Veterans Corner

Veterans Corner

Submitted by- Rich Ely

Director of Veterans Affairs -VSO


On Nov. 11th our nation paused for Veterans Day to recognize our nation’s living veterans. Each spring on Memorial Day we pay tribute to those that have gone before us and made the ultimate sacrifice. A fellow veteran friend of mine, and a Vietnam veteran, recently shared the statistics found below with me. The statistics provide some insights to those we lost during the Vietnam war and the lasting impact on our nation and those left behind.

There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black Vietnam Memorial
Wall, in Washington D.C.

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 64 years since the first casualty of the war.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl.  Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.

39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.

8,283 were just 19 years old.

The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.

12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.

5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.

One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam .

1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam .

31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.

Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.

54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia . Wonder why so many from one school?

8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.

244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.

Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.

West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in
the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.

The Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had nine classmates from one graduating class. As a group they enlisted in the Marine Corps on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.

The Buddies of Midvale, Utah – Leroy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah. They lived only a few yards apart, and they all went to Vietnam. In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all
three would be killed.

 The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 - 245 deaths.

The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred.
For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. For those who survived the war, and the families and friends of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers represent. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, and our memories because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. They are more than a name on a wall. Similar statistics no doubt exist or could be written for all the other armed conflicts in our nation’s history. It helps us to remember that………There are no noble wars, just noble warriors, and here is Susquehanna County…… We Value All Our Vets, living and deceased.​