Character · family · Gratitude · history · Inspiration · legacy · Living

The Wall of Honor

With the rising of the sun, the wall shone in the growing light.  Grass damp from the morning dew, and clumps of mud from the recent rains, I made my way closer.  As I closed in, I was able to see the etchings, the names.  Thousands upon thousands.  Each a name.  Each a person.  Equal parts impressive and sorrowful.  Under one of the panels, someone left a printout of some pictures of one of the names.  I contemplated things standing there, looking along the panels, seeing the flags of honor and the memorial flowers. 

I’m a reader, and love history.  Although I never had the honor to serve for our country, I have a deep respect for those who have, and especially for those who sacrificed their all.  I often read books and articles about military history, and they all have one thing in common.  The numbers.  Opposing forces engaged in battle, strategy and tactics turned the favor for or against, and the engagements conclude.  What was the cost?  The cold statistics are compiled and calculated.  The numbers on each side, the numbers of regiments or ships, the losses.  The academic aspect is all about the numbers and the analysis.  The reality of things is that there’s more than just the numbers.

The amounts of soldiers and then the causalities (killed in action, wounded, or missing in action) are always listed.  When I hear the numbers of soldiers, sailors, and airmen lost in Vietnam, over 58,000, it gives me a moment to reflect.  When I see the names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall, it gives it a different meaning.  No longer just a number, but each being an individual.  A person.  A person with hopes and dreams.  We must never forget this. 

What were they like?  Did they have a good sense of humor, or were they more serious?  What were their dreams and hopes?  Each name a son or daughter of a lamenting parent.  Did they have children?  What were their aspirations for a career? 

We should all take the time to think about the meaning of sacrifice.  The Vietnam Memorial Wall is a good place to really think and witness the names.  So much sacrifice, and we should take time to wonder about what was lost.  The child that has grown up without their father or mother.  The mother and father who lost their child to war.  Or just the thought of these soldiers never able to start a family.  The loss of this life potential is heartbreaking.  We always think about a big family get-together and not give it much thought.  But imagine if the grandfatherly patriarch died in a war when he was eighteen.  The realization of this family never existing becomes a reality.  War is hell in so many ways. 

Take the time to read some of the names and think about the person lost.  Think of the loss to the immediate family.  Think of the loss of the family line that will not exist.  The loss becomes so much more than just a number on a casualty list. 

Just a couple of the names to remember…

David Stearns Easton

NameDavid Stearns Easton
FromAllegheny County, Pennsylvania
BornJune 9, 1943
DeathMay 8, 1968
WarVietnam War
RankSpecialist Four
SpecialtyLight Weapons Infantry
BranchUS Army
Group25th Infantry Division, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry, A Company
CauseHostile Died of Wounds, Artillery Rocket Mortar, Ground Casualty
LocationSouth Vietnam, Binh Long province
Awarded Purple Heart

David Stearns Easton was born on June 9, 1943. According to our records Pennsylvania was his home or enlistment state and Allegheny County included within the archival record. We have Pittsburgh listed as the city.

He was drafted into the Army. Entered the service via Selective Service. Served during the Vietnam War. He began his tour on September 13, 1967. Easton had the rank of Specialist Four. His military occupation or specialty was Light Weapons Infantry. Service number assignment was 52854264. Attached to 25th Infantry Division, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry, A Company.

During his service in the Vietnam War, Army Specialist Four Easton experienced a traumatic event which ultimately resulted in loss of life on May 8, 1968. Recorded circumstances attributed to: Hostile Died of Wounds, Artillery Rocket Mortar, Ground Casualty. Incident location: South Vietnam, Binh Long province.

David is honored on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC. Name inscribed at.

COMMENDATIONS

★ Purple Heart

★ Combat Infantryman Badge

★ Marksmanship Badge

★ National Defense Service Medal

★ Vietnam Campaign Medal

★ Vietnam Service Medal

★ Army Presidential Unit Citation

★ Vietnam Gallantry Cross

★ Army Good Conduct Medal

Carl Oscar Pearson Jr

NameCarl Oscar Pearson Jr
FromBaldwin County, Alabama
BornJune 18, 1949
DeathMay 8, 1968
WarVietnam War
RankPrivate First Class
SpecialtyAssault Amphibious Vehicle Crewman
BranchUS Marine Corps
Group4th Platoon, B Company, 3rd Amtrack Battalion, 1st Marine Division
CauseHostile Died of Wounds, Gun Small Arms Fire
LocationQuang Nam province, South Vietnam
Awarded★ Purple Heart

Carl Oscar Pearson Jr was born on June 18, 1949. According to our records Alabama was his home or enlistment state and Baldwin County included within the archival record. We have Silverhill listed as the city.

He had enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Served during the Vietnam War. He began his tour on February 16, 1968. Pearson had the rank of Private First Class. His military occupation or specialty was Assault Amphibious Vehicle Crewman. Service number assignment was 2353672. Attached to 4th Platoon, B Company, 3rd Amtrack Battalion, 1st Marine Division.

During his service in the Vietnam War, Marine Corps Private First Class Pearson experienced a traumatic event which ultimately resulted in loss of life on May 8, 1968. Recorded circumstances attributed to: Hostile Died of Wounds, Gun Small Arms Fire. Incident location: Quang Nam province, South Vietnam.

Carl Oscar Pearson Jr is buried or memorialized at Silverhill Cemetery, Silverhill, Baldwin County, Alabama.

Carl is honored on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC. Name inscribed at VVM Wall, Panel 57e, Line 3.

COMMENDATIONS

★ Purple Heart

★ Combat Action Ribbon

★ National Defense Service Medal

★ Vietnam Campaign Medal

★ Vietnam Service Medal

★ Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation

★ Vietnam Gallantry Cross

★ Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal

★ Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal

Dennis Lynn Cook

NameDennis Lynn Cook
FromAllen County, Indiana
BornJuly 2, 1947
DeathMay 6, 1968
WarVietnam War
RankPrivate First Class
BranchUS Marine Corps
Group1st Marine Division, 1st Tank Battalion, A Company
CauseHostile, Killed in Action
LocationSouth Vietnam, Thua Thien province
Awarded★ Purple Heart

Dennis Lynn Cook was born on July 2, 1947. According to our records Indiana was his home or enlistment state and Allen County included within the archival record. We have Yoder listed as the city.

He had enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Entered the service via Regular Military. Served during the Vietnam War. He began his tour on November 29, 1967. Cook had the rank of Private First Class. Service number assignment was 2183329. Attached to 1st Marine Division, 1st Tank Battalion, A Company.

During his service in the Vietnam War, Marine Corps Private First Class Cook experienced a traumatic event which ultimately resulted in loss of life on May 6, 1968. Recorded circumstances attributed to: Died through hostile action, small arms fire. Incident location: South Vietnam, Thua Thien province.

Dennis is honored on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC. Name inscribed at VVM Wall, Panel 56e, Line 3.

COMMENDATIONS

★ Purple Heart

★ Combat Action Ribbon

★ National Defense Service Medal

★ Vietnam Campaign Medal

★ Vietnam Service Medal

★ Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation

★ Vietnam Gallantry Cross

★ Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal

★ Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal

Thomas Franklin Crews

NameThomas Franklin Crews
FromPerry County, Alabama
BornSeptember 16, 1942
DeathMay 6, 1968
WarVietnam War
RankStaff Sergeant
SpecialtyLight Weapons Infantry
BranchUS Army
Group196th Light Infantry Brigade, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, A Company
CauseHostile, Killed in Action
LocationNi Ha 7km Wnw of Cua Viet River, South Vietnam, Quang Tri province
Awarded★ Purple Heart

Thomas Franklin Crews was born on September 16, 1942. According to our records Alabama was his home or enlistment state and Perry County included within the archival record. We have Marion listed as the city.

He had enlisted in the United States Army. Entered the service via Regular Military. Served during the Vietnam War. He began his tour on September 2, 1967. Crews had the rank of Staff Sergeant. His military occupation or specialty was Light Weapons Infantry. Service number assignment was 53380204. Attached to 196th Light Infantry Brigade, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, A Company.

During his service in the Vietnam War, Army Staff Sergeant Crews experienced a traumatic event which ultimately resulted in loss of life on May 6, 1968. Recorded circumstances attributed to: Died through hostile action, multiple fragmentation wounds. Incident location: Ni Ha 7km Wnw of Cua Viet River, South Vietnam, Quang Tri province.

Thomas Franklin Crews is buried or memorialized at Mount Carmel Methodist Cemetery, Folsom, Perry County, Alabama.

Thomas is honored on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC. Name inscribed at VVM Wall, Panel 56e, Line 4.

COMMENDATIONS

★ Purple Heart

★ Combat Infantryman Badge

★ Marksmanship Badge

★ National Defense Service Medal

★ Vietnam Campaign Medal

★ Vietnam Service Medal

★ Army Presidential Unit Citation

★ Vietnam Gallantry Cross

★ Army Good Conduct Medal

Ellis Lovine Faircloth

NameEllis Lovine Faircloth
FromDecatur County, Georgia
BornJanuary 3, 1943
DeathMay 8, 1968
WarVietnam War
RankSpecialist Five
SpecialtyField Radio Mechanic
BranchUS Army
Group101st Airborne Division, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry, A Company
CauseHostile, Killed in Action
LocationSouth Vietnam, Thua Thien province
Awarded★ Purple Hear

Ellis Lovine Faircloth was born on January 3, 1943. According to our records Georgia was his home or enlistment state and Decatur County included within the archival record. We have Bainbridge listed as the city.

He had enlisted in the United States Army. Entered the service via Regular Military. Served during the Vietnam War. He began his tour on December 14, 1967. Faircloth had the rank of Specialist Five. His military occupation or specialty was Field Radio Mechanic. Service number assignment was 24775773. Attached to 101st Airborne Division, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry, A Company.

During his service in the Vietnam War, Army Specialist Five Faircloth experienced a traumatic event which ultimately resulted in loss of life on May 8, 1968. Recorded circumstances attributed to: Died through hostile action, small arms fire. Incident location: South Vietnam, Thua Thien province.

Ellis is honored on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC. Name inscribed at VVM Wall, Panel 57e, Line 2.

COMMENDATIONS

★ Purple Heart

★ Combat Infantryman Badge

★ Marksmanship Badge

★ Parachutist Badge

★ National Defense Service Medal

★ Vietnam Campaign Medal

★ Vietnam Service Medal

★ Army Presidential Unit Citation

★ Vietnam Gallantry Cross

★ Army Good Conduct Medal

Information obtained from:  https://www.honorstates.org/

Wall pictures taken at the traveling wall memorial, Garner, NC, 2022.

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