We have had a great fall in Angel Fire but are now looking for some snow to get the ski season started. The transition of the Memorial from New Mexico State Parks to the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services management has gone smoothly. The transfer ceremony was held July 3, 2017. We welcome Debra Herbst as the new Memorial manager. She is a retired USMC, CWO3. She can be reached at 575-377-2293.
On May 16th, the Huey helicopter 13670, located at the Memorial was returned from the former Walker Air Force Base in Roswell, New Mexico where it had been completely refurbished and repainted. It was transported each way by the New Mexico Department of Transportation. Aer Sale handled all of the mechanical work and Dean Baldwin Painting did the repainting. All of this work was accomplished pro bono. A big shout out to the NM Dept. of Transportation and the two companies in Roswell for this effort. A video of this effort will be placed on the David Westphall Veterans Foundation website in the new future.
The Memorial Day ceremony this year featured Ken Cordier, Col. USAF, Ret. as the keynote speaker. Col. Cordier was a POW in Hanoi for over six years.
The annual bricklaying conducted September 2 by Run For The Wall riders went off especially well. Hershel “Woody” Williams, last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from Iwo Jima was present and laid his own brick. 413 memorial bricks and nine Medal of Honor bricks were laid.
On Veterans Day, our keynote speaker was Bill Martin, a retired Naval Aviator who flew over 300 combat missions in helicopter gunships in the Mekong Delta during 1967 and 1968.
The Department of Veterans Services and the David Westphall Veterans Foundation will be engaged in planning sessions this winter to develop long range plans for the continued care of the current Memorial infrastructure and the addition of new infrastructure. The state rural veterans cemetery located adjacent to the Memorial is on track for completion in the not too distant future.
Remember the Foundation Gift shop as you are preparing your Christmas list for veteran friends. You can reach Gayle and Leanne in the gift shop at 575-377-6900 or on the website at www.vietnamveteransmemorial.org to order bricks or other items.
Calendar of Events 2018
- May 18-19, 2018 – Run For The Wall
- May 26-28, 2018 – Memorial Day Weekend
- September 1, 2018 – Memorial Brick Laying and Run For The Riders Reunion
Whether we are having an event or not, you are always welcome to stop by the Memorial and see the changes in our exhibits and how we are remembering and teaching about this time in our history.
Chuck Howe, DWVF Board President