The Berks-Mont News (http://www.berksmontnews.com)

Vietnam Traveling Wall Comes to Coatesville VA Medical Center


Monday, November 5, 2012

COATESVILLE, PA – The Vietnam Traveling Wall, also known as The Wall that Heals, is coming to Coatesville Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center from November 7 through November 11. The Wall will be located on the medical center’s athletic field, and will be open 24 hours each day to the entire community – Veterans, employees, volunteers, students, community members and elected officials.
“We, at Coatesville VA Medical Center, are so very honored to bring the Vietnam Traveling Wall to the community,” said Medical Center Director Gary W. Devansky, “For some, it is an opportunity to make peace with the horrors of war. For most, it is a chance to honor those who fought and died to protect our precious freedoms. I encourage the entire community to come out and pay tribute to Vietnam War Veterans.”
The Opening Ceremony is scheduled for November 7 at 10:30am and the Closing Ceremony is scheduled for November 11, Veterans Day, at 1pm. At both ceremonies, there will be an honored Vietnam War Veteran as guest speaker, a musical selection, Color Guard salute and more. The entire community is invited. In case of inclement weather, the ceremonies will take place in the Great Hall, Building 5.
The Vietnam Traveling Wall is a half-sized replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Wall was unveiled in 1996 and designed to travel to communities throughout the United States. Since its dedication, the Wall has visited more than 350 cities and towns, spreading the Memorial’s healing legacy to millions.
The Wall that Heals is approximately 250 feet in length and is erected in a chevron shape. As on the original Memorial, the names of those Service members who died in the Vietnam War are listed by day of casualty and in alphabetical order.
The Traveling Museum and Information Center will accompany The Wall that Heals. Information cases display photos of Service members whose names are found on the Wall, along with letters and memorabilia, a map of Vietnam, a chronological overview of the conflict, and a directory of those names that appear on the Wall.
Through the duration of the exhibit, VA health care eligibility and enrollment professionals will be available to assist Veteran visitors in beginning the enrollment process for VA health care. Questions about eligibility and enrollment should be directed to 610-384-7711 extension 5008.
The hosting of the Wall coincides with the medical center’s annual Veterans Week celebrations which begin on November 1 and conclude on November 12. Activities including luncheons, flag raising ceremonies, a gospel concert, parade and banquet will take place to honor Veterans.
Funding for the wall was provided, in part, by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 1777. More information and event updates can be found at www.coatesville.va.gov and www.facebook.com/coatesvillevamc. Groups, elected officials, and those interested in volunteering should contact Director of Community & Congressional Affairs Kirk Fernitz at 610-384-7711 extension 4348 to make arrangements. General questions can be directed to Mr. Fernitz as well.
About Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center is one of 152 Veterans Affairs medical centers nationwide. It is an integrated health care system dedicated to providing the best in care and services to our nation’s veterans. The hospital offers mental health care, primary care, geriatrics and extended care, specialty and women’s health care, and pharmacy and social work services to both inpatients and outpatients. And, it operates community based outpatient clinics in Springfield and Spring City, PA.