The Wall of Faces

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is honored on Panel 45W, Line 18 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

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  • Benito Contreras

    Posted on 10/7/15 - by Rev. Bill Coburn
    Ben was my lab partner in my first dog lab at Fort Bragg. We trained to become U.S. Army Special Forces Medical Specialists. My first wife, Peggy, was also an R.N., and Ben, Gail, Peggy and I spent a little time together before Ben and Gail shipped out for Vietnam in early, 1968 after Ben was assigned to in the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces. I was initially assigned to the 363rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces at Fort Bragg before being assigned to the 8th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces at Fort Gulick in the Canal Zone rather than to Vietnam. I never saw Ben again once he shipped out, but I learned of his death through our class grapevine. I am a member of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 920 in Denton, Texas and serve as one of the buglers in the Honor Guard as well as serving as a volunteer with Bugles Across America, primarily at DFW National Cemetery. Every time I render "Taps" at a graveside service with full military honors or at a civic function, I think of my friend, Ben and the sacrifice he made on behalf of his comrades in arms the night of September 1, 1968. Ben had talked about going to medical school upon his discharge from active duty. He would made a terrific, caring physician. May you rest in peace, my friend, and may you also be at piece after all these
    years, Gail. May God richly bless both of you in the next life.
  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 8/30/13 - by Curt Carter
    Dear SGT Benito Contreras Jr, sir

    As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

    May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

    With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

    Curt Carter
  • Los Angeles County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway

    Posted on 6/22/10 - by
    A portion of Sepulveda Boulevard/State Highway Route 1 in El Segundo near Los Angeles International Airport has been dedicated to the residents of Los Angeles County who served in Vietnam. This section of highway is now designated the Los Angeles County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway. Adopted by the California State Legislature in 2000, the highway honors the more than 350,000 California veterans who served in the Vietnam War, including the 5,822 killed or missing in action. Los Angeles County has the largest number of Vietnam veterans in California and 1,857 of its residents were killed or missing in action during that war. This memorial corridor provides a fitting and proper way for the residents of Los Angeles County to express their gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices these Vietnam veterans have made for their country.
  • Quien Nosotros Enviara

    Posted on 9/1/06 - by Dave Avery
    "An God said who shall we send.I answered I am here,send me."

    Isaiah 6:8

    Et Lux Perpetua Luceat Eis
    Requiescant In Pace
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer - September 7, 1968

    Posted on 1/23/05 - by Jim McIlhenney
    Green Beret Is Killed,
    Wife Was War Nurse

    A 25-year-old Green Beret staff sergeant, who wooed and wed a Philadelphia Army nurse while he studied at Fort Dix, N.J., was killed in action defending a small outpost near the Cambodian border, the Defense Department reported Friday.
    Sgt. Benito Contreras, who won two Bronze Stars for heroism, and his wife, the former Gail Dent, served five miles apart in Vietnam early this year until Mrs. Contreras, 22, separated from the service when she became pregnant.
    Mrs. Contreras, an attractive brunette who is a nurse at Frankford Hospital, is living with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Dent, of 2905 Brighton st., and awaiting the birth of the couple's first child in December.
    "I wanted to stay in Vietnam as long as I could," Mrs. Contreras said Friday, "But he wanted me to go home. He feared for the child. I was never afraid for myself, but I was afraid for him."
    Sgt. Contreras, who was a pre-med student in Whittier, Calif., before enlisting in July, 1966, met his wife in the pediatrics ward of Walson Army Hospital, Fort Dix, in July, 1967. They were married that September.
    The Special Forces sergeant was sent to Vietnam last February, assigned to Long Binh. His wife arrived two days after he did, and was assigned to a major Army hospital at Cu Chi, five miles from Long Binh.
    "I used to see him a couple of days a week, when he came to Cu Chi for medical supplies," said Mrs. Contreras. "But there were some weeks when I never saw him at all, and didn't know whether he was dead or alive."
    The Army said Sgt. Contreras was killed Sunday when Vietcong forces showered rocket and mortar rounds on Camp Phion Ngon, a fortified village three miles from the Cambodian border.
    Surviving the soldier besides his wife is his mother, Mrs. Consuela Pecina, of Chicago.
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The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.

All of these photos will be showcased in The Education Center at The Wall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the effort to collect these photos and ensure their faces will never be forgotten, visit