WASHINGTON D.C. (WCMH)–They return to this wall with gratitude for the more than 58,000 names who didn’t get to come home.
“Thomas Fox, Ernie Caldwell, Larry Pierce, true family man I had Ernie Caldwell’s name traced off the wall,” said Dave Riggs.
Many carry haunting feelings that never vanish.
“I still feel guilty. I feel like it should have been me instead of him,” Riggs was a Corporal, Marine Recon.
Riggs said there were 16 to 17 times he probably could have died.
“I shouldn’t have made it out,” he said.
Dave was medevacked out when he got injured.
“The first night that I was there, Ernie was walking my beat on the squad and took a piece of shrapnel in the throat and was killed,” Pete Pierson recalled.
Pierson found two names John Connor Jr. was his hometown buddy.
“John will always be remembered,” he said.
Pete was the 2nd gunner for Larry Pierce who was the squad leader who dove on a grenade to save the 2nd platoon.
“He was giving his life for his fellow man.”
Thomas Fox was Mike Love’s artilleryman who had three days to go before his tour was over when their base was attacked.
“He had a broke rib and punctured his lung. He bled out before they could treat his head wound.”
Three men who served their country under the harshest conditions. They return to honor those who served them.
Many of those are buried here at Arlington National Cemetery with 400,000 others, overlooking the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. A place of rest for so many still looking for peace.