- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
- Hillary: ‘Dead broke’ comment was ‘inartful,’ but insists it was ‘accurate’
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
Wife keeps promise to memorialize Vietnam veteran at wall
Question of the Day
Ray Thompson came home from Vietnam in 1969 badly wounded, having lost four ribs, a kidney and his spleen, among other injuries the young Army radio operator sustained while serving his country in Southeast Asia.
But he didn’t give up on the radio, and that passion eventually led him to the love of his life and wife, Patty.
“We met on the CB radio and talked on it for seven months before we ever met in person,” she said Sunday morning, minutes before a touching ceremony to honor the addition of her late husband’s name to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington.
Ray Thompson took care of fellow servicemen and women at the veterans medical center in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Mrs. Thompson desperately wanted to see her late husband’s name on the wall.
The sacrifices of more than 58,000 men and women are honored there. Names are added each year, and the only stipulation is that the veteran died as a result of wounds suffered during the Vietnam conflict.
The process, however, is painstaking. Ray Thompson passed away in 2010, but it has taken this long for the Defense Department to approve his addition.
It wouldn’t have been in Ray’s nature, Mrs. Thompson said, to grapple with the federal government just to see his name etched into the black granite of the memorial wall.
But it’s most certainly in hers.
“Ray wasn’t a scrapper, but I am. I’ll take on the Chinese army,” Mrs. Thompson said as veterans and friends and families of the honorees gathered behind her on the Mall. “It was one of the last promises I made to him. It’s like a huge task has come to completion for me. He said, ‘You’ll never get my name on that wall.’ But I kept my promise to him.”
Spc. Raymond Clark Thompson was one of the four names added to the wall last week.
The others, ABE3 Clark David Franklin of New Mexico, Pfc. Lester James Veazey of Oklahoma, and Sgt. Dennis R. Siverling of Wisconsin, also were honored during the service, an event that, by design, coincided with Mother’s Day.
“Our mothers’ prayers brought us home,” Harry G. Robinson, a Vietnam veteran and renowned architect at Howard University, said at the ceremony.
Rep. Steven A. Horsford, Nevada Democrat and the keynote speaker, told the mothers and fathers of Vietnam veterans — and veterans of all other conflicts, before and since — that their children represent “the pinnacle of American heroism.”
“Your child embodies the values that make this country great,” he told members of the crowd, many of whom choked back tears.
Mrs. Thompson wants her husband’s children to remember that it was their father, an Indiana native who grew up with little money, who also embodied those values.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.
Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- White House: No choice but to act now on climate change
- Russia in violation of 1987 missile treaty, White House says
- In politics, all states are 'border' states
- Libya now nation at risk with weak U.S. influence; embassy closes as chaos grows
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- California's Jerry Brown cites God, 'religious call' to embrace illegals
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Appeals court upholds Obamacare tax as constitutional
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world