Saturday, April 2, 2016

Vietnam Wall makes stop at MATS

For Steve Davenport, this year’s trip to the Mid-America Trucking Show was a special one.

The OOIDA life member and military veteran hauled the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica and Mobile Education Center to the annual show in Louisville, Ky.

Davenport served in the U.S. Army from 1969-71 and in the Reserves until 1975. He's been an active participant with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall since it was dedicated on Nov. 11, 1982. 

Even when he's not pulling the mobile wall, Davenport still uses his truck as a salute to fallen soldiers. The Chrome Shop Mafia in Joplin, Mo., created a design that includes the U.S. flag and the names of fallen soldiers below the phrase, "Your Memory Never Fades." The names on the truck include people who grew up in the same neighborhood as Davenport, as well as his best friend, Robert W. Cupp. 

"Freedom isn't free," Davenport said. "The cost was more than 58,000 purple hearts."

The Wall That Heals being hauled by Davenport featured letters written to fallen soldiers, as well as photos and other mementos. It also included a brief history of the memorial and several historic photos. 

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