Veterans behind bars share Vietnam Memorial Wall at Marion Correctional

WCMH photo

MARION, OH (WCMH) — Not many people know that inside Marion Correctional Institution (MCI) is an AMVETS Post for honorably discharged veteran inmates.

Every Veterans Day, they make sure to pay special tribute to a memorial wall they helped create.

“Some of us made it home and the ones that didn’t, their names are on the wall,” said inmate Marshall.

The wall is located in quite an unlikely place–the prison yard. A total of 3,168 men and women from all 88 counties in Ohio, who either died or were listed as missing in action during the Vietnam War, are honored on it.

“Their names are on the wall, but I can feel their spirit,” said Marshall.

AMVETS Post #42 has 104 incarcerated members, including inmate and post commander Darrell.

“The wall means a lot to all of us because it represents all the people who have given their lives for this country,” he said.

The AMVETS Post raised money and helped put up the wall back in 2005, with the help of volunteers and prison staff.

Marshall is a past post commander and Vietnam combat veteran.

“My brother’s name is on the wall. He died in Vietnam,” he said. “It represents the men that fought for something we didn’t know what we were fighting for.”

Correction officers Sgt. Wendy Griffith and Ofc. Daniel Hudnell are also both veterans who said they’re deeply moved by the memorial.

“The indiviudals here that put up the wall, took the time that are incarcerated…they are still reminded that they are veterans,” said Sgt. Griffith.

“They’re showing their dedication to their country, as honorable discharged vets that happen to be incarcerated and it’s very moving to see,” said Ofc. Hudnell.

AMVETS Post #42 has been active at MCI since 1974 and it’s the last veterans organization left inside an Ohio prison.

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