The Wall that Heals providing opportunity of closure for area Vietnam veterans

The Wall That Heals will be a Patriot Park in Kearney through Sunday.
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 8:06 AM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - When you think of soldiers returning home from war, thoughts of American flags, welcome home signs, and a sense of patriotism usually come to mind.

But that wasn’t the case for those who served in the Vietnam war. Now, decades later The Wall That Heals travels the country highlighting the names of over 58,000 soldiers who gave their lives, and for those who never received the welcome home they deserved.

Names, thousands upon thousands of names of the young men and women who gave their lives to a long, costly and divisive Vietnam War.

Thousands now visit the traveling replica of the Vietnam War monument. Chuck Oglen is one of them. Oglen was a helicopter pilot who served two tours in Vietnam in

Wayne Boney, a volunteer who travels across the country with the replica said he sees first hand how the wall truly does heal. “Some of them have spent years and years in a trap inside there mind. By being able to bring this to them we’re about to provide a little bit of healing so they can start that process to get beyond the horrors they saw in Vietnam and when they got home,” said Boney.

And for the tens of thousands who didn’t come home, “Every name on this wall has a loved one. A brother sister mother father a husband wife,” said Oglen.

Names like Lieutenant James Gardner of the 101st Airborne Division, who while on a mission took out four bunkers. While he was on to the 5th bunk he was killed. It was Gardner’s 23rd birthday. He received the Medal of Honor.

A wall of honor, of respect, and remembrance of the thousands of souls who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

“This wall has the appropriate name, the healing wall. When people come out here and they get to see their loved one or comrade that was lost it brings back memories and it’s good memories” said Oglen.

The Wall That Heals will be at Patriot Park in Kearney until 2:00 p.m. Sunday. The Nebraska Vietnam Veterans Reunion organization sponsored the wall as part of their 37th reunion event happening this weekend at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney.

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