Paul Roche served as an Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and did a 12 month tour of duty in Vietnam. 

He told Erie News Now, "Our mission was to search and identify any ships that looked suspicious and provide support."

When his tour of duty came to an end, Roche knew what was coming next. "When we came home, we did not wear our uniforms and we never told anyone we were in the service. If you told someone you were in the service, you got abused."

Roche has visited the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C. and is now anticipating the arrival of the Wall That Heals next month. "When you touch the names, it's very moving."

His nickname, "Hoop" came from his Father, a fan of the 1945 Kentucky Derby winner Hoop Junior. 

If you would like to volunteer for the set-up and tear down of the Wall That Heals, we have a sign-up page on our website,

The set-up is set for Thursday May 26th at 8:00 am, at the Zem Zem Shrine Club on West 38th and Zuck Roads in Erie.

The tear down will take place on Monday May 30th at 2:00 pm.

Vietnam Reflections runs every Thursday at 6 & 11 on Erie News Now.