The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument’s tribute to the Texans who died in the Vietnam War received additional recognition in November from the American Marketing Association. At the 2013 annual Lantern Awards of Texas, the exhibit won first place in 2 categories: best Themed Special Event, Nonprofit / Cause and best Fixed Installation. In addition to the 2 first place awards, the exhibit was also presented with 2 smaller Awards of Excellence for being finalists in both categories. On hand to receive the awards were Don Dorsey, the creator of the exhibit, and Excalibur Exhibits, the Houston company responsible for its award-winning design. The Lantern Awards is one of the AMA’s most prestigious award ceremonies, honoring the State’s best marketing efforts.
The Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibit is a display of 3,417 personalized stainless steel dog tags honoring each Texan who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the US Armed Forces in the Vietnam War. Of those tags, 102 are black, indicating that those individuals are still listed as Missing in Action. Each tag in the exhibit was hand-embossed by Don Dorsey of the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument Committee. Dorsey, a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War, also produced an identical set of tags that will be entombed in the monument when it is dedicated at the Texas Capitol in March 2014. Excalibur Exhibits designer Eriq Moquin, whose father served with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam, worked with Dorsey to create the interactive display that allows visitors to see and touch the tags. The Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibit also includes a 1/5 scale model of the monument authorized by the Texas Legislature to honor the State’s Vietnam War veterans. The exhibit is currently on display at the Health Museum of Houston through December 16. The next stop on the statewide tour will be the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, followed by exhibition on the U.S.S. Lexington in Corpus Christi.
The Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibit will be displayed in the Lower Rotunda of the Texas State Capitol in March in conjunction with the dedication of the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument.