The American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT) presents a comprehensive Cost of Freedom Tribute which includes numerous memorials and exhibits, the centerpiece being the Traveling Wall, an 80 percent scale version of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. Across its 360-foot length, the Wall lists the names of every American casualty from the war etched on its surface, just as the original. The memorial is eight-feet tall at its apex and is the largest Wall replica traveling the USA. AVTT is also the only tribute event which includes the one of a kind Gold Dog Tag display representing the fallen from the Global War on Terror.
Richard A Schmitz was born July 28, 1944. His tour of duty began in Vietnam December 14, 1965, and was killed in action May 13, 1966. Yes, that was a Friday, the 13th, and just after celebrating Mothers’ Day.
Richard A Schmitz was the only child of Gert and Al Schmitz of Lynwood, California. They were dear neighbors to my aunt. My aunt organized a committee to erect the Lynwood Freedom Memorial in memory of Richard and others who served our country.
When this Traveling Wall came to our area, I knew that Richard’s name would be included. This wall honors the 58,271 men and women who gave their lives while serving our country during the Vietnam war and all those who served and suffered the effects of that war.
This display was at the Purdue North Central Campus in Westville, Indiana, July 3-7, 2012.
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