Gerald James Gallagher, Dad & Vietnam Vet
This is my Dad as I left him last Friday. Hands folded, eyes fixed and lips silent. I grabbed my cargo and slowly made my way down the incline feeling like I was descending into Dante's Inferno. 56, 56, 56 I repeated in my head. Fergus Carrol, Fergus Carrol, Fergus Carrol, 56. I actually threw-up a little bit, but swallowed down hard as I came upon the stone with the number 56 etched into it. I dropped to my knees and started to look for Mr. Carrol's name.
My heart was racing, eyes were tearful and my hand shook as I ran my finger across each engraved letter. About halfway down the the icy black marble...FERGUS J. CARROL. My finger tips fell deep into the recesses of his name and I introduced myself. "I'm Mary Gallagher Stout, you served with my father, Jerry Gallagher, in Vietnam." I asked him a few questions, shared a few stories, thanked him for his service and his ultimate sacrifice. I said three Hail Mary's, and grabbed the Washington Post and rubbed his name off in charcoal and pastel. I must have done this 35 times if I did it once. Respectfully, I got up head bowed and walked the remaining length of the Wall.
My View Walking Away from "The Wall"
Turning Around to Say Goodbye to all the Soldiers
I'd reached the end of the line, turned around to survey the long, long list of soldiers who never returned to their families. Bowed my head again and whispered farewell and godspeed. I found a nice quiet spot across from the monument and decided to honor the Vietnam Veterans with a painting. I used the Washington Post I'd just embossed with Fergus J. Carrol's name as my canvas and got to work.
My Perspective of the Wall
MG Stout Painting Her Heart Out for All the Lives Lost In Vietnam
"THE WALL" Meeting and Honoring Fergus J. Carrol Acrylic, Pastel & Charcoal on Washington Post MG Stout
To every service man and woman who serves our country, thank you, thank you, thank you.