Vietnam Veteran hopes wall will heal war memories
Fri, 08 Apr 2011 03:39:47 GMT —
It's called the healing wall for its power of bringing people to tears and helping them cope with a loved one lost in the Vietnam War.
It was an emotional look back as Fernando Alvarez remembered serving in the Vietnam War with his two brothers, and while all three returned home with injuries, it's those friends lost in the war that has brought Alvarez to the healing wall.
"I know that's him," said Alvarez while looking at the names.
Heiser was a man Alvarez said he fought with in the war.
"I was with him when he died," said Alvarez.
The images of Heiser's death came rushing back.
"He got cut in half|his body got cut in half," he said.
Alvarez said he was a radio man and cross train medic, so he saw a lot of gore.
"Those sights never go away. They just stay there forever," said Alvarez.
There are over 130 names of South Texans inscribed in the replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and over 60 are from the Valley.
"There's definitely a sense of emotion that you feel from it," said Mark Wilson, a Valley man visiting the wall.
Many Veterans that came to see the wall wanted to do so in private.
It was too emotional for them to share their experiences.
Alvarez said he'll return in private himself, so that the wall can heal the wounds of his experiences.
"I come over here. Am I gonna cry? Yes I will cry," he said.
And he said he'll spend more time remembering his friend Heiser.
"I know in a little bit I will come back and say a prayer," he said.
Alvarez said he keeps Heiser's memory close to his heart because Heiser saved his life once during combat.
Alvarez said he only wishes he could have done the same.
The healing wall is just part of the Welcome Home event for Veterans at the McAllen Convention Center.
Saturday the event starts at 8 a.m.
Alvarez will be there at 3 p.m. presenting a short clip of a movie that's being made about him and his two brothers serving in Vietnam at the same time.
For more information on the event click here.