Shore VFW Post Seeking Vietnam War Families

SALISBURY – Members of an Easton VFW post are asking for the public’s help in locating the families of seven Vietnam casualties from Worcester and Wicomico counties.

On Tuesday, Kenley Timms and Gene Feher of VFW Post 5118 came before the Wicomico County Council to share the upcoming arrival of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, a replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Beginning May 31, the replica wall will be escorted from the Bay Bridge and set up at the VFW post in Easton, where it will remain through June 6.

“It is about 300 feet and it has 58,318 names on it,” Timms told the council. “This has all of the military members that have died in Vietnam.”

Feher, co-chair of the event, said each Eastern Shore resident found on the wall will be honored in wreath-laying ceremonies throughout the week. Six casualties from Worcester County, for example, will be recognized on June 2 at 1 p.m., while 23 casualties from Wicomico County will be recognized on June 4 at 1 p.m.

“There are 77 people on the wall from the Eastern Shore of Maryland and we are honoring all 77,” he said. “There are 23 from Wicomico. It’s the largest number on the wall.”

Feher said the event committee has spent the last 10 months searching for the families of the 77 Eastern Shore men killed in action in Vietnam.

“We have spent 10 months tracking families and they have found 66 of the 77, which is a remarkable number with 50 years passage of time,” he said.

Feher, however, called on the council’s support to help find the remaining families.

In Wicomico County, event organizers are still looking for the families of Salisbury residents William Thomas Parker III (Jan. 19, 1948-1967), Charles Walter Parsons (Feb. 8, 1916-1966), George Thomas Powell (Feb. 19, 1926-1967), Don Lee Shockley (April 30, 1946-1967) and John Davis Willingham (July 14, 1936-1968) and Hebron resident Norman James Pearson (Oct. 12, 1949-1971).

In Worcester County, organizers have yet to find the family of Berlin resident Alphonso Lee Harmon (April 9, 1946-1976).

Feher extended an invitation to have members of the county council represent those Wicomico County residents whose families were not located.

“If we cannot find them, we invite any member of this council,” he said. “If they would like to adopt those vets and appear at the wreath laying, we extend that invitation to you for Monday, June 4.”

In addition to the wreath-laying ceremonies, Timms said the week-long event will feature opening and closing ceremonies, guest speakers, displays, interviews with Vietnam veterans and readings of all 58,318 names found on the wall.

“It’s going to be very solemn,” he said.

Those wishing for more information can visit the “Vietnam Traveling Wall Easton Maryland” Facebook page, or contact any of the listed event organizers.

Feher encouraged anyone to attend the event.

“We extend an invitation to everyone in the general public,” he said.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.