Veterans have options for seeing Vietnam memorial wall


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Veterans, families, friends and the general public have several options to see Vietnam memorial walls in 2020 with the release of traveling wall schedules.

Before visiting one of the traveling walls, a doctor from the National Center for PTSD said Veterans with PTSD should consider their expectations for the visit and how the visit fits into their recovery goals.

“Think through, ‘What do I hope to get out of this?” said Dr. Sonya Norman, director of the center’s PTSD Consultation Program. “Know what you expect so you’re not disappointed or overwhelmed. That can help the visit be a rich and meaningful experience.”

Norman said how the visit may impact someone’s PTSD is varied and complex, so there is no one way to approach it. She added that, even though people with PTSD share common symptoms, people have different experiences and feelings regarding their trauma. Getting an evidence based treatment for PTSD helps Veterans in recovery.

Below are the different options.

The Wall That Heals

The Wall That Heals is operated by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, who unveiled the replica on Veterans Day 1996. Since then, more than 600 communities have seen the traveling display.

The Wall That Heals exhibit features a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The replica is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. Visitors experience The Wall rising above them as they walk towards its apex, a key feature of the design of The Wall in D.C.

The 53-foot trailer that carries The Wall That Heals transforms to become a mobile Education Center. The exterior of the trailer features a timeline of “The War and The Wall” and provides additional information about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

VVMF’s 2020 schedule starts in Florida on Feb. 20 and includes stops in more than 20 states.

More information on its schedule is at https://www.vvmf.org/The-Wall-That-Heals/2020-Tour-Schedule/.

American Veterans Traveling Tribute

American Veterans Traveling Tribute shows an 80% replica Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. It measures 360 feet long by eight feet high at the apex. Displays also fly flags over the wall.

These events start March 4 in Arizona and include 15 different states. More information on their schedule is at https://www.americanveteranstravelingtribute.com/schedule.

AV Wall

The Mobile Vietnam Memorial Wall has two events planned for 2020. Volunteers run the organization. Its schedule is:

March 26-30 at Bucklin Park, 1350 S 8th St, El Centro, CA 92243

50th Commemoration Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin Presentation Ceremony on 3/29/19

Nov. 6-12 at Sun Valley Community Church, 6101 S River Dr, Tempe, AZ 85283

The organization keeps up-to-date information on its website at www.avwall.org and on their Facebook page.

The Moving Wall

The Moving Wall is a half-size replica, touring since 1984. Two replicas now travel the U.S. from April-November, spending about a week at each site.

The schedule for The Moving Wall is not yet out, but is located at http://www.themovingwall.org/current_schedule.html.

Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall

The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall is a 3/5 scale that stands six feet tall at the center and covers almost 300 feet from end to end. Vietnam and All Veterans of Brevard, located in Brevard County, Florida, manages the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall.

Its schedule should be released soon. It will be located at http://www.travelingwall.us/schedule_of_appearances.htm.

Vet Centers

Outreach specialists and counselors will be on hand at many locations to meet with Veterans and families wanting to learn more about how Vet Centers aid in the readjustment of a Veteran or service member after deployment or trauma. Vietnam Veterans originally established Vet Centers and still hold true to keeping that promise today.

Vietnam War Commemoration

Many sites will also hold Vietnam War Commemoration events. To find an event, go to https://www.vietnamwar50th.com/events/. To learn about the lapel pin ceremonies, see https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/67922/vietnam-veterans-families-honored-thanked-program/.

Washington, D.C.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., is the most well-known of the memorials. Set on two acres on the National Mall, the public may visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial 24 hours a day. Rangers are on duty to answer questions from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily and to provide interpretive programs throughout the day and upon request.

Author

Adam Stump

Adam Stump is a public affairs specialist with VA’s Digital Media Engagement team. He is a retired Air Force Veteran who served 20 years, including two deployments to Afghanistan for detention operations and special operations.

Comments

  1. Nelda Fayle    

    We have seen both, traveling wall and THE WALL in Washington DC. We have seen the newer Vietnam memorial in DC, also. All are amazing and so beautifully done to honor these Men and Women. I have been married to a very proud Vietnam Vet for over 50 years. We visit, as we have friends named on that wall. Yes, it’s overwhelming, emotional and leaves us feeling greatly blessed and even more appreciative of those who didn’t come home. Everyone should see it ! We will every chance we have. We go to VA Houston and so proud for wonderful care and enjoy meeting or just greeting each and every veteran, active military, and veteran volunteers. OUR THANKS TO ALL WHO SERVE OUR COUNTRY.

  2. Kim P    

    My husband is a Vietnam Vet and we got to visit a traveling wall a few years back when it was in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. It broke my heart to see his reaction and I think only fellow vets can truly understand the overwhelming feeling. Sadly, he is in poor health, but I am hoping to one day take him to see the real wall! But I am so happy that there are traveling walls so that people can see how huge it is and how many names are on it. How many families were affected and that is just from one war. The sacrifice is real. And agent orange continues to give, sadly.

  3. Scott Kelley    

    American Legion Post 639 in Springfield, Missouri has one of the Traveling Walls arriving this July 1 to the 5th, 2020

    Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AmericanLegion639

    2660 S Scenic Ave
    Springfield, Missouri 65807
    (417) 882-8639 (11 am to 8 pm best time to contact)

    Date has been confirmed BUT, as always, it is best to call ahead or check the Facebook IF any unforeseen event or circumstance forced an alteration to the planned JULY FIRST to JULY FIFTH 2020 Vietnam Memorial Wall event. If you are local it is no problem. We had a few folks from further out, some from other states, who traveled to visit the Wall. If any date alterations DO occur (doubtful) they will be well-publicized via Facebook and any other media (Web and otherwise) used to advertise this healing, patriotic event.

    Thank You, Veterans. Thank You, VA and to all who support us.

  4. Joseph Vigue    

    For the many of you that have never been to the WALL, especially those of you that are afraid of your reactions, I STRONGLY suggest you go see it, either the one in DC or the traveling Wall. I also even more strongly recommend going with at least 1 other Vietnam Vet hopefully that has been before. It will be a hell of a lot easier on you. You will regret not going a lot more than you will ever regret going! And, you DO owe it to your fallen comrades!

  5. Kim C Kuthy    

    The wall is coming to Woodsfield Ohio some time in June. Do you have the date?

  6. Louda R Mites    

    when will the wall come to New York?

  7. Louda R Mites    

    I am the widow of a Bronz Star Vietnam Veteran 9th infintry division 1966-1968 Mr..Jesse James Hill who passed on October 20,2018 at Staten Island NY University Hospital can I requeat his name to be put on wall and also whea will the wall visit NY,NY?

    1. Robert Clemmey    

      Sorry for your loss. I was also in the 9th inf in nam1967_1968. I was a helicopter pilot. I didn’t know your husband but I hope you can add him to the wall. Hopefully you can. Best of luck. Bob

  8. Steven Lau    

    I was at Tuy Hoa AB 68-69. When the traveling wall came through our area a number i=of years ago my family and I went to see it. I couldn’t walk up to it and there were a couple more vets that were hanging back also so it wasn’t just me. Maybe someday I will try again.

  9. John Erickson    

    I have always been worried about going to the Wall. Because of combat wounds I have lost much of my memory, Of Viet Nam as well as childhood memories. I am plagued with memory issues to date and also TIA’s. I feel I must go to give my comrades my thanks for their sacrifice. I am afraid what may happen mentally when I get there but its a debt that has to be paid. I am glad that the American people have finally recognized the horrible pain suffered by vets in the past 50+ years for the lack of support our government failed to give.

  10. Howard Helfman    

    It took me four years to work up enough emotional strength to visit the wall. I awoke early on a cold day in October 1986 and drove, alone, four hours to stand before that wall, walk along its length, reach out and touch the names of the men in my platoon that died in Vietnam in the fall of 1967. I sat teary-eyed on the grassy knoll, remembered and watched other vets, family members and visitors solemnly observe all those names and reach out and touch their loved one. I drove home that afternoon…thankful for the architecture of that place, its peace and silent humble dignified beauty.

    1. Kim P    

      Thank you for your service! My husband wants to see the actual wall, but at the same time does not want to see it. He is afraid to. I think that is a common response to have to work up the strength. One thing I absolutely love to watch is the comradery between him and any era vet as they sit and talk. It truly is a brotherhood.

      1. Joe Bacarella    

        I live in the DC Area. What many people do not know is that The Wall seems, at times, to be alive. For example when it rains and you visit The Wall at night you will have a very different experience than when it’s dry & the sun is out. The Wall is open 24 hours & I have been there at odd times. The reactions of fellow Vets is what is truly amazing…the years go by, however, the memories are as fresh as yesterday….

  11. Linda    

    Hello Richard G Kensinger,

    I visited this place, this was amazing experience

  12. Scott Kelley    

    American Legion Post 639 in Springfield, Missouri has one of the Traveling Walls arriving this July 2020 for a multi-day appearance. We did this around 5-years ago and an estimated 20,000 or so visitors flooded the post to visit the wall, accompanying ceremonies and visit a mobile tent-covered museum displaying a huge variety of military-related items.

    We kept the event open 24-hours with post members prepared for all possibilities we could envision. From having golf carts to transport injured, elderly, etc. to having grief counselors to assist as needed. The most touching experiences from my view were the folks arriving in the very slow hours around 11 pm to 6 am. Mostly older fellows who had been in “The ‘Nam.” Many arrived and walked to the wall staring intently until they found what they were seeking and there they stood and/or sat and communed in silence. None of us bothered them. When they left we gave a “Welcome home, brother” and motioned towards the coffee and donut stand with chairs available along with amateur grief counselors with minimal training but also being veterans themselves. Interestingly, not one of those off-hours folks, all males, all old enough to be ‘Nam vets, came over for a donut or to converse. All smiled, however, and the raised “right-on” fist was common. A touching experience and I believe the Wall’s availability along with having fellow veterans present WAS a “healing experience” for many.

    During the daylight hours was when the “civilians” flooded in. The curious, the interested in that era and others associated with “Nam in some way such as having a loved one or kinfolk who were involved with the ‘Nam in some way. The table with the name locator for the wall was kept busy and volunteers scurried constantly to assist folks with finding a particular name. This group were the ones most apt to openly cry and seek a grief counselor. I believe a different type of “healing” occurred with the daytime folks but it WAS healing and the Wall did its intended task.

    That past event was a first for the post. We are better prepared for the upcoming Wall event. All of us are 5-years older as will be the visitors. As the in-country ‘Nam veteran population steadily dwindles as occurs for every group of people the Wall may become increasingly important in various ways. We will be prepared and experience will hopefully assist with our providing the best “healing experience” and educational event for the later generations possible.

    Everybody is welcome. As the event date draws nearer the dates will be shown on the post’s Facebook page:

    https://www.facebook.com/AmericanLegion639

    Pics and info about the prior Wall event is at the site below:

    https://www.americanlegionpost639.org/the-vietnam-traveling-wall

    July, 2020. More info to appear at the Facebook page in the future. Everybody welcome!!! Thank you, VA!!!!

  13. Joan Mcgillem    

    When was the last time the Vietnam traveling wall visited MCAS Cherry Point NC? The town outside Cherry Point, Havelock, is 75% or more military vets. I got one would like my grandchildren to see it. I retired Marine and have someone on that wall from my family

  14. Boby L Garner    

    Having served two tours in Vietnam with the 27th. Inf Reg. 25th Inf Div { Wolfhounds] I have never been able to visit the Wall in Washington D.C or the traveling Wall because my name should be on both instead of the Men I led to their Deaths in Combat. How do you look at names of young Men knowing if you had did a better job of leading them in Combat they would be here today..It still haunts me 52 years after the fact

    1. Travis L. Cothron    

      Bobby,
      I don’t know you but I know what’s in your heart. You are a leader. If not for you, the wall would have even more names on
      it – the names of the Men you brought back safely!
      You were there for our country in our time of need and I hope you can find a way to be as proud of yourself and your leadership as we are!

      God bless you and all who serve.

      Travis C.

      1. Eugene    

        Bobby I know exactly how you feel–I visited the Traveling wall years ago when it came thru Las Vegas,Nv I had my wife drive as I didn’t know how I was going to react–as we approached the entrance to the wall (Police Guarded) I was already teared up –I went to the books to locate my fallen Brothers and fell to my knees and prayed and I did go up to the wall to where they were supposed to be but I couldn’t stay and look as I was overwhelmed with tears and had to leave-I would really like to go see the real Wall in DC as I think I might be able to handle it now (probably not) but pay my respects for our fallen comrades who gave their all in a stupid war that we should have Won except for the idiot politicians in this country–Geno 1st Air Cav 68-69

  15. Nancy Gresham    

    I wonder how many are still being killed by the Viet Nam War due to Agent Orange??? I do wish they could be added to the wall too, or a separate wall added to include these guys!

  16. Nancy Lewellen    

    I would like to encourage each vetran to take advantage of this. I lost my 3 tour Vietnam vetran in December. He said before he died that his one regret was that he had not taken advantage of an honor flight when I had encouraged him to a couple of years ago. Yes agent orange got him one month and 5 days before our 50th anniversary.

  17. Noemi Ortiz    

    Even though my brother did not die in Vietnam, he returned a tragic, mental case. He did 2 tours in Vietnam, 1 in Korea. He died when he was 45 from Agent Orange symptoms, heart disease, PTSD, he was diagnosed 100% mentally incapacitated. He left his mind and soul in Vietnam even though he physically came home. His flashbacks were horrendous and heartbreaking. David Gonzalez, 9/4/1950 should be on the Vietnam Memorial Wall because he did give his life for the Army and his country the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I am his sister, Noemi Ortiz.

  18. William B Self    

    I have never visited the wall either. I feel overwhelmed with the thought of visiting the wall. I was with Det.1 620th Tac Control Sq (Air Force) at the Dong Ha Marine Base 1968 1969. I just can’t go.

  19. John Rocky Mcfarland    

    The Vietnam war could have and should have been won. Perhaps better said is Five Administrations knew we could win it- but made dam sure we didn’t. I believe our Govt. sold us VN veterans out and the south Vietnamese people as well. 101st Airborne paratrooper infantry. 11 Bravo 1st Brigade 66-68

  20. Melody M Pahl    

    There is also a half scale replica version made of the same stone as the original one in South Sioux City, Nebraska that is open all year. On Memorial day Sunday, there is a ride to the wall and a service that follows.

  21. Richard G Kensinger    

    Having been an AF ER medic from 1969~1973, we have a retired traveling “wall that heals” at our local VAC. It is infrequently visited as many of our vets are dying, and because this conflict is the most despised, detested, and protested conflict ever!
    Vets and family members I interview for my research on combat trauma dating back to Korea indicate that they work hard at “keeping ” behind it”.

    For myself, I can no longer visit it. I feel such a deep sense of loss for over 60,000 killed, and for having fought a conflict that 5 administrations knew we could never win.
    Rich

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