WebXtra: Students, veterans visit ‘The Wall That Heals’ in Sulphur Springs

Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 3:56 PM CDT
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SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas (KLTV) - As we move closer to the tradition of ‘Veterans Day’ observance, there will be several events across East Texas that will be held to honor our local veterans.

One of those honors has already begun in Hopkins county.

After a 2 year wait, the traveling ‘Vietnam Memorial Wall’ has come to Sulphur Springs high school practice field. Titled ‘the Wall that Heals’.

“We really didn’t think we would get it, we’d love to have it, and then out of nowhere we get this phone call.” says army veteran and Hopkins veteran service officer Danny Davis.

“Seeing this now, I still get choked up,” said navy Vietnam veteran Steve Huffman.

School field trips from several districts arrived, with many kids seeing the memorial for the first time.

Veterans and families, searched for names, some quietly honoring lost friends.

“The name that’s on the wall there for me is one of my younger cousins. When he went he was like a day from returning home when he got killed,” says Steves wife Faye Huffman, an air force Vietnam veteran.

“I have a classmate that was killed. He was a marine on his second tour. He was only in country about 2 weeks when he was killed,” said army Vietnam veteran Gary Heath.

For some veterans, seeing the wall is therapy. For others, a painful reminder of what they suffered in Vietnam, and how they were treated when they came home.

“When you volunteer to serve your country, and you serve it with pride, and you get home and get spit on,” Steve says.

“We lost 58 thousand in Vietnam, and a majority of it was in a 4 year period,” Heath says.

One veteran was seen lighting a cigarette and holding it to the wall.

“He told me, I bummed a cigarette off him before he went on mission and never came back. And this is the first chance I’ve ever had to pay him back,” Davis says.

And for many, vindication.

“I didn’t start the war. I didn’t end the war. But I followed the orders,” Huffman says.

The traveling ‘Vietnam Memorial Wall’ will be open for public display at Sulphur Springs high school until two in the afternoon on Sunday.

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