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Published on Oct 4, 2010
In 1997 the General Nelson M. Walker was a forgotten troopship in Virginia's "Ghost Fleet." Despite her rusted exterior, the ship's lower levels contained thousands of historical artifacts from the 1960's, including graffiti inscribed by soldiers and Marines going to Vietnam. The ship was a time capsule.
Art and Lee Beltrone have preserved the discovered artifacts, honoring the Vietnam War veterans with its "Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam" traveling exhibit, and recording the voyage stories of the men who went to war aboard the Walker.
Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam is the Vietnam Graffiti Project's national touring exhibit, featuring artifacts from the troopship General Nelson M. Walker. The "Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam" was featured on CBS's April 25th Evening News. View this video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xByWfB...
Included in the exhibit is an original eight-person berthing (bunk) unit recovered from the ship. It is outfitted with original bedding and bright, orange-colored life vests found on the Walker when the vessel was scrapped in 2005. Historic graffiti-inscribed berthing canvases are included for wall display, and personal stories of soldiers and Marines who made voyages from late 1965 to the end of 1967 can be heard at audio stations. Canvases with graffiti representing states where the exhibit appears are used whenever available. Small artifacts include personal items left behind by soldiers and Marines on their way to Vietnam. Ship safety objects and cleaning supplies are exhibited to interpret the voyage experience. More information can be found by visiting http://www.vietnamgraffiti.com