Thursday, October 29, 2015

North Carolina X

While visiting the Fayetteville, NC welcome Home a while back, we (my buddy Steve and I) decided to see if we could find anything at nearby Ft. Bragg. We, both  had done our basic training at Bragg and were interested to see it we could still find our way around. But first, we had to get on the post. This is sometimes easier than others, I have been refused entrance on a number of occasions and yet at other times, at different posts,  I just show some identification and just roll on in. Today, happily, was one of those days, we had no problem gaining access.

We drove around and actually found the places we had been trained, the barracks, the PT field, etc. Even though we were there several years apart, Steve and I had been in practically the same areas while there, literally a few yards apart.

We continued our flashback until we found some parade grounds and there we found this memorial to those who had been to 'Nam.

Relatively small and listing no names, it does depict iconic images from 'Nam.



Elsewhere, we found tributes to individual units that served and I will post about them sometime in the not too distant future. I will remind you that other posts from the Fayetteville Welcome Home may be found elsewhere on this site and that some of my very favorite pics are from that event. So, if you are new to this site or have never scrolled around to see what else is here, I recommend that you check out other posts from North Carolina by clicking on the name on the left side of this page.

Next time, on the 4th of November, I will be traveling in Washington and Oregon to visit additional sites for inclusion here. You can see more from the Montgomery County Salute to Vietnam Veterans, at 9:00am EST.

To see additional memorials from North Carolina, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Montgomery County, Maryland Welcome Home

I know the last post said we would be revisiting North Carolina today, but it occurred to me that this might be of interest, too, as it is actually taking place today.

Montgomery County, Maryland, just outside Washington D.C. is holding their official Vietnam Welcome Home today, the 24th of October. Called, Honor and Gratitude, Montgomery County Salutes Vietnam Veterans, the event is being held at the Universities at Shady Grove and will feature Bob Schieffer as the host and Cmdr Everett Alvarez, the first pilot shot down over Vietnam and held captive for 8 and a half years at the infamous Hanoi Hilton as a primary speaker. Five POW's from the County will be in attendance and I am told that this is a very rare event. I met one of them a couple of nights ago, Fred Cherry, and his story, not surprisingly, was incredible and inspiring.

Many other veterans and dignitaries will address the expected 1000 plus vets and their families and friends.

A documentary about local veterans will be an integral part of the ceremonies, which will be opened with a motorcycle rally sponsored by Battley Harley Davidson, Nam Knights, and other riding groups.

I am honored to say that I am featured in the documentary and will participate in the ride. In addition, I have been asked to set up a table featuring A Means to Heal and will be showing many, many pictures of Vietnam memorials from across the nation. I am featuring several printed photos, too and will post them here.

As many times as I have seen The Three Servicemen, I have never seen it appear more lifelike than on this day last December. I was just struck by how the sun highlighted the colors.

I make it a practice, when ever I find a memorial with statues, to try to get portraits of the solders portrayed. I particularly like these.

Wreaths Across America had just visited Arlington National Cemetery as they do every year and after visiting there, I came over to The Wall and was surprised to see that each panel had been honored with a wreath, too.

So, I hope that after today's event I will have additional photos and more stories and information to post here, so check back soon.

In the mean time, I will post from North Carolina, which had been scheduled for today, on the 29th, as always, at 9:00am.

To see additional memorials from any state, just click on the state name on the left side of this page.

Monday, October 19, 2015

New York VIII

Here is yet another example of a really nice memorial about which I cannot find a single word.

Located on the grounds of the Allegany County Court House in Belmont, New York, it is clear that much thought and planning went into its creation.

 11 are listed here as having made the ultimate sacrifice.
 and 15 others who, presumably, served.

And, one was MIA. His remains were recovered and are at rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

This is the art from the front, the inscription on the bottom says:

Last moment for friends

As is always the case, I would love to hear any information that any of you may have regarding this site. I am frequently surprised by those I hear from that enable me to update this site, so get in touch.

Next time, on the 24th, we will take a trip south to North Carolina, once again. So, as always, join me there at 9:00am.

To see additional memorials from New York, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

New Mexico IX

OK, so I got really busy and got behind in my posts. I'll try to keep on schedule from here on.

This family friendly park is entered through this pavilion where events are held for the community.

The first time I tried to visit this memorial in Tejeras it was snowing so hard the town literally closed up shop as I was driving in. the town lies on the way to what is called the High Road out of Albuquerque to Santa Fe and is well marked.

I found the site and it was locked up tight, so I went into the only building I could find open, the library, and asked about the site and they really didn't know much about it or when it might reopen.

Some time later, on a completely different visit, I was able to get in and get these pics, but I am still unable to tell you much about this really nice memorial. There just does not seem to be information out there about it. So, just enjoy the pics and if anyone reading this knows anything, as always, I would live to hear from you. Please "comment" or use the email to the left.

Next time, on the 19th, I hope, we will return to New York, so meet me there at 9:00am.

To see other memorials from New Mexico, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

New Jersey VII

On a number of occasions I have mentioned that I have never missed a photo due to the weather and have complained that I have been wet many times, stood in the Sonoran Desert in 117 degree heat and in snow up to my knees in Carson City, Nevada. With that being said, these shots came the closest to not happening due to mother nature. The day was miserable, cold and raining and the memorial was extremely difficult to locate. I had a general description of where is should be, but all I could find was a restaurant.

Being wet and cold, I was about to throw in the towel I finally went into the place and asked about it, thinking that either I had the wrong location, which happens more often than you might imagine or that the memorial had been moved to a new spot which happens sometimes, too.

Well, the place was not actually open but the let me in and were very nice, explaining that this was not a new request for them and showed me to a back window and there, seemingly lost,  was the memorial, out behind the place.

It stands at the entrance to a larger veterans memorial site and welcomes those that visit Veterans Island. which I have also heard called Veterans Grove.the grove boast many memorials to different wars, heroes and others, like, first responders, but it was just too miserable a day to go exploring.

The island there, along the Cooper River has been dedicated to vets since the 80's and this memorial marking the names of those lost in 'Nam was added at a later date.

It, as you can see, is as simple and straight forward as any memorial, yet standing there in the rain, it seemed to weep for those honored here.

The memorial is located at the entrance to Veterans Island at North Park Drive, Cooper River Park, Pennsauken, N.J.

Next time, on the 13th, we will visit New Mexico, once again, so, as always, join me there at 9:00am.

To see additional memorials from New Jersey, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Nevada V

This memorial in Las Vegas does, to the best of my knowledge,  not yet exist.

 I read a lot about it prior to my most recent visit (September 2014)  and expected to find a completed memorial, but when I arrived it was a vacant lot. I was able to track down one of the sponsors, American Shooters, in town. They had a complete mock-up of the site which they kindly let me try to photograph.You will see from the pics that I was not particularly successful: too much bad light, too much glare and trying to focus through sometimes several layers of plastic. I apologize for what are arguably the worst pictures I have ever posted, but, at least you can get an idea of what is coming. 

Later, when talking with one of the guys there, he said, " We have some of the statues in the back, would you like to see them?" Would I!!

They were being stored near the firing range in the shop and I could not help but feel some internal tension. Here I was looking at one of our own with many different kinds of rounds being fired all around, or so it seemed. Many of these guys were firing things in the AR -15 class and I have not been around so much gun fire in many years. I know that many of us like to continue the use of fire arms and that is certainly our right, but when I got home, I never wanted to handle a weapon again.

There are statues of soldiers from The Revolution through the Global War on Terror planned for the site and the Vietnam representative was among those being stored here.

As indicated above, this is actually a multi-war memorial with a number of wars highlighted and I hope to get back to see it and take some pics of the real thing when it is complete.

I just read this morning about another site, the first specific Vietnam memorial that was dedicated very recently, in Vegas, so when I return I will certainly get that one, too.

For now, however, these will begin to tell the story and once, again, I would like to thank the good folks at American Shooters, 3440 Arville Street, for the kind assistance and interest in this project, they could not have been more helpful.

You can read more about this site here:

Next time, on the 8th, we will take another trip to New Jersey, so join me there, at 9:00 am.

To see additional memorials from Nevada, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.

UPDATE: This afternoon I spoke with John at American Shooters and he told me the memorial will break ground November 11th of this year.