SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – “He was a very compassionate man. He never met a stranger,” said Noelle Waddell, reminiscing on the memory of her father Mitchell F. Ward.
“Everywhere you went, all you had to do was say, ‘I’m Frank Ward’s daughter,” she said. “And everybody knew Frank Ward.”
Ward enlisted in the Navy and went to Vietnam from 1968 to 1969.
His job was in construction.
Waddell said it was an honor for her father.
“He loved his country. He was proud to be an American,” Waddell said. “He was dedicated to his country, even though Vietnam was hard for him. He never talked about Vietnam.”
The impacts on his health never let him forget his time spent there.
“He had heart issues. He had diabetes,” Waddell explained. “He had bone issues. Lung issues.”
Ward passed away when he was 78.
Waddell said the sacrifices her dad made is why she felt so compelled to get him recognized and inducted into the “In Memory” program.
The ‘In Memory’ program in Spartanburg honors Vietnam veterans whose lives were cut short after the war.
I think a part of him felt guilty because he survived Vietnam, and a lot of his friends didn’t,” Waddell told 7 NEWS. “And I think those that did survive, need to be honored as much as those that didn’t survive.”
She said the experience having her dad get inducted was very humbling.
And then attending the ‘In Memory’ weekend in Washington D.C. for a touching ceremony was rewarding.
“And to watch each person go up on that platform and say the name of their loved ones nd just see the emotion of how much they love that person…” she shared.
Waddell said it was sad, but peaceful
“Because I got to say his name in front of all those people and let them know who Mitchell Frank Ward was,” said Waddell.
Waddell said she knows her daddy is looking down from heaven proudly knowing he served his country well.
Mitchell F. Ward, Thank You for Your Service.
If you would like to have a Vietnam veteran inducted into the “In Memory” program, the application deadline is Monday, October 9th. To submit an application, click here.
“The wall that heals” will be in Spartanburg at the Veterans Affairs office from November 9th to the 12th.