Texas Tech University, in partnership with its Military & Veterans Programs (MVP) and Texas South Plains Honor Flight (TSPHF), will host the American Veterans Traveling Tribute’s (AVTT) Vietnam Wall from Wednesday (Sept. 21) through Sunday (Sept. 25).

There will be an opening ceremony at 1 p.m. on Wednesday (Sept. 21) at Memorial Circle, where the wall will be on display for the duration of its visit. The Texas Tech and Lubbock communities are invited to attend.

There will be a three-volley salute during the opening ceremony and again during the closing ceremony at 3 p.m. on Sunday (Sept. 25). This is a planned event. The salute is an important part of the ceremonies as it acknowledges those who lost their lives in service to their country.

The traveling wall allows those who have not gotten to travel to Washington, D.C. a chance to find closure and recognition.

“This tribute brings one of the most powerful memorials of our nation to those who have not yet had the opportunity to visit the memorial in Washington, D.C.,” said TSPHF Board Member Peyton Oldham. “My hope is that many Veterans would come to visit the memorial at Texas Tech.”

Oldham not only serves as a TSPHF board member but also is a Veteran himself and a Texas Tech graduate.

“I am thrilled the traveling Vietnam wall is coming to Texas Tech, home of The Vietnam Center & Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive,” Oldham said. “Many of the Veterans feel they’ve been forgotten. This allows them to lay their burdens down. I hope by the traveling wall coming to Texas Tech, it gives Veterans in our community a similar opportunity.”

This sentiment is echoed by Texas Tech.

“It is an honor to have the AVTT at Memorial Circle,” said Gracie Guerra, Interim Director of Military & Veterans Programs. “The focus of the tribute is a ‘celebration of freedom’ which presents an opportunity to educate present and future generations on the sacrifice and selfless service given by the fallen brave Americans whose names are inscribed on the tribute. It is a reminder to us all that freedom is not free.”

While the public is encouraged to visit the traveling wall, free parking will not be available on campus. Visitors can park free of charge at First Baptist Church, located at 2201 Broadway Street, except on Sunday during worship service times. If you park at the church, please place a sign on the windshield that states, “Visiting the AVTT.” On Sunday, visitors may park on the Texas Tech campus.

For more information about the traveling wall and military and veterans programming, visit Texas Tech’s MVP website or call (806) 742-6877.

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