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Cavalry leads the charge for moving memorial

Camille Doty

By Camille Doty
July 11, 2012 at 2:11 a.m.

Dana Foster, of El Campo, salutes as the trailer hauling the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall passes by Evan Park in El Campo Tuesday on its way to Myatt Elementary School, where it will spend the remainder of the week. The memorial is a to-scale replica of the one in Washington D.C. ANGELI WRIGHT/AWRIGHT@VICAD.COM

EL CAMPO - Veteran Lisa Bacon braved the rain to support the Vietnam soldiers.

On Wednesday afternoon, the 50-year-old Bay City resident traveled down U.S. Highway 59 to give the veterans the welcome they deserve through the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall.

Bacon and 39 other members of the Matagorda County Cavalry caravanned to the El Campo site, where the 300-foot wall will be placed into the ground for everyone to see.

The granite replica displays 58,272 names representing the men and women who lost their lives in Southeast Asia.

For the remainder of the week, the traveling wall will be placed in El Campo across from Myatt Elementary School. Each day, volunteers will commemorate the heroes from Vietnam and other 20th century conflicts.

The retired Munitions System Specialist served in the Air Force during the Desert Storm. Bacon described the soldier's treatment as unfair.

"People didn't separate being against the war and being against the soldier," she said.

Bacon wouldn't have missed the opportunity to say thank you to the Vietnam War heroes.

The moving memorial was scheduled to arrive in El Campo 2013, but the volunteers jumped at the chance to take advantage of an earlier showing.

For five months, members of the community made preparations for the week-long exhibit.

The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall was founded and incorporated in 1985.

Exhibit Organizer Sarah Hudgins said the veteran celebration was long overdue. "The veterans are walking a little taller today," she said.

Vietnam Veteran Danny Lee was revved up to lead the charge transporting the wall. After the rush of adrenaline subsided, the experience became surreal.

"It was emotional. I was fine until I saw the panel open," he said. The 62-year-old retired Naval officer thought about those close to him that were killed.

Lee plans to attend several ceremonies throughout the week and encourages others to follow suit.

"This is not only for the vets, but for the children to see," he said. "It's a part of history."



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