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Vietnam veterans are eligible to be honored at traveling 'The Wall That Heals' exhibit

Vietnam Memorial
Posted at 2:26 PM, Jan 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-06 17:26:41-05

Veteran Services for the County of San Luis Obispo is calling on Vietnam War veterans' families and friends for a chance to be recognized and memorialized.

This display will take place at The Wall That Heals in San Luis Obispo from March 16-19.

This traveling exhibit spans 375 feet in length and rises to seven and one-half feet tall at its apex. The Wall’s 140 panels contain the names of more than 58,000 service members. (National Veterans Memorial and Museum)

Local Vietnam veterans who died after returning home are eligible to be honored as part of the In Memory Honor Roll display.

If interested, it is asked that the names be submitted no later than Feb. 16 to the In Memory program through an application that can be found here.

Since the Vietnam War ended, thousands of Vietnam veterans have suffered due to Agent Orange exposure, PTSD and other illnesses as a result of their service.

Vietnam War picture from The “Arts of War” column that ran in Vietnam Veterans of America’s national magazine, The VVA Veteran, from 1986-2009.
The “Arts of War” column that ran in Vietnam Veterans of America’s national magazine, The VVA Veteran, from 1986-2009.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, VVMF, believes all those who served in Vietnam should be honored and remembered for their service.

VVFM is a nonprofit organization that founded the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1982.

One of their duties is to manage The Wall That Heals and In Memory programs.

"No one knew that when the war ended, Vietnam veterans and their families would still be feeling the effects of their service more than 50 years later. In Memory is our way to honor these Vietnam veterans for the sacrifices they made,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of VVMF.

Vietnam veteran Eugene Brice at the 1982 Vietnam Veteran's parade in Washington D.C. (Bettmann Archive)

All veterans from California honored through In Memory will have their photos and names on display.

In addition to The Wall That Heals display, having a veteran honored through In Memory includes:

  • As part of the In Memory Honor Roll, an online personal remembrance page is created for each honoree with their photo and biographical information. Family members can share the page and leave remembrances about their loved one(s).
  • An invitation to In Memory weekend in Washington, D.C., which includes a touching ceremony on the site of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial where each honoree’s name is read aloud.
  • Each applicant also receives a printed personal tribute certificate with their veteran’s photo(s).

The plaque on the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial site in Washington, D.C. that honors these veterans was dedicated as a part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 2004.

A replica plaque is part of The Wall That Heals exhibit.

It 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.’

For more information on The Wall That Heals visit to San Luis Obispo, you can visit this website.

If you want to know more about the history and how this program came to be, click on this video.