Many people were drafted in the time of the Vietnam War, however, not as many were lucky enough to survive long enough to tell their story. Although they cannot share their experiences themselves, they have the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Traveling Wall to remind people of the hardships and struggles they experienced daily. The Vietnam Wall made its first appearance in Lincoln City, Oregon 5 years ago. Since then it has traveled throughout the western half of the state. Although the Vietnam Wall has not traveled to the eastern half of the state, the Veterans traveling with it would like to eventually get it there. They would like everyone to learn and understand some of the things that went on back then. On the Vietnam Wall, there are 857 names of the soldiers who enlisted in Oregon and were killed in the line of duty. 709 of those soldiers fought and died in Vietnam.
Along with the Vietnam names, there are names of people from the Organization Enduring Freedom. At least one of those people is from the Roseburg area.
“They aren’t just names on a wall; they’re people” said Navy Vietnam Veteran Roger Boucock. He and a few other Vietnam Veterans travel with the Vietnam Wall throughout Oregon. These men decided to use this wall to educate people of all ages about the hardships they had to face.
Diana Kelly, the student life program assistant, had the idea of bringing a traveling wall to UCC for a while, however when she found out the Vietnam Wall was run by a few veterans who were from around here, she decided to compare calendar dates and bring the wall to UCC. She wanted not only the student veterans but everyone to learn and understand some of the struggles that there were in that time. It is a great learning experience to everyone on campus and it also gives support to the veterans. The student veterans at UCC could meet and talk to other veterans from different times and discover how the experiences they had were similar or different to the experiences another veteran had. The Roseburg area is a veteran-based community so bringing the Vietnam Wall to campus was important because everyone in this community was given the opportunity to learn a big part of this country’s history.
The Vietnam Veterans travel with this wall to help and educate people about what went on in those hard times. They are happy to answer questions and help someone if they need it. They will continue traveling with this wall and helping to educate people as long as they are welcomed.