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Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s In Memory Program

Washington, D.C. – Nearly 600 Vietnam veterans, including 38 from Ohio, will be inducted into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s (VVMF) In Memory Program for 2020. The program honors Vietnam veterans whose lives were cut short as a result of their service after they returned home from Vietnam.

On Oct. 15, 2021, VVMF will host its 2020 In Memory ceremony on the East Knoll of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where the names of each of the 591 honorees for 2020 will be read aloud. The ceremony was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“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.

Lawrence Neil McLaughlin was born Aug. 4, 1945, in Salem. He graduated from Beaver Local High School in 1963. McLaughlin joined the Air Force in 1964, and did a tour in Taiwan, and Viet Nam, as a machinist working on C-130’s. On Jan. 17, he married JoAnn Petrucci and they went on to have two daughters and seven grandchildren.

After leaving the Air Force, McLaughlin worked as a machinist for the next 37 years until the time he retired. He was incredibly proud of his time in the service to his country. He loved his anthem, flag, and what it stood for. He had an amazing love for his family, especially his daughters and grandchildren, teaching them everything he knew and all he learned in life passing on his wisdom. He enjoyed traveling to the beach with his family and had many wonderful trips with them.

McLaughlin passed away April 20, 2019, after suffering many years from Agent Orange exposure from working on the C-130 planes. He lived the life he wanted and died the same, doing it his way. He will eternally be missed by his family.

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