Grafton soldier among WV residents to be inducted into the In Memory Program in 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C.—More than 500 Vietnam veterans, including five from West Virginia, will be inducted into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s (VVMF) In Memory Program in 2022. Since the Vietnam War ended, thousands of Vietnam veterans have suffered due to Agent Orange exposure, PTSD and other illnesses as a result of their service.  VVMF believes all those who served in Vietnam should be honored and remembered for their service. The In Memory program enables the families and friends of those who came home and later died the opportunity to have them be forever memorialized. 

On June 18, 2022, VVMF will host the 2022 In Memory ceremony on the East Knoll of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where each 2022 honoree’s name will be read aloud. This year, 513 service members will be honored during the ceremony. 

“For many Vietnam veterans, coming home from Vietnam was just the beginning of a whole new fight. Many never fully recovered, either physically or emotionally, from their experiences. As these veterans pass, it is our duty and solemn promise to welcome them home to the place that our nation has set aside to remember our Vietnam veterans,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of VVMF.

The plaque that honors these veterans was dedicated as a part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial site in 2004. It reads:  In Memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice. 

2022 In Memory Inductees from West Virginia:

• Bradley Edwin Nay, U.S. Marine Corps, Grafton, W.V.

December 24, 1949 – November 17, 2012

• Ralph V. Petitt, II, U.S. Air Force, South Charleston, W.V.

May 3, 1938 – February 9, 2022

• Lonnie Neal Smith, U.S. Army, Spencer, W.V.

August 11, 1947 – December 26, 2017

• Gary Lee Taulton, U.S. Marine Corps, Harpers Ferry, W.V.

May 5, 1949 – November 23, 2018

• Joseph Andrew Ward, U.S. Marine Corps, Wayne, W.V.

May 5, 1949 – July 20, 2021

VVMF has created a personal remembrance page for each honoree online in the In Memory Honor Roll at Their photos will also be displayed around the country when VVMF’s mobile exhibit, The Wall That Heals, is on display in an honoree’s home state. 

The 2022 In Memory ceremony will be shown live on VVMF’s Facebook page ( beginning at 10 a.m. ET on June 18, 2022. The In Memory program was created in 1993 and has since honored more than 5,600 veterans. For more information on the In Memory program or to apply to have your loved one honored in 2022, please visit:

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is the nonprofit organization that founded the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) in Washington, D.C. in 1982. VVMF continues to lead the way in paying tribute to our nation’s Vietnam veterans and their families. VVMF’s mission is to honor and preserve the legacy of service in America and educate all generations about the impact of the Vietnam War and era. To learn more about VVMF, visit or call 202-393-0090. 


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