On Veterans Day, residents pay tribute at 'the wall that heals'
AUBURN, Wash. -- Many tears were shed Monday as people visited the traveling Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Auburn. But there's a lot of healing going on, too.
Chuck Studebaker brought his grandkids to find the name of his friend, Sgt James "Stewart" Kell. The two young friends both headed to Vietnam from Southern California in 1967.
"He was sent over just a little bit before me," said Studebaker. "And just about two weeks after I got there he was killed. He was out on patrol and they got ambushed."
Studebaker wanted to bring his family so they'd understand the ultimate sacrifices.
Visitors say no matter how many times you come to the wall, the numbers are still awe inspiring.
Great grandchildren point to the name of SFC Leroy Geyer. Geyer lost his life in June 1968 saving fellow soldiers.
"One of my goals is to meet them," said Geyer's daughter, Britta Geyer Holm. "He saved five people in the midst of him ending up dying. He got injured each time pulling them out."
Britta was only 7-years old when she lost her father on Fathers Day.
"It is what it is and we just honor him for who he was," she said.
"They fought for our country," said another of Geyer's granddaughters, McKensie Holm. "And saved us and risked their lives and losing their families."
The Vietnam vets say they knew it was an unpopular war and their return home was unheralded. The designers of the wall say it's purpose is to bring these names to life and to finally bring the honor and respect the surviving members of the armed forces deserve.