Annex Vietnam dedication Oct. 6
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Al Steigerwalt, right, Lehighton borough workforce supervisor, watches as work progresses on a Vietnam veterans' memorial at the Pfc. Clyde R Houser Jr. Borough Annex Building on North Third Street in Lehighton. The workers include, from left, Armando Galasso of the Lehighton Water Authority, Gery Clay and Ricky Getz of the Lehighton Area High School Class of 1969, and borough employee John Hettler. Dedication of the memorial is set for 1 p.m. on Oct. 6.
The dedication of the Pfc. Clyde R. Houser Jr. Borough Annex Building on North Third Street in Lehighton will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6.
The building was named in memory of Houser, known to his friends as "Speedy," who was killed in action in Vietnam at the age of 21 on June 13, 1967. He was a 1964 graduate of Lehighton Area High School.
The borough annex was the former Lehighton Area High School from 1918 to 1964. The Class of '64 was the last class to graduate from the building, which was then converted into a junior high.
Houser was the only member of that LAHS class killed in Vietnam.
A committee of class members sought successfully to make the building a memorial site not only for Houser and three other area men who lost their lives in the Vietnam War, but for all Vietnam veterans.
The other Lehighton area men who died in the Southeast Asian war were LCPL Ron Christman, SP4 Charles Jones, and SP4 Leon Eckhart.
A stone and granite Vietnam Veterans Memorial has been designed and will be placed in front of the signs that are currently to the south side of the building.
Glass display cases will be placed inside the structure with various memorabilia for each man along with their medals and an American Funeral Flag.
The committee planning the dedication and memorial has established a $7,500 goal to cover expenses of the project.
Contributions may be made to: The PFC Houser Memorial Fund, 221 Walnut St., Lehighton, PA 18235.
The renaming of the building came due to the efforts of six individuals who got together and came up with the suggestion. They are Clark Ritter, Lester Miller, Glenn Troutman, Jim Walp, Dave Werner and Dennis Yenser.
It was stressed by Ritter that the naming of the building and the planned displays are not just for the four men who died fighting in Vietnam.
"It's for all Vietnam veterans," he said. "We wanted to have something in our little town to remember the Vietnam veterans."
He explained that the Lehighton American Legion Post is named after a World War I and World War II veteran. In addition, one of Lehighton's busiest thoroughfares, Route 209 South, is named Sgt. Stanley Hoffman Boulevard, after a Lehighton area resident who died fighting in the Korean War.