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Monday, April 19, 2010

'The Wall that Heals' is coming to the Tuscaloosa VA in June

From the VA, coming to Tuscaloosa this summer:

The Wall That Heals, a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., will bring the message of The Wall home to Tuscaloosa from June 9 to June 13.

Located at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center, the exhibition will feature the dramatic replica – stretching nearly 250 feet in total length – as well as an Information Center and traveling museum displaying memorabilia left at The Wall in Washington, D.C. Special activities planned include opening and closing ceremonies, a reading of each name of the service members from Alabama listed on The Wall and other events to be announced.

The Wall That Heals, allows the many thousands of Vietnam veterans who have been unable to cope with the prospect of “facing The Wall” to find the strength and courage to do so within their own communities, thus allowing the healing process to begin.

“Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center, the Marine Corps League, and the cities of Tuscaloosa and Northport are very honored to bring this event to Tuscaloosa, in order to help the healing process begin for those veterans that we so proudly serve,” said Damon Stevenson, Public Affairs Officer for the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center.

The Wall That Heals exhibition is organized by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the organization charged with preserving The Wall in Washington, D.C., and its vast legacy. National sponsors of the tour include Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Trust, Federal Express, Geico, New Century Transportation, Harley-Davidson Foundation and Target Corporation. Local sponsors include the Mike Spann Detachment of the Marine Corps League and the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center.

The Wall That Heals will begin with an opening ceremony at 6 p.m. on June 9 and will then be open 24 hours a day until 5 p.m. on June 13. There is no charge for admission. For more information on The Wall That Heals, contact Connie Booth at 205-554-3673 or connie.booth@va.gov.

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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 


As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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