Well, here is another long, sleepless night, so instead of getting all agitated and upset, I will post something that has been on my heart today.

J.D. CollettAs many of you know, I do "Run For The Wall" every year. It is a mission across America with thousands of my Brothers and Sisters, one that ends at that Black Granite Wall (VIETNAM MEMORIAL WALL).

Upon that Wall there are 58,267 Brothers and Sisters who paid the ultimate sacrifice for each and every American.

We ride from California to Washington D.C. to honor those Brothers and Sisters, and also to bring awareness of those brave Brothers and Sisters who are still listed as Prisoners of War and Missing in Action.

For us who fought in the jungles of Vietnam, those on the Wall are not just names. They are our families.

One can always identify the War Veterans at the Wall; they are the ones with tears flowing down their faces. Those who are embracing each other, as they remember the exact time their Brothers died. When at the Wall, it is as if our Brothers are talking to us ... they are not just a name.

It never gets any easier ... the tears always flow, and the love that we shared will always be foremost in our minds.

To most Americans, the Vietnam Memorial War is just another Memorial they take their families to while on vacation ... just so many names. I am going to tell you about those Brothers and Sisters, and maybe they will be more than just so many names. Thanks to my Marine Brother by another Mother, you may see that great Wall through different eyes.

1. There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.

2. 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 has been 57 years since the first Killed In Action.

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

4.  There are three sets of Fathers and Sons on the Wall.

5.  39,996 on the Wall were just 22 years of age, or younger.

6.  8,283 were only 19 years old.

7.  The largest age group on the Wall, 33,103, were only 18 years old.

8.  Twelve (12) Warriors on the Wall were 17 years old.

9.  Five (5) Warriors on the Wall were 16 years old.

10. One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock, was only 15 years old.

11. 997 Warriors were killed on their first day in Vietnam.

12. 1448 soldiers were killed on what was to have been their last day in Vietnam.

13. 31 sets of Brothers are on the Wall.

14. 31 sets of parents lost two of their sons.

15. Eight (8) Women are on the Wall, nursing the wounded.

16. 244 were awarded the Medal of Honor during Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.

17. The most casualty deaths for a single day during the Vietnam War was on January 31, 1968 ... 245 deaths.

18. The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 ... 2,415 deaths.

Most Americans who read this may only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created, but to those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not ... we see the faces ... we feel the pain that those numbers created. We are, until we, too, pass away ... haunted by those numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters.




Our most sincere thanks go to Vietnam Veteran, J.D. Collett, for allowing TexVet to share this post! Thank you for your service, good Sir ... both then and now.