Vietnam Moving Wall Helps Veterans Heal - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Marion, AR -- Brandi Hodges Reports

Vietnam Moving Wall Helps Veterans Heal

August 9, 2006 -- Posted at 6:36 p.m. CDT

MARION, AR -- A mobile memorial to those that paid the ultimate price for our country is on display in Region 8.

The wall will be on display in Marion, Arkansas from August 10th through August 14th.

"This wall is a half size replica of the one in Washington D.C.  This one is 253 feet long and has over 58,000 names on the wall," said John McKendree, a Vietnam veteran who serves as president of Rolling Thunder Inc.

The wall arrived in Marion on Wednesday afternoon, and will remain there until Monday, August 14th.

For those who volunteer here, this wall is an important reminder of what they've been through.

"I have 119 buddies who can't speak... they can't talk to their parents, they can't let people know what they went through.  That's why I'm here... they talk through me," said Veteran Robert Hood.

There are many family members, but especially veterans themselves, who can't bring themselves to make the trip to the wall.

"You have a lot of veterans who can't come to the wall simply because there's so much feeling here, and they won't ever be able to make it to the wall," said McKendree.

But for those who do make it here, it is a very emotional experience.

"I walked up on that wall and my heart was here, and my gut was all wrenched up and the tears flowed.  It's very emotional," said McKendree.

For many it's important to be able and touch the name of the men they served with.  Hopefully someone who hasn't had the opportunity to see the wall before will take it now.

"If you're a veteran, this will help start the healing process," said McKendree.

For more information about the visit of the Vietnam Moving Wall to Crittenden County visit www.crittendencountyarkansas.org.

For more information about the wall itself, visit www.themovingwall.org

  

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