When the Wall that Heals returns to Cayuga County next month, volunteers will be needed to help with the four-day event at Auburn’s Falcon Park.
Kevin Swab with Cayuga County Veterans Service Agency is helping to recruit volunteers. Speaking from personal experience, he said it’s about recognizing the service of veterans who historically went unrecognized.
“They served our country, and the Vietnam era, if you look in history, didn’t receive the best welcome home,” Swab told Finger Lakes News Radio. “Whenever I talk to Vietnam veterans – I’m a gulf war veteran, Gulf 1 – the Vietnam veterans really set the foundations for some of the benefits that we have today… From my perspective as a younger veteran, I want to make sure they’re recognized.”
The wall, which recognizes those who lost their lives during the conflict, has a local connection.
One of the things I want to highlight is that Robert Stryker is a Medal of Honor winner who grew up and is buried within five miles from where the wall is going to be, so I think that’s a pretty big deal,” Schwab added
On November 7, 1967, Specialist Robert Stryker sacrificed his life when he threw himself on an enemy claymore to protect his fellow soldiers. Born in Auburn, Stryker is buried in Throop’s Pine Hill Cemetery.
Volunteers will be needed to help set up and take down the wall, assist with parking and directing guests, and manage the visitor’s tent and education center. If you’d like to volunteer or learn more, you can do so online or by calling 315-253-1281 #5.
The Wall that Heals will be at Falcon Park from September 14-17.