THE MICHIGAN VIETNAM VETERANS Traveling Memorial was on display all week during the Saginaw County Fair in the Exhibit Barn. Veteran volunteers are shown here: (from left) Joe Spencer, Mike Schneider, Dave Schoenherr (Chairman of The Michigan Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial), Mike Bilyk, Bobby Steward and Gary Sox, all of the Macomb County Chapter of Vietnam Veterans. (Independent Photo/Melissa Shepard)

The Michigan Vietnam Vets Traveling Memorial was on display all week during the Saginaw County Fair in the Exhibit Barn. The memorial is for the men and women from Michigan who lost their lives in the Vietnam War. In the spring of 2005, the 127th wing of the Michigan Air National Guard of Selfridge Air National Guard Base was preparing to host their bi-annual military air show and open house. The theme was ‘A Tribute to Vietnam Veterans,’ and Staff Sgt. Kurt Damrow was then told that the half-size replica of the “Wall,” the memorial that travels nationwide, was in another state and wouldn’t be available. He decided to create this traveling memorial containing the 2,654 names of veterans from Michigan killed in action or still missing in action.

The Traveling Memorial has been on exhibit throughout the state of Michigan for five years. On average, the volunteers travel 34 weeks throughout the year with the tribute. Everything is completely funded by donations. Merchandise is also sold at events and the money goes back to the chapter and then right back to the veterans. “It is an honor to take these guys home to their families and friends,” said Mike Schneider, a volunteer who travels with the “Wall.”

Also on display are albums that provide the name, photo if available, military rank, and any other information gathered of those on the “Wall.” “A lot of people can’t make it to Washington D.C. to see the Memorial, so we bring it to them,” said Dave Schoenherr, Chairman of the Memorial.

Vietnam Vets Traveling Memorial at Saginaw County Fair was last modified: August 8th, 2016 by Karen Elford