NAMES ON THE WALL


A little history most people, even Americans, will never know…

Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall

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 has been 61 years since the first casualty.

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.

Note that 39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.

And 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 attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia.  Do you wonder why so many were from one school?

8 Women are on the Wall, nursing the wounded.

244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 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.  There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.

The Marines of Morenci 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 parties.  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 for a single month was May 1968 – 2,415 casualties were incurred.

Many Americans who read this will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created.  To those veterans 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.

Can we all Heal?

VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL

An aerial photograph of ‘The Wall’ taken on April 26, 2002 by the United States Geological Survey. The dots visible along the length of the angled wall are visitors.

7 thoughts on “NAMES ON THE WALL

  1. Donald Fox shared this with his mailing list and I wanted to share it with you on his behalf.

    On March 22, 2017, I sent an e-mail to all my friends on my mailing list. The title of the e-mail was “A Terrible Situation.” Further, I sent the following essay:
    http://essaysbyfox.org/html/essays/MINDSET%20OF%20WW%202%20AND%20OUR%20CURRENT%20TIMES.doc
    I have a very large number of folks who get my material to include http://www.essaysbyfox.org

    Along with the essay on the mindset of WW2, the following was supplied:
    “Our doors have been open for too long. Our borders for too long time have allowed bad people to creep into our society. Our government for too many years has produced a terrible situation. What did they have in their mind by opening our borders? What happened was creating lawlessness with very bad people to enter our states. Shame on our so-called leaders by causing this dilemma of lawlessness. Mark the following down, we need a World War Two mindsets.”

    God Help Us.

    As for me, with a total of 36-year military service. I spent twelve years on active duty, Regular Army, 1951-1963. Enlisted in the Mississippi Army National Guard with service, 1963-1987. I spent 5 ½ years overseas in Japan, Korea and Germany. I was employed as a full-time National Guardsman in May 1964. I am now a retired Command Sergeant Major (E-9), Brigade level. After I retired from the military, I feel I never left the uniform, even though I am now 84 years old.

    I started to think with regard to the past and how our country and government had changed. As an example, in a sense and with sadness toward our government, I believe our policy makers made a terrible mistake when they did away with the draft.

    Wow, I may get flack on this illustration of mistakes. Chuckle and be kind to me!

    From my point of view the mindset of us older forks be it ex-solders or just stable law-abiding people, we all have the same makeup. The old saying “God, Country, Apple Pie and Mom” represent solid folks that will comply with that which is doing right. This says or illustrates the sum and total of a soldier’s mindset, and or any that wants to do uprightness. This rightness will last, in a sense, forever. May God be with us who desire to do that which is right and obeying God Almighty.

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  2. My Dad is one of the guys glad to be alive. He was there 69-71. I have a 2nd cousin on the wall. Terry Kirkland if I remember right. He was the 1st person I remember seeing in a coffin. He was in his uniform. A few weeks earlier my Dad had left to go over. I was a little over 7 at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Memories like that for a seven year-old can be rather traumatic. Most of us have no idea what that feeling is like, but the Lord brought you through it.

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  3. I thought I was going to the nam back when It was in the early 70’s, I received my draft notice but by then I had already signed up for the USN Cryptologic Radio Morse School. I signed up in March of ’75 and the war was over early May of ’75. i was in the USN for 4 active years and 2 inactive reserve. well I was blessed that I did not have to go to the nam but I grew up watching how those veterans were treated and a lot of the difficulties they had to deal with. NO veteran should have to deal with those difficulties. as we say in the Navy… BRAVO ZULU to all the Vietnam veterans that were able to make it home and may God almighty bless those that didn’t make it home.

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    • There was so much more than the actual war. There was a movement, and ordinary folk did not know what they were actually fighting for. And of course there were the drugs that ruined the brains of many guys.

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