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

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

52 years ago, Harborcreek High School graduate Bob Hill was sent on a dangerous rescue mission.

His mission, to make sure a fellow soldier, seriously wounded in action, made it back to waiting helicopter.

The Chopper Commander told Hill, "you have 20 seconds to make it back, we are under heavy fire". 

Hill beat the clock and helped Gary Beikirch get to the hospital.

He told Erie News Now, "it was horrendous, 27 choppers and two planes were shot down. Explosives were going off and the door gunner was firing right at us and he must have been firing above us."

Gary Beikirch survived all of his injuries, but he went decades without seeing the person who saved his life.

They were reunited a few years ago and met in Erie for lunch.

Beikirch passed away late in 2021.

Bob Hill continues to honor his friend nearly every day. "We were hugging in the parking lot and this is from a guy that didn't like to shake hands. 

Vietnam Reflectgions runs every Thursday at 6:00 pm on Erie News Now.