William Weaver Jr. of Gonzales to be inducted into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial


An Air Force veteran from Gonzales, Texas will be inducted into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s (VVMF) In Memory Program in 2019.

William Franklin Weaver Jr. will be one of more than 500 Vietnam veterans inducted into the VVMF program in honor of their service and sacrifice resulting in their death subsequent to serving in the Vietnam war. The program honors Vietnam veterans whose lives were cut short as a result of their service after they returned home from Vietnam. Fifteen other Texas veterans will also have their names added to the In Memory program, with William Franklin Weaver Jr. being the only Air Force honoree in 2019.

On June 15, VVMF will host more than 2,000 attendees at the annual In Memory ceremony on the East Knoll of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where each 2019 honoree’s name will be read aloud. This year, 534 service members will be honored during the ceremony.

“For many Vietnam veterans, coming home from Vietnam was just the beginning of a whole new fight. Many never fully recovered, either physically or emotionally, from their experiences. As these veterans pass, it is our duty and solemn promise to welcome them home to the place that our nation has set aside to remember our Vietnam veterans,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of VVMF.

The plaque that honors these veterans was dedicated as a part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial site in 2004. It reads: In Memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice.

Weaver was born on Feb. 22, 1944 in Waukegan, Illinois and passed away on April 24, 2018 in Gonzales. He was graduated from West Texas State High School in Snyder, Texas in 1962, and earned a BS degree from West Texas State in 1966.

He later served in the Air Force for over 20 years. He attended Officers Training School in San Antonio in 1968, and then went on to pilot school in Laredo. He had his choice of planes to fly following graduation, but he chose the C-130. He served in Vietnam in the early 70s, completed his active career in 1988, and then became a civilian instructor until his final retirement from service.

He and his wife Chris moved to the Saturn area of Gonzales County 20 years ago, and they enjoyed their life there. William was a fond member of the 9 a.m. coffee clutch group and was proud of his family and service.

“He was very patriotic,” said his wife of 39 years, Chris Weaver. “He loved Gonzales, and his dream was to have a little ranch and raise cows along with his three children and six grandchildren.

“Unfortunately, in 2012, he started to have serious health problems, and he was diagnosed as having suffered from Agent Orange. He was in and out of hospitals for six years fighting for his life, and eventually his exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam killed him. That is why he is eligible to inducted with this high honor.”

On Saturday, Chris and William Weaver’s children Todd (Dallas), Ann Weaver Todd (Woodward, OK) and Shana (Minneapolis) will be at Chris’ side next to the Vietnam Memorial as his name is read off and placed into the annals of American heroes who fought and served in Vietnam and later died as a result of their service. Weaver is buried in the Saturn cemetery off of 97 near the community of Waelder.

Once these veterans are inducted, they will each have a personal remembrance page online in the In Memory Honor Roll at www.vvmf.org/honor-roll. Their photos will also be displayed around the country when VVMF’s mobile exhibit, The Wall That Heals, is on display in an honoree’s home state.

The 2019 In Memory ceremony will be shown live on VVMF’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/VietnamVeteransMemorialFund) beginning at 10 a.m. ET on June 15. The In Memory program was created in 1993 and has since honored more than 4,000 veterans. For more information on the In Memory program or to apply to have your loved one honored in 2020, please visit: www.vvmf.org/inmemory.

2019 In Memory Inductees from Texas:

Alfonso H. Aguilar Jr., U.S. Army

San Antonio, Texas

March 25, 1949 – May 31, 2009

Albert W. Bumstead Jr., U.S. Army

Warren, Texas

May 26, 1948 – November 14, 2018

Oscar Rene Cavazos, U.S. Army

Corpus Christi, Texas

September 24, 1947 – March 15, 2018

James Robert Craigo, U.S. Army

Lubbock, Texas

January 2, 1947 – August 18, 2017

Ronald Lee Harris, U.S. Army

San Antonio, Texas

June 18, 1948 – September 16, 2004

Gary Lynn Hendry Sr., U.S. Army

Channelview, Texas

August 8, 1948 – October 17, 2018

William Dearl Herring Jr., U.S. Marine Corps

Santo, Texas

November 13, 1951 – September 29, 2009

Terry Dean McPheeters, U.S. Army

Monahans, Texas

November 29, 1949 – July 2, 2018

William Clark Middlebrooks Sr., U.S. Marine Corps

San Antonio, Texas

April 8, 1940 – December 15, 2017

Genaro Quinones, U.S. Marine Corps

Corpus Christi, Texas

November 2, 1946 – July 17, 2017

Max Burton Scheider, U.S. Army

Austin, Texas

January 9, 1929 – January 31, 2014

David Lee Summer, U.S. Navy

Plano, Texas

April 17, 1946 – February 11, 2016

Billy Marshall Thomas, U.S. Army

Killeen, Texas

August 14, 1940 – July 20, 2016

Donald Lee Wanke, U.S. Army

Harper, Texas

February 13, 1942 – January 20, 2018

William Franklin Weaver Jr., U.S. Air Force

Gonzales, Texas

February 22, 1944 – April 24, 2018

Engelbert Vincent Wiatrek, U.S. Army

San Antonio, Texas

June 6, 1946 – February 2, 2015