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November 12, 2012

ULM students counsel at Vietnam Memorial

Counseling and marriage and family therapy students from the Department of Behavioral Sciences at the University of Louisiana at Monroe are volunteering to provide onsite counseling to veterans and their families at the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, located at the Chennault Military Museum in Monroe.

The students began volunteering Nov. 9 and will continue through Nov. 15.

The wall—a three-fifths scale of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C.—stands six feet tall at the center, and covers almost 300 feet from end to end.

The wall serves as a reminder of the great sacrifices made by soldiers, sailors, marines, and guardsmen and women during the Vietnam War.

ULM behavioral sciences student volunteers have also felt the impact of the memorial.

“Volunteering in my community has always been very important to me and close to my heart,” said counseling graduate student, Paula Worley of Monroe.

“I was so excited for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful memorial. Participating in these special activities and counseling at the Vietnam Moving Wall was my way to accommodate and help anyone affected by war. I was honored to visit and talk with our Vets at the wall. I feel so blessed and honored to have had this opportunity to see the wall, the people visiting the wall, and, most importantly, our American Heroes. We love our Vets!”

The significance of the memorial means something different to all those who visit the site.

“It was made for the purpose of helping heal and rekindle friendships, and to allow people the opportunity to visit loved ones in their hometown who otherwise may not be able to make the trip to Washington,” said Vietnam veteran, the Rev. David Worthington.

Worthington continued, “A veteran, when visiting the wall, may be surprised by the emotions that those 53,000+ names elicit from within him or her. Somewhere on those panels may be the name of a friend or many friends that were in his unit.  Just seeing or touching that name brings back many memories, some not so pleasant. It is important that we have a counselor there willing to listen if the veteran wishes to talk or have someone just to stand with him, in silent remembrance of his fellow soldiers.”

The memorial is open 24 hours per day until Wednesday, Nov. 15.

To volunteer as a counselor, contact Dr. John-Nelson Pope, assistant professor of counseling at 318-342-1298 or 361-596-3116, or by email at

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