18 February 2004

By Regis H. Murphy, Jr.
GKO Contributing Writer

Thirty-four years after U.S Army Corporal Rex M. Sherman, a member of 'Charlie' Company, 75th. Infantry, Ranger, born in West Virginia and killed in action during the Vietnam War; his mother will take an emotional trip to the country where her son made the ultimate sacrifice.

Ann Sherman Wolcott, National President of the American Gold Star Mothers, will travel to Vietnam next month as part of a delegation of American war veterans and their families interested in learning about Vietnam and issues related to the Vietnam War that continue to plague that southeast Asian country. Hughes Network Systems, a telecommunications firm in Germantown, Maryland, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund are underwriting her trip. Memorial Fund Founder and President Jan C. Scruggs will lead the delegation.

Mrs. Wolcott, a York, Pennsylvania resident who will be the first ever sitting National President of Gold Star Mothers to visit Vietnam said, " I look forward to finding out more about the country where my 18 year old son drew his final breath and hopefully will be able to assist other mothers of still missing sons some answers."

On Saturday, March 13 Wolcott will travel with the Delegation to Quang Tri Province to visit "Project RENEW" - The Memorial Fund's three year old humanitarian mine action program, which works with local officials and organizations in Quang Tri Province to alleviate the dangers of landmines and unexploded ordnance that continue to maim and kill hundreds of innocent victims each year. It is estimated that more than 350,000 tons of unexploded ordnance and more that three million landmines have been responsible for more than, 35,000 casualties since the Vietnam War's conclusion in 1975.

In 1973, Wolcott joined the American Gold Star Mothers, a national organization of women who lost sons or daughters while in service with the U.S. Military. She was elected as the organization's national President in July 2003. She also is a member of the Korean War Veterans Association, the World War II Parade Committee, Vietnam Veterans of America, VietNow and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary.

This trip being made by Ann Wolcott, a representative of not only Vietnam Veterans, but of the families of all Veterans who have lost relatives during wars is one that we should all be proud of and accept it as a symbol of remembrance that we as a nation have paid a high price for the freedoms we enjoy.

That's my opinion. "This Is Still America!"

P.S. Any Veteran who needs assistance or Mother of a killed in service son or daughter or anyone who would like to show support for Ann Wolcott and the American Gold Star Mothers, she and they can be contacted at: National Headquarters, 2128 Leroy Place, NW Washington, D.C. 20008 OR call: 202-265-0991 E-mail: goldstarmoms@aol.com

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Romeo 47 are that of the author and not necessarily that of Al Colombo or others who appear in the GKO publication. Direct inquiries regarding it's content to the author. Thank you.

Allan B. Colombo