Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Utah III

This unusually shaped memorial is in Kearns, Utah. When I saw it, it stood in the corner of a Big Lots parking lot. A little odd I thought at the time, but it was at a fairly busy intersection so I figured that must have something to do with its placement.

Well, as luck would have it the road needed to be widened so the memorial has been moved. I have read that it has been refurbished and now sits across the street from a Kearns High School at the new Veterans Memorial Park at the local recreation center. The exact address is 5670 S. Cougar Lane (4800 West).

The original site, which reportedly was the site of the entrance to the now defunct Army base, Camp Kearns, which was closed in 1946, measured 20 by 20 and also housed a WW1 canon and some flag poles. All of these have been moved to the new site.

I have been unable to find any additional information about this site. As always, if you know something, I would love to hear about it. You can contact me at;

Next time, on July 1st we will travel on to Carbon, Utah, so join me there as always at 9:00am

Friday, June 21, 2013

Utah II

Just beyond a wind farm, I ran across this small, yet inclusive, memorial in Mapleton, Utah. It speaks eloquently to the sacrifice of so many throughout our history. Many are remembered here and I noticed something new on the memorial to our brothers and sisters in 'Nam. Each of their deaths is recounted with some detail. I found that I felt somewhat closer to each of these because I knew a little more about them. The memorial in Anchorage, Alaska says, "He was more than just a name on the Wall" and I have always liked the sentiment and found it greatly reinforced at this site in Utah.

I was, once again, impressed by what small towns do for their own. Mapleton lost a total of four of her own in 'Nam and they built this elegant marker to honor them. On the back of this marker, they honor all who served in the war.

The site sits at the intersection of Maple street and Main street in a lovely park area.

On the 26th of June, we will visit Kearns, Utah and see a memorial that is a little bit unusual. Join me there at 9:00am.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Utah, like all states I suppose, had people who backed or protested the war in Vietnam. These numbers like everywhere else ebbed and flowed with the news or politics of any particular day. It is interesting that on May 8, 1954, the Salt Lake City Tribune wrote a prophetic piece regarding the French failure at Dien Bien Phu. A French Cafe owner was quoted; "...they let our best soldiers get killed... (it was) not worth it!"


Utah contributed heavily to the war effort. 8.6% of her eligible citizens served making Utah the 5th most represented state. The national average was 6.9%. So, Utahans participated at a 25% higher rate than most and were behind only Alaska, Hawai'i, Washington, and Nevada. This is even more unusual because members of the LDS could get deferments for their missionary work, Utah had the highest college attendance rate in the country, and men tend to marry earlier in Utah than in other states. You may recall that married men were often not taken for service as readily as guys who were not married.

Like everyone else Utah eventually came to grips with the war and its aftermath and to welcome her sons and daughters home a beautiful memorial was built.

Honored here are the 388 men and one woman killed or who are still MIA.

The solder returning from some unnamed battle is carrying his buddy's rifle. He is surrounded by a curved, gray granite wall bearing, forever, the names of all the lost.

In 2012, Jan Scruggs asked the LDS to assist in gathering the pictures of all the lost men and women to be added to the new Education Center at The Wall. While many have been found, many more are still unavailable and it is hoped that the LDS will be able to contribute to the effort of honoring every name on The Wall. If you have pictures of any lost Vietnam vets, please contact contact the center here;

Otto Von Bismark's 1860's statement seems as prophetic now, as then.

Next time we will visit a small memorial in a park in Mapleton, Utah. Join me, as always, on the 21st, at 9:00am.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ireland update

Celtic Sheild Knot
Irish Shield

Before we go to Utah, new information has come my way and I think many will find it interesting.

I have written, previously, about the Irish citizens who fought beside us, and died, in Vietnam. The number at the time it was first discovered to be true was 16 and their families were honored when the Traveling Wall visited Ireland. Since then the number has changed; to 19, then 22 and now 29. Not all of these were with U.S. Forces, some were Air America, the Canadian Military, the Australians, and AID. A total of 2500 Irish citizens participated in our efforts to aid the Vietnamese people.

There is a memorial, which I have posted elsewhere on this site, in Kilarney, at Adair Manor. This memorial, however, is not specifically to Irish Vietnam Veterans. All of that is about to change!

A new memorial honoring the 29 Irish citizens lost in the war has been approved to be built in Ennis, in County Clare. This is especially interesting and meaningful to me as my ancestors are from County Clare.

Currently in the design and fund raising stage, the memorial is a ways off and today I spoke with one of the organizers and they are hoping for 2014 completion and dedication.

If you are interested in learning more about this wonderful project, please go here;

On these pages you will see a tab called The 29 and if you click an individual name a short bio will appear.

If you would like to read more about the existing memorial at Adair, click on Colorado, at the left of this page. When it opens scroll back to the second or third post from Colorado to read more about it.

I encourage anyone who is interested to support this project, as I have, by sending a check to

OR To;    The Irish Vietnam Veterans Memorial Project
                P.O. box 90592
                Alexandria, Virginia 22309

We will go to Utah, as previously promised, on the 16th at 9:00am.

UPDATE  Just today I got an email from Declan Hughes who founded Irish Veterans. He and his organization feel that this project is untimely, unnecessary and wrongly uses information taken from their site. I currently have no opinion about this as I do not yet know enough to decide. You may want to check out Irish Veterans at, for more information about this issue.

Celtic Sheild Knot

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Nebraska V

The final stop in Nebraska will, again, be in Omaha. Memorial Park was dedicated by President Truman in 1948 and has continued to grow since that time. In 1959, rose gardens, containing more than 100 bushes,  were added to the '67 acre site and in 1968 a pedestrian foot bridge was added.

The park was the scene of a number of anti-Vietnam rallies and demonstrations during the 60's and 70's.

The above plaque fronts the statue and speaks to Korea and Vietnam's lost. the one below is on the side of the statue. Note the dates on the top one and the added names upon the second one.

Sitting on a high hill, over looking the city, the park honors all who have served but Vietnam has several components here. First, the POW/MIA Flag. I know this has been become a more general acknowledgement of those who were POW/MIA from any war. But, it will always mean 'Nam to me. As I have written on other posts, it was designed originally for those in 'Nam and will remain so for me.

I couldn't find exact information about the statue but it seems to be a soldier holding a small emaciated boy. the boy is holding the soldiers canteen. I expect that this may be a WWII statue as the large Wall behind the statue is dedicated to and lists the names of the lost from WWII, but as I have no definitive information (and could not find any on line) this may not be the case. Also, two of the plaques, as mentioned above, refer to Korea and Vietnam.

Next time, we move on to Utah. So, join me in Salt Lake City on the 11th as always at 9:00am.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Nebraska IV

A small memorial in Omaha honors Medal Of Honor Awardees. Four of these are from Vietnam. Three were killed in action and the other survived and went on to become the Governor and, later, a Senator. Located at Farnam and 18th streets it is called "Among the Valiant". The KIA Awardees, Keith Miguel, James Fous, and Robert Hibbs are listed on the main plaque and Joseph R. Kerrey is listed separately as "Not posthumously awarded"

These heroes have a celebrity in their midst. William F. Cody, better known to many as Buffalo Bill, is also a MOH awardee. He is not honored on this site but in my reading I discovered that this was so. I hadn't known that.

Here is what one site had to say about these heroes;


  • Rank and Organization: Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Combined Action platoon 1-3-2, 111 Marine Amphibious Force
  • Place and Date: Quang Ngai province, Republic of Vietnam, 8 May 1970
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a machine gunner with Combined Action platoon 1-3-2. During the early morning L/Cpl. Keith was seriously wounded when his platoon was subjected to a heavy ground attack by a greatly outnumbering enemy force. Despite his painful wounds, he ran across the fire-swept terrain to check the security of vital defensive positions and then, while completely exposed to view, proceeded to deliver a hail of devastating machine gun fire against the enemy. Determined to stop 5 of the enemy soldiers approaching the command post, he rushed forward, firing as he advanced. He succeeded in disposing of 3 of the attackers and in dispersing the remaining 2. At this point, a grenade detonated near L/Cpl. Keith, knocking him to the ground and inflicting further severe wounds. Fighting pain and weakness from loss of blood, he again braved the concentrated hostile fire to charge an estimated 25 enemy soldiers who were massing to attack. The vigor of his assault and his well-placed fire eliminated 4 of the enemy soldiers while the remainder fled for cover. During this valiant effort, he was mortally wounded by an enemy soldier. By his courageous and inspiring performance in the face of almost overwhelming odds, L/Cpl. Keith contributed in large measure to the success of his platoon in routing a numerically superior enemy force, and upheld the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the U.S. Naval Service.


  • Rank and Organization: Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Naval Reserve, Sea, Air, and Land Team (SEAL)
  • Place and Date: Near Nha Trang Bay, Republic of Vietnam, 14 March 1969
  • Date of Issue: 05/14/1970
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a SEAL team leader during action against enemy aggressor (Viet Cong) forces. Acting in response to reliable intelligence, Lt. (J.G..) Kerrey led his SEAL team on a mission to capture important members of the enemy's area political cadre known to be located on an island in the bay of Nha Trang. In order to surprise the enemy, he and his team scaled a 350-foot sheer cliff to place themselves above the ledge on which the enemy was located. Splitting his team in 2 elements and coordinating both, Lt. (J.G..) Kerrey led his men in the treacherous downward descent to the enemy's camp. Just as they neared the end of their descent, intense enemy fire was directed at them, and Lt. (J.G.) Kerrey received massive injuries from a grenade which exploded at his feet and threw him backward onto the jagged rocks. Although bleeding profusely and suffering great pain, he displayed outstanding courage and presence of mind in immediately directing his element's fire into the heart of the enemy camp. Utilizing his radioman, Lt. (J.G.) Kerrey called in the second element's fire support which caught the confused Viet Cong in a devastating crossfire. After successfully suppressing the enemy's fire, and although immobilized by his multiple wounds, he continued to maintain calm, superlative control as he ordered his team to secure and defend an extraction site. Lt. (J.G.) Kerrey resolutely directed his men, despite his near unconscious state, until he was eventually evacuated by helicopter. The havoc brought to the enemy by this very successful mission cannot be over-estimated. The enemy soldiers who were captured provided critical intelligence to the allied effort. Lt. (J.G.) Kerrey's courageous and inspiring leadership, valiant fighting spirit, and tenacious devotion to duty in the face of almost overwhelming opposition sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.


  • Rank and Organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company E, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division
  • Place and date: Kien Hoa Province, Republic of Vietnam, 14 May 1968
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Fous distinguished himself at the risk of his life while serving as a rifleman with Company E. Pfc. Fous was participating in a reconnaissance-in-force mission when his unit formed its perimeter defense for the night. Pfc. Fous, together with 3 other American soldiers, occupied a position in a thickly vegetated area facing a woodline. Pfc. Fous detected 3 Viet Cong maneuvering toward his position and, after alerting the other men, directed accurate fire upon the enemy soldiers, silencing 2 of them. The third Viet Cong soldier managed to escape in the thick vegetation after throwing a hand grenade into Pfc. Fous' position. Without hesitation, Pfc. Fous shouted a warning to his comrades and leaped upon the lethal explosive, absorbing the blast with his body to save the lives of the 3 men in the area at the sacrifice of his life. Pfc. Fous' extraordinary heroism at the cost of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.


  • Rank and Organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company B, 2d Battalion, 28th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division
  • Place and date: Don Dien Lo Ke, Republic of Vietnam, 5 March 1966
  • Date of Issue: 02/24/1967
Citations: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. 2d Lt. Hibbs was in command of a 15-man ambush patrol of the 2d Battalion, when his unit observed a company of Viet Cong advancing along the road toward the 2d Battalion's position. Informing his command post by radio of the impending attack, he prepared his men for the oncoming Viet Cong, emplaced 2 mines in their path and, when the insurgents were within 20 feet of the patrol's position, he fired the 2 antipersonnel mines, wounding or killing half of the enemy company. Then, to cover the withdrawal of his patrol, he threw hand grenades, stepped onto the open road, and opened fire on the remainder of the Viet Cong force of approximately 50 men. Having rejoined his men, he was leading them toward the battalion perimeter when the patrol encountered the rear elements of another Viet Cong company deployed to attack the battalion. With the advantage of surprise, he directed a charge against the Viet Cong, which carried the patrol through the insurgent force, completely disrupting its attack. Learning that a wounded patrol member was wandering in the area between the 2 opposing forces and although moments from safety and wounded in the leg himself, he and a sergeant went back to the battlefield to recover the stricken man. After they maneuvered through the withering fire of 2 Viet Cong machine guns, the sergeant grabbed the dazed soldier and dragged him back toward the friendly lines while 2d Lt. Hibbs remained behind to provide covering fire. Armed with only an M-16 rifle and a pistol, but determined to destroy the enemy positions, he then charged the 2 machine gun emplacements and was struck down. Before succumbing to his mortal wounds, he destroyed the starlight telescopic sight attached to his rifle to prevent its capture and use by the Viet Cong. 2d Lt. Hibb's profound concern for his fellow soldiers, and his intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

You can read more about other Medal of Honor Awardees from Nebraska and elsewhere here;

Next time, we will visit the large multi-war memorial in Omaha. It sits high on a hill and is really quite stunning. So, join me on the June 6th, as always at 9:00 am.