WOODRING WALL OF HONOR and VETERANS PARK

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Unsung Hero "In Memory" Ceremony

PRESS RELEASE
Woodring Wall of Honor & Veterans Park
Unsung Hero "In Memory" Ceremony   10:00 a.m.   June 14th

Enid — US Navy seaman Richard David Vollman's name will likely never be engraved on the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

Vollman, a Navy mechanic during the Vietnam War, died in August 2002 of leukemia at age 52. "But for 28 years after he came home from the war, he began to suffer from diabetes, leukemia, and passed away in Audie Murphy VA Hospital in San Antonio," his wife, Karen, said. Karen Vollman plans to attend the ceremony bringing with her a picture of her husband and will leave it at the Vietnam Wall as part of the In Memory Day ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial Wall at the Woodring Wall of Honor and Veteran’s Park on Saturday, June 14th at 10:00 am, as a way to honor and remember him.

"It's never easy to lose a spouse and this is all part of our healing process," said Karen, "My husband was a great man, a hard worker and a dedicated Navy veteran. His job involved activity around the aircraft, weapons and chemicals. It was later documented that his death was caused from exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange. Prior to his death he was declared 100% disabled from the service-connected disability."

"With the addition of the Vietnam Memorial Wall to the veteran’s park, this is the first ceremony to honor the men and women who have died indirectly from their service in Vietnam, this is one of biggest things I could ever do for him to honor him and his service. People think Vietnam veterans were a forgotten group, and they're not, thanks to the efforts of the Woodring Wall of Honor who brought it here to Enid."

This ceremony dedicated to the unsung heroes is called the "In Memory" program. It honors Vietnam veterans whose deaths do not meet Department of Defense criteria for their names to be added to the wall. A special plaque will be unveiled and placed in the flagpole center of the park.

Vietnam Memorial Wall at the Woodring Wall of Honor and Veterans Park, Enid, Oklahoma, with red and yellow roses
Roses at the Vietnam Memorial Wall at the Woodring Wall of Honor and Veterans Park, Enid, Oklahoma

Most have died, years after the war, from various forms of cancer believed caused by Agent Orange. "Sadly, some of the things that ultimately killed these men were things that were gotten through their service," said Elaine Johns, Executive Director of the Woodring Wall of Honor and Veterans Park where the Vietnam Memorial Wall is located. "These men who will be honored Saturday, bring recognition to the fact that they may not have fallen on the ground on foreign soil, but physically and mentally, the struggles they go through are sometimes harder than if they had died overseas."

Others have died of PTSD-related suicides, according to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which built the original wall in Washington DC and started the In Memory program to honor those whose names won't be carved into the granite.

Following the services, roses will be on hand to place at the Wall.

Father's Day is a time to honor all of our fathers, and the Woodring Wall of Honor will continue the annual tradition of paying special tribute to those fathers who died as a result of the Vietnam War. The Father's Day Rose Remembrance ceremony features beautiful symbolism, emotional tributes and elegant reverence in recognition of fathers, sons, brothers, and friends who perished in Vietnam or later of Vietnam-related causes.

Elaine Johns – 580-478-3034

David Henneke – 580-548-6502

Karen Vollman – 580-977-9413

Coni Blankenship – 580-402-3913

Name Placement Ceremony

PRESS RELEASE
WOODRING WALL OF HONOR & VETERANS PARK
ENID, OKLAHOMA   FRIDAY   MAY 16TH

In 1967, PVC. Lester James Veazey enlisted in the US Marines shortly after his 19th birthday. He was shot in the head on January 20, 1968, by small arms fire near Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. James survived the wound, but was confined to a wheelchair. He returned home to Enid, Oklahoma, but never fully recovered. He died from his wounds 9 years later in 1977.

Last year, his name was added to The Vietnam Wall, and he officially joined more than 58,000 other American heroes inscribed on the nation's most beloved memorial. Since The Wall was dedicated, 347 additional names have been engraved. Enid, Oklahoma will update the state’s "Official Vietnam War Monument" on Friday, May 16th at 7:30 pm, in a candlelight ceremony at the Woodring Wall of Honor and Veterans Park. PFC Veazey’s brother, Ken Parker, will have the honor of placing his brother’s name on the wall in an official name placement ceremony.

ADDING NAMES TO THE WALL

Each year, names that have met the Department of Defense criteria for addition to The Wall, having sustained wounds in Vietnam from which they eventually perished, are unveiled on the black granite of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC each Mothers Day. Adding a hero's name is not only important to the individual families, it is of great interest to communities and local media around the country. Television news stories and newspapers across America tell hometown stories of service and sacrifice. National media also takes notice when the Memorial is updated. The stories of those honored, as well as the actual processes of identifying and engraving the names, are of great national human interest. We honor those services in Enid at the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

This year, 22 heroes will be welcomed home to the Vietnam Memorial Wall. They came from home towns across America, and served with distinction. We are privileged to honor one Oklahoman to add to the Wall. Welcome Home PVC Lester James Veazey.

PFC Veazey
PFC Veazey

THE CEREMONY

Lt. Col Bill Schwertfeger, Vietnam Veteran and Hanoi Hilton POW, will be the keynote speaker for the upcoming ceremony. Special music will be provided by talented artists Cobe and the Cat. Cobe Moore is a blind and autistic musician who will be accompanying sultry and soulful soloist, Cathy Nulph in several patriotic songs. Col. J.J. Menozzi, Vance AFB Vice-Wing Commander, will dedicate the stone in honor of the 22 military members. A special flame ceremony, hosted by the national "Carry the Flame Across America" nonprofit, will honor the 22 men. The group is traveling from California to Washington DC and are stopping in Enid for the special ceremony. The group plans to attend the annual ceremony each year in Enid. Other Vietnam Veterans groups which ride across the states will incorporate this stop into their itinerary for upcoming years. Prior to the event, at 7:00 pm, District 40 Representative John Enns, will receive a special award from the Oklahoma State Veteran’s Association. For additional information: contact Elaine Johns @ 580-478-3034.

Woodring Wall of Honor Accepted Into "Top 10 Artifacts: Saving Oklahoma's Heritage" Program

OK CHT logo

For Immediate Release: May 1, 2014
Contact: Lauren Daughety
Telephone: 405.509.9312
E-mail: ldaughety@vannpr.com

(OKLAHOMA CITY) – The Woodring Wall of Honor was recognized for its work to preserve and protect the Woodring Wall of Honor Vietnam War Memorial and was accepted into the "Top 10 Artifacts: Saving Oklahoma's Heritage" program in a May Day ceremony at the Oklahoma State Capitol on May 1.

In addition to being accepted into the program, the Woodring Wall of Honor was presented with a Cultural Heritage Stewardship Award signed by Governor Mary Fallin, Senator Patrick Anderson, Representative John Enns and Representative Michael Jackson. The award recognizes the Woodring Wall of Honor's commitment to the preservation of Oklahoma's rich culture and heritage, in particular protecting Oklahoma's "Official Vietnam War Monument."

"Each year thousands of visitors have the opportunity to experience and enjoy irreplaceable treasures in institutions across the state," said Susan Feller, co-project director of the Oklahoma Cultural Heritage Trust. "This program allows us to assist with ongoing efforts to provide for the proper care of these items and ensure their preservation to allow future generations to continue to enjoy these cherished treasures."

The Woodring Wall of Honor is one of 10 artifacts from institutions across Oklahoma accepted into program sponsored by the Oklahoma Cultural Heritage Trust. Now in its second year, the program increases awareness and support for items that illuminate, celebrate and preserve the story of Oklahoma.

Organizations from across the state nominated items for consideration. In selecting the top 10, a review committee considered the uniqueness of the item and its importance to Oklahoma.

Additional consideration was given to the level of commitment the nominating organization has exhibited to being good stewards of Oklahoma's historical collections.

Cultural Heritage Stewardship Award
Elaine Johns, delegate from the Woodring Wall of Honor, accepts the Cultural Heritage Stewardship Award from Susan McVey, Oklahoma Department of Libraries Director, alongside Senator Patrick Anderson on May 1 at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

The top 10 items are the Frank Griggs Cellulose Nitrate and Acetate Negatives, circa 1938-1950 from the Bartlesville Area History Museum, The Dr. Orange Starr Collection, circa 1915 from the Drumright Historical Society Museum, Woodring Wall of Honor, circa 2000 from the Woodring Wall of Honor, Oklahoma Colored Agricultural & Normal University teaching certificates book, circa early-1900s from the Melvin B. Tolson Black Heritage Center, 16mm Film Reel of Senator Robert S. Kerr, circa 1954 from the Julian P. Kanter Political Commercial Archive, Spiro Pottery Illustration, circa 1940 from the Sam Noble Museum, Porter Steam Engine #7466, circa 1942 from the Oklahoma Railway Museum, Photograph of Ned Christie and Jim Christie, circa 1885 from the Cherokee National Historical Society, Stone Fireplace from the Ataloa Lodge Museum at Bacone College and Votaw Military Uniform Collection from the Hughes County Historical Society and Museum.

The "Top 10 Artifacts: Saving Oklahoma's Heritage" program is sponsored by the Oklahoma Cultural Heritage Trust, an alliance between the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma Historical Records Advisory Board, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma Museums Association and many additional supporting partners. The Oklahoma Cultural Heritage Trust is dedicated to working together with Oklahoma's collections-based archives, libraries and museums to improve support for collections care through training and public awareness. Activities are funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency. For more information about the trust, visit www.culturalheritagetrust.org or call 405-522-3515.

Colonel Ellis to Speak During Upcoming Events

Vietnam POW for Five Years and Nationally Recognized Leadership Expert COLONEL LEE ELLIS to Speak at Oklahoma's Woodring Wall of Honor Veterans Day Event November 11:
Ellis Will Also Be Keynote Speaker at the Legacy Award Ceremony

Colonel Lee Ellis

OKLAHOMA – Nationally recognized leadership expert Lee Ellis, who was a Vietnam POW for over five years along with Senator John McCain, will speak at the Veterans Park Wall Dedication at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 11. The Veterans Park is located one mile south of Highway 412 and 66th Street at the Woodring Airport in Enid, Oklahoma.

Colonel Ellis will also be the Keynote Speaker at the Legacy Award Ceremony being held at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 10 at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center located at 111 West Purdue Avenue in Enid.

Ellis is the author of the award winning book, Leading with Honor: Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton and is a highly sought after speaker and nationally recognized expert on leadership who speaks & coaches to Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, educational organizations, and our military throughout the United States.

Ellis has appeared on numerous top network news and cable programs, has been interviewed on dozens of national radio programs, and has been published in publications nationwide.

Lee Ellis biography: www.LeeEllis.us/Lee-Ellis
Lee Ellis web site: www.LeeEllis.us
Award winning book "Leading with Honor" website: www.LeadingWithHonor.com

Woodring Wall of Honor Press Release:
October 24, 2013

PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
Media contact: Rob Houston, Communications Coordinator
Visit Enid
580.616.7369   Rob@VisitEnid.org

A traveling 80-percent replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC has been retired to a permanent home at the Woodring Regional Airport in Enid, Oklahoma. A dedication ceremony for the Vietnam Memorial Wall at the Woodring Wall of Honor will be held at 11 a.m. on Veterans Day - Monday, November 11, 2013.

The keynote speaker will be Col. Leon "Lee" Ellis, author of the award-winning book, Leading with Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton in which he shares his POW experience and the 14 leadership principles that helped him and his compatriots resist, survive and return with honor.

The dedication ceremony will also include Grammy-nominated trumpeter David Hooten, a 21-gun salute and special music from a youth honor choir. Ashton Edwards, a reporter from KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, will serve as the master of ceremonies.

Immediately following the dedication ceremony, attendees will be able to search the wall for specific names, assisted by the Blue Star Mothers Chapter of Enid, Oklahoma.

The Vietnam Wall dedication ceremony concludes a weekend of Veterans events in Enid. On Saturday, November 9, the Moose Riders of Enid Lodge 1740 will hold a 100-mile motorcycle "Ride to Remember," beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Wall of Honor and ending at the Moose Lodge, 302 East Purdue. Each rider will receive a personalized dog tag bearing the name of an Oklahoma Vietnam Veteran who appears on "The Wall." Riders will visit various veterans parks and static displays throughout Northwest Oklahoma and will end with a moving flame ceremony.

Sunday, November 10, the Woodring Wall of Honor board will sponsor the annual Legacy Award Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center, 111 West Purdue, honoring five area Veterans, one from each branch of the military. Col. Ellis will be the featured speaker.

For more information on any of the Veterans Day weekend activities in Enid, contact Visit Enid at 580.233.3643, ext. 1 or info@VisitEnid.org.

PDF version: WWoH PRESS RELEASE 10-24-13 Vietnam Wall PDF

Woodring Wall of Honor Press Release:
September 12, 2013

Busy schedules, family commitments and the demands of life in general can keep one from thinking about the service of our military veterans who preserve the freedoms that all Americans enjoy today. But there is one local organization that has taken the lead to "rally our community to honor veterans, inspire patriotism, and pass freedom on." The Woodring Wall of Honor and Veterans Park, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit corporation, has launched an initiative of events entitled Operation WWOH that is designed to empower our community to remember the valor of our military veterans, challenge youth to inspire us with patriotic essay or artwork and provide a moving and healing tribute to our Vietnam Veterans through a series of events that will culminate on November 11, 2013.

The most visible reminder of our freedoms is the consistent sight of Vance AFB's three primary aircraft flying overhead. Those modern day warriors don't just fly aircraft. They stay in a constant state of readiness through various training exercises held randomly. This is their legacy... a legacy that our modern day heroes are working to leave behind to the generations of the future.

Operation WWOH marks the Legacy of Valor that recognizes the sacrifices and service of our military veterans. Our community has mourned over the loss of our own Enid active duty warriors who have been killed preserving our freedom. We have run in honor of a family member or fallen hero in the Red Dirt Run, and now we will give our Vietnam Veterans of Oklahoma the homecoming they deserved but never received with the dedication of the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

The weekend of events begins with a 100 mile Ride to Remember, sponsored by the Moose Riders of Enid Lodge 1740. Each rider will receive a personalized dog tag bearing the name of an Oklahoma Vietnam Veteran who appears on "The Wall." T-shirts with a commemorative logo will be given to each rider to wear on Monday, November 11th at the Dedication ceremony. The Ride will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the Woodring Wall of Honor Veterans Park and travel throughout NW Oklahoma visiting various veterans parks and static displays and will end with a moving flame ceremony.

On Sunday evening, November 10th at 6:30 p.m., at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center, a Legacy Award Ceremony will celebrate the service of our past and present military and honor the youth of today. The Wall of Honor will host the award ceremony to pay tribute to their volunteers, the winners of the youth patriotic poster/essay contest, and honor five area Veterans of the Year. The keynote speaker is Col. Lee Ellis, former Hanoi Hilton POW. He will give testimony about his experiences as a prisoner of war. Tickets are available for $30 for the floor/banquet seating which begins at 6:30 p.m. or $15 for general admission, which begins at 7:30 p.m.

The patriotic poster and essay contest is driven through the public and private schools and will be judged by the Enid Art Association and a panel of military veterans and volunteers.

We are challenging the community to nominate a veteran and turn in an essay about why their family member should be selected as the "Legacy Veteran of the Year" for their respective branch of service. Those nominations for 2013 are due by the 14th of October, 2013. The veterans selected will be the guest of honor at the Legacy Award Ceremony. Nominations need to include the contact information of both the nominator and nominee, why they should be honored for their service and substantiation of their service career, if available. The nominee should be a living veteran from service during WWII, Korea or Vietnam eras. Forms are available electronically at www.woodringwallofhonor.com or available for pickup at the Western Sizzlin Restaurant, Visit Enid, or Enid Chamber of Commerce.

This is a historical moment for the organization. The Wall of Honor board strives to remember the bravery and the heroism involved in the Vietnam War, and vows never to forget the sacrifices that were made in that conflict. This is also a very poignant moment for the Wall of Honor board, community and volunteers; many are Vietnam-era veterans who have worked tirelessly to bring this historic wall to Enid. Their commitment to this project ensures that every name on "The Wall" receives the honor due those who have fought and died for us here at home. With the dedication of the monument, Enid will show its respect by honoring these heroes.

The Vietnam Memorial Wall Dedication Ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m. Special parking is designated for handicapped, buses and regular traffic. Handicapped, motorcycles and special guests will enter through the Piper St entrance off Gerald Gentry as will bus traffic. After unloading at the main airport entrance gate, buses and other general parking will enter on the 66th St entrance. People movers and golf carts will assist patrons with transportation from the parking area to the ceremony site. The front gate of Woodring Airport will be closed during the ceremony from 11-12:30.

The dedication ceremony will include Grammy nominated trumpeter, David Hooten, a 21 gun salute, special music from a youth honor choir, keynote address from Col. Ellis and will be emceed by News 4 Reporter, Ashton Edwards.

For information about the upcoming events, please contact Visit Enid

email info@visitenid.org

or 580-233-3643

 

Remembering Our Heroes Poker Run in Thunder Roads magazine

"This summer I was introduced to the Moose Riders Chapter 1740 of Enid. The Moose Riders and the fine folks at Cycle Ward, also in Enid, had committed to raise funds for the Woodring Wall of Honor ..."

http://www.thunderroadsoklahoma.com/featured/remembering-our-heroes-poker-run

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