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Vietnam Veteran killed in fatal hit and run crash

vietnam vet killed in hit and run crash

This man’s family has requested his name be withheld to avoid publicity. That is the way his whole life has been. This article has been written to honor his life and his brothers in arms.

He was drafted in 1964 into a war he didn’t like and didn’t want to fight in. He was a bright young man and had already read The Ugly American by Eugene Burdick. His politics didn’t coincide with the U.S. Diplomatic Core nor with President Johnson but he was a loyal American who reported to his draft board and tried to do all the things that kept him legal in 1964.

He went through a harrowing boot camp as he watched the media and a new Television station called CNN started by a young entrepreneur named Ted Turner. This new station was different than the network program he had grown to take as absolute truth in his younger years but all his fellow soldiers were watching it as were all the returning Corp men who had just been in Vietnam. These young soldiers knew the atrocities that were being perpetrated by the combined forces onto Vietnam, especially the bombing of whole villages killing enemy and ally alike.

He trained daily in martial arts thinking of the time he might have to actually kill someone with his own hands. He became an expert in marksmanship. He went through every program they had for him. They were training his mind as well as his body. They wanted him to think like a soldier and go out each day looking for another battle.

This young soldier was told that if he went to the Green Beret division to train for air combat, he could defer shipping out until completion, so he learned to jump from planes and was trained in parachute jumping. Recognizing his intelligence, they then offered cockpit flight training but he didn’t do so well at that so they trained him as a tail gunner. After all this training, he was ready for Vietnam. He shipped out.

Vietnam was a surprise to him, even though he had been watching the news reels. The climate was hot and muggy and fungus would grow on the body. He had to change his socks several times during the day to keep them dry. The hell of Vietnam could only be experienced, not read about.

All too soon, he was flying missions on a helicopter. His position of tail gunner was a very dangerous one and he was told that the average life expectancy for his job was eight minutes. He stayed alert and became one of the best weapons the Americans had against the Viet Cong. He also became the number one target of the Cong. He flew one mission after the other, dreaming every night of the lives he had taken the previous day. He was amazed at how long he had escaped danger.

His luck was soon to run out. The helicopter was caught in a furious fight with the Cong shooting missiles instead of the guns they normally use. These weapons were supplied by China to give the Congress an advantage over the helicopters. His aircraft was shot down

and part of it landed on our hero. He was dragged into a P.O.W. Camp, because he couldn’t walk. This is where he spent the rest of the war.

When the war was finally over, our hero who was now a victim arrived in a V.A. Hospital. His legs had been so badly damaged that they had to be removed. When he finally left the hospital, it was in a wheelchair where he would spend the rest of his life.

There were no marching bands for this soldier. In fact, America seemed ashamed of everything that reminded them of that dirty little war. Veterans were spat on. It seemed that America was trying to sweep the memory of Vietnam under the rug.

Even now, he was a hero, he did everything for himself. He got himself an apartment. He found an office job in a munitions factory. He had Timothy J. Ryan & Associates help him get his car set up so he could drive it with his hands. He even had the car made so he could put his chair in the back himself. He never felt sorry for himself and he gave amply to the Vietnam Veterans Association. By any account this man was what all Americans should try to be. He was an unassuming patriot!

Last Thursday, he was hit by a hit and run driver as he was trying to cross a street in his wheelchair. He was dead on arrival at the hospital.

Notice your Vietnam Veteran. He did not want to go but he had to!

 

Veterans facing criminal charges: What can be done?

statistics for veterans getting arrestedFacing criminal charges is something which cannot actually be described as being particularly fun or interesting. In other words, it cannot even be termed as a memorable experience which people would be proud and happy to tell about later on.

The reality is that the whole process of facing criminal charges is a very tiring, challenging, and stressful one. The entire situation is even more intensified if you have no kind of knowledge about the kinds of criminal charges that you are facing.

This case is seen to be even more problematic in the case of veterans who are facing criminal charges for domestic violence or any other kind of felony that they have committed. Therefore, in order to get out of this kind of a situation, there are certain steps which would need to be taken. After all, it is absolutely not possible to let your life and self-dignity go to waste.

Hire a lawyer or work close with an attorney

The first and possibly the most sensible thing which can be done in this situation is to hire a very good and capable lawyer as soon as it can be possible. This is because when it comes to dealing with legal matters, it is absolutely not possible to deal with it on your own.

Now it is true that a marijuana charge isn’t going to destroy your military record, but if you drive away from the scene of a car accident, you’re going to need the best hit and run attorney that you can find. You can’t just go to court with a public defender, even though it may be tempting to do so.

The chances of you making matters worse seems to increase significantly. Therefore, with a qualified and experienced attorney by your side, they will be able to help you out through the entire thing. They are the ones who will be taking charge of gathering police reports, talking to witnesses, and even gathering the other pieces of important evidence pertaining to your case.

They are also the ones who are capable enough to judge your entire situation at first glance and then determine if you have any chance of getting out of it alive. Other than that, they will be able to help in devising strategies which would be helping your case the most.

On other cases, it might even happen that your lawyer will be able to cut you a deal with the prosecutor. This can help in reducing your sentence to some extent which can definitely do wonders for you.

Do not talk with the police without your attorney present

Even though this is mostly referred to as being common sense, many people tend to forget it during times of stress. However, it is extremely important to remember that you do not give any kind of information to the police about your case when your lawyer is not present. The chances are that it will be used against you in the court.

Consult a therapist

Lastly, what you would need to understand is that this entire situation is a very emotional situation. This will definitely take a toll on you both physically and emotionally. That is why it has been recommended that you consult a therapist who will be able to help you out through the entire ordeal. They can also help in getting your life back on track.

Honoring The Fallen Troops

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park is the first major Vietnam memorial created in the United States. Situated off United States Highway 64 in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northeastern New Mexico, the memorial serves as a special place where people can pay their respects to all the soldiers and service members who have served the country in different places around the world. It is home to several sculptures and memorabilia that remind every one of the futility and tragedy of war.

History Of The Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park

6Dr. Victor and Jeanne Westphall are the founders of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. They are the parents of U.S. Marine Corps First Lieutenant Victor Westphall III, who died on May 22, 1968 as a result of an enemy ambush at Con Thien. Jeanne Westphall decided to use the money from David’s life insurance policies to create the Vietnam Veterans Peace and Brotherhood Chapel. Read More

Sources of Funding for the Memorial

The David Westphall Veterans Foundation looked for permanent funding sources and set up numerous fundraising campaigns to continue and improve the operations of the memorial. In 1982, ownership was turned over to the Disabled American Veterans. The DAV created a Visitors Center, the design of which was carefully planned due to the unique structure of the chapel. They also purchased 25 acres of land, which gave room for future development.

The Visitors Center is home to a gift shop, media room, veterans room and photo gallery room. The gift shop is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In the media room, visitors can watch the documentary, Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam. The veterans room honors all KIA and MIA service members.

In 1998, the David Westphall Veterans Foundation reclaimed ownership of the memorial. They sought help from the state of New Mexico in 2004. Then Governor Bill Richardson realized the value of preserving the memorial. On Veterans Day of the following year, the site officially became the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park. The foundation wanted the memorial to be free for all visitors. As part of their agreement with the state, the park continued to stay free of charge, making it the only state park in all of New Mexico that does not require visitors to pay.

Present Day

Today, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park consists of the Chapel, the Memorial Gardens, the Visitors Center, an amphitheater and the gravesites of its founders, Dr. Victor and Jeanne Westphall. There is also an authentic Huey Helicopter in the site called Viking Surprise, one that saw action during the Vietnam War. The memorial holds several events throughout the year and welcomes more than 45,000 visitors annually.