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Event:    Vietnam Wall 2000 Experience
Location: Cook-Walden Park, Austin  Texas
Description: The Vietnam Wall 2000 display is a traveling replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall.  It is owned by SCI, the parent company of the local funeral home in Austin.  This representation is 3/4 scale of the original.  Within the wall are etched 52,208 names of service men and women who gave their lives for our country in this conflict.  As a club, we were invited to show our support for this event and in so doing, provided my M38A1 and a M151A2 who's owner was in Vietnam.  It was a sobering experience after spending the entire three days at the event pretty much 24 hours/day.

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00viet_1.JPG (26198 bytes) The helicopter in this shot is a Huey which this airframe has 2 1/2 years 'in-country' service fighting in Vietnam.  I saw a great opportunity to get the jeep and the helicopter as it was departing.  The M38A1 saw extensive action in late Korea and early Vietnam.
00viet_2.JPG (22357 bytes) The 'wall' has etched in the facing the names of 52,208 men and women who did not return from this conflict.  Here, a small memorial is left behind in remembrance of a lost son.  This memorial was left by the mother of her son who was part of the 'beach jumpers'.  I had the opportunity to speak with her about her son.  He was killed when his helicopter crashed approximately 1/2 mile into North Vietnam.  According to her, at the time, we weren't supposed to be there nor were the North Vietnamese as part of the DMZ zone.
00viet_3.JPG (34211 bytes) Good shot of the jeep with the wall and visitors in the background.  Note the flags...there are 25 on this side and 25 on the other side.  During the opening activities, each flag was paraded in by members of the ROTC, Jr. ROTC and local schools.
00viet_4.JPG (31823 bytes) Here's a shot of a fallen soldier memorial done in the field just in front of the wall.  You will note the boots of the fallen soldier at the base of his/her rifle which was placed in the ground with the bayonet.  Their helmet was then placed on the butt stock of the rifle.  You will also note the flag of the South Vietnamese in the background.  This was placed there by members of the local South Vietnamese community who live in the central Texas area.  The Texas Association of Vietnam Veterans (TAVV) provided the memorial.


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