2016 MEMORIAL DAY - RODNEY LYNN GRIFFIN - SERGEANT - UNITED STATES ARMYPosted on 6/1/16 - by CLAY MARSTON CLAYMARSTON@HOTMAIL.COM
2016 MEMORIAL DAY
RODNEY LYNN GRIFFIN
UNITED STATES ARMY
WASHINGTON, D.C --
On Monday 30 May 2016 at 1 p.m., the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) and the National Park Service (NPS) hosted the annual Memorial Day Observance at The Wall, during which changes to The Wall will be commemorated and all members of America's armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice will be honored. This yearly event is always free and open to the public.
Captain Dale A. Dye, USMC (Ret.), a decorated Vietnam veteran, delivered the keynote remarks.
Dye is an American actor, technical advisor, radio personality and writer.
His company, Warriors Inc., is the top technical advisor to Hollywood with work on Forrest Gump, Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, Tigerland, The Thin Red Line, and HBO's Band of Brothers and The Pacific.
The emcee for the ceremony was Major General Mike Nardotti, USA (Ret.), a decorated combat veteran, who served more than 28 years on active duty as a soldier and a lawyer.
Nardotti currently serves on the Board of Directors for VVMF.
The 2016 Memorial Day Observance at The Wall is generously sponsored by the Xerox Foundation, J.P. Morgan Chase & Company, and TriWest Healthcare Alliance.
Each spring, VVMF works with the Department of Defense to make sure The Wall is accurate.
Names are then added for those service members who have met the Department of Defense criteria for addition to The Wall, having sustained wounds in Vietnam from which they eventually perished. Those service members who in the last year were returned or accounted for will have their statuses changed from MIA to KIA.
The names of eight American service members were engraved on the black granite walls of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial over the first week of May, and the status designations were changed for nine others whose names are already on The Wall.
These changes will bring the total number of names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to 58,315 men and women who were killed or who remain missing in action.
When names are added, the highly technical procedure requires meticulous work to match the stroke and depth of the surrounding names to within 1/1,000 of an inch.
The physical work of adding the names and changing designations will be performed by James Lee of the Colorado-based company, Engrave Write.
The Department of Defense sets the criteria for and makes decisions about whose names are eligible for inscription on The Wall while the VVMF pays for the name additions and status changes, and works with the National Park Service to ensure long-term preservation and maintenance of The Wall.
These eight service members will join 58,307 others who lost their lives or remain missing in action as a result of combat in Vietnam:
JEFFERY R. BARBER
LANCE CORPORAL, U.S. Marine Corps
9 October 1950 – 6 September 2011
MICHAEL G. FREY
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS, U.S. Army
21 October 1949 – 15 September 2014
CHESTER ARTHUR LEDERHOUSE JR
LANCE CORPORAL, U.S. Marine Corps
Ransomville, New York
19 January 1947 – 13 July 1966
JAMES S. McGOUGH
SPECIALIST 4, U.S. Army
Fort Dodge, Iowa
23 February 1951 – 3 January 2014
LEONARD E. OUTLAW SR
ENC, U.S. Coast Guard
19 December 1936 – 23 March 1972
LEE A. RAWN
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS, U.S. Marine Corps
Lake Worth, Florida
4 May 1946 – 24 April 1967
JIMMY L. SMITH
SPECIALIST 5, U.S. Army
30 September 1948 – 24 May 2014
JOHN D. STENHOUSE
LANCE CORPORAL, U.S. Marine Corps
13 April 1949 – 15 August 2012
Beside each name on The Wall is a symbol designating status. The diamond symbol denotes confirmed death. The cross represents missing in action. When a service member's remains are returned or accounted for, the diamond is superimposed over the cross.
These nine service members will have their status changed from Missing In Action to Killed In Action:
DONALD GENE CARR
MAJOR, U.S. Army
San Antonio, Texas; Panel 3W, Row 101
RICHARD CHAMP CLARK
LIEUTENANT, U.S. Navy
Tacoma, Washington; Panel 28E, Row 59
KENNETH LEROY CUNNINGHAM
STAFF SERGEANT, U.S. Army
Ellery, Illinois; Panel 17W, Row 33
RODNEY LYNN GRIFFIN
SERGEANT, U.S. Army
Centralia, Missouri; Panel 11W, Row 85
BILLY DURANT HILL
SERGEANT FIRST CLASS, U.S. Army
Fallon, Nevada; Panel 35E, Row 6
JAMES WILLIAM HOLT
MASTER SERGEANT, U.S. Army
Hot Springs, Arkansas; Panel 37E, Row 84
EDWIN EVERTON MORGAN;
CHIEF MASTER SERGEANT, USAF
Salisbury, N.C.; Panel 6E, Row 4
BUNYAN DURANT PRICE JR
STAFF SERGEANT, U.S. Army
Belmont, N.C.; Panel 11W, Row 87
DALE WAYNE RICHARDSON
MAJOR, U.S. Army
Cashton, Wisconsin; Panel 11W, Row 87
About the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is the nonprofit organization that founded the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) in Washington, D.C. in 1982.
VVMF continues to lead the way in paying tribute to our nation's Vietnam veterans and their families.
VVMF's mission is to honor and preserve the legacy of service in America and educate all generations about the impact of the Vietnam War and era.
VVMF is in the fundraising stages to build the Education Center at The Wall. The Center will be an interactive learning facility on the National Mall where our military heroes' stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten. The Education Center will feature the faces and stories of the more than 58,000 men and women on The Wall and honor America's Legacy of Service, including those serving in our nation's armed forces today. Time Warner is the Lead Gift Benefactor in the campaign to build the Education Center at The Wall.
To learn more about VVMF and the Education Center at The Wall, visit - www.vvmf.org - or call 866-990-WALL.
Nulla dies umquam memori vos eximet aevo
No day will ever erase you from the memory of time
-- VIRGIL from THE AENEID
One of my best friends in Vietnam.Posted on 4/20/16 - by Bob Pickens, Co A 3nd 34th armor email@example.comI just found out Rodney came home. I will visit as soon as I can. I talked with him right before he loaded the chopper. I will never forget him. He was special and impacted my life in so many ways. Welcome home Rodney. I hope to see you and Harold Gammon in heaven some day. I honor you in my dreams most every night.MORE
Home at lastPosted on 2/21/16 - by firstname.lastname@example.orgTo the family of sgt griffin I have been wearing one of the 200 Mia pow bracelet for the past 6 years this is my third bracelet I have owned my first went to a friend my second was returned to sister of sgt Damian when I found out his came home in 2010 I would love to return this bracelet to the family of sgt griffin my email mail email@example.comMORE
Sgt.Rodney Griffin Home at last.Posted on 7/25/15This website is a wonderful way to observe our fallen heroes. I just came from my two hour volunteer work with my church group. We go every other week to the Veteran's nursing home and play bingo, bring treats and prizes and let them know how valuable to us they still are.MORE
I suggest to everyone that this small effort, which they really enjoy, does as much or more for the volunteer's spirit as it does for the veteran's.
HomecomingPosted on 7/25/15 - by Kathy L. WrightSgt. Griffin's remains arrive.MORE
Hero is coming home after 45 yearsPosted on 4/14/15Sgt. Griffin’s remains have been found and he appears destined for a proper burial at Arlington National Cemetery.MORE
Services April 25th, 2015 at Centralia MO high school auditorium 10am
East Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery *
ID 2015Posted on 3/31/15 - by TFHe has been ID 3/30/2015MORE
We Wil Never Forget YouPosted on 3/23/15 - by Barbara LewisDear Rodney,MORE
I wore your POW bracelet for over two years until everyone was home. I still have it and now I see your face. This will be kept in my memory box for my son or grandson to keep too.
God bless your family as well, for your service.
RIP Rodney GriffinPosted on 3/4/15 - by Debra Spauldin SullivanI grew up in Centralia MO graduating in 1976. I remember well when our town received the news you were MIA. You were last seen by your crewmates returning fire to the enemy, never to be seen again. I was one of many that wore your metal bracelet for many years. You remained in many of our prayers all of these years, praying for a miracle that you would be found...hopefully alive but if not, at least found and brought back home to rest in peace. Now your family has received the very, very long awaited news that your remains have been found. Thank you, dear soldier, for giving your life for my freedom. You have never and will never be forgotten. .MORE
Remembering An American HeroPosted on 4/12/14 - by Curt Carter firstname.lastname@example.orgDear SGT Rodney Lynn Griffin, sirMORE
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, Sir
RememberedPosted on 5/13/11 MORE
WE GREW UP TOGETHERPosted on 10/11/07 - by Mike Engert email@example.comRodney from 2nd grade to 12th grade we shared alot of good times and I thank God for the memories of you, always a block away in the neighborhood. playing army and backyard football. I know you will come home and will see each other again , love ya, mike engertMORE
Never ForgottenPosted on 3/19/07 - by Evelyn Borremans-Sparkman firstname.lastname@example.orgI have worn your braclet for more than 30 years,I want you to come home,to be honored as the hero you are. I will wear the braclet until you are finally home.MORE
Never ForgottenPosted on 3/9/06 - by Bill Nelson email@example.comFOREVER REMEMBEREDMORE
"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you....and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go.....Be not ashamed to say you loved them....
Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own....And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind...."
Quote from a letter home by Maj. Michael Davis O'Donnell
KIA 24 March 1970. Distinguished Flying Cross: Shot down and Killed while attempting to rescue 8 fellow soldiers surrounded by attacking enemy forces.
We Nam Brothers pause to give a backward glance, and post this remembrance to you, one of the gentle heroes lost to the War in Vietnam:
Slip off that pack. Set it down by the crooked trail. Drop your steel pot alongside. Shed those magazine-ladened bandoliers away from your sweat-soaked shirt. Lay that silent weapon down and step out of the heat. Feel the soothing cool breeze right down to your soul ... and rest forever in the shade of our love, brother.
From your Nam-Band-Of-Brothers
IN REMEMBRANCE OF THIS FINE YOUNG UNITED STATES ARMY SERVICEMAN WHOSE NAME SHALL LIVE FOREVER MOREPosted on 12/15/05 - by CLAY MARSTON CMARSTON@INTERLOG.COM
RODNEY LYNN GRIFFIN
HEADQUARTERS & HEADQUARTERS COMPANY
34th ARMOR REGIMENT
" DREADNAUGHTS "
25th INFANTRY DIVISION
" TROPIC LIGHTNING "
Other Personnel In Incident:
CWO Michael Banard Varnado
Staff Sergeant Bunyan Durant Price Jr.
Sergeant Rodney Lynn Griffin
Major Dale Wayne Richardson
( all remain as being Missing In Action )
Specialist 4 Frederick H. Crowson
WO1 Daniel F. Maslowski
( are returned POWs )
SP4 Tommy Karreci ( evaded and escaped )
On 2 May 1970 a UH1H helicopter from Company B, 229th Aviation Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division flown by WO1 Michael Banard Varnado was hit by ground fire and forced to land just over the border of South Vietnam near the city of Memot, Cambodia.
The aircraft was transporting members of HHC, 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, SP4 Rodney Lynn Griffin; SP4 Bunyan Durant Price Jr.; WO1 Daniel F. Maslowski; Captain Dale Wayne Richardson; and Captain Robert Milton Young.
Also aboard were SP4 Tommy Karreci, SP4 Frederick H. Crowson, and WO1 Daniel F. Maslowski, crew members of the aircraft.
The men were part of an attempt to stop North Vietnamese forces from gaining strongholds in Cambodia.
President Nixon announced the request by Cambodia for American assistance on 30 April.
Had we not assisted, the North Vietnamese, in addition to having an effective sanctuary to which they could retreat without retaliation, would also have South Vietnam completely outflanked.
The crew all survived the crash, and had only 30 - 40 seconds on the ground to decide what to do.
They all attempted to evade, each in different directions.
Only 18-year-old Karreci managed to make it back to U.S. lines in 2 or 3 days.
Crowson, Maslowski, Varnado and Young went in one direction and were all captured by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces.
Price, according to Defense Department records, was also captured.
Griffin and Richardson took off in another direction and were never seen again.
Crowson and Maslowski were released in 1973 and in their debriefings stated that WO1 Varnado and Captain Young had died in captivity, while detained in Cambodia.
The Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam (PRG) officially acknowledged their deaths, listing Varnado's death as 21 September 1970, and Young's death as 17 November 1972.
According to Dan Maslowski, Bob Young died of illness in Dan's arms in the fall of 1972.
Maslowski saw Varnado about two months after capture.
" Vito " had been shot in the leg and in the side when he was captured, and according to Dan, " looked like hell ".
His side wound had healed, but the wound in his leg, in the kneecap, was badly infected.
He could not walk, and told Maslowski that the Viet Cong had been transporting him in a hammock.
The Viet Cong had told Varnado that he was to be taken to a hospital to have his leg taken care of.
The Vietnamese state that he died two months after Dan saw him in camp ( about 4 months after capture ).
On 1 August 1989, it was announced that the Vietnamese had " discovered " the remains of Michael Varnado, returned them to the U.S.
His remains were positively identified, much to the relief of family and surviving comrades, and Michael Varnado could finally be buried with the honor he deserved.
The remains identification did not contradict that Vietnamese statement that Varnado died four months after capture.
The fate of Price is uncertain.
Maslowski always believed Price had been captured, but never saw him in camps he was held in.
One report from escaped ARVN POWs stated that he was captured by the Khmer and because the ethnic groups normally did not cooperate, the Khmer would not likely have given Price over to the Vietnamese, who had captured the other four.
Since 1973, nearly 10,000 reports have been given to the U.S. Government regarding Americans still missing in Southeast Asia.
Some, according to U.S. State Department sources, have withstood the " closest scrutiny " possible, and cannot be disputed.
There is very strong reason to believe that Americans are still held captive in Southeast Asia today, yet President after President has failed to would bring them home.
THE FOLLOWING HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY
BITS 'N' PIECES
6 December 1997
Remains Identified -
According to the Pentagon, the remains of two servicemen have been declared identified.
The name of one serviceman, lost in Laos, is being withheld at the request of the family.
Identified was Army Captain Robert Milton Young of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.
Young was one of eight aboard a UH-1H lost on 2 May 1970.
Of the eight crew members one evaded captivity, making it back to friendly lines.
Three others, Bunyan Durant Price Jr., Rodney Lynn Griffin and Dale Wayne Richardson are missing.
According to the Pentagon, these three died at the crash site.
Four others, Frederick Crowson, Daniel Maslowski, Michael Varnado and Robert Young were captured.
Crowson and Maslowski returned during Operation Homecoming.
The Provisional Revolutionary Government listed Michael Varnado and Robert Young as " died in captivity ".
Returnees Crowson and Maslowski reported that they witnessed Young's death and believed that Varnado had also died although they did not witness his death.
The Vietnamese returned remains identified as Michael Varnado in 1989.
A Pentagon " Memorandum for Correspondents ", released 25 November 1997, states " In 1989, the Vietnamese unilaterally repatriated remains believed to be those of U.S. servicemen. One of the boxes was determined to contain the remains of the servicemember who died in captivity with Young. ( This was Michael Varnado ). Analysis of different remains by the Central
Identification Laboratory Hawaii resulted in a putative association with Young, however, records were too limited to conclusively identify them as his."
" By 1996, through advances in mitochondrial DNA technology, the remains previously turned over in 1989 were determined to be those of Young."
The Memorandum ended stating " The U.S. government welcomes and appreciates the cooperation of the governments of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic which resulted in the accounting of these servicemen. We hope that such cooperation will bring increased results in the future. Achieving the fullest possible accounting for these Americans is of the highest national priority."
Both Young and Varnado " died in captivity " so why did it take the Vietnamese 16 years to " locate " their remains. Approximately 25 servicemen listed as " died in captivity ", by the Vietnamese, have yet to be returned.
As for the mt-DNA identification, in the days ahead, you might find out a mt-dna identification is not worth the paper they are printed on.
May You Soon Be Home!Posted on 8/8/04 - by Dwayne Goodwin firstname.lastname@example.orgSince I adopted you as a POW, I have worked very hard to ensure your return to this land you fought so hard to defend! I will not rest until that day when you are accounted for! My father served with you and wants, so badly, to see your return home! God bless you, my friend! I will never forget you or the heroic service you gave in the defense of freedom!MORE
Thank youPosted on 5/2/04 - by Aimee Steffen email@example.comI am part of the Gridley High School Posting Project from Gridley, Illinois. I am a senior there. I just wanted to say thank you for the sacrifice that you made for all of us. You are truly a hero and will always be remembered.MORE
Thank you.Posted on 5/2/04 - by K. Gaddy firstname.lastname@example.orgBrave soldier,MORE
This posting is part of the Gridley High School Posting Project in Gridley, Illinois. On behalf of the student body of my school, I would like to thank you for your individual sacrifice for your country. You will not be forgotten.
You are not ForgottenPosted on 3/1/03 - by Bill WeldonRodney,you will always be remembered. The city of Centralia named a street after you. "RODNEY GRIFFIN STREET" You are always on our minds and hearts.MORE
Not ForgottenPosted on 2/15/03 - by Candace LokeyI have not forgotten you. I chair the Adoption Committee for The National League of Families of Prisoners of War and Missing in Action in Southeast Asia. We will always remember the 1,889 Americans still unaccounted for in Southeast Asia and the thousands of others that lost their lives. We will not stop our efforts until all of you are home where you belong.MORE
We need to reach the next generation so that they will carry on when our generation is no longer able. To do so, we are attempting to locate photographs of all the missing. If you are reading this remembrance and have a photo and/or memory of this missing American that you would like to share for our project, please contact me at:
PO Box 206
Freeport, PA 16229
If you are not familiar with our organization, please visit our web site at :
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 www.buildthecenter.org.