Farewell to a Dear Friend

Vietnam veterans lost one of their biggest advocates on Tuesday.

Carol Haberchak of Pittsburgh, Penn. passed away. She was 65.

For the last three years, she sought out photos of the fallen heroes whose names are etched on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. She submitted those photos to VVMF to ensure their faces and their stories would never be forgotten.

She began her efforts three years ago when she discovered VVMF’s Virtual Wall while searching for Warren Muhr’s final resting place.

Warren was her first love and was killed in action in Vietnam.

They were introduced by a friend in 1966 while he was training at Fort Lewis, Wash. They’re relationship grew through letters and phone calls, as they were long distance.

One of his first letters to her read, “Do you believe in love at first write?”

His letters were sweet and sincere, with a wonderful sense of humor. He regarded her as an angel in his life and an inspiration. They quickly fell in love.

Warren turned 21 on January 21, 1967. On Feb. 26, 1967, he was killed by machine gun fire while protecting the front lines in Vietnam.

Carol found out about his death much too late to pay her respects and felt helpless.

Years later, she found his final resting place in Chicago, Ill. and made several trips to his graveside. It was then that she made it her mission to find photos for as many fallen Vietnam heroes as she could and post them to the Virtual Wall. She believed so fervently in honoring Warren and Vietnam veterans that she donated funds to help build the Education Center at The Wall and made VVMF a major beneficiary in her will.

Her friend Cheryl Weitzel notified VVMF of Carol’s passing and said, “She touched the lives of so many with her faithfulness and dedication to the Vietnam veterans, and she uploaded pictures for more than 300 heroes who were faceless.”

Carol told VVMF several years ago that while her time with Warren was short, he had the greatest influence on her life. Warren inspired her to do all she could to support and honor veterans.

“Carol was one in a million. She taught me a very profound lesson,” said Jan C. Scruggs, VVMF’s founder and president. “All loses are survivable—whether it’s a good friend or a first love—it’s what we do after that loss, to take something painful and channel it into something meaningful, is truly special.”

VVMF is forever grateful to Carol for her dedication and support to veterans and the effort to build the Education Center at The Wall. We are saddened by her passing and also the realization that she won’t be standing with us when the center is completed.