Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky. (Tribune News Service)
By Don Wilkins
Published: February 6, 2016
For Vietnam veterans who died later, the criteria are post traumatic stress disorder, exposure to Agent Orange and similar chemicals, diabetes, cancer, heart attack and cholangiocarcinoma. An application can be found at Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and inclusion is free.Sharon Westerfield didn't see her late husband, Larry Westerfied, receive the honor he deserved for serving his country in Vietnam.
But she will see it in June when her husband, who died in 2012 at age 63, becomes part of the Vietnam Veteran Memorial's In Memory program in Washington, D.C.
Westerfield will be going to the nation's capital to participate in the 18th annual ceremony June 18.
"I feel like he carried Vietnam with him emotionally and physically all of those years," Westerfield said about why she applied to be part of the program. "He carried the sorrow; he carried the pain. I feel like he deserves the recognition as much as those on The Wall because they died quickly."
Larry Westerfield served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970 as a member of the Army's 14th Engineer Battalion. The Westerfields, of Owensboro, were married in March 1971.
Westerfield said her husband experienced the backlash that came from being a Vietnam soldier.
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