Pasco veteran Doug Arbogast recalls Vietnam military service

Pasco veteran Doug Arbogast recalls about his tours of duty to Vietnam in the U.S. Navy, between 1966-1970, while at the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall on display at City View Cemetery in Pasco.
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Pasco veteran Doug Arbogast recalls about his tours of duty to Vietnam in the U.S. Navy, between 1966-1970, while at the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall on display at City View Cemetery in Pasco.
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Military News

This traveling war memorial evokes so much emotion, some people can’t walk up to it

July 09, 2017 11:00 AM

The American Veterans Traveling Tribute Vietnam Memorial Wall is scheduled to make a local stop.

The nearly 8-foot tall, 360-foot-long wall is an 80 percent-sized replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. It’s scheduled to be set up from 2 p.m. July 27 to 3 p.m. July 30 at DuPont PowderWorks Park, 1775 Bob’s Hollow Lane, DuPont. Admission is free.

“It’s definitely worth seeing for those who have never been able to make it to D.C.,” said Kevin Weatherly, CEO of the Texas-based veteran-owned company that built the wall.

The tribute, the largest traveling memorial of its kind, hasn’t been in Western Washington for a couple of years. In May, it was at Pasco’s City View Cemetery.

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“These are all my friends, and these are my brothers,” Tom Vandenberg of Touchet told the Tri-City Herald in May. “Some of them I’ve met, and most I didn’t. I just needed to come here.”

Weatherly said the memorial wall will likely arrive by motorcycle escort. It features 58,310 names of men and women who gave their lives or are missing in the Vietnam war. The wall has been featured at more than 300 events across the country in the past eight years, according to the company’s website.

For many of its visitors, the tribute evokes high emotion, Weatherly said.

“There’s people that sometimes will just stand in the vicinity and can’t even walk up to it,” he said. “There’s people who will break down. Sometimes it’s the first time for these guys or gals that they’ve touched that name.”

The local event is sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps, and hosted by the city of DuPont.

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433, @Lisa_Pemberton