Fallen Heroes: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

Remembering fallen brothers is a labor of love for volunteers who help with the upkeep of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Frank

Some survivors say they suffer from survivor’s guilt

Some survivors say they suffer from survivor’s guilt and find cleaning the memorial as a way to cleanse themselves as well. (Credit: News 12)

WASHINGTON - Remembering fallen brothers is a labor of love for volunteers who help with the upkeep of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

Frank Romeo, a Vietnam veteran from Bay Shore, is among the many who descend on the capital specifically to wash the memorial.

“I made a promise years ago that I wouldn't let people forget,” he says.

Romeo was a 19-year-old Army private in 1969 when Vietcong soldiers surrounded his outpost. He was shot and wounded, and he spent a year in the hospital. Since then, Romeo has lived with the memories of battle and the pain of losing 12 comrades.

“When I came home I just couldn't deal, I couldn't,” he says. “For many, many years, I couldn't talk to anyone. I had a very difficult time. A lot of us did.”

Some survivors say they suffer from survivor’s guilt and find cleaning the memorial as a way to cleanse themselves as well.

“It helps me knowing that I'm honoring them and I'm remembering them,” says Romeo.

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