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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall Coming To Coudersport Sept. 13-17

Representatives of local veterans’ service organizations have joined forces with the Potter County Commissioners to bring The Moving Wall, a half-size replica of Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., to Coudersport. 

This special traveling exhibit will be set up at Coudersport Area Recreation Park (CARP) from Thursday evening, Sept. 13, through mid-day Monday, Sept. 17. 

The public is encouraged to attend a brief welcoming ceremony at the courthouse square Thursday at 9:30 am and an opening ceremony at 5 pm Thursday at CARP. The Moving Wall lists the names of the more than 58,000 Americans who were killed in the war. It will be on display 24/7 with guides available to answer questions and help locate names. 

More details on the Moving Wall visit will follow. 

To prepare for this special occasion, I have prepared profiles of each of the nine Potter County men who lost their lives in the Vietnam War and would appreciate your sharing these with your readers.
 

Paul W. Heimel
Veterans Service Committee


Sp/4 Gerald Duane Stonemetz lost his life in South Vietnam on Jan. 8, 1969,
having served with the Army overseas since April 1968. He was just 21 years old.

A Shinglehouse resident, he died as a result of injuries sustained in a military accident at a work site, while a passenger in a vehicle which overturned.

Specialist Stonemetz was a construction equipment repairer, serving with the 15th Eng. Co., 299th Eng. Battalion, 937th Eng. Group, 18th Eng. Brigade in Kontum Province, South Vietnam. He was the son of Gerald and Edna Dean Stonemetz of Shinglehouse. 

Specialist Stonemetz’s service was recalled when a bridge carrying Rt. 44 over Oswayo Creek
in Shinglehouse Borough was named in his memory. During the ceremony, his brother Ken discussed his family’s rich tradition of military service.

Like others who have entered military service, Ken Stonemetz said, his brother was aware of the risks and accepted them as a condition of serving his nation. He is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery.

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