40 Connections to The Wall

VVMF offers those who can’t make it to The Wall in Washington, D.C. the option to get a name rubbing done by a volunteer and mailed to them at no charge. Over the years, rubbing requests have come in with notes about the connections to the names. This month, we share 40 connections we learned about from name rubbing requests. To request a rubbing from The Wall in Washington, D.C. – go here:  www.vvmf.org/name-rubbing

• A scholarship was set up by a member of our alumni to honor Michael Thompson on Panel 28W, Line 5. Theta Chi fraternity from a small school in Michigan, Adrian College, where Michael graduated, before entering the war and training as a helicopter pilot, where he was shot down. First, and fortunately, the only brother from my home chapter to die in Vietnam. – Jim from Michigan

• I was adopted out at birth and just recently found my natural family through DNA testing. Family is so important to me. My natural father’s side has been cool and open to me for the most part. My natural mother’s side never thought I would find them and did not want me to reach out to them. Stephen Colopy, Panel 18E, Line 74, is my 2nd cousin, twice removed. This rubbing is an olive branch. I am going to frame it as nicely as I can for them. – Anthony from Ohio

• Hayward Peleiholani is the namesake for VFW Post 3830 in Pahoa, HI. I was doing research on Peleihonlani for a recent event. I requested his Wall rubbing, framed it and it now hangs on his memorial wall within Post 3830. Hayward Peleiholani, Panel 19 West, Line 101. – Teresa from Hawaii

Hugh Byrd, Panel 35W, Line 58. I wore a POW bracelet with his name on it for many, years. I always wanted to find out what happened to him. I sent up silent prayers for him and his family. I was so excited to receive his rubbing, and more than a little sad to learn his name was on The Wall. This gives me some closure to my search and answers one big question. – Carmen from Washington

Raymond Davis, Panel 14E, Line 111. I was not sure he could possibly be my father I’ve been looking for until I saw his photo next to my son’s photo from graduation from Army boot camp. – Monty from Washington

• Mendel Catholic High School Alumni. Our school is now closed but we are having a Mass honoring our High School Mendel Monarchs alumni, Edwin Heise, Panel 25W, Line 39; Francis Anthony Schwarz, Panel 48W, Line 15, and Craig M Clancy, Panel 22W, Line 74 that died in Vietnam. – Andy from Illinois

• Thornton Township High School had 49 serve in Vietnam. We requested rubbings for the 7 that died in Vietnam; they are from the Classes of 1965 and 1966. Our joint 55-year class reunion honored them with their picture and name rubbing. James Ray Griffey, Panel 4E, Line 59; Cullen Wood Quin, Panel 39E, Line 65; Jimmy Horace Guinn, Panel 17E, Line 95; Ralph Eugene Flowers Jr, Panel 16W, Line 79; Steven Victor Mershon, Panel 37W, Line 34; Walter Leonard Ward, Panel 21E, Line 71; Robert Walter Whitney, Panel 32W, Line 47. – Jackie from Illinois

Jack Reinke, Panel 49E, Line 5. Corinne, the cousin of the soldier, and her kids, are so appreciative to have done a rubbing of Jack’s name at The Wall That Heals on display in Winstead, MN. Corinne and the kids would love a rubbing from The Wall in DC to display with their The Wall That Heals rubbing. – Stephanie from Minnesota

Martin T Prast, Panel 8W, Line 81. Martin T Prast is my brother’s Godfather and this will be very special to him. – Lou Ann from New York

Robert Scheidel Jr, Panel 27W, Line 59. Bobby was the highlight, although the rest of the family was also great. What made Bobby so special was he always made time for the younger cousins. Bobby was quite a few years older than I was but he never said no to this 9-year-old knucklehead, me, to play catch.  He taught me how to throw a curve ball, though I never mastered it, how to hold a bat and more.  As I said he was very special. I will never forget his funeral, the memory is singed forever in my heart and mind.  The distinct red, white and blue flag that draped his coffin.  My aunt’s tears as she gripped the coffin as if she could bring him back. The color guard folding the flag and handing it to her.  I was nine years old and still remember it as if it was yesterday. – Taz from Connecticut

• Requesting rubbings of the names of four Marines: Cpl James Conrad Marshall, Panel 36E, Line 24; LCpl Darwin Lee Judge, Panel 1W, Line 124; Cpl Charles McMahon Jr, Panel 1W, Line 124; Sgt Wayne Turberville, Panel 2W, Line 27. I am the current Commanding Officer of the Marine Security Guard Detachments where the above Marines gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our American Embassies. Each Detachment has a dedicated heritage room where they honor the Marines of the past and celebrate the camaraderie of the Marines today. It is my intention to have these rubbings framed and hung in a place of honor within those rooms so that we may never forget. Lastly, as a unit, we are implementing memorial events for each Marine on the anniversary of their passing. The Marine Security Guard Detachments will learn about the Marine they are honoring, participate in a strenuous workout, and then conduct a formal meal together. I hope this small gesture, in some way, keeps the story of these Marines alive. – Justin from Thailand

William Howard Jett, Panel 28E, Line 43. Bill Jett was a founding member of the original and oldest body surfing club on the planet, the Gillis Beach Bodysurfing Association. I was blessed enough to be his little brother in the water and apprentice on the land.  Bill wrote me a letter a few days before the crash telling me if I showed up over there he’d kick my buns back to the States, he had just shot his first enemy soldier. I was 16 when I got the letter and 17 when Bill passed. I gave Bill’s letter to the officer who inspected the crash site, Captain Charles Robert Holmes, another one of our bodysurfing club founding members. – Dean from Washington

Robert Miller Jr, Panel 47W, Line 49. Thank you to you and all the volunteers that do this for families who are unable to make it to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. – Jessica from Ohio

Thomas Carrington, Panel 19W, Line 13. I was just at DC chaperoning my step-son’s class trip, we tried to do our own rubbing but it was too high on The Wall. I’m glad the tour guide suggested using your website to request a name rubbing. It is for my stepson’s Grandpa who lost a friend serving with him in Vietnam. – Josh from Michigan

Michael D Chwan, Panel 2E, Line 99. Searching Mike’s name on The Wall of Faces site in 2019, Mike’s cousin from Slovakia found his name and my contact information.  He visited us in Colorado and it was so wonderful to meet him because of this connection. My original rubbing is quite faded so I am looking forward to getting an updated rubbing. – Dana from Colorado

James Elrod, Panel 9E, Line 121. I received the rubbing as you promised, thank you so much. I’ll cherish it always. – Don from Georgia

Clarence McNeill, Panel 33W, Line 66. Thank you for the rubbing and the volunteer’s precious time. It will be a fine addition to the family history. – CA from South Carolina

Jedh Barker, Panel 26E, Line 99 We are honoring LCPL Barker, a recipient of the Medal of Honor, on Memorial Day. We are preparing a display to be hung in our city hall. We will display a second rubbing at our local VFW as a tribute to him. – Roger from New Hampshire

David Timm, Panel 48E, Line 21. We had a wonderful Honor Flight visit to The Wall. I was the guardian of a vet that spent time reminiscing about his friend at The Wall. It was very moving to witness. – Karen from Wisconsin

James Stolinski, Panel 46E, Line 42 The rubbing is for Frank Stolinski, his brother. We plan to present the rubbing to Frank at our Veterans Club meeting. Thank you again for your support of our veterans. – Bob from Florida

Patrick McCabe, Panel 56E, Line 13 This is my son-in-law’s grandfather who was lost at Phuc Tuy in 1968 after only three months in country. I plan to use the rubbings along with a folded American flag and military decorations in a shadow box for my son-in-law. – Wesley from Texas

Calvin Childress, Panel 30W, Line 99. Calvin grew up with me and my husband and we miss him every day. He was the brother I never got to have. – Tammy from Maryland

David Stoehr, Panel 58W, Line 15 David was my brother Marvin’s best childhood friend in Ft. Huachuca, Arizona. I’m going to frame the rubbing and give it to him as a gift. – Sterling from Arizona

Robert John Swedenburg, Panel 15W, Line 44 I’m putting together a footlocker for his niece that will have his name and service branch on the outside and this name rubbing on the inside of the lid. – Andy from Minnesota

Lawrence Randolph Booth, Panel 17W, Line 83 I’ve had Major Lawrence Booth’s POW/MIA bracelet since I was a teenager in high school. – Jana from Nevada

Rodney G Shank, Panel 33W, Line 82 We just lost another of our five brothers. It is now just my twin sister Debra and I left as our last brother died of COVID-19. – Delores from Pennsylvania

Robert Ater, Panel 8W, Line 117 I miss my brother every day and pray for him every night even though it has been more than fifty years. – John from Florida

Thomas Dean, Panel 11E, Line 51 I am getting this rubbing for my Dad, Carl Dean. Thomas was his older brother. My Dad will be 90 in August and I’m sure this is something he will love having. It will be a nice surprise for him when I give it to him. – Beverly from North Carolina

Paul Peluso, Panel 14W, Line 95 This rubbing will mean a great deal to me in remembering a classmate and teammate – Paul Peluso. Thank you for this service. – Russell from Virginia

Manuel Denton, Panel 1E, Line 29 This is my grandfather that passed away when my mother was 3 years old. – Christina from Alabama

Gary Matson, Panel 40W, Line 58 Thank you for serving. It was so ugly. I lost many friends, my next door neighbor that I grew up with, and the man I loved. – Edras from California

Harol Reid, Panel 26E, Line 27 This is my uncle and it will be great to have an etching of his name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. – Kira from Utah

Richard J Warren, Panel 29E, Line 86 My brother. – James from Georgia

Albert Doody, Panel 10E, Line 79; Patrick Harrington, Panel 53E, Line 27; Martin Keogh, Panel 13W, Line 74; Raymond Donnelly, Pane 1W, Line 57; Lawrence Merschel, Panel 53E, Line 35; Robert Kisch, Panel 24E, Line 30; James G Jones, Panel 12E, Line 63; Paul McGrath, Panel 59W, Line 26; John McCormick, Panel 20E, Line 31; Alexander Ward, Panel 39E, Line 68; John McDonough, Panel 8E, Line 67. We are honoring the 11 Villanovans who were KIA in Vietnam by displaying their name rubbings in our Veterans Center on campus. – Michael from Pennsylvania

Micheal Phillip Vullo, Panel 8W, Line 10. I’ve already visited The Wall where a volunteer veteran – a look-a-like of Ernst Hemingway – guided me in the search for the right spot on The Wall. And now that l can even see the picture of my relative on The Wall of Faces and l shiver at how much we look alike! It was so touching listening to the account of the veteran and l felt like the whole world owes a lot of compassion to these guys. This service of requesting rubbings owns a great symbolic value. At the same time, it honors the veterans performing the action, the soldiers whose lives have been sacrificed and it renews the fragile humanness we all take a share of each moment in each part of the world where a war is taking place. – Angelo from Italy

Kirk Rauch, Panel 8W, Line 80. The final recipient will be Mrs. Priscilla Rauch, Kirk’s 96 year old mother. She is not able to use the internet. I have known Priscilla for about 10 years. It hadn’t occurred to me that she might like a rubbing. I asked her yesterday, and she was very happy and excited about it. Early on in the war, I had a boyfriend killed in Vietnam. Almost 30 years later a close friend was traveling to the Wall in Washington.  He brought me a rubbing of my loved one’s inscription.  I can’t begin to tell you the emotions that act brought in my heart.  I know this will help Priscilla to heal. – Beth from California

Willie Cooper, Panel 14E, Line 4. Thank you for doing the rubbing of my Uncle’s name. My father passed away last year and his older brother meant the world to him. I just happened to come across the Request for Rubbings website while looking up my Uncle’s gravesite. – Kendra from Texas

Robert Thomas, Panel 1W, Line 95. We are using these rubbings for an upcoming Salute to Service event and we will include the rubbing in a shadow box that will be presented to the family. – Matt from Missouri

Joseph Brown III, Panel 6E, Line 108. I am the sister of Joseph, he was my oldest brother. – Enid from Virginia

David Graham, Panel 2E, Line 93. On behalf of me and my family, I must express our sincere gratitude to the volunteers’ devotion to service in honoring my Uncle Tony and all our fallen heroes at VVMF. – Renei from Maryland