those present on the afternoon we visited and we enjoyed their stories and hospitality.

Note that the POW/MIA flag is positioned above the Oregon state flag on the flagpole. While this is often not the way it is seen it is in fact correct! The POW/MIA flag is a national flag and, therefore, has priority over a state flag. The POW/MIA flag is the only flag other than the US Flag to fly over the White House and the Capital.

Next time, in five days, on to my last stop in Oregon. The town of Independence has a memorial in its beautiful park. See you on the 26th, as always, at 9:00am!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Oregon II

This small, yet elegant, memorial is found in the Deschutes Memorial Gardens in Bend, Oregon. We had a little trouble tracking it down as we did not know the name of the Gardens at the time. It sits in full view of the beautiful Cascade Mountains and the grave-sites and flowers on them seem to fade into the horizon. The memorial is beginning to show its age a little and one hopes that repairs are in the near future. I searched and searched and was unable to turn up any info about this site. I will keep looking and if that changes, I will certainly update this post.

I found these engraved bricks nearby but there was no other information and internet searches have not helped, either.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Remember those we have lost

Subject: Vietnam Memorial Wall

I think the Vietnam Memorial Wall is something this country got right. Interesting how beloved The Wall has become when one recalls all the controversy at the time. I have seen this before and perhaps even posted it to this site, but it never hurts to be reminded of what we have lost. Thanks Ruthie for sending this and reminding me.

Read on......interesting stuff !A little history most people will never

Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall There are
58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added
in 2010.

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by
date and within each date the names are alphabetized.
It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.
The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth ,
Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on
June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine
Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7,

There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.

39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.
8,283 were just 19 years old.
The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.
12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.
5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.
One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam

31 sets of brothers are on the Wall. Thirty one sets of parents lost two
of their sons.

54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia . I wonder
why so many from one school.

8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.

244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153
of them are on the Wall.
Beallsville , Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.

West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation.
There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.

The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school
football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of
Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer
busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail,
stalked deer in the Apache National Forest and in the patriotic
camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of
Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began
on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.

The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were
all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale,
Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues.
They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent
sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam . In a span of 16 dark
days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on
Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's
assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day.
Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance

The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245

The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415
casualties were incurred.

For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the
Vietnam War created. To those of us who survived the war, and to the
families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that
these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these
numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and

There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.

I will get back to sites in Oregon on the 11th, as usual, at 9:00am.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


803 names are forever listed here in Washington Park. Located at Portland's Hoyt Arboretum, this beautiful and dignified site grew out of a desire to remember, after a visit by some vets to The Wall in D.C. It took a number of years, but the site was finally dedicated in 1987.

The area is a little bigger than three acres and consists of a segmented wall on which all the names of the lost and the missing are honored. A circular path leads one past each section. An interesting feature is that on the sections of wall, along with the names, is a time line of what was going on in 'Nam and what was going on at home. It is a very interesting and, at times, enlightening read. You forget, sometimes, all that happened in those tumultuous years.

There is a group of Pear Trees symbolizing life at the entrance and water features signify hope, purity and , once again, life. The site is meticulously tended by those who built it and volunteers. Some of the volunteers have come every year since the beginning. One, in particular, spends up to 12 hours a week just weeding, pruning, etc.