Veteran brings replica Vietnam Wall to his home town

Local News

Two years of planning paid off for a veteran from Aledo.

Steve Johnson served with the army during the Korea War and helped bring a replica of the Vietnam memorial to his city.

It’s now on display on northwest 3rd Avenue in Aledo.

The wall makes the rounds across the country.

One man from Aledo has been working for almost three years to bring a replica Vietnam Veterans Memorial to Mercer County. Steve Johnson is a veteran, and he wanted to honor everyone who fought for our country.

“I got a couple of friends who died over there and that was my motivation — wanting to honor them,” Johnson said.

Tom Harlan is a Vietnam veteran who remembers his time there vividly. Seeing a replica wall that’s almost the same size as the one in Washington, D.C., really hits home for him.

“I was shipped to Vietnam with the 25th Infantry Division and the 27th Infantry Regiment Wolfhound and I carried the 60 machine gun for about eight months before I caught malaria,” Harlan said.

More than 58,000 names are on the Vietnam wall and Harlan knows some of them very well. He says seeing some of the names on the wall brings back many memories of the war.

“It’s a little scary because you know those people. It’s not just a person on the wall. You remember the good times over there, but you also remember when they got killed,” Harlan said.

Harlan says it’s great being able to bring a replica of the wall to Aledo, because not everyone can make it to Washington, D. C.  Because of that it was always Johnson’s dream to bring the Vietnam Wall to his home.

“When we went out to Washington, D.C., about 20 years ago, I stepped onto that,” he said. “They’re not names, they’re people: A son, a daughter, grandchild.”

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