Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Viet Nam Wall ...... and a Bar?

Weird thing going on up here in South Dakota. Oh I mean besides all the bikers riding up and down the streets while visiting Sturgis. We are in the middle of the `Largest Biker Rally' in the world. I have been doing some work with the PGR up at the `Buffalo Chip' campgrounds. We put up 50 5X7 State's flags on 12-13 foot poles to honor the men/women who have gave their lives in the defense of OUR country. We also put up one for each branch of the services, a POW/MIA, a PGR, and a KIA flag. The area is called `the Field of Remembrance'. Members of the PGR man a table 24 hours a day (all week)to guard and answer questions for the public. Well this sounds like a start of an informative post ... but that's not what I want to write about.

This is about something else going on. This is about a bar (booze) that shucked out the money to have the `Traveling Wall' brought to Sturgis. This is a scaled down version of the Viet Nam wall that lists the men/women killed in that war.... Many of us were there!! Many of us didn't come home! Many of us carry a guilt that we did come home without all our brothers coming home too....

While the wall is VERY special, I have not been able to go to it AND I NEED TO. It is a healing wall but it causes so many memories and pain, many just can't go there... I am one.

This news article was in our local paper about the wall being brought in by the bar. Many voiced opinions. While most are favorable, here is a couple that were not:

profit motive - wrote on Aug 3, 2009 7:55 PM:
" you hit the nail on the head. Exploiting veterans, landscapes and women for the purpose of a pathetic pool party. "

Great - wrote on Aug 3, 2009 4:29 PM:
" Why locate it at a bar...does that truly honor our nations hero's or is there a profit motive on the backs of our fallen men/women. "


I think it is weird that they don't understand. I want to get mad but only find sympathy for their lack of understanding. It doesn't matter where it is or if anyone is making money off of it... THE WALL IS HERE and I will go (finally) to see it. It will be difficult. I have some things (from the war) that I will leave in memory of my brothers. And I will drink half a beer and pour the rest on the ground in front of the wall. It's OUR way of saying goodbye and maybe I can rest too.....

I wear a tattoo on my right arm ( *USMC* )... I wear it for a dear friend... Maybe I'll write about it some day.

I have posted a letter to the editor about these negative posts and tried to explain that the wall is the issue and what it does..... not where is is located.

It might be published in the next couple of hours. If it is, I will add it to the bottom on this post... or you can go to :
http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/articles/2009/08/03/news/2009_sturgis_rally/news/doc4a774bacd4302269735821.txt?show_comments=true#commentdiv (probably have to cut & paste).. and read the article and the comments.

Thank you for listening to my opinion on this. I hope I have shared some personal things that might help educate or help with feelings about that time in our lives...


PS-- Later post added ... WOW, I guess my post to the editor was too inflamatory, degrading, insulting to some, or just posted by an idiot (me)... You see, they refused to post my letter. There are those of us (Vets) who need a voice but my letter was not only pulled (for what ever reason) but removed for futher postings to be added. The liberals win again. The Viet Nam war was ugly and liberals want to forget it ever happened. There are those of us that thinks this is stupid (maybe I should say "stupidly" done") ;-)

Well, I had my say and I will shut up for now. That is until I find another soap box........


  1. I'm so glad you are going to the wall, Jay. I went to the "big" wall when in Washington, DC. It was very emotional for me. I come from a small town and we lost a few residents....which felt like losing brothers. I can't begin to imagine the pain and suffering attached to your memories. I just hope the visit will be cathartic for you and you will have peace.

  2. Well this post was not "stupidly" done. Gosh I get so mad sometimes about what is going on these days that I can't even think straight. I really hope you do make it to the wall. Hubby was in Nam twice as a Marine and my brother was a Marine but never went to Nam.

  3. I'm Canadian but I think it's a wonderful thing that bar is doing bringing the wall in. I have a friend in Colorado who finally went to see it last year. Up to that point he couldn't make himself go either. When the time is right is when you are meant to go - to honor your brothers, not to mourn them. I think it's a wonderful to drink half a beer and pour the rest on the ground. What a tribute!