Vietnam Vet Visits Florissant's Memorial in Photography Blog Tour
Maryland native Michael Walsh has visited the 50 states and captured photos of each state's Vietnam Veteran memorials.
An idea that started more than 20 years ago has come to life through a three-year journey for a Vietnam War veteran.
In the past three years, Michael F. Walsh, who served for a year in the Vietnam War in the army, has traveled to all 50 states, sometimes more than once, to capture images of Vietnam Veteran memorials. Tuesday afternoon, the Maryland native stopped in Florissant to photograph the Vietnam War memorial in Koch Park along his route through Missouri and Illinois.
“It’s been a memorable journey,” Walsh said. “I hear from vets who say, ‘We didn’t know [a memorial] was there. Thank you.’”
Walsh said the idea sprung into his head in 1988 when he attended the Maryland Memorial dedication in 1988, and he wondered if other states had done anything similar.
Six months after retiring from being a teacher in 2008, Walsh began to travel, originally photographing state monuments and then switching to Vietnam War memorials – after discovering not every state had a monument.
Since that time, Walsh has visited 250 sites and taken four or five pictures of each one, which he has documented on his blog, “A Means to Heal.”
He and his friend since kindergarten, Steve Campanella, who also served in the Vietnam War, explained that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during those times were not well diagnosed and treated as they are for today’s veterans.
For Walsh, he’s not sure if this is a healing process for him, but it has proven a healing means for others.
He said a veteran once told him, “I’ve been in therapy for PTSD for two times a week for longer than I can remember, and because of your site, I know I can get through this.”
Walsh still has a number of places on his list to visit though, such as Rhode Island, Hawaii, Buffalo, NY and New Orleans.
Those interested in Walsh’s journeys can see his photographs and his journey on his website, A Means to Heal.