Cultural Connections with The Wall That Heals

by Mike Gormalley
Several years, ago, while residing in Kansas City, I attended a cultural event sponsored by the Vietnamese American Community of Greater Kansas City (VACKC).
My interest came from my military service in Vietnam in 1971 with the U.S. Army and my annual return trips to Vietnam to volunteer in schools there.
I learned the VACKC represented more than 10,000 Vietnamese Americans living in Greater Kansas City to include almost 100 former South Vietnamese military veterans.
Over the years I attended and volunteered at their annual cultural events, health fair and their April 30 event recognizing their military veterans.
In 2010, when The Wall That Heals came to Blue Springs, Mo., I suggested to the planning committee to extend an invitation to the VACKC. The Vietnamese American Community group provided speakers, a color guard, a choir and set up a information table on the Saturday of TWTH’s visit.
Similarly, the North Kansas City Committee invited the VACKC to participate and they are providing more volunteers and speakers. They also took the initiative to promote
TWTH event poster in Vietnamese and ran a full page ad in the local weekly Vietnamese news.
I highly recommend inviting Vietnamese Americans in your community to participate in The Wall That Heals activities at all future sites. You will experience their stories plus their deep respect for our fallen heroes.
Mike Gormalley, M.Ed., is the Senior Director (retired) of Veterans of Wars (VFW) National Headquarters. He served in the U.S. Army and was in Vietnam in 1971.