The Wall that Heals Visits McAllen, TX

SITE SUMMARY

SITE:  Hidalgo/McAllen, TX

DATES:  April 7-9, 2011

ATTENDANCE:  9200

ESCORT:  108

The Wall that Heals’ had a wonderful visit to Hidalgo, TX.  We began our journey to Hidalgo with an escort from Falfurrias, TX to the McAllen Convention Center.  The staging area was the Falfurrias Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart’s management and employees graciously provided coffee and doughnuts for all of the riders.

We arrived at the McAllen Convention Center and were directed to park in front of the Veterans Memorial Park for photo opportunities and media interviews.

On Wednesday, thanks in part to many local Vietnam Veterans, we assembled TWTH regardless of the extreme heat and strong breeze.  Since we set The Wall on a hard surface, we had to use sand bags to hold the feet and braces down securely.  Additionally, a map of Vietnam was laid on the ground for Veterans to place their name on the area where they served.

Thursday was the official unveiling of TWTH.  Ceremonies held included a presentation of the Colors by the Marine Corps Academy JROTC, singing of the National Anthem, playing of Taps, and several speeches by guests, including Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia, a Vietnam Veteran, and a closing Statement by Rey Oropez.

On Saturday, an event was held in the McAllen Convention Center to Welcome Home the South Texas Vietnam Veterans.  The event included presentations by the Department of Veteran Affairs, Women in the Military, Pat & Lyndon – “The Play”, with LZ RGV Operation Welcome Home Tribute, Exhibit Hall.

On Sunday the Veterans returned to disassemble The Wall and the Patriot Guard Riders returned to escort us out of McAllen to Corpus Christi, TX.

All in all, we had a great visit.

Sincerely,

Bob and Brenda Dobek

Site Managers, The Wall That Heals

To learn more about The Wall That Heals visit www.vvmf.org/twth

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