My mother, brother and I were in Washington D.C. in 1993, to attend the dedication of the Vietnam Womens' Memorial, and to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, "The Wall". My mother had never seen "The Wall" on which my brother Paul Hasenbeck's name appears.

Paul and three of his companions, Tom Mangino, David Winters and Daniel Nidds were reported missing in action in Vietnam on April 21, 1967. I had visited the Wall several times, but this was a first for my mother. Considering Paul has no grave, the visit to The Wall was, for my mother, much like seeing his tombstone for the first time.

As we approached the panel containing his name and those of his buddies, I saw there a laminated picture of Paul. It was his high school graduation picture. To the very best nf my knowledge, only family members, a few close friends of Paul's, and editor Sharon Dickerson ever had his photo. I had given it to Sharon to be used in an article she wrote about Paul, and I knew Sharon was also in D.C. for the dedication of the memorial. The picture, along with a single rose, and a miniature statue of the Three Soldiers were arranged at the base of the panel. This gesture meant the world to us, that someone else would care enough about Paul to leave these items! I told my family I would be certain to thank Sharon next time I saw her.

Shortly after returning from D.C., I wrote Sharon a note to thank her for leaving the picture at The Wall. She responded that it was not her who had left the photo.

To this day, I do not know who did, and I have spent 18 months trying to find out. So few of these pictures are available, and this was an "original", meaning it had to have been a picture Paul gave to someone. But who? I am certain a family member did not leave it. I know that no one who knew Paul from our hometown was there to leave it. And I now know Sharon did not leave it.

Strange as it may seem, I like to think Paul left that picture. It was the first time his mother had seen her son's grave marker (for that is what we consider The Wall to be); the rose was for her, and the statue of the three soldiers was perhaps his way of telling us all four are O.K. I simply can find no other explanation for this mystery. So, until someone can prove otherwise to me, this is how I like to think of those special items left at The Wall.

Jeanie Hasenbeck Daly City, CA

Jeanie served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969, with the American

Red Cross, Service to Military Hospitals (SMH) support program.