Veterans who were part of the 8th Battalion 4th Field Artillery (the "Battalion") who served with the battalion in the Republic of South Vietnam at any time during 1967 through 1971 are trying to locate other veterans or their families who served with the battalion during the Vietnam conflict.
Billie Zuehl of the New Berlin/La Vernia area was recently contacted by veterans who served with her brother, James Wilborn Wood. In a Visit by Mike Haberer of Boerne and Fred James of San Antonio, who both had served with the battalion, they and their spouses visited with Billie and her husband Robert at their home here. Her mother-in-law Elsie Zuehl and Billie and Robert's children and grandchildren plus friend and classmate Ronnie Franckowiak, were also on hand for the visit remembering and asking questions about the war and activities at that time. James their brother, uncle and friend was killed serving his country in the Vietnam War, dying on March 10, 1968. James was a La Vernia High School graduate, the Class of 1964 and is buried at Concrete Cemetery just outside La Vernia on FM 775.
A framed Certificate of Membership of the 8th Battalion 4th Field Artillery was presented to Billie by Haberer and James. They and fellow veterans want to ensure that those who lost their lives serving their country are truly not forgotten. Association members want to honor, and promote recognition of, the patriotic military Service performed by its members and other veterans of the United States military during the Vietnam conflict.
A web site is also being provided to furnish the public with information regarding the participation of the battalion during the Vietnam conflict at http://www.8th-4th-arty.com. The association also sponsors periodic reunions of the veterans of the Battalion and promotes the communication and exchange of information among its members.
Wood's name is also one of the 58,209 etched into the Vietnam Memorial with still some 1,300 yet unaccounted for. A replica of the Vietnam Memorial was on display through March 27th in Floresville at the City Park with a special service held on Sunday, March 21, 1999, which Mrs. Zuehl and other local dignitaries and families attended. The replica was built in 1984 and visited various American cities and towns across the country. It was made of aluminum panels and measured approximately 252 feet in length with the center of the wall standing six feet in height.
Congress authorized the permanent building of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1980. It was built on two acres of the Constitutional Gardens at the National Mall in Washington
It was a very good visit for Billie and the family, remembering the sacrifices that her brother and others gave that we can have the freedom that is all part of the United States.
Fred James and Mike Haberer
present Certificate to Billie Zuehl,
sister of James Wilburn Wood