Vietnam veteran leads effort to bring memorial to town in Pennsylvania
By BOB KALINOWSKI | The Citizens' Voice | Published: June 26, 2019
PLYMOUTH, Pa. (Tribune News Service) — Vietnam War veteran Clyde Peters brought his nephew’s remains back to the area after the teenager was killed during the war in 1969.
Now, a half century later, he’s leading the effort to bring a traveling Vietnam War memorial to their hometown.
Peters, 69, is spearheading the effort to bring a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall to Plymouth, Pennsylvania, in September. The memorial is known as “The Wall That Heals.”
“This isn’t just for Plymouth. This is for the whole surrounding area,” Peters said Tuesday during a planning meeting at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1425, which is sponsoring the wall’s arrival.
The traveling wall, a three-quarter size replica made to look like the permanent memorial in Washington, D.C., will be on display on the grounds of Wyoming Valley West High School from Sept. 5-8. It is free, open to the public, and will be available around-the-clock.
Peters and the committee members are looking for volunteers to help assemble and dismantle the wall, give tours and to guard the wall at night. Those interested are asked to go to plymouthborough.org or the Facebook page for the Plymouth VFW Post 1425.
The names of the more than 58,300 U.S. troops killed during the Vietnam War are on the wall, including Peters’ nephew David Lee.
While Peters, the youngest of 17 children, was Lee’s uncle, they both were 18 years old when they served in Vietnam around the same time.
After Lee was killed, Peters was allowed to leave Vietnam, greet the arrival of his remains at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and escort the remains home.
“I brought my own flesh and blood home — my nephew. He was 18. He stepped on a booby trap,” Peters told the dozen people at the meeting.
Peters, an Army infantry soldier, was wounded twice in Vietnam and received the Purple Heart medal.
“I made a promise to myself in Vietnam. I would do anything I can to help veterans,” Peters said.
Peters said it’s an honor to host the wall because only about 30 sites a year are selected and people from all over visit to pay their respects.
The wall last came to the area in June 2017 at the Swoyersville American Legion, drawing tens of thousands of people over several days.
“People don’t realize how big this is,” Peters said.
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