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display, shadow box

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 36522
  • Accession Date:11/14/1990
  • Item Summary:Shadow box display dedicated to U.S. Army Private First Class (PFC) Billy Dean Brigman and consisting of a variety of military issue ephemera, including: a Purple Heart Medal/ribbon/lapel pin, a Bronze Star Medal/ribbon/lapel pin, a U.S. Army 503rd Infantry Regiment distinctive unit insignia pin, a black & white photographic print, a military name plate, two (2) cloth patch U.S. Army enlisted rank insignia- Private First Class E-3 ((PFC), full color), two (2) enlisted U.S. Army collar disk insignia, and a cloth patch, U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team shoulder sleeve insignia, full color. The artifact assemblage was left at The Wall along with another shadow box display (VIVE (36523)) by an anonymous donor in November 1990.

letter, handwritten

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 36545
  • Accession Date:11/14/1990
  • Item Summary:Handwritten letter. The letter is addressed to, "W.D.", is signed, "Sarge", is dated, " Nov 13 - 90", and opens with the line, "Next month will be 24 years since Ive [sic] seen your smillin' [sic] face (cept [sic] in my dreams)". In content, the author of the letter recalls his insecurities while serving in Vietnam and the role played by W.D. in putting him at ease by noting that, " I remember feeling so insecure until that day. / Me being white & all you guys black. / Me being younger, and in country only a short time / I remember being so afraid. / In coming 2 me that day you changed all that and I want 2 thank you." The author proceeds to recount the circumstances surrounding his comrade's accidental death by drowning in the lines, "4 2 day's [sic] we dove for you and Stokes. / 4 2 long days we all took turn's [sic] even tho [sic] there was a sniper across the river. / We never did find Stokes / I remember how muddy that river was". Sarge then closes his letter by stating that, "I don't know why you died my friend or Stokes or all the other guy's [sic]. / But it still bothers me. / I do know the heros [sic] that came home from that war are all carved on this wall." The artifact was left at The Wall along with a military issue, cloth patch U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team shoulder sleeve insignia, full color (VIVE (4801)) by a U.S. Army and Vietnam veteran identified only as,"Sarge" on November 13, 1990.

assemblage


See all photos (13)

Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.

Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.

Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.

Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.

Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.

Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.

Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.

Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.

Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.

Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.

Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.

Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.

Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.
  • Catalog Number:VIVE 36523
  • Accession Date:11/14/1990
  • Associated Name(s) on The Wall: BILLY D BRIGMAN
  • Item Summary:Shadow box display dedicated to U.S. Army Private First Class (PFC) Billy Dean Brigman and consisting of: a leather document presentation binder containing military issue, Bronze Star Medal & Purple Heat Medal award certificates, a printed letter, a handwritten letter, a handwritten poem, & two (2) Air Mail letter envelopes. The handwritten letter dated, "28 Feb 67" is from, "S/Sgt (E-6) Robert L. McClain", is addressed to PFC Brigman's mother, and describes the circumstances of PFC Brigman's death in combat in Vietnam on January 17, 1967. In his letter, SSG McClain says of PFC Brigman, "I must say you had a brave son with a lot of pride [...] I think you should be a very proud mother to have a son like Brigman." The artifact assemblage was left at The Wall along with another shadow box display (VIVE (36522)) by an anonymous donor in November 1990.
  • Accession Group:VIVE-00077
  • Related Items: VIVE 36522 - display, shadow box
  • Record Component Qty:13
  • Item Description:ASSEMBLAGE DEDICATED TO U.S. ARMY PRIVATE FIRST CLASS (PFC) BILLY DEAN BRIGMAN AND CONSISTING OF A SHADOW BOX DISPLAY COMPRISED OF: COMPONENT (A) TWO (2) MILITARY ISSUE, MEDAL AWARD CERTIFICATES, COMPONENT (B) PRINTED LETTER & LETTER ENVELOPE, AND COMPONENT (C) HANDWRITTEN LETTER, HANDWRITTEN POEM, & LETTER ENVELOPE. COMPONENT (A) TWO (2) MILITARY ISSUE, MEDAL AWARD CERTIFICATES. THE OBJECT CONSISTS OF TWO (2) MILITARY ISSUE, MEDAL AWARD CERTIFICATES HOUSED INSIDE A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED, GATEFOLD-STYLE DOCUMENT PRESENTATION BINDER BOUND WITH TEXTURED, BLACK LEATHER AT THE EXTERIOR OBJECT SURFACES AND LINED WITH CREAM COLORED NYLON FABRIC AT THE INTERIOR OBJECT SURFACES. TOOLED OR STAMPED [?] INTO THE LEATHER AT THE CENTER OF THE EXTERIOR, OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE (COVER) OF THE PRESENTATION BINDER IS A RAISED RELIEF REPRESENTATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WAR OFFICE SEAL BEARING THE PHRASES, "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / WAR OFFICE / MDCCLXXVIII" EXECUTED IN RAISED, ARCHED, BLOCK SCRIPT & ROMAN NUMERALS. HOUSED AT THE INTERIOR, PROPER RIGHT-HAND SURFACE OF THE PRESENTATION BINDER (AND SECURED IN PLACE VIA FOUR (4) WHITE NYLON FABRIC TABS) IS A MILITARY ISSUE, U.S. ARMY BRONZE STAR MEDAL AWARD CERTIFICATE. AT THE UPPER, CENTER EDGE OF THE OBVERSE SURFACE OF THE MEDAL CERTIFICATE IS AN EMBOSSED GRAPHIC REPRESENTATION OF A BRONZE STAR MEDAL SUSPENDED FROM A RIBBON WHICH IS EXECUTED IN RED, BLUE, WHITE, & GOLD. BELOW THIS EMBOSSED REPRESENTATION, THE PHRASES, "THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / TO ALL WHO SHALL SEE THESE PRESENTS, GREETING: / THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT / THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / AUTHORIZED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER, FEBRUARY 4, 1944 / HAS AWARDED / THE BRONZE STAR MEDAL / TO / PRIVATE FIRST CLASS E3 BILLY D. BRIGMAN, RA 14951057, UNITED STATES ARMY / FOR / HEROISM IN GROUND COMBAT / IN THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM ON 17 JANUARY 1967 / GIVEN UNDER MY HAND IN THE CITY OF WASHINGTON / THIS TENTH DAY OF FEBRUARY 1967" ARE PRINTED AND TYPEWRITTEN IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS IN FOURTEEN (14) SEPARATE LINES. AT THE LOWER, PROPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE SURFACE OF THE MEDAL CERTIFICATE THE NAME, "JOHN R. DEANE, JR." IS HANDWRITTEN IN BLUE INK AND CURSIVE SCRIPT UPON A PRE-PRINTED BLACK SIGNATURE LINE, IMMEDIATELY ABOVE THE PHRASES, "JOHN R. DEANE JR. / BRIG GEN, U.S. ARMY / 173D AIRBORNE BRIGADE (SEPARATE) / COMMANDING" TYPEWRITTEN IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS. AT THE LOWER, CENTER EDGE OF THE OBVERSE SURFACE OF THE MEDAL CERTIFICATE IS AN EMBOSSED GRAPHIC REPRESENTATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WAR OFFICE SEAL BEARING THE PHRASES, "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / WAR OFFICE / MDCCLXXVIII" EXECUTED IN RAISED, ARCHED, GOLD, BLOCK SCRIPT & ROMAN NUMERALS. AT THE LOWER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE SURFACE OF THE MEDAL CERTIFICATE THE NAME, "STANLEY R. RESOR" IS HANDWRITTEN IN BLUE INK AND CURSIVE SCRIPT UPON A PRE-PRINTED BLACK SIGNATURE LINE, IMMEDIATELY ABOVE THE TITLE, "SECRETARY OF THE ARMY" PRINTED IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT. HOUSED AT THE INTERIOR, PROPER LEFT-HAND SURFACE OF THE PRESENTATION BINDER (AND SECURED IN PLACE VIA FOUR (4) WHITE NYLON FABRIC TABS) IS A MILITARY ISSUE, U.S. ARMY PURPLE HEART MEDAL AWARD CERTIFICATE. AT THE UPPER, CENTER EDGE OF THE OBVERSE SURFACE OF THE MEDAL CERTIFICATE IS AN EMBOSSED GRAPHIC REPRESENTATION OF A PURPLE HEART MEDAL SUSPENDED FROM A RIBBON WHICH IS EXECUTED IN PURPLE, WHITE, RED, GREEN, & GOLD. BELOW THIS EMBOSSED REPRESENTATION, THE PHRASES, "THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / TO ALL WHO SHALL SEE THESE PRESENTS, GREETING: / THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT / THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / HAS AWARDED THE / PURPLE HEART / ESTABLISHED BY GENERAL GEORGE WASHINGTON / AT NEWBURGH, NEW YORK, AUGUST 7, 1782 / TO / PRIVATE FIRST CLASS BILLY D. BRIGMAN, RA 14 951 057, INFANTRY / FOR WOUNDS RECEIVED / IN ACTION / IN VIETNAM ON 17 JANUARY 1967 / GIVEN UNDER MY HAND IN THE CITY OF WASHINGTON / THIS 31ST DAY OF JANUARY 1967" ARE PRINTED AND TYPEWRITTEN IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS IN FIFTEEN (15) SEPARATE LINES. AT THE LOWER, PROPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE SURFACE OF THE MEDAL CERTIFICATE THE NAME, "KENNETH G. HICKHAM [?]" IS HANDWRITTEN IN BLACK INK AND CURSIVE SCRIPT UPON A PRE-PRINTED BLACK SIGNATURE LINE, IMMEDIATELY ABOVE THE PHRASES, "MAJOR GENERAL, USA / THE ADJUTANT GENERAL" TYPEWRITTEN IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT. AT THE LOWER, CENTER EDGE OF THE OBVERSE SURFACE OF THE MEDAL CERTIFICATE IS AN EMBOSSED GRAPHIC REPRESENTATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WAR OFFICE SEAL BEARING THE PHRASES, "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / WAR OFFICE / MDCCLXXVIII" EXECUTED IN RAISED, ARCHED, GOLD, BLOCK SCRIPT & ROMAN NUMERALS. AT THE LOWER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE SURFACE OF THE MEDAL CERTIFICATE THE NAME, "STANLEY R. RESOR" IS HANDWRITTEN IN BLUE INK AND CURSIVE SCRIPT UPON A PRE-PRINTED BLACK SIGNATURE LINE, IMMEDIATELY ABOVE THE TITLE, "SECRETARY OF THE ARMY" PRINTED IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT. THE DOCUMENT BINDER CONTAINING THE TWO (2) MEDAL AWARD CERTIFICATES WAS DISCOVERED AT THE WALL HOUSED INSIDE A CLEAR & BLACK POLY-PLASTIC SHADOW BOX (WITH A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED, RED FELT FABRIC SUBSTRATE) ALONG WITH COMPONENTS (B & C). COMPONENT (B) PRINTED LETTER & LETTER ENVELOPE. THE OBJECT CONSISTS OF A LETTER PRINTED IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS UPON A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SHEET OF WHITE, UNLINED PAPER. THE LETTER IS HEADED, "HEADQUARTERS, 1/503 ABR BN / APO SAN FRANCISCO 96250", IS ADDRESSED TO, "MRS. V. J. MCFEE / ROUTE #8 BOX 305 / ASHEVILLE, N.C.", IS SIGNED, "SINCERELY IN CHRIST, / ROBERT D. CRICK [handwritten signature] / ROBERT D. CRICK / CH (CAPT) USA / BATTALION CHAPLAIN", AND OPENS WITH THE LINE, "I RECEIVED YOUR LETTER, AND LET ME EXPRESS MY SINCERE CONCERN AND SYMPATHIES TO YOU DURING THIS TIME OF HEART BREAK." IN CONTENT, THE AUTHOR OF THE LETTER ASSURES MRS. MCFEE THAT HE KNOWS EACH OF THE SERVICEMEN IN HIS BATTALION PERSONALLY, THAT HE HAS FOSTERED CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEM BY PARTICIPATING IN EVERY OPERATION, AND STATES THAT, "GOD KNOWS MY HEART, IT TOO ALMOST BREAKS FROM GRIEF WHEN I HAVE TO GIVE ONE OF THEM UP." THE CHAPLAIN PROCEEDS TO EMPATHIZE WITH MRS. MCFEE OVER HER LOSS, OPINES THAT, "ONLY GOD HAS THE ANSWER", AND ASSISTS HER WITH THE INFORMATION THAT, "IT WAS S/SGT (E-6) ROBERT L. MCCLAIN WHO TOOK CARE OF YOUR SON, PFC BILLY D. BRIGMON [sic], WHEN HE WAS HIT. / IT HAVE TALKED TO S/SGT MCCLAIN, AND HE WOULD BE HAPPY TO HEAR FROM YOU." AFTER PROVIDING MRS. MCFEE WITH SSG MCCLAIN'S MAILING ADDRESS, THE CHAPLAIN CLOSES HIS LETTER WITH THE LINE, "AGAIN, MAY GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU IS MY PRAYER." THE PRINTED LETTER IS ACCOMPANIED BY (AND WAS ORIGINALLY DISCOVERED FOLDED INTO THIRDS (1/3) AND HOUSED INSIDE OF) A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED, AIR MAIL ENVELOPE COMPRISED OF WHITE PAPER WITH AN AIR MAIL WATERMARK, A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED, ADHESIVE CLOSURE FLAP AT THE REVERSE OBJECT SURFACE, AND A GRAPHIC MOTIF COMPRISED OF ALTERNATING HASH MARKS PRINTED IN RED & BLUE INK ALONG THE EXTERIOR EDGES OF THE OBVERSE AND REVERSE OBJECT SURFACES. AT THE CENTER OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF THE ENVELOPE, AN ADDRESS BLOC PRINTED IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS DIRECTS THE LETTER TO, "MRS. V. J. MCFEE / ROUTE #8 BOX 305 / ASHEVILLE, N.C." AT THE UPPER, PROPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE A RETURN ADDRESS BLOC PRINTED IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS READS, "CH (CAPT) ROBERT D. CRICK / HQ., 1/503 ABR BN / APO SF 96250". AT THE UPPER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CENTER EDGE OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF THE ENVELOPE IS A POSTAL STAMP CONSISTING OF A BLACK CIRCLE CIRCUMSCRIBING THE PHRASES, "ARMY & AIR FORCE POSTAL SERVICE APO" EXECUTED IN ARCHED, BLACK, BLOCK SCRIPT. AT THE CENTER OF THE POSTAL STAMP THE PHRASES, "FEB 17 96250 1967" ARE EXECUTED IN BLACK, BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS. AT THE UPPER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF THE ENVELOPE IS A POSTAGE DESIGNATION STAMPED IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT READING, "FREE". AT THE CENTER OF THE PROPER LEFT-HAND SIDE OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF THE ENVELOPE, AN AIR MAIL LOGO COMPRISED OF TWO (2) WINGS FLANKING THREE (3) RECTANGULARLY SHAPED TEXT BLOCKS AND SURMOUNTED ABOVE AND BELOW BY FIVE (5), RED, FIVE (5)-POINTED STARS IS PRINTED IN RED, BLUE, & WHITE INK. THE PHRASES, "VIA AIR MAIL / CORREO AEREO / PAR AVION" ARE PRINTED IN WHITE & BLUE INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT INSIDE THE THREE (3) RECTANGULAR TEXT BLOCKS FROM THE UPPER TO THE LOWER, RESPECTIVELY. AT THE LOWER, PROPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF THE ENVELOPE IS A STAMP EXECUTED IN RED INK AND STYLIZED, ARCHED, BLOCK SCRIPT DEPICTING THE PHRASE, "VIETNAM" CENTERED ABOVE THE IMAGE OF AN ORIENTAL DRAGON. THE PRINTED LETTER WAS ORIGINALLY DISCOVERED FOLDED INTO THIRDS (1/3) AND HOUSED INSIDE THE AIR MAIL ENVELOPE. THE PRINTED LETTER & LETTER ENVELOPE WERE SUBSEQUENTLY DISCOVERED AT THE WALL HOUSED INSIDE A CLEAR & BLACK POLY-PLASTIC SHADOW BOX (WITH A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED, RED FELT FABRIC SUBSTRATE) ALONG WITH COMPONENTS (A & C). COMPONENT (C) HANDWRITTEN LETTER, HANDWRITTEN POEM, & LETTER ENVELOPE. THE OBJECT CONSISTS OF A LETTER HANDWRITTEN IN BLUE INK AND CURSIVE SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS UPON FIVE (5) RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SHEETS OF WHITE, LINED PAPER. THE LETTER IS ADDRESSED, "DEAR MRS. MCFEE", IS SIGNED, "YOURS TRULY / ROBERT L. MCCLAIN", IS DATED, "28 FEB 67", AND OPENS WITH THE LINE, "IN REFERENCE TO YOUR SON'S DEATH, HE WAS KILLED WHILE WE WERE ASSAULTING SOME VIET CONG HIDING IN SOME STICK JUNGLE." IN CONTENT, THE AUTHOR BEGINS HIS LETTER TO MRS. MCFEE BY DESCRIBING A MOVEMENT OF PFC BRIGMAN'S PLATOON TO THE COMPANY COMMAND POST TO EAT DINNER, WHICH DEVOLVED INTO AN INITIAL FIRE FIGHT WITH A VIET CONG SOLDIER ALONG THE TRAIL AND A MANEUVER BY, "[...] THE REAR ELEMENT, WHICH INCLUDED YOUR SON [...] TO TRY AND FLANK THE VIET CONG POSITION WHILE WE CONTINUE [sic] TO FIRE IN ORDER TO KEEP THE VIET CONGS [sic] PIN [sic] DOWN." SSG MCCLAIN GOES ON TO RECOUNT THAT PFC BRIGMAN'S FLANKING MANEUVER STOPPED, "[...] ABOUT FIFTY METERS ACROSS THIS OPEN AREA" IN ORDER TO ASCERTAIN THE VIET CONG HIDING POSITION WHEN IT CAME UNDER FIRE, NOTES THAT THE MACHINE GUNNER WITH BRIGMAN'S UNIT HAD BY NOW FIXED THE VIET CONG POSITION AND YET HAD RUN OUT OF AMMUNITION, AND RECALLS THAT, "WHEN THE GUNNER CALLED FOR AMMO, YOUR SON WHO WAS CARRING [sic] 200 ROUNDS HURRY [sic] UP AND STARTED RUNNING TOWARD THE MACHINE GUNNER WITH THE AMMO [...]". SSG MCCLAIN THEN DESCRIBES PFC BRIGMAN'S FATAL WOUNDING IN THE LINES, "[...] HE HAD ONLY TOOK [sic] ABOUT FIVE WHEN ONE OF THE V.C. JUMP [sic] OUT OF THE BRUSH, AND FIRED AT BRIGMAN [...] I ALSO NOTICE BRIGMAN LAYING ON THE GROUND SO I WENT OVER TO HIM AND NOTICED THAT HE WERE [sic] DEAD. / HE DIED INSTANTLY FROM A WOUND IN THE HEAD." THE AUTHOR STATES THAT THREE (3) OTHERS FROM PFC BRIGMAN'S UNIT WERE ALSO WOUNDED IN THE ATTACK, WHICH OCCURRED AT, "7 O'CLOCK IN THE EVENING OF 17 JAN 67", NOTES THAT THE ENTIRE ENCOUNTER TOOK PLACE OVER A SPAN OF ABOUT TEN (10) MINUTES, AND SAYS OF PFC BRIGMAN'S CHARACTER, "I MUST SAY YOU HAD A BRAVE SON WITH A LOT OF PRIDE [...] I ONLY WISH ALL PEOPLE WERE LIKE HIM." SSG MCCLAIN THEN CLOSES HIS LETTER TO PFC BRIGMAN'S MOTHER BY SPEAKING OF HIS OWN EXPERIENCE IN THE MILITARY AND HIS PLANS TO MARRY UPON HIS RETURN HOME IN NOVEMBER, THANKS HER FOR HER INTEREST IN THE EFFORTS OF THE AMERICAN MILITARY FORCES IN VIETNAM, AND CONCLUDES HIS LETTER WITH THE LINE, "I THINK YOU SHOULD BE A VERY PROUD MOTHER TO HAVE A SON LIKE BRIGMAN." THE HANDWRITTEN LETTER IS ACCOMPANIED BY A POEM HANDWRITTEN IN BLACK & BLUE INK AND CURSIVE SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS UPON THE OBVERSE AND REVERSE OBJECT SURFACES OF A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SHEET OF PINK, UNLINED PAPER. THE POEM IS UNTITLED, ACCORDING TO A NOTE UPON THE REVERSE OBJECT SURFACE WAS, "WROTE [sic] BY HIS SISTER LINDA KAYE MCFEE IN 67", AND IS COMPRISED OF EIGHT (8) STANZAS AND EIGHT (8) TOTAL LINES (ARRANGED THUSLY: 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1). IN CONTENT, MS. MCFEE'S POEM STYLISTICALLY DESCRIBES THE FATAL ENCOUNTER WITH VIET CONG FORCES WHICH RESULTED IN HER BROTHER'S (PFC BRIGMAN'S) DEATH. NOTABLE LINES INCLUDE, "HE STARTED TO RUN WHEN THE BULLET FROM A VIET CONG SHOT MY BROTHER DOWN!", AND, "SOME FOLKS SAY I DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE CALLED SIS OR CRY BECAUSE I DIDN'T GET TO TELL MY BROTHER GOOD-BY." THE HANDWRITTEN LETTER & HANDWRITTEN POEM WERE BOTH ORIGINALLY DISCOVERED FOLDED INTO THIRDS (1/3) AND HOUSED INSIDE RECTANGULARLY SHAPED, AIR MAIL ENVELOPE COMPRISED OF WHITE PAPER WITH A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED, ADHESIVE CLOSURE FLAP AT THE REVERSE OBJECT SURFACE AND A GRAPHIC MOTIF COMPRISED OF ALTERNATING HASH MARKS PRINTED IN RED & BLUE INK ALONG THE EXTERIOR EDGES OF THE OBVERSE AND REVERSE OBJECT SURFACES. AT THE CENTER OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF THE ENVELOPE, AN ADDRESS BLOC HANDWRITTEN IN BLUE INK AND CURSIVE/BLOCK SCRIPT & ARABIC NUMERALS DIRECTS THE LETTER TO, "MRS. V. J. MCFEE / RT #8 BOX 305 / W. ASHEVILLE N.C." AT THE UPPER, PROPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE A RETURN ADDRESS BLOC HANDWRITTEN IN BLUE INK AND CURSIVE/BLOCK SCRIPT & ARABIC NUMERALS READS, "ROBERT L. MCCLAIN / RA 14579463 / CO B 1/503 ABN INF / A.P.O. S.F. 96250". AT THE UPPER, CENTER EDGE OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF THE ENVELOPE IS A POSTAL STAMP CONSISTING OF A BLACK CIRCLE CIRCUMSCRIBING THE PHRASES, "ARMY & AIR FORCE POSTAL SERVICE APO" EXECUTED IN ARCHED, BLACK, BLOCK SCRIPT. AT THE CENTER OF THE POSTAL STAMP THE PHRASES, "MAR 4 96250 1967" ARE EXECUTED IN BLACK, BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS. AT THE UPPER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF THE ENVELOPE IS A POSTAGE DESIGNATION HANDWRITTEN IN BLUE INK AND CURSIVE SCRIPT READING, "FREE". AT THE CENTER OF THE PROPER LEFT-HAND SIDE OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF THE ENVELOPE, AN AIR MAIL LOGO COMPRISED OF TWO (2) WINGS FLANKING THREE (3) RECTANGULARLY SHAPED TEXT BLOCKS IS PRINTED IN RED, BLUE, & WHITE INK. THE PHRASES, "•VIA AIR MAIL• / •CORREO AEREO• / •PAR AVION•" ARE PRINTED IN WHITE & BLUE INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT INSIDE THE THREE (3) RECTANGULAR TEXT BLOCKS FROM THE UPPER TO THE LOWER, RESPECTIVELY. THE HANDWRITTEN LETTER & HANDWRITTEN POEM WERE ORIGINALLY DISCOVERED FOLDED INTO THIRDS (1/3) AND HOUSED INSIDE THE AIR MAIL ENVELOPE. THE AIR MAIL ENVELOPE CONTAINING THIS CORRESPONDENCE WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DISCOVERED AT THE WALL HOUSED INSIDE A CLEAR & BLACK POLY-PLASTIC SHADOW BOX (WITH A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED, RED FELT FABRIC SUBSTRATE) ALONG WITH COMPONENTS (A & B). THE OBJECT IS ASSOCIATED WITH VIVE (36522).
  • Associated Item Text: Text of the stamped, embossed, printed, & handwritten inscriptions upon the various object surfaces of COMPONENTS (A - C) is transcribed in full, as follows: [COMPONENT (A), document presentation binder, exterior, obverse object surface, embossed inscription] "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / WAR OFFICE / MDCCLXXVIII" / [COMPONENT (A), Bronze Star Medal certificate, printed inscriptions] "THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / TO ALL WHO SHALL SEE THESE PRESENTS, GREETING: / THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT / THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / AUTHORIZED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER, FEBRUARY 4, 1944 / HAS AWARDED / THE BRONZE STAR MEDAL / TO / PRIVATE FIRST CLASS E3 BILLY D. BRIGMAN, RA 14951057, UNITED STATES ARMY / FOR / HEROISM IN GROUND COMBAT / IN THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM ON 17 JANUARY 1967 / GIVEN UNDER MY HAND IN THE CITY OF WASHINGTON / THIS TENTH DAY OF FEBRUARY 1967 / JOHN R. DEANE JR. / Brig Gen, U.S. Army / 173D AIRBORNE BRIGADE (SEPARATE) / Commanding / SECRETARY OF THE ARMY" / [COMPONENT (A), Bronze Star medal certificate, embossed inscription] "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / WAR OFFICE / MDCCLXXVIII" / [COMPONENT (A), Bronze Star Medal certificate, handwritten inscriptions] "John R. Deane Jr / Stanley R. Resor" / [COMPONENT (A), Purple Heart Medal certificate, printed inscriptions] "THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / TO ALL WHO SHALL SEE THESE PRESENTS, GREETING: / THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT / THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / HAS AWARDED THE / PURPLE HEART / ESTABLISHED BY GENERAL GEORGE WASHINGTON / AT NEWBURGH, NEW YORK, AUGUST 7, 1782 / TO / PRIVATE FIRST CLASS BILLY D. BRIGMAN, RA 14 951 057, INFANTRY / FOR WOUNDS RECEIVED / IN ACTION / IN VIETNAM ON 17 JANUARY 1967 / GIVEN UNDER MY HAND IN THE CITY OF WASHINGTON / THIS 31ST DAY OF JANUARY 1967 / Major General, USA / The Adjutant General / SECRETARY OF THE ARMY" / [COMPONENT (A), Purple Heart Medal certificate, embossed inscription] "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / WAR OFFICE / MDCCLXXVIII" / [COMPONENT (A), Purple Heart Medal certificate, handwritten inscriptions] "Kenneth G. Hickham [?] / Stanley R. Resor" / [COMPONENT (B), letter, obverse object surface, printed inscriptions] "Headquarters, 1/503 Abr Bn / APO San Francisco 96250 / 17 February 1967 / Mrs. V. J. McFee / Route #8 Box 305 / Asheville, N.C. / Dear Mrs. McFee: / I received your letter, and let me express my sincere concern and sympathies to you during this time of heart break. / As the Battalion Chaplain I know each of these young men personally. / I am out with them on every operation and we get pretty close at times. / God knows my heart, it too almost breaks from grief when I have to give one of them up. / So therefore, I have some knowledge of how you feel; and I shall take you to God in prayer for comfort and guidance. / Only God has the answer, of course, for these times. / It was S/Sgt (E-6) Robert L. McClain who took care of your son, PFC Billy D. Brigmon [sic], when he was hit. / I have talked to S/Sgt McClain, and he would be happy to hear from you. / His address: Company B, 1/503 Abr Bn., APO San Francisco 96250. / Again, may God bless and keep you is my prayer. / Sincerely in Christ, / [handwritten signature] / Robert D. Crick / Ch (Capt) USA / Battalion Chaplain" / [COMPONENT (B), letter envelope, obverse object surface, printed inscriptions] "Ch (Capt) Robert D. Crick / Hq., 1/503 Abr Bn / APO SF 96250 / Mrs. V. J. McFee / Route #8 Box 305 / Asheville, N.C. / FREE / VIA AIR MAIL / CORREO AEREO / PAR AVION" / [COMPONENT (B), letter envelope, obverse object surface, stamped inscriptions] "ARMY & AIR FORCE POSTAL SERVICE APO / FEB 17 96250 1967 / VIETNAM" / [COMPONENT (C), letter, page 1, obverse object surface, handwritten inscriptions] "28 Feb 67 / Dear Mrs. McFee / In reference to your son's death, he was killed while we were assaulting some Viet Cong hiding in some stick jungle. / What happen [sic] is we were moving from our platoon position to the Company Command post to eat our supper meal. / As we were moving down a trail toward the company, our point man fired at a Viet Cong on right side [sic] of the trail. / The remainder of my men also started firing to the right front. / At this time the platoon took the rear element, which [...]" / [COMPONENT (C), letter, page 2, obverse object surface, handwritten inscriptions] "[...] included your son, and said he were [sic] going to try and flank the Viet Cong position while we continue [sic] to fire in order to keep the Viet Congs [sic] pin [sic] down. / The platoon leader, Brigman, and SP/4 Jacob moved about fifty meters to the right and started sweepping [sic] from the right, and myself with the rest of my men started sweepping [sic] straight forward until we hit a clearing and stop [sic], because we did not know were [sic] the Viet Congs [sic] were hiding, but we continue [sic] to fire to the front. / By this time the platoon leader, and Brigman had move [sic] from right about fifty meters across this open area, [...]" / [COMPONENT (C), letter, page 3, obverse object surface, handwritten inscriptions] "[...] and had stopped when the Viet Cong open [sic] up with a couple of long auto-matic [sic] burst [sic]. / At this time the machine gunner had located the Viet Cong position but were out of ammo. / When the gunner called for ammo, your son who was carring [sic] 200 rounds hurry [sic] up and started running toward the machine gunner with the ammo, he had only took [sic] about five when one of the V.C. jump [sic] out of the brush, and fired at Brigman. / At the same time we killed the Viet Cong, but i [sic] also notice Brigman laying on the ground so i [sic] went over to him [...]" / [COMPONENT (C), letter, page 4, obverse object surface, handwritten inscriptions] "[...] and noticed that he were [sic] dead. / He died instantly from a would in the head. / We had three others wounded at the same time. / This happen [sic] around 7 o'clock in the evening of 17 Jan 67. / All this took place in about ten minutes. / I must say you had a brave son with a lot of pride, and i [sic] would say he is like most of us. / Once you get here and see how these people live, and what they are going through it would make most any man fight and fight hard, and that what [sic] he were [sic] doing. / I only wish all people were like him." / [COMPONENT (C), letter, page 5, obverse object surface, handwritten inscriptions] "As for me i [sic] have been in the army eleven years. / My home is Raleigh N.C. and i [sic] am planning on getting married when i [sic] return to the States in November. / You don't know how good it makes a person feel to know that people are interested in what these people are doing. / I think you should be a very proud mother to have a son like Brigman. / Yours Truly / Robert L. McClain" / [COMPONENT (C), poem, obverse object surface, handwritten inscriptions] "It was just about dusk in a foreign land and you could hear them marching like a weary band. / When all of a sudden a rattle of a brush and great big Viet Cong rush. / The men fell in the mud and then started the shed of blood. / A gunner beyond the clearing called for ammo and a big man just in hearing without hesitation saw his destination. / He started to run when the bullet from a Viet Cong shot my brother down! / He lay there cold and still on ground [sic] and his sargent [sic] walked over and knelt down. / He said it was just God's will that my brother die in a foreign land for every man. / Some folks say I don't have the right to be called Sis or cry because I didn't get to tell my brother good-by." / [COMPONENT (C), reverse object surface, handwritten inscription] "Wrote [sic] by his sister Linda Kaye McFee in 67" / [COMPONENT (C), letter envelope, obverse object surface, handwritten inscriptions] "Robert L. McClain / 559 RA 14579463 / Co B 1/503 Abn inf / A.P.O. S.f. 96250 / Free / Mrs. V. J. McFee / Rt #8 Box 305 / W. Asheville N.C." / [COMPONENT (C), letter envelope, obverse object surface, printed inscription] "•VIA AIR MAIL• / •CORREO AEREO• / •PAR AVION•" / [COMPONENT (C), letter envelope, obverse object surface, stamped inscriptions] "ARMY & AIR FORCE POSTAL SERVICE APO / MAR 4 96250 1967"
  • Item Dimensions and Weight:
    • Item Weight: 850.0g (Weight of the emptied shadow box display case only)
    • Item Length: 28.3cm
    • Item Width: 36.0cm
    • Item Height: N/A
    • Item Depth: 4.2cm (Case depth)
  • Item Notes:Dimensions listed above are the exterior measurements for the enclosing shadow box only. Individual measurements for COMPONENTS (A - C) are as follows:

    [COMPONENT (A)- Document presentation binder]:
    26.5cm (L) X 32.0cm (W) X 1.0cm (Thickness) X 650.0g (Weight)

    [COMPONENT (B)- Printed letter]:
    26.5cm (L) X 20.3cm (W) X 3.4g (Weight)

    [COMPONENT (B)- Letter envelope]:
    10.5cm (L) X 24.0cm (W) X 3.2g (Weight)

    [COMPONENT (C)- Handwritten letter]:
    (Dimensions listed are for a single page (1) only, but are identical for all five (5) pages)
    20.3cm (L) X 12.5cm (W) X 7.8g (Collective weight of all five (5) pages)

    [COMPONENT (C)- Handwritten poem]:
    22.8cm (L) X 14.0cm (W) X 2.4g (Weight)

    [COMPONENT (C)- Letter envelope]:
    9.2cm (L) X 16.4cm (W) X 3.0g (Weight)
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Items left at The Wall - The Virtual Collection

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982. Shortly thereafter, visitors to the Memorial began leaving items in memoriam to those killed and missing service members listed on The Wall. These artifacts now collectively comprise the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection -- a museum collection of more than 400,000 items held in the public trust by the National Park Service. Today, this Collection is among the largest and most actively researched collections in the National Capital Region.

The Collection is jointly curated by National Mall and Memorial Parks and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF). The VVMF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies upon public donations to continue its work, and receives no federal funding.