LYNCHBURG, Va. – The 1,083 consecutive Monument Terrace Troop Rally wasn’t just another weekly gathering – it was a final salute to Vietnam Veteran Bob Sherman, who we’re told did not have a proper funeral after he died in January.
“About half the people down here [at the Monument Terrace Troop Rally] know him, and we all just wondered [about] no funeral, so we couldn’t go to the funeral,” said Steve Bozeman, who helps organize the weekly rally that supports U.S. veterans and active-duty military members.
Veterans paid their respects on Friday with Sherman’s uniform, combat boots, and pistol belt on display, along with a stack of 50 letters he wrote to his mother during the Vietnam War.
Bozeman said when Sherman died, a company cleaned out his house and one of the movers found the military belongings in a closet.
“The [mover] said, ‘This is not right. We’re not going to throw that in the dumpster.’ So, he called his grandmother up and asked what to do with it. She said, ‘Bring it here and we’ll find a place to put it somewhere, sometime,” said Bozeman.
Bozeman told 10 News that Sherman’s family did not want the stuff, so everything was recently donated to the Vietnam War and Foreign Conflicts Museum in Nelson County.
“That’s what we’re all about. We want to tell the history of [the] Vietnam [War]. We don’t feel like it was properly told back in the 1960s,” said Larry Saunders, vice chairman of the museum.
Sherman was an E5 Army sergeant who served in Vietnam in 1968. The 74-year-old was a helicopter mechanic and earned the air medal for his combat missions.
“[The military belongings are] a treasure that should not go to the dumpster,” said Bozeman.
As the bell tolled at Monument Terrace, it was a reminder that Friday was more than finding a treasure, it was a final salute to a fallen hero.