This month 4002 & You is donating to the Erie County Vietnam Veterans Memorial to assist with the maintenance and upkeep of this memorial. Many are aware that soldiers returning from the war were disrespected in many, many ways upon their return. Thankfully in the past number of years there’s been a turn for respect and appreciation for our veterans. Dave Gehrlein of BPM Housing brought this group forth because of his father, Gregory, who served in Vietnam and also contributed to the construction of the Memorial on the hill west of Veterans Stadium on State Street.
Ken Kensill chairman of Chapter 435 Vietnam Veterans of America who initiated the Memorial said, “Thank God we got it up before we all passed away. We are all getting older. There are a lot of us who are not healed yet from Vietnam. We hope this wall will bring healing. It is a place of peace for people to go.” Chapter 435 does many things in continued support of all veterans to get the help they need upon returning to civilian life. You can connect with them and find out more at their Facebook page.
Here’s are Dave’s thoughts shared in memory of his Dad and to all men and women who serve.
According to US government sources, there were roughly 2.6 million veterans who served in country during the Vietnam Conflict. Of this number about 58,000 never came home. When those who did make it home from a war which was highly unpopular, they were often greeted with sneers, being spat on, and verbal insults. Most did not volunteer to serve in this war, but responded when their country asked them to go. It is our solemn duty to honor their service and finally welcome them home and afford them with the respect and honor they so richly deserve.
My father, Gregory, was one of the 2.6 million women and men who were drafted into service with the
US Army. He served honorably as a foot soldier and radioman with an infantry unit from 1967-1969,
with his actually feet on the ground in Vietnam from 1968-1969. When he returned safely to the Erie area, he made it his life’s work to ensure that his sisters and brothers would be remembered and honored for their service. And so, he assisted with securing Church and Murdock Electricians to ensure that the Vietnam Memorial near Veterans’ Stadium would always be lit, serving as a reminder of our nation’s respect to veterans and providing the welcome home and thanks that they, sadly, never received.
This donation would assist with giving gratitude to those who left many friends, family, and loved ones to anxiously await their homecoming as they traveled far away to serve their country. Also, it would make sure that this Memorial can stand and remind generations to come of the sacrifice their fellow citizens made. By helping to cover the costs of maintenance and upkeep of this Memorial, we can be sure that we never forget those who have come before us and who have helped to secure the freedom
we so richly enjoy.
Many of them, like my father, are gone now. But we cannot allow them to ever be forgotten. Therefore, I have made this request to honor his memory, and the memories of his fellow sisters and brothers in uniform, who completed a task that few wanted to participate in, but did so without question and with distinction.
“Welcome home, Dad, and welcome home to all of your brothers and sisters. You will never be forgotten. Your mission is over; your duty completed. Rest in Peace.”
4002 & You is made up of a group of companies: Gutter Solutions of Lake Erie, Bauer Specialty, BPM Housing, Bauer Specialty Commercial Services, and BNB Financial Services which share a connection to office operations at 4002 Main Street in Lawrence Park, Pennsylvania. Monthly 4002 & You make a donation to a group, organization, or charity that is suggested by the employees of the companies. The story is shared on social media to help raise awareness for their cause. We hope you enjoyed this month’s story and are encouraged to go make a difference for something that is important to you.