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February 6, 2012

Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall Facts!

Most who read this see the numbers 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, wives, sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.

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.

Beginning at the apex on panel 1E and going out to the end of the East wall, appearing to recede into the earth (numbered 70E – May 25, 1968), then resuming at the end of the West wall, as the wall emerges from the earth (numbered 70W – continuing May 25, 1968) and ending with a date in 1975. Thus the war’s beginning and end meet. The war is complete, coming full circle, yet broken by the earth that bounds the angle’s open side and contained within the earth itself.

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

*8,283 were just 19 years old.

*The largest age group, 33,103 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 day in Vietnam .

*31 sets of brothers are on the Wall. Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.

*54 soldiers on attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia a lot from one school.

*8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.

*244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor & 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 711 are 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 in one month was May 1968–2,415 casualties were incurred.

From the National League of Families for POW/MIA’s In Southeast Asia

A personal note: My Father was deployed to Vietnam in March of 1968, I was three months old. That year was one of the worst years in the Vietnam War. My Mother at home without the internet, cell phones or any way of communication besides the USPS was forced to watch updates on "censored" news from television networks that chose to air information to the US. It was a horrible time for our Veterans and for their loved ones waiting for them to return home. My Mother recently read an article about the TET Offensive of 1968 and told me how it was to be at home not knowing from day to day where my Father could be. She had heard his base camp had been over ran by N. Viet Con. As days went by with no word from my Father or the US Army she wrote a letter to his Commanding Officer to get any update possible. As she tells me this she pauses to say "it has been so long I can not recall what his Commanding Officer wrote back to me". I am patiently waiting for her to continue and she then tells me she was informed within a few days that my Father's Platoon was out on detail at the time of the attack on his base camp and no one in his company had been injured or killed.

Of course the above is one tiny bit of the long, long story both my Mother & Father have to tell. I am writing their story, it has been in the works for a while and I suspect it will be a while longer before it is complete. Our family is one of the blessed families to have our Vietnam Veteran returned home to us alive. Sgt. Jimmy D. McDaniel, US Army Special Forces received the Bronze Star for what must be another chapter in this story and returned home with most of his hearing lost. 

Today he is doing well but is suffering from Parkinson's Disease, Neuropothy, PTSD and many other illnesses due to exposure to Agent Orange while serving his country in the Vietnam War March of 1968 ~ March of 1969. He is my hero and all Vietnam Veterans are everyone US citizen's hero!

Posted by... Angie
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