Where did you serve and what did you do?
I served in the US Navy from 1964 to 1998. I was a Navy Fighter Pilot (F-4s and F-14s) and held three different commands. I made five deployments to The Vietnam Combat Zone aboard the aircraft carriers, USS Constellation, USS Enterprise and the DLG USS England. I made later deployments on the USS Kitty Hawk and USS Ranger. Retired from the Navy.
How are you #StillServing?
I continue to serve by being very active in VFW Post 4031’s activities. I serve as the Post’s webmaster, as Public Relations Committee Chairman, and as jack of all trades computer guy.
I also have dedicated myself to helping Vietnam Nam Veterans to the fullest extent possible. It is an honor that I also serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF).
In this #Still Serving Post, I would like to share several of VVMF’s programs that might be of interest to the VFW Vietnam Veterans, their families and friends. The VVMF is the organization which helped build the Vietnam Wall, continues to maintain it. The organization is now dedicated to educating the families, and friends of Vietnam Veterans as well as the general public about the sacrifices that Vietnam Veterans made during that war. The VVMF works to educate future generations about the lasting impact of the Vietnam War.
The first program is called the Wall of Faces. There are more than 58,000 names inscribed on the Vietnam Wall. The virtual Wall of Faces is located a page on VVMF’s website (VVMF.org) dedicated to honoring and remembering every person whose name is carved on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. In an effort to further preserve the legacy of those who sacrificed all in Vietnam, VVMF is committed to finding a photo to go with each of the more than 58,000 names on The Wall. The Wall of Faces allows family and friends to share memories, post pictures and connect with each other. This allows Vietnam Vets, their children and grandchildren to see a lost service member picture to see and post stories about them.
The second is called the In Memory Program. While their names are not on The Wall, the VVMF wants the Vietnam Veterans who have since died of causes related to their service including Agent Orange exposure, wounds, and PTSD/Suicide to be never forgotten. On the Vietnam Veterans Memorial site in Washington, D.C., a special plaque reads: “In Memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice.” If you have lost a member of your family who served in Vietnam you might consider submitting an application for the In Memory Program.
The Third is called The Wall That Heals. On Veterans Day 1996, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) unveiled a three quarters scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., designed to travel to communities throughout the United States. Since its dedication, The Wall That Heals has been displayed at nearly 700 communities throughout the nation, spreading the Memorial’s healing legacy to millions. Bringing The Wall home to communities throughout our country allows the souls enshrined on the Memorial to exist once more among family and friends in the peace and comfort of familiar surroundings. The traveling exhibit provides thousands of veterans who have been unable to cope with the prospect of facing The Wall in Washington, DC to find the strength and courage to do so within their own communities, thus allowing the healing process to begin.The main components of The Wall That Heals are The Wall replica and the mobile Education Center. The Wall That Heals exhibit was on the road for more than 13,000 miles and visited 26 communities from coast to coast during its 2021 season. The Wall That Heals has been escorted by more than 3,000 vehicles into those communities, and we were able to spread The Wall’s healing legacy to nearly 200,000 visitors. Guided tours of the exhibit were provided to more than 12,000 students.
I encourage all VFW members to spread that word that these educational opportunities exist for them to learn more about the sacrifices of those who served in Vietnam bore. These programs are ways to honor those who served in the Vietnam Conflict. They are not forgotten.
Why do you do it?
I wanted to give back to all veterans. I am particularly dedicated to serving in any way that I can to help VietnamVets be recognized and honored. Welcome Home.