All deserve to be honored
Published 10:37 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Some died of Agent Orange exposure.
Some died of suicide related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other causes.
Like other Vietnam veterans, they all returned home to find that many despised them because of their service in a war with which many disagreed.
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They survived this injustice, not to mention the war itself, only to succumb years or decades later to the aftereffects of war. Vietnam veterans are still being diagnosed today with cancer and other diseases caused by Agent Orange or other hazards of their service.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s In Memory Program, however, is making sure that these veterans are remembered.
A plaque on the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial site in Washington, D.C., reads “In Memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice.”
The plaque was dedicated in 2004, about 11 years after the group Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial formed the In Memory program. An annual ceremony began in 1999. More than 4,100 veterans have been added to the honor roll since the program began.
One of them, James Robert Fegley, is the father of Stuart Fegley of Suffolk. The Fegley family, including Stuart’s wife, Cindy, and son, Christopher, were at the ceremony to read his name and honor him.
This group is doing wonderful work by ensuring that these veterans are honored. Some postwar casualties do not meet Department of Defense guidelines for inscription on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, and the In Memory program is a beautiful way to ensure all who died as a result of their service, whether during the war or much later, are remembered.