This is your day to share Memories....

It's Memorial Day and I want to share The Wall with you. There are over 50 thousand names there. Eight of them are women.  I have a couple of stories I'll share about two names on The Wall. First, I'll tell you a few interesting facts...

Youngest veteran on the Memorial

Dan Bullock, US Marine Corps who was 15 years old

Oldest veteran on the Memorial killed in country (Vietnam)

Kenna Taylor, US Navy who was 62 years old was killed in country, also known as Vietnam.

8 Female Nurses are Honored on the Memorial

Women did not serve in the same military capacity as they do now. There were approximately 7,484 female nurses who served in Vietnam, which was the only military assignment that they were allowed to participate. Since there were only 8 female nurses who died, the information on the nurses is featured in greater detail.

ALEXANDER, Eleanor Grace (Captain, New Jersey): Eleanor worked with Hedwig Diane Orlowski in a hospital in Pleiku. They were aboard the same plane along with two other nurses, Jerome E. Olmsted and Kenneth R. Shoemaker , when the plane crashed on the return trip to Qui Nhon, November 30, 1967. She was with the 85th Evacuation.

DONOVAN, Pamela Dorothy (2nd Lieutenant, Massachusetts): Pamela died of a rare Southeast Asian virus on July 8, 1968. She was with the 85th Evacuation in Qui Nhon.

DRAZBA, Carol Ann (2nd Lieutenant, Pennsylvania): Carol was killed in a helicopter crash near Saigon on February 18, 1966, along with Elizabeth Ann Jones. She was with the 51st Field Hospital.

GRAHAM, Annie Ruth (Chief Nurse, North Carolina): Annie suffered a stroke on August 14, 1969. She was with the 91st Evacuation in Tuy Hoa. 

JONES, Elizabeth Ann (2nd Lieutenant, South Carolina): Elizabeth was killed in the same helicopter crash as Carol Drazba, near Saigon on February 18, 1966. She was with the 51st Field Hospital. 

KLINKER, Mary Therese (Captain, Indiana): On April 9, 1975, Mary was part of the on-board medical team, a flight nurse assigned to Clark Air Base in the Philippines. She was only 27. Mary was posthumously awarded the Airman's Medal for Heroism and the Meritorious Service Medal.carrying 243 Vietnamese children and infants. Once airborne, the flight developed pressure problems and crashed on the return to the airport. It occurred 3 weeks before the fall of Saigon.

LANE, Sharon Ann (1st Lieutenant, Ohio): Sharon was in-country less than 10 weeks when she was killed by rocket explosion on June 8, 1969. She was with the 312th Evacuation at Chu Lai.

ORLOWSKI, Hedwig Diane (1st Lieutenant, Michigan): Hedwig was working with Eleanor Alexander in the same hospital in Pleiku. She was aboard the same plane along with two other nurses, Jerome E. Olmsted and Kenneth R. Shoemaker when it crashed on the return trip to Qui Nhon, November 30, 1967. She was with the 67th Evacuation.

I've never had the honor to see The Wall yet. But if I ever do, there are two names etched into it that I know personally.

One was the most handsome guy in high school way back when. He was a bit older and had a sweetheart from the 7th grade on through their Senior year.
The Vietnam war was raging and he made the choice to join the Air Force. He got through Boot Camp and then home for thirty days before shipping out. He and his sweetheart decided not to wait to get married. They'd set the date and had one of the biggest weddings in town that I can remember. Then he was off to fight the war and she stayed to wait for him...

Richard never made it back home.

The other name is of a friend who had been drafted. I spent most of his thirty day leave with Dennis before he had to go. We'd ride around on his motorcycle or in the car, meet friends up in the canyon and sit by the campfire talking and laughing at life. His favorite song was "Born To Be Wild" and his zest for life was very obvious. Then he shipped out...
About eight months later, I was moving into an apartment and helping the landlady clean it up some. She said she had to leave at one o'clock for a funeral....

Then she said his name.

This Memorial Day, I'll ask you to take a moment of remembering with me. Remembering all the fallen Soldiers from all the wars, all their Families who I know still grieve, all the Brave and Honorable men and women who are out there now, doing what they feel is right, and say a little something for those who wait....

The link below here will take you to a site that has all the names etched into that very special Wall. Just click on your state and it will give you any name that has been added. Maybe you'll know someone on there....

In Memory of Pfc  Richard Lee Sorensen, 
Eureka Utah

and Pfc Charles Dennis Maurin,
Santiquin Utah

You'll always be missed....and remembered.

If you haven't already looked at the last post,
I think you'll enjoy it too..

See ya Yesterday...

Love, Me


Audrey said...

Wonderful post! We don't celebrate Memorial Day in Canada, but it's a wonderful holiday.
Great stories!

Jules said...

Thank you so much for sharing your stories and those of the 8! I have not seen the Wall yet, either (despite 2 trips to DC in the past year), but I did have the luxury and honor of seeing the Women in Military Service Memorial at Arlington. I will post a couple of pics on my blog...

mxtodis123 said...

Thanks for sharing this. We tend to forget the true meaning of this day.

myletterstoemily said...

we honor them by remembering
them. i loved your sweet stories
about those you lost.

Viki said...

Luckily, the traveling memorial wall came to our area. It was very humbling.

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

I've been to the wall many times. I lived nearby for a dozen years and we trolled DC ourselves and toured all our visitors.

I have a loved one on the wall. I always touch his name and talk to him. The very first time I went I did a charcoal rubbing of it.

Thanks for this post. It's WONDERFUL.

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is such a nice tribute Vicki...we will never be able to repay the debt to those who have stood up for us.