Ride To Traveling Vietnam Wall

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
First, it was an Honor for all of us to ride alongside our Brother and Viet Nam Veteran Terry Schimmel.
The ride started at 10:30 where Harry, Will J and me met in Harmarville. We then rode to the Lowes Parking lot in Monroeville to meet up with Debbie and Terry.  We rode to the Murrysville Community Park where the Traveling Viet Nam Wall was presented. It was cold and wet and the temperature was 45*. While standing in front of the Wall, I didn’t feel the cold. Just an empty feeling looking at the names of all the men and women that gave the ultimate sacrifice for us. Those who served was 3,100,000. MIA was 1,802. Wounded was 153,303. Those that gave the ultimate sacrifice 58,253. The wall is something to behold. Walking from one end to the other end of the wall is 300 feet. The wall is actually 3/5 scale of the actual wall. Walking the wall and getting to meet those men and women who served and thanking them for their service was a really good feeling. Debbie and I had the opportunity to meet a fellow friend and Viet Nam Vet and member of Rolling Thunder Chapter #4 Fred Menzel and sharing the good times we both have had with Fred was awesome. We’ve known Fred for a long time.
 
They also had a Huey Helicopter brought in from West Virginia. They offered a ride for free to all vets and also included families for a donation of their choice. The donations went for the fuel for the copter. It was awesome to watch the operator buzz the tree lines and do maneuvers that he did in Nam. The owner/operator of the chopper was a 2 Bronze Start and a Silver Star recipient. Terry got the opportunity to ride again in this style helicopter. They had plenty of displays on hand for us to walk through and see items of the Viet Nam War from that era as well as any help vets may need and how to get it. Will J ran into an IBEW 29 retired veteran Jim Kirk and they walked along the wall together. Brother Jim worked at the Penn Hills Service Center where he retired as a lineman. 
 
Terry was gracious enough to share some of the stories he had while serving in Viet Nam and I thank him for that. It was a great visit and memories we all shared will last us a lifetime.
 
After the visit to the wall, we rode to Dick’s Diner on Rte.22 in Murrysville. We and a great lunch and had some good conversations with a few laughs. The ride was fun even though it was cold but I don’t believe any of us actually felt the cold. We were all dressed for the ride and that’s the part of riding is the most fun. The Journey. Getting together and share stories and laughing together. It doesn’t get better than that. That’s what Solidarity is all about!! To check out more photos from the ride please click here.
 
-Ken Jones