The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and Lilly Broadcasting have teamed up to bring The Wall That Heals to Erie on Memorial Day Weekend.

Prior to the arrival of the Wall, we are honoring local Vietnam Veterans and their families.

Willie Lee "Earl" Ponder graduated from Strong Vincent High School.

He arrived in Vietnam in February of 1968 and was killed in action, less than three months later.

Ponder came from a large Military family, his Father served in World War II.

Many of his Uncles and Cousins also served in the Army.

He was the only member of his family, that did not make it home after serving.  

Earl's sister, Annabelle Ponder Nelson, told Erie News Now, "54 years later and I still cry for him. I see his face, the way he ran up our steps, he didn't walk, he ran. He was a good guy, a nice guy and is dearly missed."

Friday March 25th, would have been Earl's 78th birthday.