I always wanted to visit the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. Several years ago, we finally made the trip. It was a long drive from Georgia but it was well worth it. The atmosphere at the Vietnam Memorial was every bit as reverent as I had imagined. I’m not aware of a family member who died in Vietnam, but standing there staring at that wall made me feel as if every single name represented a loved one who had given his or her life for the cause of freedom. My grandfathers and my husband’s grandfather served in WWII. My husband served in Somalia as a US Marine and now our son serves in the National Guard. We also have several cousins who have served or are currently serving in several different branches of service. Our love of the military runs deep. Recently, my mother sent me a link to the most amazing thing. It was a link to the Virtual Wall of the Vietnam Memorial. This is a wonderful resource for anyone who cannot make the trip to visit the Wall in person. I had no idea this existed but I’m so glad my mother shared it with me so I can share it with you. Here’s how it works.
The Virtual Wall of the Vietnam Memorial
Navigate the site for all sorts of information about our heroes. To find a person from your own city, after logging onto the site, click on By State and City.
Scroll to find your state. I chose Georgia.
Then, scroll to find your city or a city near you. I chose Gainesville. I thought I might notice a familiar name in case I might have a relative on the wall but wasn’t aware of it.
My entire family was born and raised around the area of Gainesville, Georgia. My maiden name is Hulsey. I found a Hulsey on the wall! His name was SGT Larry Bryson Hulsey. I have no idea if he was a relative but I’ll definitely look into it. I wanted to know more about him so I clicked on his name.
I read through all the information about him. He was born on May 16, 1945, five years older than my daddy. He was an Indirect Fire Infantry, E4. He was airborne qualified. His tour in Vietnam began on November 21, 1967. He died on February 6, 1968. He was only 22 years old, one year younger than my own son is right now. His actual name engraving is located on Panel 37E, Line 58 on the actual Vietnam Memorial Wall. All this, I discovered from navigating the Virtual Wall.
As I type these words about this young man, I wonder what he was like. Was he a distant cousin or maybe not so distant? I searched for a photo but could not locate one. I wonder if there is a family resemblance. He was from my home town with the same last name of my family so there’s a good chance we are related. Either way, his family probably still lives in the area very near where I sit right now.
(I stopped typing for a moment to say a prayer for his family.)
I clicked on other states and other cities. I clicked on other names. There are so many.
Please take the time to visit the Virtual Wall of the Vietnam Memorial. Navigate the site. Find a service member and learn all you can about them by clicking on “full profile.” Pay your respects. Say a prayer for his family.