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Subject= Your Vietnam Wall Page

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Anphog's Wild World
of
Photography


Fifty years ago an nineteen year old Marine
left home for a far away place called Vietnam.

He was young and naive. He thought he could
save the world from the communist scourge.

A year and several lost buddies later he realized
he was wrong.

This is his story.

The Moving Wall


Reflections of an Ex-Marine
By Frank Lazeski

I would like to share a story about a Marine mom. Mine. 

When I joined the Marines on 1/1/64 she was beaming with
pride, as was I. My mom was then a young mid forties. She
remained that way for the next year and a half as I
continued my training.

Knowing that I was in Nuclear, Biological and Chemical
warfare school didn't bother her much. She was
a proud Marine Mother.


 The six months I spent in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
concerned her a little, after all it hadn't been that
long since the Bay of Pigs, but she remained
young and proud.


Then I got my orders to be shipped off to a far away place
called Vietnam. Neither of us knew much about this place
except for what we heard on the news.


The war (war?) was escalating and they needed some
young men to help defeat the communist scourge.


I eagerly and proudly went and my mom hesitantly but
quietly watched me board the plane. I was not her only son,
just the one going off to war. (war?)
She was still young.


The year past quickly. I wrote her as often as possible
hoping she would not worry about me. I wrote to her
of the humorous things, the light hearted stories of the
young men and women I was proud to serve with. Oh
what stories we could tell. I will not get into the real
stories for they are not pleasant to write or think about.


When I got my orders to return to "The World" my
first thoughts were of my mom and I was eager to see her
so she would know that her Marine was fine.


I had met a fine gentlemen on the plane who drove me
to the factory where my parents worked. 


I had arrived just before quitting time and found my
dad as he was punching out to go home. That was the
only time I remember him hugging me. He introduced
me to all his coworkers as his Marine son.
He must have been a proud Marine dad.


We walked out to the car where my mom was waiting,
unaware that I was there. I opened the passenger side
door and said "Move over lady" She instantly had me in
a bear hug repeating "my son, my son," and crying.
The cry of relief of a Marine mother.


And that's when I noticed something was different.
She had aged.
In the year I had been away she had gained
worry wrinkles and gray hair.
She was no longer young. 


She had watched every newscast and read every paper
hoping, on one hand, to see her son's face and
fearing, on the other, that she might. 


The wondering, the worrying, the sleepless nights, and
the war (war?) had taken her youth. She was now old,
but still a proud Marine Mom.


Cpl. Francis R. Lazeski

U.S.M.C 2064931 1964/1968




Click here to see the>>
Vietnam Memorial Wall<<slide show.
ALSO
Please take the time to visit my friends at
CLICK>>
The Virtual Wall Vietnam Memorial<<HERE

VIETNAM MEMORIAL WALL TRIVIA

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon of North Weymouth, Massachusetts. Listed by the
U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with
that of his son, Lance Corporal Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, killed on September 7, 1965.
   *There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.
   *39,996 on the Wall are just age 22 or younger.
   *8,283 were just 19 years old.
   *The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.
   *12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.
   *5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.
   *One soldier, PFC. Dan Bullock, was 15 years old.
   *997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam.
   *1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam.
   *31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.
   *54 soldiers on the Wall attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia.
   *8 women on the Wall were killed nursing the wounded.
   *244 soldiers were awarded The Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. 153 of them are on the wall.
   *Beallsville, Ohio, with a population of 475, lost 6 of her sons.
   *West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West
Virginians on the Wall.
   *The most deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 with 245.
   *The most deaths for a single month was May 1968 with 2,415 casualties.
   *The Marines of Morenci, Arizona a small town NE of Tucson. Nine graduates of Morenci
High School enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence
Day, 1966. Only three returned home.


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