Episode 2541 – VVMF In Memory Program honored Vietnam Vet Gary Barker

Gary Barker, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Gary Barker pictured here in Vietnam. He was drafted in 1966 and injured in February 1968 near the end of his deployment. (Courtesy photo)

Gary Barker, Vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Janice Kirchhoff holds a photo of her brother’s family in her Lincoln home. Pictured in the photo, from left in back, are Barb Barker, Gary Barker and their son Jerry. In front are daughters Kerry and Sherry. (Photo by Ryan Hoffman/Flatwater Free Press)

Episode 2541 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Vietnam Vet Gary Barker who was recently honored by the VVMF In Memory Program. The featured story comes from the Flatwater Free Press and it appeared on the Nebraska Public Media website. It is titled: Nebraska veteran died from war wounds years after serving in Vietnam. Now he’s being recognized. The story was submitted by Rebecca Svec, who writes for the Flatwater Free Press.

On May 17, 1966, Gary was drafted. He had to leave his young family and his Nebraska farm. He was sent to Fort Belvoir where he became an Army engineer. He arrived in Vietnam in January 1967 to serve at Lai Khe near Saigon.

With only three weeks to go until his DEROS, the Tet Offensive of 1968 broke out. Gary was seriously injured with shrapnel wounds. He survived his wounds and was sent home to recuperate.

It appeared he survived the War but it was not to be. Within a few years Gary began experiencing trouble concentrating, debilitating headaches and loss of balance. He sought treatment for these conditions at the Cheyenne Hospital. While being tested he suddenly died in July 1975. An autopsy found the cause of his early demise to be a tumor on his brain stem caused by his war injury.

The Vietnam Veteran Memorial Fund set up the In Memory Program in 1993 to honor Vietnam Veterans like Gary Barker who died later as a result of service in Vietnam.

According to the VVMF, since the Vietnam War ended, thousands of Vietnam veterans have suffered due to Agent Orange exposure, PTSD and other illnesses as a result of their service.  The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) believes all those who served in Vietnam should be honored and remembered for their service.  The In Memory program enables the families and friends of those who came home and later died the opportunity to have them be forever memorialized. ​​​​​​​

Listen to episode 2541 and discover more about Vietnam Vet Gary Barker who was recently honored by the VVMF In Memory Program.

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