WASHINGTON, D.C. – The names of ten American servicemembers, including a veteran from Akron, were engraved on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial earlier this month, part of several changes that will be unveiled at a ceremony at the Memorial this Sunday in Washington. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) will send a representative to the unveiling along with a letter for the family of Private First Class Larry Morgan Kelly of Akron.
“Private First Class Larry Morgan Kelly was one of the thousands of Ohioans who bravely served during the in the Vietnam War,” Brown said. “While we can never repay him or his family for his service, the engraving of Pfc. Kelly’s name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial serves as a fitting tribute that will remind all those who visit of his sacrifice and his honor.”
Pfc. Kelly was wounded while serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam on Aug. 22, 1969, and passed away on June 14, 2010. According to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), Pfc. Kelly died as a result of his wounds (combat or hostile related) sustained in the combat zone during the Vietnam War.
The VVMF states that the work to inscribe the names and change designations was completed by May 4th; Sunday’s event will unveil the changes. When names are added, the highly technical procedure requires meticulous work to match the stroke and depth of the surrounding names to within 1/1,000 of an inch. These changes will bring the total number of names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to 58,282 men and women who were killed or remain missing in action.
The Department of Defense sets the criteria for and makes decisions about whose names are eligible for inscription on The Wall. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund pays for the name additions and status changes, and works with the National Park Service to ensure long-term preservation and maintenance of The Wall.