The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 16, 2013

Vietnam Memorial Wall at airport to honor veterans from Enid area, Oklahoma


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Construction has started on the Vietnam Memorial Wall to be put on display at Enid Woodring Regional Airport.

This memorial is going to be a great addition to the Wall of Honor, which has been created to honor veterans — living and dead — in the Enid area and around the state.

A lot of people worked long and hard to get the wall here, and it’s good to see progress being made on its construction. The plan is to dedicate the wall on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

The wall is 80 percent the size of the original in Washington, D.C., but still is more than 380 feet long and 8 feet high at its tallest point, made of anodized aluminum. It contains the names of 58,272 people who lost their lives during the Vietnam War. More than 900 Oklahoma men are listed on the wall, out of the 58,272 names. Sixteen of the names are of Enid men.

The name of a 17th Enid man recently was added to the wall in Washington, D.C., and it will be added to the wall on display here, too.

Marine Lester James Veazey now is among those memorialized on the wall. His name was added earlier this month, nearly 36 years after his death.

Veazey was 19 when he joined the Marines in February 1967. On Jan. 20, 1968, he was on patrol when he was shot in the head.

He survived the severe injury and spent time in hospitals in Vietnam, Japan and the United States.

He eventually returned to Enid, but never fully recovered from his injury.

On June 6, 1977, nine years after he was wounded, Veazey passed away and was buried with military honors in Memorial Park Cemetery. He was 29 years old.

The wall is a fitting tribute to Veazey and the others whose names are on it.