Vietnam Veterans Of America

Memorial Chapter #165

From Gene Goldsmith

The Vietnam 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.”

Something to think about: Most of the surviving parents of the dead are now deceased themselves.

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.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, MA, 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.

The largest age group, 8,283 were just 19 years old

3,103 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 scheduled 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. 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: May 1968 – 2,415 casualties incurred.

For many 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, wife’s, sons
and daughters.

There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.

2011 Musical salute – from Jim Pace

We at the Post 212 want to be sure that the members get as much information regarding the November 11 events including the Mt. Baker Show. Could you send us the information you have so that I can post it our newsletter. This would include the Applebee’s dinner for veterans, veterans honored, bonus cards, etc.(list of activities). The more the information the better..

Steve and I respect your comments regarding the problems created by having a political figure like Larsen come and talk. We are going to get other sources and information, create a packet of phone numbers/emails/addresses of key contacts for veterans/veterans families/friends who attend this event at the Ferndale Event Center. Ken Richardson gave good insight. We are going to try to reach Liz Witkowsky at the Veterans Advisory Meeting next week @ 1000 for her take on the event. But we will leave the politics out of it. People are tired of it anyway!

Is there any information regarding the September event where the POWs/MIAs will be remembered?

Jerry Hulbert
Post 212

Acclaimed film, ‘The Welcome’.

Lin McNulty, Outreach Coordinator for a new documentary film, The Welcome, invites you to view the trailer for this powerful documentary that explores the topic of, ‘How to welcome home our war veterans’.

The film could be used as a fund raiser, as a focus for a community gathering, and as a great way to emotionally connect veterans and the public.

Fund Raising Campaign for Tom Darling

Tom Darling, our own Chaplain to our Chapter, is running for the national office of the VFW Chaplain position and as such, is having a fund raising campaign to help with expenses associated with the campaign.

Please see the attached flyer and help out by either attending the dinner being put on for his fund raiser at the VFW 1585 Post this Sat. the 16th or donating to his cause.

Bill Bowen

President VVA 165

Friends of Tom Darling Flyer

Merrill Gardens USO Event

Ana Burnes, the Community Relations Director for Merrill Gardens here in Bellingham, has kindly extend an invitation to our organization for their upcoming USO event.

Please see the attached flyer. We hope to see you there!

Merrill Gardens logo