Washington, D.C. – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial includes the names of 58,286 men and women who gave their all in service of their country. Though nothing can bring those heroes home, many give their all to ensure those sacrifices and stories are never forgotten.
Each year, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund honors a volunteer with the Libby Hatch Volunteer Recognition Award. National Park Service volunteers at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial dedicate their time to assisting more than four million annual visitors at The Wall. They are committed to sharing the legacy of all Vietnam veterans, spreading the healing power of the Memorial and educating future generations.
In an effort to thank these volunteers, VVMF presents this annual award in which the recipient is nominated by their peers.
This year’s honoree is Michael Coale. Coale is a retired firefighter and Vietnam veteran of the 25th Infantry Division. He has volunteered countless hours at The Wall over the past 12 years, travelling between his home in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. He is also a regular volunteer at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
“He has traveled far over the years to volunteer at The Wall --- given up many weekends and holidays away from friends and family to be with his comrades who have served, and to memorialize those on the Wall who served and did not return,” said one volunteer.
“He will do any job necessary to make the event successful,” said another volunteer. “Michael is a Vietnam veteran who makes each visitor to the Memorial feel welcomed and I believe his efforts should be recognized.”
Previous recipients include Lee Adriani, Charlie Harootunian, Frank Bosch, Red Flegal, Sid George, Annmarie Emmet, Allen McCabe, Ron Worstell, Dan Arant, Dan Kirby and Michael McMahon.
Coale will be honored at the annual Libby Hatch Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on Sept. 7 at 12:00 p.m. at the Crystal City DoubleTree by Hilton.
About VVMF and the Education Center at The Wall
Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., promoting healing and educating about the impact of the Vietnam War.
The Education Center at The Wall will be a place on our National Mall where our military heroes' stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten. With plans to begin construction in 2014, the Center is a technologically-innovative learning facility to be built on the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans and Lincoln Memorials. Visitors will better understand the profound impact that the Vietnam War and other wars had on their friends and family members, their hometowns and the nation. The Center will feature the faces and stories of the more than 58,000 men and women on The Wall, honoring those who fell in Vietnam, those who fought and returned, as well as the friends and families of all who served. The Center will also celebrate the legacy of service that links the heroes of America’s past to those still serving today.
Learn more about the Education Center at The Wall by visiting www.vvmf.org or by calling