To the editor:
We have been asked this question so many times. I will try to explain why we as Vietnam Veterans are building a monument to the 17 of Greene County who paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives as a result of the Vietnam War. These are just 17 of Greene County but they are a part of the 58,276 men and women whose names are engraved on the Vietnam Veterans Monument in Washington, DC “The WALL.”
I have included just two of the many pieces of correspondence we have received with donations that give us one of the reasons we are doing this.
The main reasons for Vietnam Veterans are numerous and personal for doing a monument like this. We the survivors who were treated let’s just say not the way one would have expected to be treated. From a country who in the beginning thought it was ok to send off a generation of teenagers to fight a War in a far-off land. It was not long after arriving in Vietnam that those teenagers became men.
For those of us who came back and, in those days, wondered if those who did not come back would be forgotten.
We as Vietnam Veterans never forgot, never walked away we will never forget and constantly remind the citizens of the 58,276 who never came home. Well in a sense they did come home but not in the way they left.
We will also be recognizing and honoring the 19 from Columbia County who like their brothers of Greene County paid the ultimate sacrifice.
I hope I was able to understand our feelings and reasons for building this monument with an 80’ flagpole.
Please attend the Ceremony at 10 a.m. Sept. 17 at Veterans Park in the Town of Greenville at the intersection of Routes 32 and 81 next to the pond. There you will learn all the names of those who are engraved on the “MINI WALL” as it is now referred to. Also, to learn the names of the 19 from Columbia County. All portraits and bios will be on display in the Community room downstairs of the Greenville Public Library which is right next to the Monument.
See you all there on the 17th
“To Vietnam Committee;
I enclosed check in memory of Paul Albano. Paul & his family lived about 1/2 mile north of my house on Route 51. My father was crippled & could not be left alone. I have gotten married living in Albany, Paul and his younger brother Joe would come& stay with my father when my mother had errands to do. A great kid about 13 years old.
Paul has an Aunt (his mother’s sister) Roberta Perseco, Coeymans, an uncle (his father’s brother) Michael Albano (age 91 years) from Ravena, a sister, Joan Boomer, Schenectady & his youngest brother (also a Marine) who lives in Tampa Florida.
When I read the article about your memorial, I immediately called Roberta, then (uncle) Mike, Joan & Mike in Florida. They were very happy Paul’s name would be on the Memorial - Joan & Uncle Mike said they would be sending a donation.
In Dec. 1966 my husband, myself & my 3 kids sent a box to Paul in Vietnam. I received a thank you the end of Dec. or Jan 1967, which included names of his buddies, who shared the goodies & 3 months later he was killed. I and my family were devastated - that letter I gave to his brother Mike who wanted to try & locate all the names on the letter. I asked Mike during phone calls if he could send me the letter so I could hold it in my hands when Paul’s name is read Sept 17. He said he didn’t know where it is - I hope he finds it - I should have copied it & given it to him the copy - I of course would send it back to him.
Roberta has care 24 hours a day & can’t make it on the 17th. Uncle Mike intends to come Joan has a ride all live up and come from Schenectady - Mike in FL says he might make it - I will be there, I hope my daughter & her boyfriend (a Vietnam Vet) & my son from AZ who served 20 years in the Navy - can make it.
Please excuse my writing I’m 89 & I am very sloppy with my letters.
Good luck for this Memorial - It will be wonderful to remember our fallen soldiers.
Barbara J. Carras”
“To Members of the Northeast USA Vietnam Veterans Monuments project fund.
My name is Michael J. Albano of Ravena, I am 92 years old Veteran of the Korea War. I served in the USA Navy from 1950 to 1954. I had a duty station in Pusan, Korea with the naval advisory groups to the Korea Navy. For 11 months. I am a first cousin to Paul E. Albano who is on the list of service members killed in action in the Vietnam War. He also has a brother with my same name as mine who was a Colonel in the Marine Corps.
I remember Paul as a wonderful young Man and who was very dedicated in his short life, My family used to visit his family on many occasions when we were young, a great family.
His brothers and sisters will remember me as being one of the twins, having a brother John who served in the US Air Force also and is now deceased.
I want you and your colleagues to know how much we appreciate what you are doing for those young men who gave their lives for our Country.
Sorry for my handwriting, I’m getting too old to write good.
Thank you, for your hard efforts.
Michael and Collette Albano”