I got an email from listener about The Moving Wall. This monument is half the size of the original Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. There was an oppurtunity to talk with Veterans in Attleboro, MA about how this exhibit is coming to Attleboro, MA.
The Attleboro Veterans Service Officer, Ken Badertscher, along with two Vietnam Veterans came to Attleboro VFW Post 115 to talk with me about their experiences and what The Moving Wall meant to them.
As we began talking it became clear that the Vietnam War was still fresh on their minds. Both Vietnam War Veterans said that they had been healing even after all these years.. The Moving Wall shows them they are not forgotten.
And that is really the core issue with many Vietnam Veterans. For a long time, America forgot about them. America did not honor their service. These Vietnam Veterans who are alive today and are reminded of that fact. However, they are hopeful because of events like The Moving Wall. Seeing the entire city of Attleboro come together to bring this event to the region means that younger generations want to ensure stories are told. The sacrifices and ones lost will be remembered as those who answered the call, or in the case of the Vietnam War, those who didn’t have a choice to serve.
I will be going to this event, and I am looking forward to talking with these Veterans again. You all are not forgotten.
“Travis, get with Dennis Donahue, he escorted the Vietnam Wall that Heals to Weymouth.” Sometimes it goes just like that with my producer Keith Hayes aka Sinista1;) I knew the mobile Vietnam Veterans Wall was coming the Union Point, or what is locally known as South Weymouth Naval Air Station. I had already set Episode 103, so if I followed the schedule this podcast would have come out long after The Wall that Heals left Weymouth, MA. This was a problem because it could 10 or more years before this Wall came back. So Episode 103 and 104 dropped on the same day. The Wall that Heals is a mobile scaled down version of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. and Dennis was part of a motorcycle escort from Canton, MA to Union Point in South Weymouth, MA.
Dennis served over two decades in the U.S. Army. He was deployed to Iraq and when he got out of the Army he had to adjust to civilian life. He missed the brotherhood and camaraderie of being in the Army and felt alone.
Around that time, Dennis got with the VA and 22Kill Boston to help him deal with his PTSD. He got help and started feeling better, and he was around people who cared about him. One of the ways Dennis gives back now is riding with the Patriot Guard Riders. The Patriot Guard Riders is an organization that does escorts, honor guard and funeral ceremonies for Veterans. We talked about how families and people in the community appreciate seeing the Patriot Guard Riders.
We both want everyone to go to The Wall That Heals while it is here. It is open 24 hours a day right now until Sunday, July 29th. I can’t wait to ride with Dennis and it is amazing how something like a motorcycle can help someone help someone else. Thank you for your service.
The Wall That Heals
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica & Mobile Education Center
Visits Union Point (South Weymouth Naval Air Stations) – Weymouth, MA
I met with Richard Fitts Jr. and Rudy Childs on a cold April Sunday. Believe it or not it can get really cold and nasty during Spring in New England. We were meeting to talk about his documentary, “21 Years a Folded Flag”. Looking at the trailer got me interested in this story because I feel that Vietnam Veterans and Gold Star Family Members still get shut out compared to other wars and conflicts.
This documentary is about Richard Fitts Sr. who was a Green Beret in the Army. He lost his life in Laos on November 30th 1968 during a top secret, classified mission.
Richard was two years old at the time, and never got to know his father. Sitting there listening to him talk, I couldn’t imagine what that must have been like. It wasn’t until over 20 years later that the Fitts family got to find out what had happened to Richard Sr.
Richard wanted tell this story to keep his father’s memory alive. Rudy Childs started working on this film project and it became a labor of love. Richard and Rudy entered this film into a festival in Maryland and it almost won. They are proud of their work and I am looking forward to seeing the finished product. Check out their fundraiser (Fund my story/”green beret father”), and consider donating to help get this story told.
Check out the Sneak Preview to “21 Years a Folded Flag” on YouTube
This episode is the happy conclusion to Episode 34 – Honor Flight for a Father. Marlene was able to get her father on a Honor Flight a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t wait to talk with us about it.
I liked how Marlene was able to get the time to be with her Father and how she got a new view into his service and what he did.
Honor Flight really made this a top – notch experience for everyone. Marlene and her father felt like VIPs and experienced no issues on their flight or getting around in Washington D.C. Arlington Cemetery was sobering experience and she came away with a greater appreciation for her father’s service.
I enjoyed getting to talk with Marlene again. She worked hard to make this happen for her father. Marlene would highly recommend anyone who qualifies to do Honor Flight. Click on the link below to find out more.
The Question of the Week for Episode 37 comes from Craig P in Brockton, MA. He said, “Michelle Dubois compares stress of being illegal to PTSD! Talk about disrespecting veterans who suffer from a real issue. What do you think of that?” Michelle Dubois went on record to warn illegal aliens about ICE raids and was criticized for it. Craig, I hope I answered your question. This politician has no idea what she is talking about.
Steven Jones from the War Memorial Foundation asked me to pass this message along in Episode 37. I am working to get him on the show.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope this finds you and yours well. We here at the War Memorial Foundation Inc. appeal to your sense of patriotism one more time. We have recently embarked on a new fund raising campaign to make the two proposed War Monuments a reality. Remember, these same war monuments were turned down by Americas Home Town Plymouth. Now for the state of Massachusetts to show resistance or indifference would be even more tragic. So if you could please in your spare time using any and all media at your disposal to help promote, fund and pass along this information. The men and women who proudly served in the last four wars are hoping that you do so. I do this not for me but for us and most certainly them. Thank you for time and efforts toward this honorable endeavor. Sincerely, Steven J. Jones and the War Memorial Foundation Inc.’