Wallace inducted into the Hall of Heroes

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Veteran David Wallace of Leachville was honored, along with Dennis R. Weaver of Paragould, on Nov. 13 when they were inducted into the Hall of Heroes.

Pictured from left are the Wallace family, Jason, Karen, David and Kelly, along with Col. Jeff Helms. (photo provided)

In celebration of Veterans Day Arkansas State University's ROTC Red Wolf Battalion rededicated the Veteran's Monument on Saturday.

The Department of Military Science inducted the two veterans into the Hall of Heroes.

The celebration took place at the Living Learning Center on the ASU campus.

Col. Jeff Helms read a poem entitled, "Death on the Normandy Peninsula."

This picture was taken of LTC David Wallace in 1972 during a tour in Vietnam.

The poem was written by the brother of well-respected veteran F. Paul Settlemire, who is listed first on the monument, upon his death during the Vietnam War. The brother's name is Claude Settlemire.

The ceremony opened at 11 a.m. with the rededication of the Veterans' Monument. The two honorees were recognized in a Veteran's Parade at 10 a.m. and at half time at the ASU football game later in the afternoon.

The Veteran's monument was originally located at the side entrance of the National Guard Armory. It was relocated with the construction of the overpass and new Armory parking lot. The monument now rests among the four concrete benches located at the Living Learning Center (LLC), next to the ROTC dorm. The rededication of this monument will pay tribute to the Arkansas State Servicemen who were awarded the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Following the rededication of the monument, ASU ROTC inducted the two, Wallace and Weaver, ASU graduates and veterans, into the Hall of Heroes.

Retired LTC Wallace graduated from Leachville High School in 1966 and ASU in 1970. He married the former Karen Grooms in June 1968.

Wallace was commissioned in July of 1970 and started his 21 year military career. He served during Vietnam and was a pilot on the Cobra helicopter. During his time he received three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Air Medal of Valor, two Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry, The Vietnamese Honor Medal for Valor, a Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Legion of Merit.

Wallace earned his first Distinguished Flying Cross for breaking through enemy lines under heavy enemy fire to rescue Brigadier General Tallman and two wounded advisers, the survivors of a unit surrounded by enemy fire.

He earned his second DFC while protecting a beseiged South Vietnamese outpost. LTC Wallace earned his third DFC for heorism while flying a reconnaisance mission in which he turned his helicopter toward enemy gunners, destroying their positions, and securing the safety of other aircraft involved in the mission. He was wounded on the third mission when ground fire pierced his helicopter, wounding him in both legs.

Wallace talked about the memories of war that remain no matter how much time passes.

"War is not glorious, yet throughout our history, we've been doomed to repeat it over and over," he said. "There are people out there ready to take our freedom from us. Only the thin line of our Marines, Army, National Guard, Navy and Air Force make our freedom possible."

The Wallace family lived at several bases including Ft. Knox, Ky., Ft. Campbell, Ky., Ft. Stewart, Ga., Ft. Wolters, Texas, Ft. Rucker, Ala., Korea, and others. His last tour of duty was serving as recruiting battalion commander in New Haven, Conn., before returning home to Leachville.

The Wallaces have two grown children, Jason and Kelly.

Wallace thanked his supporters for standing by him throughout his years of service.

He presently works as senior vice president of Command Center. He has a passion for helping young veterans returning home from military service.

Weaver and Wallace went through college together and graduated together and Wallace said he was glad to see him again.

Weaver of Paragould graduated from ASU in 1970 as a Distinguished Military Graduate. He served as a company Commander of two units, as a battalion logistics officer, and a battalion operations officer with the U.s. Forces in the Republic of Korea. He became a special agent in the FBI in 1978, investigating organized crime, violent crime, white collar crime, and terrorism. He supervised joint task forces with the New York City Police Department, investigating the Genovese and Luchese LaCosa Nostra organized crime families. He also headed the country's largest ever bank fraud task force to address savings and loan failures.

Weaver pointed at the cadets and gave them a personal message, "You guys are our new mentors. It's time for you all to take our places as mentors for the next generation."

Weaver thanked his wife for standing by him through everything.

Following the induction ceremony, a barbecue luncheon was served.

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  • Congratulations, David. Always nice to see a fellow Vietnam Vet nonored for service well rendered and a job well done.

    Your buddy, Lynn

    PS Did I get my name on the wall.

    -- Posted by dortch on Sat, Dec 4, 2010, at 10:16 PM
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