OOIDA board member to help bring Vietnam display to Kentucky event

| 8/21/2003

The Mobile Riverine Force Association will brings its mobile Vietnam Unit Memorial Display to Fort Mitchell, KY, for the MRFA reunion.

The event will take place Aug. 27-30 at the Drawbridge Estates Hotel Complex at Fort Mitchell.

Ralph Fries, an OOIDA board member emeritus from Escondido, CA, is a member of the veterans’ group and one of the people who helped create the mobile display.

Fries joined the U.S. Navy in 1957 and during his 20-year career worked his way to commission warrant officer. His service in Vietnam in River Section/Division 535, and the loss of some of his fellow sailors, inspired him to help create the mobile display.

The memorial is contained in a 48-foot trailer with displays on the sides of the trailer. It will identify American military personnel from the U.S. Navy and the Army’s 9th Infantry Division who died in the Vietnam War by the units in which they served.

The memorial display will be located in the main parking lot at the reunion.

Fries has been a member of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association since 1979, and was elected to the board of directors in 1990.

He is also involved in other memorial projects. He recently helped head up a group of Vietnam veterans building the U.S. Navy/U.S. Coast Guard Vietnam Memorial Monument and Small Boat Display in Coronado, CA.

Fort Mitchell, KY, is across the Ohio River from Cincinnati on I-75. The hotel complex is just off exit 186. The memorial display will be opened to those attending the reunion and to the public.

--by Mark H. Reddig, associate editor

Mark Reddig can be reached at mreddig@landlinemag.com.