Gone … “But not Forgotten”

“A soldier of 19 going on 39 returns from a night patrol and firefight.  His nerves, like his ammunition, are spent.  He carries the burden of an extra rifle that belongs to a fallen buddy; a burden that he will most likely carry for life … mirrored in his … “thousand yard stare”.  His painful memories are dimmed by time … but not forgotten.  His service to his country has been ignored … but not forgotten.  Gone are his fellow veterans who are missing or dead … but not forgotten.”

Clyde Ross Morgan’s PTSD art therapy project became the … But not Forgotten statue for the Utah Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Salt Lake City.  The warrior’s thousand yard stare is perfectly captured in bronze as is his second rifle.  Both bring memories known all too well by Grunts who fought the war.  Like nearly all Vietnam veterans memorials … But not Forgotten is a unique design with a unique background story.  Find this and 99 other unique stories in the photo documentary #WarriorsRemembered at www.warriorsremembered.com

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“We don’t need a Medal of Honor.”

The warrior guards the entrance of the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  He is clearly an Infantryman seated on his inverted steel pot for a moment’s rest. His weapon is always close at hand while he reads a letter from home. “I do miss hearing you laugh.  The President says you might be home for Christmas … the best present of all! Please take care of yourself and don’t be a hero. We don’t need a Medal of Honor, we need a son. All our love, Mom & Dad.” Home to a great number of military bases, nearly 10% of all Vietnam casualties claimed California as their home of record.  5,822 names are inscribed on the circular monument including 13 Medal of Honor recipients. Veterans in their own words in the memorial’s 20th anniversary book: “So many young men … lost their lives before they even knew what living was.” Find this and 99 other stories in the photo documentary #WarriorsRemembered at www.warriorsremembered.com

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Reaching “from her heart” the nurse cried.

Just north of New York City at Lasdon Park in the small town of Somers is a Vietnam memorial that is best seen in the height of autumn’s brilliant colors.  The beauty of the fall foliage is in sharp contrast with the dark bronze of the larger than life warrior emerging to bring his wounded comrade to the outstretched arms of the nurse.  A squad of veterans camped at the site to discourage vandalism threatened before the memorial’s dedication.  Early morning sun on the nurse’s back seemed to drive the heavy dew to her eyes.  The squad awoke to find the nurse crying tears that have now stained her face revealing the depth of her compassion.  Unique from other wars, Vietnam veterans memorials frequently include women warriors as equal members of the brotherhood of arms.  Find this and 99 other stories in the photo documentary #WarriorsRemembered at www.warriorsremembered.com


WR Memorial Stories

In an effort to continue the welcome home Vietnam veterans deserve I will begin publishing here some of the stories of memorials contained in Warriors Remembered. The book is still available, but I have not been able to reach nearly as many Veterans far from Houston as I would like. Hopefully this new effort will gain broader traction. If you like the stories, please forward them to veterans, friends and relatives who may not be aware of the book. www.warriorsremembered.com

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Warriors Remembered is a photo documentary book that will capture your veteran’s attention from the moment it is opened.
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Click or visit www.warriorsremembered.com for a preview.
Great opportunity to tell any veteran “Thank you for your service” that he or she may have never heard.

Warriors Remembered honored with 2015 Excellence in Print Media Award

San Antonio, TX, March 7, 2015:  The Texas Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented its 2015 Excellence in Print Media Award to Warriors Remembered. This patriotic organization has many chapters that are partnering with the Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration Commission.  The DAR recognized Warriors Remembered as a true reflection of the Welcome Home missed by many veterans returning from the Vietnam War.  At their annual state convention awards ceremony attended by nearly 500 members, Colonel Albert Nahas accepted the handsome Media Award trophy thanking the DAR for their own patriotic service and for their current focus on honoring Vietnam veterans.  Warriors Remembered a photo documentary of 100 Vietnam veterans memorials from all 50 states was compiled as a Welcome Home for all veterans.

SOLDIERSTONE — continuing the story

Vietnam Mystery Memorial — Continuing this amazing story.

Many have speculated that because of its remote location the memorial must have been erected using a helicopter.  Actually the location proved to be accessible with some difficulty by truck.  A local granite monument company brought the materials to the site on a lift truck using its crane to place the memorial and the quote stones.  Much of the rest of the construction was done by hand with volunteer labor.  None of the participants wished any publicity for their efforts, regretting only the LTC Beckley was unable to join them.

LTC Beckley did not want to publicize the memorial location.  Remembering that it was erected in 1995, the mode of the country toward all things Vietnam left him fearful of possible vandalism.  He did not want it to become a tourist attraction, but wanted to reserve it for warriors still dealing with their own demons or wanting to remember their fallen comrades.  He also did not want it to become “Stu’s Memorial”.  People have questioned why this blog is now apparently breaking his wishes.  That is not the case.

Starting with the first Gulf War, but more so after 911 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the mood of the country toward veterans took a 180 degree turn.  Perhaps suffering from a national guilt at the way Vietnam veterans were treated most people now separated their feelings about war from their respect for those who volunteer to carry out their assigned missions.  The warrior was no longer blamed for the war.  And Vietnam veterans themselves had pledged that “Never again would one generation of veterans forget another.”  Many of the welcome home committees at airports were led by Vietnam veterans.  And Vietnam veterans were increasingly taking leadership roles in many veterans organizations.  Every effort was being made to keep returning veterans connected.

This blog is directed predominantly to veteran groups and just as the photo documentary Warriors Remembered was published to inform veterans of the hundreds of Vietnam veterans memorials in all 50 states, publicizing SOLDIERSTONE offers veterans in the area a chance to visit and heal while remembering their fallen brothers.  LTC Beckley would approve.

Coming Next: (and without such a long delay) Translating the Quote Stones.

Missed the video?  Here is the link SOLDIERSTONE

Find 100 other Vietnam veteran memorial stories and photos in Warriors Remembered photo documentary at www.warriorsremembered.com

Vietnam Mystery Memorial — SOLDIERSTONE continued

Continuing the story of the Vietnam mystery memorial on the Continental Divide near Saguache, CO.  More of this amazing story. #Vietnam mystery memorial #SOLDIERSTONE

The video sent last week shows much of the main memorial surrounded by a triangular stone wall representing the small Special Forces outposts of Indochina, but SOLDIERSTONE is also is encircled by 36 granite plaques (quote stones) each with a different inscription and in nearly a dozen languages. Future blogs will contain a photograph and translation of each of these stones. Here again is the video showing some of them. http://goo.gl/8fle2k

Created by LTC Stuart A. Beckley of San Antonio, Texas, SOLDIERSTONE was never visited by its creator.  LTC Beckley, an Army Special Forces officer, spent 12 years in Vietnam and wanted this memorial to be a tribute to American warriors and those from every country who fought with them in the Indochina wars.  He also wished to fulfill his promise that their sacrifice would not be forgotten.  His idea took shape over 25 years and was to have a companion piece; a book entitled Leaves of Stone with stories of some of these warriors.  (I can find no record that the book was ever published.)  From hundreds of people interested in the SOLDIERSTONE project, Colonel Beckley received unsolicited encouragement, creative ideas, time, and in kind labor and material support, though he personally bore the entire cost of the memorial.  Comrades, a local granite monument company and members of a near by Special Forces unit volunteered to carry out the construction in the summer of 1995.  Though he saw photos of the completed memorial, LTC Beckley never traveled to the site because at the time he was wheelchair bound with terminal cancer.  He passed away on November 5, 1995.

The main memorial has as a foundation the values of the warriors he chose to honor: Courage, Sacrifice, Valor and Honor and has inscribed the three countries of Indochina – Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.  It is topped with what appears to be a 40mm mortar, predating the most active American involvement.  Visitors have left their own tributes with coins or live rounds showing respect for the site and leaving it undisturbed.

Coming next: The memorial construction and LTC Beckley’s wishes.

Find 100 other Vietnam veteran memorial stories and photos in Warriors Remembered photo documentary at www.warriorsremembered.com


Vietnam Mystery Memorial

Fascinated by the Vietnam mystery memorial on the Continental Divide near Saguache, CO?  Here is the video if you missed it.

Discovered by dirt bikers whose viral video added to its mystery, but well known to the Forest Service Rangers in the area.  Its creator picked a location accessible only with some difficulty.  He wished it to be known only by word of mouth and then only among veterans who would appreciate it. Over the next few weeks I will post the real story of this warrior tribute. #Vietnam mystery memorial #SOLDIERSTONE


First time ever!  Warriors Remembered — the Poem.  Read at the  banquet for The Wall replica dedication at the National Infantry Museum, 20 March 2014.   The Poem Warriors Remembered  A great honor to be included in the event with so many heroes present.  Photos at Warriors Remembered Events Gallery