SGT. Doug Potratz knows about American Heroes. One in particular helped his family get out of Vietnam safely.
After arriving at Tan Son Nhut Air Base on April 21, 1975, SGT. Potratz tried to secure his Vietnamese wife and four-year-old stepdaughter safe passage to American soil. LCPL. Darwin Judge saw SGT. Potratz’s concern and frustration, knew the guy who filled out the plane manifest, and got them on the next flight that day.
LCPL Darwin Judge’s name is etched in granite on The Wall along with three other Marines who lost their lives during Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Saigon: CPL Charles McMahon Jr., CAPT William Nystul, and 1LT Michael Shea.
Today, we remember these service men and work to build The Education Center at The Wall so their stories will live on for generations to come. And we'd like to hear why you support our efforts to make sure our American heroes’ stories are being told.
Share with us why you think it is important to preserve these stories for future generations:
VVMF has supported the healing power and emotional impact of The Wall for over three decades. From supporting The Wall's construction through 1982, to creating the traveling The Wall That Heals in 1996, to creating the Virtual Memorial Wall in 1998, we have worked to connect millions of people to the memorial.
And when the Education Center is built, the hundreds of thousands of messages, anecdotes, and photographs collected at the Wall and through the Virtual Wall will be displayed inside the Center, helping to connect even more people to the incredible, moving stories of the men and women whose names are on The Wall.
My reason for preserving these stories is perfectly explained in a quote from SGT. Potratz: "If it weren't for the Darwin Judges and the Charles McMahons…thousands of Americans and Vietnamese would not have made it out of the country and lived a fuller life.” His story and thousands of others like it will live on in the Education Center at The Wall for future generations.
Please take a moment now to help us make the case for The Education Center at the Wall:
Jan C. Scruggs
Founder and President