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November 11, 2010
Retired Sr. Master Sgt. Daniel Snow (left), Laurel Johnson and retired Lt. Col. Ron McCool of the Union High School ROTC program kneel with boxes of the POW/MIA T-shirts they are selling to help bring the moving Vietnam Wall to Tulsa. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World
Union ROTC program raising funds to bring moving Vietnam Wall to Tulsa
by: LYNN JACOBSEN Tulsa World Sports Writer
(Reprinted with Permission. This not an endorsement.)
Members of the Union High School ROTC program will be selling T-shirts at the Redskins' playoff game with Muskogee on Friday night at Union-Tuttle Stadium to bring the Vietnam Moving Wall to Tulsa in 2011.
The group has raised more than $3,000 of the approximately $6,000 needed to bring the Vietnam memorial to town.
"We've been told we will have it in 2011," said retired Sr. Master Sgt. Dan Snow, who along with retired Lt. Col. Ron McCool oversees the Union ROTC program. "We don't know exactly what date. We requested Sept. 11, Nov. 11 or Memorial Day. We're hoping for Sept. 11 to also honor the victims of 9/11."
The wall, which bears the names of 58,209 Americans who died in the Vietnam War, will be on display for one week at Union Central Park, located at 61st Street and U.S. 169, behind the Union Sixth and Seventh Grade Center.
"It's been amazing," senior Laurel Johnson, a lieutenant in the ROTC program, said of the T-shirt sales.
It has been a two-year project in the making, McCool said.
"This is something our junior class especially wanted to undertake," he said. "What a way to honor our veterans and our current service men and women."
"We wondered how cool it would be to bring the wall here on the 10th anniversary of 9/11," Snow said. "We made some calls, put ourselves on the waiting list, and now we are at the top of that list. We're thrilled to give people the chance to see the moving wall since most probably won't get to Washington to see the permanent wall."
Union Superintendent Cathy Burden said she's proud of the students. "This is a service learning activity that is meaningful to the students and to the community at large."
To honor all veterans, the group is asking everyone to participate in a one-year exercise program by signing up for The Vietnam Wall Fitness Challenge. Participants are asked to make a $25 donation to the Union ROTC and to engage in a fitness activity from Veterans Day 2010 to Veterans Day 2011.
"It's a tremendous experience, and I don't know of anyone who can visit the permanent or moving wall and not be moved," Snow said.
How to assist in bringing the moving Vietnam Wall to Tulsa
Bringing the moving Vietnam Wall to Tulsa is a big financial undertaking. Already the Union ROTC program has raised between $3,000 and $4,000, but more is needed. Those wishing to purchase T-shirts, provide financial assistance or volunteer when the wall arrives may e-mail Sgt. Dan Snow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"As soon as we get a date, we will be reaching out to the veteran's groups," Snow said. "We know they will all want to be a part of it. We also would like to get all of the ROTC programs from the high schools. We will need all the assistance we can get."