Cliff Note: Two years ago, the traveling Vietnam Wall was in Wadsworth, Ohio. We went there, along with the WIXYcam. I looked around, took photos, and was in awe of the general tone of respect. I wrote a whole week's worth of posts about the wall and the traveling museum. For this Memorial Day, I wish to repost one that I did about a friend of my cousin. This originally was written on May 31, 2008. There is one edit to make the post current.
I was 13 years old at the time. I remember my sister showing my mom the Medina County Gazette this particular day exclaiming that Pat Duffy had died.
During the Vietnam War, whenever someone from Medina County had died in combat, that would be the main headline of the day, complete with a large photo of this now deceased hero. I recall that one family in my town had been notified that their son had died in Vietnam, the story and photo had been run in the Gazette, only to have the story retraced the next day. It was, thankfully, a case of mistaken identity.
Sgt. James P. Duffy Jr was a friend of my cousin Billy. I knew him casually but since he was 7 years older than I, we had nothing in common. Pat was one of those young men who was drafted into the service, so he had no choice of joining the army or where he was to be deployed.
I got this computer printout when I went to the information center(you can click on it to enlarge) and one thing I noticed was that had Pat Duffy not been killed in action, he would now be a few weeks short of his 62nd birthday. He went to 'nam when he was 20. At the time, he couldn't vote, couldn't drink hard liquor, but he was required to fight and die for his country.
Instead of being almost 62, Pat Duffy is forever 20.