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Traveling tribute honors Vietnam vets in Fayetteville

Posted November 6, 2011

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— A half-sized replica of the Vietnam Wall that has toured the country for the past two decades arrived in Fayetteville Sunday as part of the city's Heroes Homecoming celebration in honor of Vietnam veterans.

Thousands of Fort Bragg soldiers deployed to Vietnam, but there was no heroes welcome upon their return. Having the Moving Wall, as the traveling tribute is called, and its 58,000 names on display outside the Airborne and Special Operations Museum was an acknowledgement of veterans' heroism and sacrifice.

"There are veterans that do to the airports just to shake the hands of soldiers coming home," said Paul Galloway, executive director of the museum. "That didn't happen in the 60s and early 70s."

Veteran David James said he has seen a change in the way soldiers are welcomed home today.

Vets visit Vietnam Wall replica in Fayetteville Vets visit Vietnam Wall replica in Fayetteville

"We didn't get a lot of respect coming back when we came back. I'm glad to see the guys are getting it today. They deserve it," he said.

Galloway felt that the veterans of yesterday deserved it, too. The Moving Wall gives the community an opportunity to say "thank you."

"Let them see this wall. You know, sometimes they call this wall the healing wall," Galloway said.

Moses Best, who served with the Army in Vietnam and Korea said the event was an important reminder of his fallen comrades.

"They lost their lives for America, and they did a tremendous job," he said.

The wall remains in Fayetteville until Nov. 14.

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  • TomLynda Nov 7, 2011

    driverkid3.

    And you are a true American sir. People like you make the wounds of the past melt away. And when people like you say that, we know it comes from the heart, and for that we are grateful. The pen pals that they, and our men and women in the Middle East have today, meant and means a lot to those that are serving. Thank you.

  • driverkid3 Nov 7, 2011

    TomLynda, One of these young men serving in Viet Nam made a huge difference in my life when I was 15 years old. I won't go into details here, but he was a "pen pal." I had no idea what he was really going through till I grew up and worked with the Blinded Veterans Association for awhile and heard some of the stories from the vet's themselves. I tried to find him but had no luck till I got my first computer. I found his name and called; I wanted to express my gratitude to him. However, it was his son, Jr., that answered. He told me his Dad died 2 years previous. I will always regret that I could never say Thanks in person. So, I find the ones today that served and say it to them. I love these men and women that served, it gives me great pleasure to say "Welcome Home" because I mean it with every fiber of my being. Some of them have never heard that, and that is a shame.

  • NavySrChiefswife Nov 7, 2011

    For those who wish to honor our Veterans at Christmas....please checkout www.wreathsacrossamerica.org. On this website you can order a wreath that will be placed on a Veteran's grave during a National ceremony on Dec 10. (you cannot request a specific grave). The ceremony is at National cemetaries across the US and is free to attend. (hope no one minds me putting this out there...not many know of this organization. I think it is a wonderful cause.)

  • sacsai745 Nov 7, 2011

    From the NC Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Salute schedule of events in Raleigh, NC May 22-24, 1987. Each face will lose his name and time will not defer, but there will also be the bond between who we are and where we where.Written by Ned Broderick, USMC, 1967.

    The aforementioned Salute was a three day event built around the dedication of the NC Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Capitol(Union)Square in Raleigh, NC on May 23, 1987

  • BEB-FootballMOM Nov 7, 2011

    To be killed in war is not the worst that can happen. To be lost is not the worst that can happen... to be forgotten is the worst." -Pierre Claeyssens (1909-2003).

    ----------- NavySrChiefswife

    Very Well said!!!! the acknowledgement they are getting now is WAY over due!!!!! Sad to say allot of those who should have gotten a THANK YOU (even if late)went to their grave thinking they were hated for their sacrifices for our country!!!! :(

    I appreciate all that every service man/woman has done and is doing for our country!!!!!!!!

  • Scubagirl Nov 7, 2011

    Long overdue! Those times were not our best and so many were killed, thousands more injured. They deserved our support then and still deserve it today. Unfortunately the anger that should have been directed at politicians was directed at those fighting and dying for our country.
    I would love to see this monument. The Wall in DC is one of the most moving places I have ever visited, one that makes me cry every time and seeing names of those I knew brings it all crashing home.

  • haggis basher Nov 7, 2011

    Been to see the real wall in DC.....a sobering experience....all those names........

  • Wendellcatlover Nov 7, 2011

    I was just an infant when our soldiers began returning from Vietnam. I cannot imagine how they felt coming home to an ungrateful country full of protestors verbally and physically assaulting them after so many of them had given so much for this country. We should all be embarrassed that this is a legacy of the USA. We can never make up for the way Vietnam's soldiers were treated, but we can only learn from those tragic mistakes and try to change our actions today. I had family that was in Vietnam, and I, for one, am so thankful to them for all the sacrifices they made for me and my family. They are all heroes! God bless you!

  • TomLynda Nov 7, 2011

    driverkid3:

    Thank you for that. We Viet Nam vets really appreciate it, and as you stated in your last sentence, I too hope we never, ever treat our 'cream of the crop' that way again. They put it all on the line. For us.

  • driverkid3 Nov 7, 2011

    The Viet Nam vets should have been honored like this LONG ago. It's long overdue. They didn't deserve the treatment they got, and we can never make up for that. We CAN try. When I run into one that served then, I will tell them Thank you and welcome home. They deserve that and much more. I really hope we never treat our fine military people that way again.

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