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Traveling exhibit honoring Gulf War veterans arrived at Hereford High School

Gulf War veterans .jpeg
Posted at 6:03 PM, May 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-25 19:23:16-04

PARKTON, Md. — Hereford High School lost a pair of its favorite sons when Corporals Joshua Snyder and Norman “Wally” Anderson III both lost their lives just six weeks apart during the War in Iraq more than 17 years ago.

“Naturally, when 9/11 hit, he was ready to quit school,” said Norman Anderson, Jr., Wally’s father, “Naturally we told him, ‘No. You’re going to finish’, but he just wanted to serve. He thought he should.”

During the same conflict, which claimed their lives, the Lima Company out of Columbus, Ohio, which had deployed to Iraq, suffered major casualties.

“Lima Company lost 22 marines and one Navy corpsman between May and August and it was the largest casualties in a unit in all of the Gulf War,” said Kelly Jones-Swenson, executive director of the ‘Eyes of Freedom’ exhibit.

An artist painted a series of portraits of the fallen heroes for their Gold Star Families in Ohio and they form the backbone of the exhibit, which travels around the country in honor of all those who have served.

A youth club called ‘For Our Troops’ at the high school first approached the exhibit about coming here six years ago.

The visit, first scheduled for three years ago, was put on hold during the pandemic, but now, it is on full display in the high school auditorium, pairing the losses of two communities shared by an entire nation through the holiday weekend.

“It’s not a time to mourn,” said Anderson, “It’s a time for everybody to live and to celebrate these guys—men and women. You know what I mean? The picnics and all to me, that’s great, because there’s a reason they’re getting together. It’s Memorial Day. So it all comes together. You know? And I’m sure they’re thinking about that as they’re getting their families together.”