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Replica Of Vietnam Wall Travels To Help Veterans Heal

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Mike Schuh 370x278 Mike Schuh
Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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MAPLELAWN, Md. (WJZ) — Every year, more than three million people a year pay tribute at the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall in DC.

But, as Mike Schuh reports, for some people, the wall comes to them.

In the new parts of Howard County, sometimes you need to stop and ask directions.

“Here it is. That’s where my brother was. Oh, they’ve got a map,” said Arleen Dinnen.

Vietnam is a long way away from Maplelawn but near a place where a man whose name is on Dinnen’s wrist was captured. For 43 years, off and on, she’s worn a POW bracelet.

“I get it out and wear it for patriotic times. I got it out today to wear it here,” she said.

“Here” is a parking lot. Inside a semi is a replica of the Vietnam Wall. It’s not coming out Monday because they’re only there until dusk.

The replica is at the headquarters of a foundation that helps vets who are down on their luck. Paul Hoffacker is in charge.

“Never forget the wall that healed. Let’s not forget the ones who serve. They’re in their later years and they weren’t treated all that well,” Hoffacker said.

That soldier on Dineen’s bracelet returned home safely. But that bracelet is like the semi: both were made so we would not forget.

“I am very pro-peace so it is a reminder for me, my family, my children, my friends of what some people went through for us,” Dineen said. “These are important things.”

Over 58,000 names are on the wall in DC.

The display will remain at Maplelawn until 7 p.m. Monday before traveling to Massachusetts.

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