Honor their Courage and Sacrifice

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
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Dear Jason,

Following are the words of “Bruce from Illinois” in honor of his friend and fellow Army infantryman, Gerald Craig Miller.

Click to learn more about Gerald Craig MillerPFC Gerald Craig Miller and I went to grade school together. 

We were drafted into the Army on the same day, went to Basic and AIT together. He shipped out about one week before I left for Nam. He went to the 1st. Calvary; I ended up in the 4th Infantry Div.

For some reason, known only to God, he lasted only one month. He went KIA on October 21, 1967. I’ve lasted over 43 additional years.

Each year on Veterans Day, I drive to Assumption Cemetery in Glenwood, Illinois. I take a small U.S. flag on a staff, rake, putty knife, whisk broom, fertilizer, cigarettes and beer. I police up around his area, scrape the pine tree sap off his headstone, then I place the flag just above his headstone.

I give him the best salute that I can. I light two cigarettes. I place one, ember side up, in the grass and let it burn down. I then open a can of beer. I toast him; pour some beer close to his headstone. Repeat as necessary.

I sit cross-legged on his plot and talk to him a little. I wonder what it must have been like to have that RPG explode close by. Was he killed instantly, or did he slowly bleed out and die in Quang Nam province?

I have been doing this for almost 40 years. The drive to and from his site is a very somber event. It’s really depressing to do this, but hopefully he would do the same for me. RIP Craig.

Tributes such as Bruce’s moving remembrance of his friend are left every day at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and on the Virtual Wall on our website.

Today, I have two special ways for you to remember a veteran close to your heart through a donation to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF):

1 – HONOR a veteran you know who served or is currently serving our country, or make a general gift in honor of all veterans.

2 – Join the VVMF Honor Guard and give a monthly gift to honor the service of veterans all year long.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial — The Wall — pays respectful tribute to those who lost their lives in Vietnam. At the same time, it also honors everyone who served with them.

That’s not all. This unique Memorial touches every visitor. It causes them to walk slowly by and say thank you to our American veterans. It brings them a step closer to understanding the importance of military service and the impact of the Vietnam War.

Even if you don’t know someone who served or gave their life during the Vietnam War, I hope you will stillmake a donation on behalf of another veteran you know.

As a loyal and patriotic American, you can honor our veterans by making a gift to their courage and service.

I also invite you to share this email with your family and friends around the country. Give them the chance to pay tribute to a veteran who has been a special part of their lives.

Please help me and everyone here at the VVMF to keep the memory of our veterans alive… to remind all Americans of the courage and sacrifice of our veterans. I ask you to make a generous donation today. Thank you!

Jan C. Scruggs
Jan C. Scruggs
Founder and President

P.S. As we approach Veterans Day, think about the veterans you know and how they’ve touched your life. Think of how they fought and served to preserve our American way of life. It only takes a few moments to make a tribute to their courage and sacrifice.

Thank you for your patriotism and generosity!

Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and promoting healing and educating about the impact of the Vietnam War. Authorized by Congress, its most recent initiative is building The Education Center at The Wall, an underground facility near the Memorial that is designed to add faces to all the names on The Wall and tell their stories to future generations. Other Memorial Fund initiatives include educational programs for students and teachers, and a traveling Wall replica.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund | 2600 Virginia Avenue, NW Suite 104 | Washington, D.C. 20037