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Old 10-28-2011, 12:05 PM
Location: Southern Oregon
2,833 posts, read 4,022,287 times
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Courtesy of SgtMaj McDonald

A little history most people will never know

Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall
"Carved on these walls is the story of America , of a continuing quest to preserve both Democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream." ~President George Bush
SOMETHING to think about - Most of the surviving Parents are now Deceased.
There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties

Beginning at the apex on panel 1E and going out to the end of the East wall, appearing to recede into the earth (numbered 70E - May 25, 1968), then resuming at the end of the West wall, as the wall emerges from the earth (numbered 70W - continuing May 25, 1968) and ending with a date in 1975. Thus the war's beginning and end meet. The war is complete, coming full circle, yet broken by the earth that bounds the angle's open side and contained within the earth itself.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth , Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965

There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall

39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger

8,283 were just 19 years old

The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old

12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old

5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old

One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam

1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam

31 sets of brothers are on the Wall

Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons

54 soldiers on the Wall attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia . I wonder why so many from one school

8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded

244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall

Beallsville , Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons

West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall

The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest . And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home

The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam . In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths

The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred

For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors

Last edited by Terryj; 10-28-2011 at 12:22 PM..
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:55 PM
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
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I know of at least three more from Edison High who died in Vietnam. They had quit school and recieved GEDs from Lincoln Academy a Private School. They are mistakenly identified as Lincoln High.
The situation in North Philly at that time was that no good employer would touch you until you had completed your military service. College was out of the question and you needed political pull to get in the reserves or National Guard. Most young males either enlisted or "pushed up " their draft numbers so they would be taken right away. I went in a month after my 17th birthday and completed high school in the Army
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Old 10-29-2011, 05:59 PM
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The Wall exists because of a man named Jan Scruggs. At the age of 29 he was a former rifleman with the U.S. Army 199th Light Infantry Brigade. He came up with the idea to build the memorial after seeing the movie The Deer Hunter. After seeing it he sat in his kitchen, alone, drinking whiskey, having a flashback about his own service in Vietnam. The year was 1979.

The idea of building the memorial was not a popular one. In the beginning most of the donations that came in were $5, $10, maybe $20 and they came from the people. Fellow vets. Families of men who had died in country.

When the memorial was finally designed, by a young woman named Maya Lin who won a design competition, it was considered by many to be a gash. A wound. A scar in the earth. It symbolized a war the country wanted to forget. And yet on November 13, 1982 Vietnam veterans poured into the capitol to dedicate the memorial. As did tens of thousands of citizens from all over the nation. Many of the vets saw "Welcome Home" signs held up for the very first time.

After the dedication the ropes were lowered and thousands of people swarmed The Wall. Many just to touch the name of a buddy who had died in country. People started making rubbings of the names on the wall. Pencil scratches on a piece of paper. Dog tags were left. And flowers. And POW bracelets. Bottles of beer and packages of cigarettes. Green berets.

Today The Wall is rarely empty. Vets keep vigil over friends lost. What was barely wanted has become of of our nation's most sacred sites.
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Old 10-29-2011, 06:40 PM
Location: TX and NM on the border of the Great Southwest.
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A visit to the Wall can cause tears to fall from those with the toughest of hearts. This is especially true when you finally find the name of a friend or neighbor who died so young.
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:54 AM
Location: Southern Oregon
2,833 posts, read 4,022,287 times
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Originally Posted by High_Plains_Retired View Post
A visit to the Wall can cause tears to fall from those with the toughest of hearts. This is especially true when you finally find the name of a friend or neighbor who died so young.
Living on the west coast it is difficult to go see the Wall in D.C., I have been to the traveling wall when it came through our town a few years ago. I must say it was a humbling experience, I saw the names of a couple of my friends and it brought tears to my eyes, it still does everytime I think of them.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:41 PM
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Thanks for posting this thread and the opening information list ... I also grew up mostly in Philadelphia ... played athletics against Edison -- formidable teams ... enlisted at 17 ... home from my first [full] tour still 18 years old ... four months in Oaknoll Naval Hospital ... later medically discharged.

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam
I (crew: combat air rescue) lost my first two aircraft in the first 2 months -- both pilots un-recovered, still there to this day and on the Wall ... second one was his first tour, age 24, two months flying ... third plane downed four times over remaining tour (but recoverable) ...

12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old
The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old
8,283 were just 19 years old

Hit home again tonight. My ages of service. Youngest of my 4 kids is now 26. I couldn't imagine them off to war at 17 ... killed at 18 ... etc. One son now just discharged at 31. Relief.
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