Names To Be Added to The Wall
The names of four American servicemen will be engraved on the black granite walls of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial over the next week, and the status designations will be changed for 13 others whose names are already on The Wall, announced Jan C. Scruggs, Founder and President of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF).
On May 12 at 10 a.m., VVMF will host the Name Addition Ceremony, during which the changes will be unveiled in Washington, D.C. These men have met the Department of Defense criteria for addition to The Wall, having sustained wounds in Vietnam from which they eventually perished.
The names of Raymond Clark Thompson, Lester James Veazey, Dennis Ralph Siverling and Clark David Franklin will join the others inscribed on The Wall who lost their lives or remain missing in action as a result of combat in Vietnam. These changes will bring the total number of names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to 58,286 men and women who were killed or remain missing in action.
Weather permitting, work to inscribe the names and change designations will be complete by May 5, and the changes will be unveiled during the press event. When names are added, the highly technical procedure requires meticulous work to match the stroke and depth of the surrounding names to within 1/1,000 of an inch. The physical work of adding the names and changing designations will be performed by James Lee of the Colorado-based company, Engrave Write.
The Department of Defense sets the criteria for and makes decisions about whose names are eligible for inscription on The Wall. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund pays for the name additions and status changes, and works with the National Park Service to ensure long-term preservation and maintenance of The Wall.
Names To Be Added to The Wall
West Palm Beach, Fla.
Dec. 18, 1947 – Oct. 27, 2010
Date of Casualty: June 6, 1969
Beside each name on the memorial is a symbol designating status. The diamond symbol denotes confirmed death. The cross represents missing in action. When a service member’s remains are returned or accounted for, the diamond is superimposed over the cross. In addition to the four names being added this year, 13 designation changes will be made as well. They include:
• Air Force Lt. Col. Clarence Finley Blanton of El Reno, Okla., Panel 44E, Line 13
• Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Mack Brown of Portsmouth, Va., Panel 1W, Line 90
• Air Force Col. Joseph Christiano of Rochester, N.Y., Panel 4E, Line 36
• Air Force Chief Master Sgt. William Kevin Colwell of Glen Cove, N.Y., Panel 4E, Line 36
• Air Force Capt. Dennis Lee Eilers of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Panel 4E, Line 37
• Air Force Maj. Larry James Hanley of Walla Walla, Wash., Panel 16W, Line 29
• Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Arden Keith Hassenger of Lebanon, Ore., Panel 4E, Line 37
• Air Force Col. Derrell Blackbur Jeffords of Phoenix, Panel 4E, Line 37
• Air Force Lt. Col. Wendell Richard Keller of Fargo, N.D., Panel 30W, Line 5
• Air Force Maj. Aado Kommendant of Lakewood, N.J., Panel 9E, Line 114
• Air Force Capt. Virgil Kersh Meroney III of Fayetteville, Ariz., Panel 30W, Line 6
• Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Larry C Thornton of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Panel 4E, Line 38
• Air Force Airman 1st Class Jerry Mack Wall of Nacogdoches, Texas, Panel 7E, Line 84
• Army Sgt. 1st Class Gunther Herbert Wald of Bergen, N.J., Panel 16W, Line 25
Photos of the men whose names will be added and whose statuses will be changed, as well as stories about their lives, are being collected from their loved ones to be used in the Education Center at The Wall, which is planned Washington, D.C. near the Lincoln and Vietnam Veterans Memorials. The Education Center will be an interactive learning facility that will teach the values, tell the stories and show the faces of those who served. It will also showcase the remembrances left in tribute at The Wall and celebrate the rich legacy of service in this country.