FORT ASHBY - United States Army veteran Ken Markle of Keyser served in the Vietnam War from April 1969 until November 1970, in the area of Ninh Hoa .

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
FORT ASHBY - United States Army veteran Ken Markle of Keyser served in the Vietnam War from April 1969 until November 1970, in the area of Ninh Hoa .
He was part of the 48th Assault Helicopter Company, and he says his memories of being in that war will be kept to himself.
Another Army veteran, Terry Timbrook, was part of the Vietnam War from 1967 to 1968, and he has always felt that what he experienced at that time will be private.
The Wall That Heals, a replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., came to Mineral County on Wednesday as way for visitors to visit, remember, pray, touch names engraved on the wall, and gain strength.
Boyce Houser Post 41 American Legion sponsored The Wall That Heals coming to the county, and it will be available for viewing to the public from Thursday through Sunday, at the Mineral County Fairgrounds for 24 hours each day.
Boyce Houser Post 41 commander David Frederick Sr. gave welcoming remarks at the opening ceremony Thursday morning, saying, “This is the first time The Wall has been in West Virginia,” and, “It is an emotionally-filled display.”
He said, “Thank you veterans and welcome back.
“There are no words to console you,” Frederick said, “and we have the greatest respect for each one of you.”
He added, “We were young, lonely, and scared, but we were there.”
Frederick asked those attending the ceremony to “reflect on the soldiers” whose names are on The Wall, and “They sacrificed their lives to serve this country.”
He said that seeing The Wall was a time to allow the veterans to remember their fallen brothers.
Shirley White, president of the West Virginia Gold Star Mothers, which involves a membership of mothers who lost their children to death while serving in the United States service, read 11 names of those soldiers from Mineral County who lost their lives in the Vietnam War. After each name was spoken, the family rose from their seats to be part of the remembrance ceremony.
Brigadier General Christopher Walker, of the West Virginia Air National Guard, was the guest speaker, and he spoke of the time he served in South Korea.
He said that during that time, a saying in the Korean language was a mantra for the soldiers, and it was, “We go together.”
Walker said the soldiers have been successful during time of combat because of two things, with one being, “There was enough ammunition,” and the other was the soldiers were trained and prepared.
He said that there is no other state like West Virginia that supports their military.
Regent Joe Ann Eye, of the South Branch Chapter of Daughters of American Revolution, recognized each Vietnam veteran in attendance and following the ceremony the veterans were presented with a memorial lapel pin.
Frank Roleff, second vice commander and the chairman of the The Wall That Heals, said that about 120 people have volunteered to man the display at four-hour shifts.
He recalled hearing a song recently on the radio, sung by the Statler Brothers, named “It’s More Than a Name on the Wall.”.
Roleff said those names represent sons, fathers, aunts, and uncles, and, “They will never attend a Thanksgiving dinner, a christening, or any other special event.”
To end the program, a rifle salute was given by the McCoole VFW, and Taps was played by Jim Chaney, after which white doves were released from behind The Wall That Heals.