The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

May 13, 2014

20 names will be added to memorial wall

Woodring Wall of Honor will have a special ceremony Friday night to add 20 more names to the Vietnam War Memorial Wall at Enid Woodring Regional Airport.

Each year, names of those who have met Department of Defense criteria — having sustained wounds in Vietnam from which they eventually died — are added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

Among the 20 names to be added at Friday’s 7:30 p.m. ceremony is that of Marine Lester James Veazey, of Enid. He enlisted February 1967 in the Marines shortly after his 19th birthday. He was shot in the head on Jan. 20, 1968, by small arms fire near Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. He survived the wound, but was confined to a wheelchair when he returned home to Enid. He died from his wounds nine years later, on June 6 1977. His name was added to the memorial in Washington last year.

Veazey’s half-brother, Ken Parker, will place Veazey’s name on the wall.

Posting of the names will be conducted during Friday’s ceremony by Col. John J. Menozzi, 71st Flying Training Wing vice commander at Vance Air Force Base, members of Vietnam Veterans of America Post 940 and families

Keynote address during the ceremony will be given by retired Air Force Lt. Col. Bill Schwertfeger, an Enid native who spent more than a year as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

A special flame ceremony, hosted by the national “Carry the Flame Across America” nonprofit group, will honor the 20 men. The group is traveling from California to Washington and is stopping in Enid for the special ceremony. The group plans to attend the annual ceremony each year in Enid.

Prior to the event, at 7 p.m., District 40 state Rep. John Enns, R-Enid, will receive a special award from Oklahoma State Veterans Council for his work on legislation helping veterans.

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