A New Local Veterans Memorial: Hicksville Vietnam Era Veterans

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Following is a recent article written concerning the soon-to-be new Hicksville Vietnam Era Veterans Memorial. If you know anyone from Hicksville might have served in the military during the Vietnam era I ask you all would a copy of my column to them.

Hicksville Vietnam War Era Proposed Memorial

An effort has been underway for quite some time now with hopes of dedicating a Hicksville Vietnam War Era Memorial Monument at a frequently visited site in Hicksville (such as Hicksville High, Hicksville Town Hall, etc.) sometime in 2010 once we have exhausted the possibility of finding Veterans who served on active duty during that era and once we have the approval from the necessary Hicksville authorities to do so.

We have a current problem, however. Until recently, the project founder, Ken Strafer (HHS 1962) and his key staff assistant, Joe Carfora (HHS 1962) were working without additional help and through time to time announcements in HixNews to seek additional names. After a couple of years, this brought us only to 150 or so names. Since the March 1 update we posted in HixNews (

http://www.hixnews.com/

) and after adding additional help to our team from members of other classes, we have brought the current list of names to 222 in less than two months!

As a result, we have chosen a path of much broader distribution in our search for the names of people who qualify to be included in the Memorial. We are using the Class of 59 website for this purpose and have now approached the reunion leaders of other classes for help in identifying people not already included on our current list. We know that we have only scratched the surface so far.

To qualify for the Memorial, a person must have been on active duty in one of our Armed Forces during the Vietnam Era, but did not necessarily have to serve in Vietnam, because by being in the service at that time a person was exposed to the possibility of being sent to Vietnam and was overall an integral part of strengthening our Armed Forces during a time of war.

Here are the overall qualifications for a person to be included in the Memorial list. The person:

* Must have been a resident of Hicksville at some time before entering our Armed Forces
* Must have attended a public, private or parochial high school while living in Hicksville (attendance at HHS not required)
* Must have served on active duty anywhere in the world during America s Vietnam Era (1961-1973 per www.vietnamwar.com history timeline)
* Note that both men and women qualify (I m stating this as we have very few women on our current list)

We have set a goal of 250 names by this summer and know there are many more that served out there who meet these qualifications, but have yet to be identified by the project team. We have access to official records in Washington, D.C. but have found that many people left Hicksville before entering the service and show a different town or city as their home at the time of entry. So, we need to continue this grassroots effort and will also continue to use the official records we have access to as a means of confirmation of all personnel on the list.

Our Project Team currently has the following members:
Ken Strafer, Founder (HHS 62)
Joe Carfora, Assistant & Master List Keeper (HHS 62)
Carl Probst, Input Data, Class of 59 & Others (HHS 59)
Tony Plonski, Input Data, Class of 64 & Others (HHS 64)
Tommy Sullivan, Press Release Editing (HHS 63)
Walter Schmidt, Hicksville Local Coordinator & Town of Oyster Bay Veterans Services Officer (HHS 65)
Joe Ingino, Input Data, Class of 67 & Others (HHS 67)

If you know of someone who is not listed, please send their name and what you can about their service to Joe Carfora at jcarfora1@nc.rr.com.

Thank you!

The Vietnam War Era Project Team

--- Regards, Walt Schmidt