6/20/14

The Memorial today was just outside Ft Bragg.

Coming down Bragg Drive you see down the road a field of USA Flags — must be a couple of hundred including a Blue Star and a Gold Star Flag, each branch of the military, and a POW/MIA flag. Thise are all adjacent to the Special Ops Museum and to the War Dogs Memorial (which has names in bricks all around it.

The other end has two displays under the heading of the NC Veterans Memorial. Some assorted fountains, arches for each service, two large glass walls with water running down them — on has an image of a soldier’s head — the water fall makes it appear to move very slightly, and over all broadcasts of a variety of military related broadcasts. There is a long wall with “hands” on it signifying those that have enlisted. There are also small “spires” around the area with various size hands on them symbolizing the support of the community. This is a unique memorial tying the support of the community to the veterans — not normally where it lists some key people, but all encompassing. An example of what we need from all the citizens of our country. Another perfect place to bring our school children to learn.

Staying tonight in the Fayetteville Courtyard Marriot as their guest. It s a beautiful motel and central to a half dozen very nice restaurants — I appreciate their support for what I’m doing — another example of what civilians can do for their veterans.

Be safe.

06/21/14

What a great ride today. Temperature was great and only a few times was the weather threatening. Didn’t break a sweat all day — nice change to what its been like. But some traffic as I got into northern Virginia.

I’ve been to the National Museum of the Marine Corps many times but this time I just focused on the ‘Nam Display as it evokes the same motions but with more memories. Its actually put together very well as you start by going thru a helicopter (as if you’re coming in to land) and the room itself is warmer than the rest of the Museum. The room is “Hill 881 South” — one of bloodiest battles and a key position to control.

A radio operator calling in Air Strikes, a 105 mm howitzer, a Doc tending to a Fallen, ammo pit , bunker, observation post— and more. The surrounding area (outside the “Hill”) are covered with pictures of our Heroes and Vietnamese we were helping, and fighting, a paragraph here and there about a specific situation or battle — a very good and complete picture of the Vietnam War from those that fought in it — all very heartfelt. Non Vietnam vets may not understand it but hopefully it sparks enough interest to prompt people to do research. All wars are different in many ways. All wars have their unique battles — the ones remembered most. The details of the Vietnam battles are only now coming out, but still, most Vietnam Vets don’t talk about them. Some of these battles resulted in heavy losses of life, horrific injuries, and and brain numbing memories. When you see any vet say thank you. When its a Vietnam Vet throw in a Welcome Home. Remember, PLEASE, “Some Gave All, Some STILL are — NEVER FORGET”.

Be safe!

06/23/14

This Memorial is a little off the “beaten” path. Near a medical center its very quiet and is don in a circle within a large circular area. There arn’t any explanations to the design so you just take it like it is — a quiet dedicated spot for veterans and others to visit, quietly. The “wall” is low cut and is a series of connected benches — each back has names of those lost in Vietnam. At the open end there are a couple of flag poles with a small round receptical at their base. There was nothing in this “bowl” at the time and I don’t know if it was for a fountain or an eternal flame. Clean area and just as I got there a gentleman was walking around picking up any trash that he might see. H worked there but pretty much kept to himself (although he did get me into a much needed rest room).

Only spent a little time there and then off and running to the next stop.

06/23/14

A fairly large area in what appears to b the heart of Dover, De. Large park lik area and at one end you have the Memorial. A Huey medevac hovering next to USA, State and POW/MIA flags, plaques dedicated to the fallen of Vietnam, families of the KIA (DoD defined Gold Star), and areas put aside for the current conflicts. All of this is within a white chain fence which ties it all together. There are some small white figurines in the bush’s — all angels of course. By having dedicated areas for current conflicts reminds us even more of the frustrations for the veterans. Will they be ignored and forgotten? Or will the additional sacrifices of the Vietnam Vet make people aware.

When I look at the Huey, you can see the pilots and the Corpsman looking down to help those on the ground at great minute to minute risk to themselves. So many of our military owe it all to these pilots and medical personnel. Thank you all.