The Wall of Faces

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DWAINE USRY MCGRIFF


is honored on Panel 7W, Line 51 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance

REMEMBRANCES

  • Final Mission of SFC Dwaine U. McGriff

    Posted on 1/4/18 - by wkillian@smjuhsd.org
    SFC Dwaine U. McGriff was a construction equipment repairer serving with the 984th Engineering Battalion. On September 7, 1970, SFC McGriff was 34. He had just begun his second one-year tour of duty. That day, his unit was attacked mortars and recoilless rifle fire. McGriff was wounded in the attack and was evacuated to the 12th Evacuation Hospital in Cu Chi. His left leg was so badly mangled that he eventually lost it. He had to lie flat on his back for two years after coming back to the States, his wife, Anna, recalled in an interview. He had lost so much thigh tissue that he could not have a prosthesis. So, he used crutches. His wife knew when he was in agony. "He would scrunch up his face," she said. "But he would never tell you." He had dozens of operations, some to take skin from healthy parts of his body and attach it to the wound area. In 1974, he developed problems with his stomach, so serious that a nylon mesh was installed to rebuild much of it. He was in and out of hospitals, so often that doctors and nurses regarded him as a friend. He contracted hepatitis. He had liver and kidney problems. For the last six years of his life, he lay in bed. He died on January 7, 1999, at the age of 63. "He lived 28 years and four months after being wounded," his wife said. "He was here for a reason." The years of pain were not without their joys, she was quick to say. Her husband did some woodworking and lots of reading. Best of all, he got to watch his kids grow up. His children Dwaine and Lynda were grade-schoolers when their father was wounded. "We were blessed, the way the Lord worked it all out," Mrs. McGriff said. His name was added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in May 2003. [Taken from nytimes.com, vvmf.org, and virtualwall.org]
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  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 9/7/15 - by Curt Carter ccarter02@earthlink.net
    Dear SFC Dwaine Usry McGriff, 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, Sir

    Curt Carter
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  • We Remember

    Posted on 7/10/11 - by Robert Sage rsage@austin.rr.com
    Dwaine is buried at Cullman City Cemetery, Cullman, Cullman County,AL. PH
  • A Photo of Dwaine McGriff

    Posted on 12/13/10 - by
    Here is a photo of Dwaine McGriff, alone with one of his wife, Anna, at the time his name was added to the Wall. An article about Dwaine and others can be found here: http:www.mishalov.comvietnam20veterans20memorial.html
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  • A Generous-Hearted Man

    Posted on 3/10/10 - by Steve Robbins srobbinslville@aol.com
    I met SFC Dwaine McGriff in September of 1970, soon after he was so severely wounded on September 7th somewhere in Tay Ninh province. At the time, Dwaine was a patient in the 12th Evac. Hospital in Cu Chi, Viet-Nam, having been wounded with several others in that attack when the 984th was hit with -- among other things -- mortars and recoiless rifle fire.



    One of the other wounded soldiers from the 984th was 1Lt. Norm Parker, who the Colonel had just previously assigned as the replacement company commander of that land clearing company. Norm suffered a shoulder wound, and some other shrapnel wounds in the same attack.



    The 62d Engineer Battalion Chaplain, Captain Christiansen, and I visited both Parker and McGriff in the hospital that day.



    After stopping in to see Parker, we visited McGriff. Dwaine was in pretty tough shape given his severe injuries, especially to his leg. He kept trying to communicate something to us, but for a while we could not understand him. And you could see that he was frustrated by his inability to get us to understand him.



    Suddenly, though, it dawned on us what Dwaine was asking.



    He wanted to know how 1Lt. Parker was doing!



    I included that incident in a diary that I kept at the time, and which I still have. It is sitting next to me as I write this.



    But I know that I never would have forgotten that moment. Never. I can still visualize it in my mind's eye, all these years later. Here was a guy who had been very severely wounded, his whole world had been turned upside down, and he was obviously suffering in great pain. Yet, his primary expression of concern was for the welfare of someone else. It just plain took my breath away.



    Since we had already visited Parker (who had just come out of surgery and was a little groggy) we were able to tell Dwaine that Norm had smiled and flashed us the "OK" sign with his left hand when we walked into his room. In spite of the obvious suffering he was experiencing, Dwaine was pleased to find out that Norm was doing okay.
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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 www.buildthecenter.org.