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Vietman Veterans Edition

Text of Vietnam Veterans Edition

  • October 2011

    Vietnam Veterans

    Memorial Wall

    Inside Our veterans, their stories,

    pages 2-12, 16-20 Threat of Communism drew

    U.S. into Vietnam, page 3 A salute to Cowetas veterans,

    page 13 A thank-you to all who served,

    page 15 Visit of The Wall has special

    meaning, page 22 23 Cowetans listed on Memorial,

    page 23About top photo:

    The crowd gathers at dedication ceremonies for the Vietnam VeteransMemorial in Washington, D.C., on November 13, 1982. Coweta Countyresident Hank Berkowitz was on the committee that organized, designedand built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Ever since Berkowitz returnedfrom a tour of duty with the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam, he has workedto improve programs and conditions for veterans.

    From Oct. 20 through Oct.23, Coweta County will playhost to a very special visitor:The Vietnam MemorialMoving Wall.

    The half-size replica of theVietnam Memorial Wall inWashington, D.C., contains thenames of all those lost duringthe Vietnam War, including 23from Coweta County.

    The wall will be the mainattraction of the 2011 VeteransMuster, which will be held atthe Coweta CountyFairgrounds on Pine Roadsouth of Newnan off U.S. 29.

    Congress recently declared2011 as the 50th anniversary of

    the beginning of the VietnamWar. To recognize that occa-sion, the Coweta Commissionon Veterans Affairs, whichorganizes and operates theannual Veterans Muster, decid-ed to focus 2011s event on theVietnam War.

    To help commemorate thevisit of the Moving Wall, TheNewnan Times-Herald, over a14-week period starting July 10,has run a series of articles com-piled by staff writer AlexMcRae about the Vietnam Warand the Vietnam Memorial.The series and accompanyingmaterial about The Wall ThatHeals and the schedule of

    events for the upcomingVeterans Muster is included intodays special section.

    The series examines thecauses, the victories, thedefeats and the national unrestthat followed the war frombeginning to end. Each article

    features comments and storiesabout the Vietnam experiencefrom current Coweta veteranswho served there.

    This series is intended tohelp readers understand moreabout Americas most unpopu-lar war.

    We also hope it will enablereaders to realize how this warwas different from any other,mostly for the way those whofought it were treated by someof their fellow citizens, McRaesaid.

    Soldiers from Americasother wars came home to tick-er tape parades, victory ralliesand cheers from a gratefulnation. Many who returnedfrom Vietnam were spat upon,called baby killers and heldup as a symbol of all that waswrong with America. And allbecause they served theircountry with dignity andhonor.

    In the 36 years since the lasttwo servicemen died inVietnam in 1975, AmericasVietnam veterans have begunto win acceptance and are nowhonored at local and nationalevents honoring all veterans.But the scars from that long-ago war remain.

    The Vietnam MemorialMoving Wall is called TheWall That Heals for a reason.

    We hope events like the 2011Veterans Muster will help healthose who served their nationin Vietnam, and help all of usbetter understand why thewounds from that war are stillso painful and so deep.

    Special edition compiles Vietnam series

    By ALEX [email protected]

    The week of Oct. 16-23, 2011,will be packed with activitiesrelated to the VietnamMemorial Moving Wall TheWall That Heals which willbe on display at the CowetaCounty Fairgrounds from Oct.20-23.

    The following schedule ofevents was provided by theCoweta Commission onVeterans Affairs, which organ-ized and will oversee the visitof the memorial.

    Sunday, Oct. 16, 3 p.m. A one-man Broadway show

    titled The Things TheyCarried. This play is presentedby the American Place Theaterof New York and based on abook by Tim OBrien.

    Location: The Centre forPerforming and Visual Arts,1523 Lower Fayetteville Road,Newnan. The performanceruns approximately 90 minutes.

    Vietnam veterans and theirimmediate families will beadmitted free. Other admissionprices are: $10 general admis-sion, $8 for seniors, $2 for stu-dents

    Tuesday, Oct. 18, noon.Arrival of The Wall That

    Heals. A caravan including atractor-trailer carrying TheWall will be escorted by a largecontingent of patriotic motor-cyclists along Bullsboro Drive,through downtown Newnan,and then to the Coweta CountyFairgrounds.

    Tuesday, Oct. 18, 7 p.m.Showing of the film In the

    Shadow of the Blade and apresentation about the role of

    the Huey helicopter in theVietnam War. One of the movieparticipants, Donna Rowe,(Capt. U.S. Army ret.) willmake a personal presentation.Capt. Rowe served as HeadNurse, EmergencyRoom/Triage Area, 3rd FieldHospital, Saigon, Vietnam, dur-ing 1968-69.

    Location: The Centre forPerforming and Visual Arts,1523 Lower Fayetteville Road,Newnan. Open and free to thepublic (Approx. 90 min.)

    Wednesday, Oct. 19.Setup of The Wall and asso-

    ciated exhibits at the CowetaCounty Fairgrounds by volun-teers.

    Thursday, Oct. 20, 9 a.m. The Wall That Heals - OpeningCeremony.

    Location: Coweta CountyFairgrounds, outside MainStage. Students from NewnanHigh School classes on WorldWar II and the Vietnam Warwill be present and theNewnan High chorus will per-form.

    Open and free to the public.(Approx. 45 min.)

    Following the Ceremony,The Wall will be officiallyopened to the public for dailyvisitation on a 24-hour basisthrough Sunday, Oct. 23 at 6p.m. A Huey and Chinook heli-copter will be present on staticdisplay.

    Students from all threeCoweta County high schoolsvisit The Wall.

    Note: On Thursday andFriday, Oct. 20 and 21, highschool, middle school and

    The Wall ThatHeals schedule

    of events

    See EVENTS, page 2

    JACKSON, Miss. Special warfare combatant-craft crewmen assigned to Special Boat Team (SBT) 22 read names on the VietnamTraveling Memorial Wall.

    By ALEX [email protected]

    No place in America showsmore support for its veteransthan Coweta County.

    Local governments, civicclubs, community groups andveterans organizations, includ-ing the American Legion,Veterans of Foreign Wars,AMVETS (or AmericanVeterans) and Marine CorpsLeague, have always gone theextra mile to honor and sup-port local vets, not just onVeterans Day and MemorialDay, but year-round.

    In the spring of 2010, Cowetaveterans Malcolm Jackson andJoe Brooks, Maj. Gen. U.S.Army (retired), formed anorganization called the CowetaCommission on VeteransAffairs, or CVA.

    The groups goal was simple.Our mission has come to be

    summed up in two words: pub-lic awareness, Jackson said.

    We want to keep everyoneaware of the sacrifices of allour veterans, including theirfamilies, who stayed home totake care of business.

    With that goal in mind,Jackson and Brooks spread theword about their mission. TheCVA immediately received aproclamation of support fromthe Coweta County

    Commission and Jackson wasdesignated as the commissionsrepresentative on the CVA.

    New members of the CVAcame on board. Jackson saidthat, from the start, the com-mittee made it clear it was notin competition with establishedveterans groups. In fact, localleaders of many of thosegroups are members of CVA.

    We are fortunate to have thefull support of all the veteransorganizations throughout thecounty and far beyond,Jackson said.

    Once the organization wasformed and the mission clari-fied, the group decided to hostan annual event honoring vet-erans. In October 2010, theCVA sponsored its f irstVeterans Muster.

    The event included a cere-mony at the Veterans MemorialPlaza in the Newnan city parkat Jackson Street and TempleAvenue, plus a series of eventson the Court Square in down-

    town Newnan, including a dis-play of military memorabilia bylocal vets and a book signingby three area veterans who hadwritten books recounting theirmilitary memories or experi-ences.

    The first Muster was a majorsuccess. As soon as it was over,the CVA started planning forthe 2011 event, unofficiallycalled Muster II.

    Since the U.S. Congress haddesignated 2011 as the 50thanniversary of the beginning ofthe Vietnam War it was decid-ed that Muster II would honorall veterans but focus on localVietnam vets, including the 23Cowetans who died fightingthe Vietnam War.

    CVA member SteveQuesinberry is chairman of theSocial Studies Department atNewnan High School and hasfor years taught a class aboutthe Vietnam War. Quesinberry

    Committee sparked project to bringVietnam Memorial Moving Wall

    Photo courtesy Vietnam VeteransMemorial Foundation

    See WALL, page 2

    U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Kathryn Whittenberger

  • 2 Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall Edition October 2011

    VETERANS

    elementary school studentsattending the exhibit will havethe opportunity to attend theceremonies, visit The Walltraveling museum, view theHuey helicopter and theVietnam era displays, meet andtalk to Vietnam-era veteransand volunteers, and visit TheWall. Thursday, Oct. 20 through

    Saturday, Oct. 22, 8 p.m. Daily.Candlelight vigil ceremony atThe Wall That Heals. Eachdaily candlelight ceremony willinclude an invocation led by aVietnam War-era chaplain andbagpipe music. Friday, Oct. 21. Students from Coweta

    County elementary and middleschools visit The Wall. Exhibitsremain open for all visitors. Saturday, Oct. 22, 11 a.m.Muster Day II events begin,

    including wreath-laying cere-mony at 11 a.m. at The Wall.Veterans will display militarymementos and memorabilia aspart of the Newnan HighStudent-Vet Connect program.Books about the Vietnam Warera written by local authorswill be signed.

    Note: At each of the weeksevents, books about theVietnam War era written by

    local authors will be availablefor sale