New Marker Remembers Vietnam Veterans Who Died After The War

May 31, 2016

Visitors to Iowa’s Vietnam War Memorial had a chance to see something new at yesterday’s Memorial Day ceremony:  a granite marker was added near the wall last month to remember Vietnam Veterans who weren’t killed in battle, but who later died as a result of their service. 

Daniel Gannon of Ankeny is a Vietnam veteran who helped win approval for the marker. He says after the 867th name was added to the state’s Vietnam Memorial last year, several women contacted him about having their husbands’ names added to the wall, but they hadn’t been killed in combat.

“This helps fill that void and gives those spouses a little bit of a good feeling knowing their husbands didn’t die in vain for serving their country,” Gannon said.

Inclusion on the memorial is limited to Vietnam veterans who had been killed in combat.  But Gannon says the addition of the new marker is a reminder that the casualties of war don’t stop when the fighting does.

Iowa's Vietnam Memorial includes the names of 867 veterans killed in combat.
Credit Michael Leland/IPR

“We’re always very good about talking about those who are on the wall or those who have passed away, but I think we have a tendency to forget about folks…especially Agent Orange,” he said.  “There are hundreds of thousands of people who have died from that, from the diseases from that herbicide.”

Gannon says the Vietnam Memorial in Washington has a similar marker to honor those veterans who died after the war as a result of their service.