Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Oregon XIV

This memorial sits at one end of the parking lot of the Museum of the Oregon Territory. We did not have great directions and drove around for quite some time trying to find it. We pulled into the lot and decided to ask in the Museum, but it was closed. As we started to leave and move on to the next site, we noticed the flag flying high and there, nestled in the trees, was the memorial.

It honors a Medal of Honor recipient from Oregon City who gave his life for his fellow soldiers.

 Specialist Dahl's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

Sp4c. Dahl distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving as a machine gunner on a gun truck near An Khe, Binh Dinh Province. The gun truck in which Sp4c. Dahl was riding was sent with 2 other gun trucks to assist in the defense of a convoy that had been ambushed by an enemy force. The gun trucks entered the battle zone and engaged the attacking enemy troops with a heavy volume of machine gun fire, causing a large number of casualties. After a brief period of intense fighting the attack subsided. As the gun trucks were preparing to return to their normal escort duties, an enemy hand grenade was thrown into the truck in which Sp4c. Dahl was riding. Instantly realizing the great danger, Sp4c. Dahl called a warning to his companions and threw himself directly onto the grenade. Through his indomitable courage, complete disregard for his safety, and profound concern for his fellow soldiers, Sp4c. Dahl saved the lives of the other members of the truck crew while sacrificing his own. Sp4c. Dahl's conspicuous gallantry, extraordinary heroism, and intrepidity at the cost of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit and the U.S. Army

Sometimes, memorials are large and lavish, like The Wall in DC or any number of the others posted on this site, but, other times they are small, personal, dignified and every bit as poignant and important as is this one and the many others, also posted here.

Next time, on the 5th, we will revisit Washington, so join me there at 9:00am.

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

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Virginia XIII

Last year, while wandering the Marine Corp Museum in Triangle, Virginia, I came a cross an area that, at least from the road was difficult to get to without climbing guard rails, etc. so, that's what I did. I had been down to see the Take Me Home Huey exhibit featured at the Museum on Memorial Day weekend. You can find more info on this fantastic project elsewhere on A Means to Heal, too.

Good choice. I found a memorial to military dogs and a few mentions of Vietnam service along the walkway, which, it turns out was easily accessible form elsewhere. I will write about these at a future date.

This memorial to the class of '67 includes the name of Victor David Westphall whose parents built the first national memorial in Angle Fire New Mexico after Victor was killed in 'Nam. I have featured this spectacular site elsewhere on this effort and have often said that seeing the memorial in new Mexico is largely responsible for this on going project, to honor as many as possible.

The memorial honors the 39 men from BOC class 5, 1967 who were lost in 'Nam. they became known as the boys of '67 and Lt Westphall was one of them.

 A reminder to us all.

Next time, on the28th, we will venture back to Oregon, so, as always, join me there at 9:00am.

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

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Means to Heal on TV

I was honored recently to be featured on the ABC7 (Washington, DC) series of long form stories. These are stories that run considerably longer than is practical for broadcast news. They are "teased" on the daily news with a short version, 60 to 90 seconds, and they shown in full on the stations web site.

This is a relatively new format and I have seen several, like Left Behind and Presidents Heads which are just excellent. I recommend that you check them out, too.

So, they followed me to a few memorials in the area and made what I think is a really nice tribute to those honored at these sights and to all that sacrificed so much in 'Nam

I hope you enjoy this film and send it to other vets or interested parties.

Also, if you like it, please let ABC7 know so that they can continue making meaningful, complete, interesting stories.

You can contact them here:


Next time, on the 23rd we will resume our travels with another visit to Virginia, so join me, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Monday, February 13, 2017

North Carolina XIII

Nine young men from a small North Carolina town are honored upon this memorial. Nine may not sound like a lot, but the town of Dallas, in Gaston County, only had around three thousand citizens at the time. So, nine is actually a lot, it is safe to say, I think, that the odds are very good that these young men were probably well known to everyone in the town.

This memorial is located on North Gaston Street at the Gaston County Court House.

It was dedicated on July 4th 1974, before the war was even over, making it a fairly early remembrance.

Next time, on the 18th, we will make a return trip to Oregon, so, join me there, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New York XI

I have seen pictures of this memorial since I began this journey in 2009, but every time I got to New York I just couldn't get to the site.

So, this past September when I went up to visit my Army buddy, John, whom I had not seen since 69 or 70, I was thrilled when he told me it was not far from where he lives.

Located in Eisenhower Park, it is one of a number of memorials including a really great one to September 11, that I will write about at some future date, along with the two other Vietnam memorials in the park.

The joined hands are said to represent and recall the brotherhood of 'Nam vets which seems particularly appropriate since John and I were there together after looking for each other for more than 40 years.

The hands rise out of a map of Vietnam which has a number of cities and locations noted by raised markers.

The hands are joined by dog tags on a chain and this motif is repeated in etchings on the surface of the stone as seen here.

This iconic beast is honored here, also.

It is a bit unusual to see Cambodia and Laos mentioned, but I am always pleased when an effort is made to tell the larger story. We denied this for so long that it is still rare to have it mentioned at all.

At another time I will show you the other Vietnam memorial here and also a separate one to commemorate those lost to Agent Orange.

Eisenhower Park is located in East Meadows on Long Island and covers nearly 1000 acres.

Next time, however, on the 13th, we will take another trip to North Carolina, so join me there, as always, at 9:00am.

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

Friday, February 3, 2017

New Mexico XIII

Rio Rancho is not too far from Santa Fe and they have created a magnificent park and memorial to all who have served.

A series of walls list the names of all who have served and , perhaps sadly, there is plenty of space for additional names. Heroes not yet made, or perhaps, even born.

Vietnam is, of course reflected here, In fact, the park was created by a couple of 'Nam vets who wanted a place to remember and reflect.

Note that this site begins the war in 1964, the year of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. This is not uncommon, but I always wonder how this is considered correct when so very many died before, from 1956 on.

The park is filled with paths, benches, gardens and other interesting and peaceful thing and is well worth a visit. It is located at 950 Pinetree Road S.E.

Next time, on the 8th, we will venture back to New York, so join me there at 9:00am, as always.

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