The Wall

Last Saturday I visited Pawnee OK to visit the Moving Wall at the Pawnee Bill Museum. My friend Monie Horse Chief invited me to come meet her uncle who was a Vietnam USAF veteran. Due to my condition and to avoid the heat I travelled over in the cool of the morning and found him under a tent where he had camped out all night. Walter and I had a great hour of discussion about patriotism, service, and how the oath binds all veterans together despite race, culture, or gender. It was a wonderful conversation. Before I left I walked the Wall and found it amazing. On a personal note I visited the actual Wall in DC many times in my long military career and, like Arlington Cemetery, always felt a sad pride at the sacrifice by those who died in defense of our freedoms.

I knew one name on the Wall from my high school days in California. He was killed in Vietnam. So many names reminded me of that long conflict/war. On this day in 1967 the outnumbered South Vietnamese troops repelled an attack by two battalions of the 141st North Vietnamese Regiment on a military camp five miles east of An Loc, 60 miles north of Saigon. Communist forces captured a third of the base camp before they were thrown back with the assistance of U.S. and South Vietnamese air and artillery strikes (Go Air Force!).

Farther to the north, U.S. forces suffered heavy casualties in two separate battles in the Central Highlands. In the first action, about 400 men of the 173rd Airborne Brigade came under heavy fire from North Vietnamese machine guns and mortars during a sweep of the Dak To area near Kontum. Twenty-six Americans were killed and 49 were wounded. In the second area clash, 35 soldiers of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division were killed and 31 were wounded in fighting. The Wall is meaningful in honoring those who were called on to sacrifice but holds cold comfort to the families left behind.

Changing to local updates the 2020 Post Membership cards are in. Our yearly dues are $33.00. Be sure and see Jack Cross and get your new card this Thursday! Thursday will also be the last day to get your raffle ticket as our leadership will be picking them up to go to State Convention in Shawnee next week. For only $10 you could win $2,019.00 [4 chances to do this] plus smaller amounts. And Post 142 gets half of the ticket money! We also still have 100th anniversary American Legion “Challenge’ Coins for $10. They are one of a kind and a collectable item. I had one but I keep giving them to a few special veteran friends. I will be buying a few more!

Regular Legion meetings are usually the first and third Thursday of the month but in July it will be the 11th . We will be meeting with the Sons of American Legion at 5:00 pm, dinner (if the Chef is up to it) at 6:00 pm and regular meeting at 7:00 pm. . Koffee Klatch meetings in July are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy and always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians). Just watch the weather, it is the only factor that my change that. I think the Chef is on duty as we are into the summer. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.

About Gary Lanham

Authors the weekly article "News from the Hut", about local American Legion Post #142 in Hominy, OK. Read his weekly articles in the "Hominy News Progress".
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