Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery help bring sense of closure for West Texas veterans

Recordings of the CBS7 News at 10 Saturday newscast.
Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 9:10 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON (KOSA) - The second day of the Permian basin Honor Flight was an emotional one, with visits to multiple memorials.

It’s the first time many West Texas veterans saw the homages to their fellow service members who never made it home.

“To know what they gave up…and I didn’t have to give up,” said Vietnam veteran Jimmy Barton. “I just had to get home safe.”

The morning started at Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery with a wreath ceremony for Gold Star Families.

People searched for those they knew and mourned those they found. The massive number of tombstones lined up in perfect symmetry.

“I was just expecting to see a tombstone here, tombstone there,” Barton said. “When we left [Section 60] a while ago, I could not have imagined what that looked like.”

The next stop was the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Clinical social worker Jan Lentz, who works with veterans, believes the 58,000+ names on that wall can help create closure.

“We can move on with our story,” Lentz said. “We’re not frozen back in time in Vietnam. We can move on.”

A visit to the National Museum of the United States Army was a new stop for everyone, a living mausoleum to the history of America’s oldest military branch.

And, finally, a visit to the Marine Corps War Memorial.

“They are respected, they are honored, and they are national heroes to us,” Lentz said.

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