If Cousin Barry Alexander had returned from that war alive, he might have enrolled, attended, and graduated from Clemson University as I had the honor to do. He grew up in Clemson and died in 1969. Since 1969, I started and finished high school, college, and most of my engineering career. I had the opportunity to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall today. I found Barry there amongst what seemed like an endless list of names of those who died for us. This was my first visit to the Memorial. The Wall has a way of inviting you to say something to those you know. I shared with Barry how proud we are of him, that I still have some survivor's guilt 47 years later, and that his sacrifice will never be forgotten.
I am in DC for a temporary assignment and had the opportunity to visit there a few weeks ago. It is always a moving experience. My wife and kids are coming up this weekend. I am looking forward to exposing my kids to the memorial wall.
Being a veteran of WW2 and the Korean War, I've lost relatives and friends in both wars. I've visited the Memorials in Washington several times. It's a sad experience but an opportunity to say "Thanks" and "I'll never forget you" to some wonderful and unselfish young men. I know of only one man from my Company during WW2 who is still alive and he is not doing well. I'm still in contact with four men in my Company in the Korean War, one of whom lives in Scotland. Lots of memories, some comical and some that I wish I could forget.
I interview for the Veterans History Project at the Library
Nov 8, 2016, 10:07 PM
of Congress, and if you have not been interviewed, I would be blessed to interview you Sir! and much gratitude for your magnificent service - both WW2 and the Korea War!!! Please tmail me your phone and or email if possible!
It is a special experience. I visited it for the first time with my father, a Vietnam vet. HE had to struggle to remember names of his friends who didn't come home. It was the first time he talked about how you have to block out those who don't make it back from a mission . We owe a great debt to the families of those who paid the ultimate price and to those who survived with the scars you can't see.
Your cousin Barry is indeed the kind of man that this
Nov 8, 2016, 9:32 PM
country was built on....a hero in every sense of the word. I have not been to the wall, partly, I guess out of apprehension that my emotions will get the best of me. I served there the entire year of 1970 as a Marine platoon commander and thank God every day that none of my Marines name's are on the wall........mostly luck. I did not want to write a letter home to a parent who entrusted their son to a 23 year old lieutenant.
Thanks for honoring my Brother Barry, I have a documentary
Nov 8, 2016, 10:01 PM
about him and volunteer at the VA in his honor. He was killed on Sept. 22 on his 22nd birthday with only 2 weeks left as a helicopter pilot. If you tmail me your email address, I will send you the doc.
What a touching tribute to your cousin; that's really special. I have been there and found the name of a high school friend, and it was an emotional experience for me, but nothing like you've experienced. Thanks for the post and God bless.
I have never been to the full sized one in Washington, but
Nov 9, 2016, 7:54 AM
"The Traveling Wall" exhibit came through my town several years ago. To say it was a humbling and moving experience would not begin to scratch the surface. You can feel a palpable presence of things unseen while viewing the seemingly endless list of names. On this day, of all days, remember, Freedom isn't free.
is honored on Panel 18W, Row 124 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Wall Name:BARRY K ALEXANDER Date of Birth: 9/11/1947 Date of Casualty: 9/22/1969 Home of Record: CLEMSON County of Record: ANDERSON COUNTY State: SC Branch of Service: ARMY Rank: CWO Panel/Row:18W, 124 Casualty Province: QUANG TIN Associated Items left at The Wall: N/A
I sent in photos of his medals and others also, I will have to send in others!