In 1968, at the age of 31, Lt. David H. Wyrick, my brother, was killed in Vietnam.
By Neva Winter
In 1968, at the age of 31, Lt. David H. Wyrick, my brother, was killed in Vietnam. Of course, I have missed his presence ever since, as he was the sibling closest in age to me, and he acted as both protector and confidant while we were growing up. I have especially missed his absence for my sons John and Kevin, wishing they had known their uncle.
As time has passed, I find comfort in attending the Memorial Day services on our Village Green and hearing Robin Latimer sing the “Star Spangled Banner” and a Resurrection student reciting The Gettysburg Address. It is always stirring to hear Taps played by a Rye High School student as the service draws to a close after the laying of the wreaths.
Two years ago, as Memorial Day was approaching, my son, Kevin, received an email from someone who had something of potential interest to our family. The gentleman wrote that at a tag sale in Louisville, Ohio, he had come across a KIA bracelet, the kind also worn by friends and loved ones remembering those who were MIA. It bore David’s name.
As this was so close to the holiday, I feared that the eBayer might be taking advantage of our family’s pent-up emotions after all of these years. Was this a hoax? Kevin, whose middle name is David and has taken an active part in learning as much about his uncle as he can, didn’t hesitate to email for details.
Bruce Lasher of Akron, Ohio wrote that he was trying to locate any relative who knew David. To try to find a match for the bracelet, Bruce visited the Vietnam Memorial website. There he found a message that Kevin had posted years ago requesting any information about his uncle. When contacted, Bruce replied that he would gladly send the bracelet ASAP, so that it would arrive in time for Memorial Day.
Now I have this treasure. Emblazoned on the front are: 43E 32 (the location on the Vietnam Wall), USN Lt. David H. Wyrick OH 3-18-68. I am grateful to have this remembrance of my brother’s life and sacrifice. I’ve placed the bracelet in a Plexiglas cube beside a photo of him in his uniform. They rest on the shelf in our living room, beside a red poppy.
Of course, now I would also love to know who is the person who had been wearing that bracelet in David’s memory for so many years. Whoever it is/was, I am grateful to them for memorializing my brother all of these years.