WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Families from across the country converged on Washington Saturday to honor veterans of the Vietnam War. The veterans they remember weren’t killed during the war, but died as a result of the war.
Christin Fagan says her father wasn't the same when he came home from Vietnam. He committed suicide in 2014.
Francis Lee Fagan, one of 412 names honored Saturday during a Vietnam Veterans “In Memory” ceremony. The Monroe, LA native committed suicide in 2014 after battling posttraumatic stress disorder following the war.
“My dad never came back the same person. And I think it changed each and every one of the people that he communicated with and that he loved,” said Christin Fagan, Francis’ daughter.
Francis’ name won’t appear on the recognizable memorial wall for soldiers who died in Vietnam. Christin says it is comforting to have a ceremony to honor those who kept fighting the battle for years after the war ended.
“It’s supremely important for us. It just gives us one more opportunity to honor the person that we loved so very much. My father was a hero. He was my American hero,” said Fagan.
Christin and her family no longer have their American hero. She says it’s been a difficult process, but events like these help in the healing.
“You don’t (just) deal with that as the soldier. You deal with it as the wives, the children, the grandchildren,” said Fagan.