Local News

Index-Journal "The Wall That Heals" Series

Remember The Veterans

Clarence Weeks served in the Navy for 21 years, during the Korean and Vietnam wars. The negative homecoming the soldiers experienced after the war is what Weeks considers his most difficult experience of Vietnam.For veteran Clarence Weeks, the toughest part of the Vietnam War was not all of the killing he had to do.It was returning home.

Vietnam hospital veteran recalls soldier's sacrifice
Working in an evacuation hospital in Vietnam during the war, Willis Burroughs did not see combat himself, but he saw the aftermath.

Remembering the Vietnam War - and its veterans
When Larry Banks came home after a year serving in the Vietnam War, he wasn't done fighting.

The Road Less Traveled
Preston Rodgers was never happy with his assignment as an Army cook in the Vietnam War.

The Good Outweighs The Bad
His time serving in the Vietnam War led to injury, disease, post traumatic stress disorder and alcohol abuse, but Buddy Reeves doesn't regret fighting in the war one bit.

Doing His Dental Duty
While many Vietnam War soldiers fought against Vietnamese people, James Padgett fixed their teeth. Of course, he wasn't performing dentistry on the bad guys.

The Pain of War
Like many Vietnam veterans, Charles Edward Turner doesn't like to talk about his time in the war. The pain that comes along with recalling his experience in Vietnam is obvious. A purple heart recipient and soon-to-be Greenwood County Hall of Heroes inductee, Turner did not choose to go to war. He was drafted into the Army just days after marrying his wife, Phyllis.

Hundreds gather for launch of Vietnam memorial
For many local Vietnam veterans, the mental, emotional and spiritual wounds of the war still have not healed.
However, if they venture to Lander University's campus this week, they will have the opportunity, perhaps, to let the healing begin.

Opening ceremonies for The Wall That Heals - a half-scale replica of the Vietnam War Memorial - took place Thursday morning in front of Old Main at Lander. The Wall will be open to the public at Lander until Sunday night.

Heroes of Greenwood

Greenwood's everyday heroes received a ceremonious thank you for their service Sunday marked with distinguished guest speakers, a helicopter flyover and tokens of appreciation.

The price of freedom
It was a somber ceremony for a somber day. A quietly patriotic crowd, many donned in red, white and blue, gathered for the wreath laying ceremony Sunday afternoon at The Wall That Heals on Lander University's campus.

Veteran stands proud despite postwar criticism
Though criticism plagued the Vietnam War and the soldiers who fought it, veteran Bill Arnett is proud to have risked his life for his country. Serving two years in Vietnam, Arnett fought on the front lines with an Army reconnaissance platoon and saw more than his share of death and destruction.

Veterans find solace in search for names
The Wall That Heals is named because of the healing effect it can have for those who have lost loved ones in the Vietnam War. Finding the name of a friend or family member on the wall, while an emotional experience, can help veterans and their families deal with the painful memories of the war and allow them to pay their respects to those who were lost.

GWDToday Coverage of “The Wall That Heals”

Veterans and Civilians Alike Begin Healing Process at Wall

Two men from generations, decades apart, one white and one black stand side by side. Both shield their eyes from the beaming sun that relentlessly finds its way through the magnolia and oak trees. One wears remarkably polished black Velcro shoes and a leather vest adorned with military patches. The other wears seemingly brand new Nike runners. His shoes are pristine except for the blades of grass that stick near the soles with help from the morning dew. He wears an oversized t-shirt and a ball cap. The strap to a messenger bag clings snugly to his chest. The two men stand shoulder to shoulder, never making eye contact during their mutual chatter but their bond is apparent. An unspoken brotherhood exists among them. Maybe it is their occasional smiles when the other finishes a sentence that gives their connection away. Perhaps it is the fact that neither can take their eyes off of the 58,000 names before them. Their dialogue comes to an abrupt end and both men have tears in their eyes as their stare at the Wall that Heals, a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C, as it sits on the Lander University campus.