Thursday, March 31, 2016

Delaware VII

Last time I promised a very special post today, however, it is not quite ready, so hopefully very soon. In the meantime, I decided to post this which I have held off on doing as will be explained below. Enjoy.

Very early in my travels, in fact in August of 2009, I wandered into a place in Townsend, Delaware. I saw a sign along the road referring to Vietnam vets and made the left turn into a nearly hidden area.

Driving slowly down the gravel road, through the area surrounding bushes and shrubs, I came face to face with a Huey. Gives one pause.

Further exploration revealed a compound like area with a pavilion, a memorial and a number of campers on site. I could find no one present so I took a few pictures and moved on. I wondered if I had been on private property and violated anyone's privacy or rights. I never posted those pics because I was unsure of these questions.

Today, I came across them, once again, and wondered about this site some more. I was able, this time, to come up with a phone number ( I tried in the past and was not successful) and had a great chat with one of the members. He assured me that he had no objection to my posting the pics and invited me to return as they have added a number of things to the site. I will be doing that in the near future and will post about this site again then.

For today, I will share just a couple of the pics from that initial visit.

The main feature of the site, all those years ago, was this Huey, now a tank, among other things, has been added to the site.

The boots represent a lost member of the group.

At the base of the flag pole rests this reminder of why they are there and the purpose of this on going endeavor. There will be more on this feature in the future post. The fellow I spoke with today says that it has been renovated and upgraded since I was last there.

I have commented before about the differences between what I call "corporate or state" memorials and those actually created by vets. I love them all. this journey would not have been possible without them, but I do have a spot in my heart for these created by us. they are , to me, the most heartfelt, the most primitive, if you will, and therefore, "real".

So hats off and many thanks to the members of the Vietnam Veterans M.C. at Fire Base Lloyd in Delaware for their service in 'Nam and their service now. Great job, guys!

Next time, on the 5th of April, we will slide down the east coast to check out another site in Florida, so join me there, as usual, at 9:00am. I may have that special post ready by then and will slip it in if possible.

To see other sites from Delaware, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Connecticut IX

On the way to Stamford for a relatives wedding, we came upon this small park in Trumbull. It is located on White Plains Road near Brock street in the area of the local Post Office. Trumbull is about 27 mikes northeast of Stamford.

It is not very large but is marked and quite beautiful.

The memorial lists no names but I have been able to identify 3 from Trumbull that were lost and there is even a small marker to one of them on site.

I read, just today, that the site was vandalized in December but that a local citizen was cleaning it up. No other details were given. I have seen, or read about, so many defaced and vandalized memorials it just makes me ill. What kind of idiot does that?

 I have seen this same plaque a number of places. It says;

Vietnam War
The Trumbull Beautification Commission
Dedicates This Park As A Living Memorial To The Men And Women
Of Trumbull Who Served Their Country During The Vietnam War.
“Your Sacrifice Is Not Forgotten”.

Next time, on the 31st, I hope to have a VERY special post ready to go. Something very different and I am honored and privileged to have been part of it and to have been given permission to post it here. So, check in on the 31st, as always, at 9:00am. 

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

Monday, March 21, 2016

500th post

In October of 2009 I wrote my first post for A Means to Heal. I thought that it might be just 50 posts of the 50 state memorials, but, as I have explained before, not all states have official state memorials, so the project expanded to include many, many more. This has turned out to be much better than my original plan.

I have visited every state in the U.S.A. at least one time and most I have been to two or more times. I have visited memorials large and small, met many great people and have been privileged to learn many stories of memorials, vets, and their families. It has been an honor to have been part of this on-going story.

I am often asked, "what's your favorite memorial?" My answer remains the same, "the one I am standing in front off ," this never seems to change, every time I find a "new" site, I am completely taken by it. I stand, even  if just for a little while, and think about those it honors and remembers. If names are present, which is not always the case, I try to read them and imagine what this man or woman might have been like; what they might have achieved and accomplished were it not for 'Nam.

I would have said, in 2009, that this project was about whatever I was still carrying around from "Nam but because of those I have met and the stories I have heard, I now know that it is so much more than that. I have told the story before about the vet who wrote me and said he'd been in therapy for years for PTSD, but that after visiting A Means to Heal, he knew he was going to get well. What could possibly be better than that? That was the day it dawned on me that this was about so much more.

The project as not only taken me to each state but also to many unimagined events. I have spoken in schools, to V.V.A. Chapters, to the V.A., I was asked to write an article for a magazine, have been interviewed by a number of newspapers, including The Washington Post, been asked to speak around the country and have been interviewed on the radio. I was asked to participate in my county's official Welcome Home, called Honor and Gratitude, and be part of a documentary made about Vietnam vets. Future plans include presenting at a Veterans Day event in Florida and, possibly, at a Veterans for Peace International Convention later in the summer and LZ (landing Zone) Maryland this June. These last couple are still in the talking stages and I hope that they work out.  I only mention any of these things because each was a complete surprise to me. I just started out to take some pics.

The project continues, I still seek memorials and visit them as possible and I continue to try to reach new readers in the hope that some other vet may find something useful and healing in seeing these memorials. Some of you know that I created a FB and a Google+ plus pages to promote A Means to Heal and at last check the Google + page, which provides info on how many folks visit, was fast approaching 500,000 visits in a little over two years. I know that sounds like a lot, but, it is not even most of those who went to 'Nam, much less other population. I hope anyone who happens to read this post will take the time to think about any 'Nam vets, or others, they may know and let them know about the site. It has been proven to provide healing. This seems like a good place to point out, as I always do, that there is NOTHING for sale on the site, only pictures and information about memorials.

Having said that, I think this might, also, be a good time to announce that I have completed my long talked about book, It, too, is called A Means to Heal and was, in fact, the original goal of this endeavor. I am talking to publishers and trying to see if any are interested. That remains to bee seen. I will certainly keep you posted.

So, this is a somewhat momentous day for me, the 500th post on this site. I hope to post many more, but in the meantime, I want to thank all of those who have supported me throughout this effort. Many have helped in many ways and I just want to reiterate my gratitude: without all of you, you know who you are, this project would not have been possible. Again, my heartfelt thanks.

So, post number 501 will be a return to Connecticut, for the 9th time, so join me there, as always, at 9:00am on the 26th.

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

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Colorado XXIII

Colorado State University has not forgotten their students that went to 'Nam or those at the University that raised their voices against the war. I have written before about this being quite rare. Only one other memorial that I have found mentions the war resistance. No matter how one feels about that all these years later, it is important to remember what the era was like accurately.

This bridge over a small creek on the campus faces, by design, east and west and reminds us all, no matter which side we were on, to reach out and listen to others.


A plaque on each end of the bridge reminds us to hear out the other side.

This nearby wall as an odd mix of names, the lost, those against, and some undetermined and a few who seemed to switch sides over time..

The bridge and the wall may be found on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

Next time, on the 21st, I will be making my 500th post. check back then as I hope to have something to say about that. As always, at 9:00am.

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

Friday, March 11, 2016

California XV

Glendale lies about 10 miles north of Los Angeles and is home to approximately 200,000 people.

Located outside city Hall is this veterans memorial.

The five stones honor those from several wars and, of course, Vietnam.

63 names from the Glendale, Montrose, Crescenta Valley area are listed here.

Note the dates listed for the war.

Nearby, a time capsule was created it will be opened 50 years after its creation in 2047. I wonder if thee might be even one of us there for the opening?

The memorial may be located on the corner of Broadway and Isabel just outside of the Glendale City Hall.

Next time, on the 16th, we revisit Colorado, so join me there,as usual, at 9:00am.

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

Friday, March 4, 2016

Arizona X

Lake Havasu City lies in the northwest corner of Arizona and may be better known for being the home of The London Bridge than for this memorial, but we know which is actually more important.

Wheeler Park is one of several in the city and is home to this beautiful remembrance.

Mostly stone, this tribute stands, forever, honoring those who served and those who were lost.

The services are honored by the plaques on the right side beneath the eagle.

The other side features a plaque dedicated specifically to two who were lost and a unique "engraving."

The engraving, etched into the panel, a bit hard to see here, is of a lit candle above praying hands. I can't say that I have ever seen anything quite like this before.

In past posts I have talked about memorials often being similar in design, either some kind of a Wall, comrades on patrol or helping a wounded buddy, or featuring aircraft, usually a Huey and I love them all, but I really enjoy those, like this one, that are just a little bit different. Good job, Lake Havasu City!

Next time, on the 9th, return with me to California, as always, at 9:00am.

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