Fort Bragg moves, rededicates Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Posted November 10, 2011
Fort Bragg, N.C. — As part of an ongoing event to honor Vietnam veterans, Fort Bragg rededicated its Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Thursday at its new location.
For 26 years, the granite marker was practically hidden near the All American Freeway.
"Today, we are correcting that," 82nd Airborne Maj. Gen. Rodney Anderson said of the memorial's move to the Fort Bragg Main Post Parade Field, not far from where an eternal flame burns.
The ceremony was part of Heroes Homecoming, a 10-day celebration to show Vietnam veterans the community's appreciation for their service.
"Their generation paid, I would submit, a double price. Not only did they serve with distinction, they came home to no thank you," Anderson said.
Veterans like Eusebio Torres said they returned to scorn.
"I wanted to go back to Vietnam. I felt like I didn't belong. They made us feel worthless after giving up my life," Torres said.
The war left veteran Richard Luttrell with a different image. Luttrell killed a Vietnamese soldier during combat. When he was looking through the soldier's belongings, he found a photo of the soldier and his young daughter.
Luttrell's wife, Carole, said he carried the photo with him for 22 years before leaving it at the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington in 1989.
"It haunted him," she said.
The photo ended up appearing in a book and prompted television news magazine "Dateline" to travel with him to meet the little girl in the faded portrait in 2000.
"It was the only picture the little girl had of her father," Richard Luttrell said in the documentary, "Killing Memories."
Luttrell is one of five veterans featured in the documentary which looks at the personal cost of war. It will screen Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Cameo Theater in Fayetteville as part of Heroes Homecoming. It will also air on WRAL-TV following the 11 p.m. news on Saturday.
Richard Luttrell had hoped to be in Fayetteville for the Heroes Homecoming event, but he passed away last year just before Veterans Day.