WASHINGTON, D.C. — Even after 30 years, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., is still a sobering sight. To stand before it and look at the 58,282 names that are etched upon its black granite stone can be extremely emotional for me — so many lives that were taken from us by the insanity of war.
On this trip, however, I am searching for one specific name, Richard Norman Rivard, half-brother of “Bart” Bartisavitch, the maintenance man at our condo complex. Rivard had served with B Battery, 1st Battalion, 40th Artillery in Quang Tri Province — the same area I served in with the Marines in 1969 as a radio operator. He was killed on April 15, 1968. The cause of death was artillery, rocket or mortar fire.
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