Friday, April 13, 2012


Letty told me that the Vietnam wall was nearby at a memorial park in the hills. As we drove, she told me about a young man that went to the exact high school I went to and graduated about 7 years before me. "He was a great student, and he attended to my church. I'd like to find his name on the wall."

We walked along the wall, looking at the names. The names drew us in, and we felt their stories. After a while almost every name seemed familiar. Common first names and last names, just like the names of our friends and next door neighbors.

We felt a mixture of sadness and pride. These were ordinary men and women who stepped up to do something extra-ordinary. And they are heroes.

A grey haired man dressed in jeans with a green camouflage shirt stepped up to Letty. Can I help you find someone?

"Yes," she said. "His name is Roger Boomsma."

After a few minutes of looking at some papers, he came back and lead us to the name.

He took a little piece of paper and covered the name. Then he took a pencil and made a copy of the name for her. She tucked it into her purse and thanked him.

This truck was parked near the wall.
You can see some pictures of Roger and look up pictures and information on other men and women who fought in the Vietnam war by clicking here: Roger Boomsma


Dawn said...

I am so glad she found Roger's name on the wall. He was just a bit younger than me. I read the words a classmate wrote for him - about how amazing he must have been to be missed 40+ years later. What a beautiful spot for the traveling wall - the flag of flowers is fantastic.

I was privileged to see the original in DC one day while I was exploring - Dwight had to go to classes every day and I was free to do all the wonderful things you can do in that amazing city. It is an awe inspiring experience to see the unbelievable number of folks who gave their lives for us in a war that was not supported by those back home.

Willow said...

I've seen the memorial and it always sobers me. I hope that one day, a memorial will be built for those heroes who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.