When the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall arrives in Parkersburg next week, it will bring with it the opportunity for visitors to pay their respects to a group of men and women whose service to their country often fails to garner the gratitude it deserves.
There is an opportunity for local residents to help make visits to the wall - particularly for those seeking individual names - easier. Organizers need volunteers to help visitors while the wall is on display.
"It is an important job and we hope enough people are willing to volunteer to help the visitors," said Patsy Griner, auxiliary president for VFW Post 8127 in Vienna.
Anyone seeking a single name might find it a challenge without assistance. There are more than 58,000 names on the wall, but, for example, the number of the fallen from Wood County is 28. Anyone who can make it easier for those looking to pay respects, heal and remember should find a way to do so.
While the Patriot Guard will escort the wall into City Park and handle duties during the opening ceremonies, it will be up to volunteers to stand watch while people are visiting from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. until the wall leaves town after Sept.1.
Those seeking a small way pay their own respects or extend a measure of gratitude to those who gave their all during the Vietnam War are encouraged to volunteer by calling 304-483-8296. When measured against the reason those names are on the wall, it will be a very small but worthwhile sacrifice, indeed.