Meet Our Veterans/Local Stories


I'm Not Old Enough to be a Vietnam Veteran

Being born in 1962, I was not eligible to join the military, but you can bet that I would have volunteered if I was old enough. I come from a line, not very long, but a line none the less, of American Volunteer Veterans. My maternal Great-great-grandfather (an immigrant) was a Union Soldier in the Civil War. He was injured, captured, and held as a POW by the Confederates. My Mom's brother was a Sailor in the U.S. Navy. He was assigned to Task Group 16 aboard the U.S.S. Vincennes, the group that launched the Doolittle Raid. My Dad's brother, another Sailor, was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Maddox, but was discharged about a year before the Gulf of Tonkin. I have a couple cousins who have served. I come from a family of four boys. My oldest brother volunteered, but was given the 4F classification, he was not fit for military duty due to medical issues. My second oldest brother enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and retired as a Master Sergeant (MSgt.) E-7. His two sons both enlisted in the Air Force too. His oldest retired as a MSgt. and his youngest is still serving and is also a MSgt. I enlisted a year after graduating High School and served 14 1/2 years. I developed blood clots in my legs and received an Honorable Discharge with a disability as a Staff Sergeant, E-5. How does all of this tie in with The Wall? I'm a volunteer and good friend of Dennis Howland. When he was asked to open a new chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) in Northern Utah, he asked for my support and to open a chapter of the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America (AVVA). Five years later and the team Denny put together has participated in gathering signatures on a petition for Utah to develop legislation for March 29 - Vietnam Veterans Day in Utah and Naming Interstate 84 (from Echo Junction to the Idaho border) Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway, participating in Northern Utah Veterans Parades, Roy Days Parade, Ogden Pioneer Days Parade, Hooper Tomato Days Parade, Francis Frontier Days, and the "Parade They Never Got", the Welcome Home parade for Vietnam Veterans. We have stood side by side at Layton FEST collecting donations, discussed RAMP Grants and State Legislature appropriations, fundraiser dinners with Karaoke, and organizing the Walk to the Wall Dedication Program. What an amazing five years!

- Tim Von Bon

About this Service Member

  • Name: Staff Sergeant, E-5 Tim Von Bon
  • Branch: U.S. Air Force
  • Stationed: Korea Defense Veteran
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