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A NOTE ABOUT DONATIONS:  The Vietnam Veterans Honor Society is now part of the Rockford Park District. If you wish to make a donation/contribution please make it to the Rockford Park District specifying you'd like it to be used for the LZ Peace Memorial at Midway Village. Thank you. We are in the process of removing any instances (on this website) regarding donating to the Vietnam Veterans Honor Society. Thank you again for all your support. The Memorial is still in the same place. You are welcome to come out and visit and remember our heroes on the wall, and the Huey. Donate to the Rockford Park District. Thank you.

The Purple Heart Memorial is finished. Click here for pictures. 3 sets of them.

Happy 95th Birthday, Angie White, Gold Star Mother

We honor and celebrate your birthday at the LZ Peace Memorial, 

Happy Birthday to Angie White, Gold Star Mother, as she celebrated her 95th birthday. She was honored at the LZ Peace Memorial on Friday, August 3, 2023. Angie is blessed to have a son and daughters and at least 14 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; and 3 great-great-grandsons.  Her son, Kenneth Leroy White was only 21 when he was killed in action on May 1, 1969 in the Vietnam War. He was award two Purple Heart medals for wounds received in combat situations.


Blackjack 6 and several of the Smoke Brothers helped Angie and her family celebrate her birthday. She got to ride around the LZ Peace Memorial in Midway Village's golf cart, as Nick and the guys gave her and her family a guided tour. Uncle Joe Montalbano even showed up. Joe's a 97-year-old World War 2 combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient.


She was even interviewed by WIFR-TV, channel 23, and we'll post a link when we find it.


Here's a link to pictures from Angie's birthday celebration at the LZ Peace Memorial.



Casualties of War

saturday at 11:00a.m.


Thanks to all those who honored nine Vietnam veterans who died almost fifty years after the Vietnam War ended. They died from exposure to Agent Orange. They are Sons. Brothers. Husbands. Fathers. Friends. These nine veterans took a lot longer to die, and some suffered for years with horrible diseases that I can't even pronounce. Most died within the last few years. But they're just as dead from the war. Casualties of War.


Nine Vietnam veterans names were unveiled today, June 17, 2023. Their names carved into granite at the Agent Orange Memorial as a reminder to the horrors of war. They are: ETN2 Dennis Recoy, Navy. FN John Lester, Navy. Sp4 James Kuroda, Army. Sgt. Paul Klikno, Marines. Sgt. Joseph James, Army. Sgt. Robert Hunter, Marines. Sgt. Clarence Honecker, Marines. UT3 Daniel "Seabee" Burd, Navy. Sp5. Michael Brechtel, Army. Rest In Peace. Casualties of War.


Well over 100 family members and friends honored their loved ones. Of course there were a bunch of Smoke Brothers doing what they do, running the ceremony, TCB. Mr. Marine. Our Fearless Leader, Blackjack 6 a.k.a. Nick Parnello. Charlie 6. Sgt. Friendship. Sierra 6. Air Force. Uncle Joe from World War Two, Tony Bove. Capt. Ken. Senior Chief. Ramrod. Airborne. Master Chief. Sgt. Wally. LT. Capt. Mike. Preston. Herb Bolding. Plus the Loves Park VFW Honor Guard and their 21-gun salute among them were Don Allen blowing Taps. John Tuttle. Dan Jensen. Dick "Jeepers" Martin and most I didn't know. But they were there.


One day all these Smoke Brothers will be gone, but not to worry. There's always those who will take one step forward, "Reporting for duty, sir." At least that's how we hope it ends. To paraphrase a famous line from the movie Jaws, "We're going to need a bigger wall." Casualties of War.


Please click here to see pictures and videos.


Rest In Peace you brave heroes.

Written by Ken Nelson aka, Capt. Ken


agent orange ceremony  saturday at 11:00a.m.

OOOPS. Capt. Ken's error. Sorry for the confusion on my part. The Agent Orange ceremony is on Saturday, June 17th at 11:00 a.m. we'll be honoring 9 Vietnam veterans who have died from exposure to the deadly chemical, Dioxin, otherwise know as Agent Orange. These men and countless other men and women are still dying, over 50 years after the Vietman War ended.

flag day 2023 at the LZ Peace memorial

Thanks to all those who came to the LZ Peace Memorial as Mr. Marine taught us about the American Flag and told us some of Old Glory's history. Then he and several of the LZ Smoke Brothers showed us the proper way to retire Old Glory. A big thank you to Nick Parnello, Blackjack 6 and all the LZ Smoke Brothers for all their work taking care of the LZ Peace Memorial and all the other great things they all do. What a bunch. Here's a link to pictures and a few videos. Thank you. Click here.

flag day 2023 and our Agent Orange Ceremony

Please join us on Wednesday, June 14th at  7:00 p.m. as we celebrate Old Glory. We'll be retiring 13 American flags that have earned our love and respect as we retire them after years of service.

Memorial day 2023 @ Lz Peace Memorial

We want to thank everyone who joined with us at the 2023 LZ Peace Memorial's 18th Anniversary Ceremony honoring all American veterans who paid the price and made the ultimate sacrifice to protect and defend the United States of America. kemc3365


Some said how hot it was at the Memorial. One veteran muttered, "You wanna see hot, you should have been with us. It was always HOT, and in more ways than one."


You'll see Gold Star Mother Angie White and her son. Click the link to the 200 pictures I took along with the remembrance cards we handed out. The cards tell how "old" these young men were when they got killed.

Here's a little something about one of these fallen heroes. His name really was "Lora" William Snyder and it reminded me of the Johnny Cash song of that era, "A Boy Named Sue."  If you look at his picture, it shows him adjusting his tie, like he's going out on the town. The picture was taken in one of those photo booths that were so popular in stores back in the day. I was told he had finished his tour in Vietnam and volunteered to go back so he could get "an early out." Sadly he was killed in action.  Lora William Snyder was only 20 years old. So sad. Rest in Peace.

We even had at least one, maybe two World War 2 veterans with us, Joe Montalbano. Joe was awarded the Purple Heart medal when he was wounded in combat in Europe. He was barely old enough to vote and have a beer, and now he's going to be 98 in August. . . and he's still my barber. We lovingly call him, "Uncle Joe."


Thank you. God bless them and thank them for their courage. God bless America.


This is also on


Capt. Ken



Our Chaplain, Angel 6. and his wife provided us with a poem and a Christmas video that features some of our brothers and members of the American military who fought in the Vietnam War. Rockford veterans and supporters show up at near the :50 second mark but you should watch the whole thing.  See the link to the video below or click here.

This is Angel 6 writing. The poem itself came from a desire to express sentiments I had been feeling for years, ever since the day the Vietnam Veterans Honor Society and the Smoke Brothers first took me under their wing upon my return from Iraq. Vietnam Vets truly were my heroes while I was growing up. For them to look me in the eye and call me "brother" meant more to me than I could possibly express!

Here's the poem.

I came home.

You were the tip of the spear making sure I was welcomed home!

You looked me in the eyes and called me brother! The healing began.

Vietnam Vet, you are my hero! Vietnam Vet, I thank Almighty God, you are my brother!

Angel 6 continues.  My wife came up with the video idea. Our church for more than half a century has put on a summer music concert. It has always had patriotic elements. For years the only theme was in fact patriotism, the whole God & Country thing. My wife now oversees the concert. She was familiar with my poem. She presented her video idea. It grew from there. One of her colleagues came to a Smoke at the LZ with his cameras. He then produced the video for our 2022 Summer Music Celebration.


Here's the link to the video. It's on a Googe photo page.

Steve Cooper (Angel 6)

"... whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."     Philippians 4:8 (NIV)


o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Hey, Blackjack 6, thanks for the door. "Capt. Ken"

Thanks to all everyone who braved the cold, 40 mile an hour wind on Veterans Day. Click this link to see almost 200 pictures and one or two good videos. It was nice to see and hear Mayor Tom McNamara. Here's a little known fact: his father, John McNamara, former Mayor of Rockford served in Vietnam as an Army Officer. Go Papa, and God Bless them all.  "Capt. Ken"

Please join us at 11:00 a.m. Friday, November 11, 2022 when we honor all our Veterans. We'll be at Midway Village, LZ Peace Memorial, 6799 Guilford Road and we hope to see you.  Thank you for your support and THANK YOU veterans for your service. See you Friday morning. God Bless the United States of America.

The 2022 Fall VetsRoll, sponsored by Finnegans' RV Center, was a great success. Here's a link to the videos from channel 23, WIFR.  Welcome Home, "Skipper" and "Admiral" and "Tango" and "Ramrod." Thanks to Aaron and Andy.

Thanks again from Nick Parnello, aka, Blackjack 6
 to all those who came out August 7, 2022 for the LZ Purple Heart Memorial dedication. If you have any pictures please email them to FlyNickNow@gmail.comClick here to go to SmugMug to see the 158 pictures and videos we took. 

Sept. 24, 2022  Pictures from our LZ Smoker Brothers "Capt. Ken" Nelson, Tango.  Ramrod and others took of Sgt. Flag's tour of the Peace Memorial and the new Purple Heart Memorial. What a great tribute to those wounded in combat and all who honorably served. We are so blessed to have all those who volunteer and take care of the LZ Peace Memorial. Every one of them. And a big HOORAH to all our Smoke Brothers.

The pictures of the unveiling of the Purple Heart Memorial will be online pretty soon. Thanks for your patience. Here's the link to all our pictures. 

OPERATION LZ PURPLE. The LZ Smoke Brothers are proud to announce the birth of a new memorial at the LZ Peace Memorial and you're invited to attend. As always, Gold Star Mother Andie White will be with us. Please join with us at 2:00 P.M. Sunday, August 7, 2022. We're located at the northwest corner of the Midway Village campus, over by the Central Christian Church's parking lot.  Here's a link to everything you ever wanted to know about the Purple Heart but were afraid to ask. Remember, that's Sunday, August 7, 2022 at 2:00 in the afternoon. Thank you for caring and for your support of all veterans.

Daniel "Seabee 1" Burd, a Vietnam veteran and Navy Seabee, died at home on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Nick Parnello gives everyone a nickname so Dan was appropriately named "Seabee 1". Seabee truly was Number 1 in everything he did. Whether he was visiting and giving communion to the sick, or helping out at St. Rita's Catholic Church, or doing his thing at the LZ Peace Memorial, Seabee put his heart and soul into everything he did.

Seabee was one of the original LZ Smoke Brothers. These are the folks who take care of the LZ Peace Memorial and prepare it for military ceremonies on Memorial Day, Flag Day, Agent Orange Ceremony and Veterans Day. To many of us, Seabee was the Smoke Brothers chief cook and bottle washer. He loved grilling brats and he made a pretty good cup of what he called Navy coffee.  

Some of us were fortunate to have visited Dan the day before he passed away. We'd like to thank his wife, Lori and son, Todd "Senior Chief" for allowing us to be with Seabee one last time.

Funeral services will be at Fitzgerald Funeral Home, 1860 S. Mulford Rd., Rockford, Illinois on, Wednesday, July 6, between 5 and 7 pm. Here's the link to Dan's obituary at Fitzgerald Funeral home.

Flag Day 2022 at the LZ Peace Memorial.  We have a video and slideshow of how we respectfully and reverently retire Old Glory on Flag Day 2022 at the LZ Peace Memorial.   Mr. Marine explains why the flag is folded 13 times. Then he picks up one of 13 folded flags and hands it to Charlie 6, who along with Skipper unfolds the flag and they place it in the Ceremonial Burning device. They salute the flag as it is retired and the ashes are buried later in a solemn ceremony. Thank you for coming to help us honor Old Glory.

This Flag Day was one of the hottest ever. One of the Vietnam veterans said, "If you think this was hot, you should go back to Vietnam, where it was always stinking hot, with bullets and death in the air. The Memorial Day story & slideshow follows this story

Below are two links to the pictures Capt. Ken took, and the beautiful cards we gave out.

Pictures of our Flag Retirement Ceremony held here at the LZ Peace Memorial on Flag Day 2022
PIctures of the handout cards we always hand out.

Memorial Day 2022  at the LZ Peace Memorial.

Thank you to all who came out to honor all America's fallen heroes. You helped us honor Col. Monty Piercefield, a veteran of three wars. I've never see so many medals on one person before. His son flew in from Texas to attend the ceremony with his dad. Our other honored guest was Capt. Jason Church, an Army Ranger, who at the age of 20, lost both of his legs below the knee from an IED explosion while serving our country in Afghanistan. Two very remarkable men. One in his 90's and one in his 30's. Thank you Col. Piercefield and Capt. Church for sharing with us ,and especially for your bravery and service to your country. God bless these true American heroes and all of our members of the military who have given us the freedoms we continue to enjoy. Below are links to over 200 pictures from this ceremony and the 4x6 photo Remembrance cards.

Here's another link to the 287 photos we took of Memorial Day 2022 at the LZ Peace Memorial.

Here's a link to the Rememberance 4x6 cards we gave on Memorial Day. Download if you want.

UPDATED, Thursday morning, April 7, 2022.  Here's the link to Bob Theroux's obituary at Honquest Funeral Home. I put up some pictures.

This is from Darrell and Linda Gilgan of Vietnam2Now.   We regret to inform you of the passing of our Chaplain, Pastor Bob Theroux, this morning, March 21, 2022. He passed peacefully, supported by his loving family. He was a patient at St. Anthony Hospital in Rockford IL, being treated for congestive heart failure.

Bob's daughter Laura says the family will be making plans for a Memorial Service in late April or early May. We so appreciate her encouraging visits from his friends and fellow veterans during his final days, to say our goodbyes. It meant so much.

Until we meet again, Farewell Dear Friend. God's speed on your final journey as you join Sharon and many others in the arms of our Lord.

Take care everyone and support each other in our time of grief. 

Viet2Now Facebook site.


This is from this website editor:  Bob was a good man who believed in God and Country. We'll post more information as we get it. Rest In Peace. 


Tomorrow is promised to no one. The good die young, no matter how old they are.



Click here. Do you know a Vietnam veteran  who died from Agent Orange. Here's how to add their name to the Agent Orange Memorial.


The president of the Vietnam Veterans Honor Society, Nick Parnello (Blackjack-6), is a finalist for the Rockford Register Star "Excalibur Award." The Excalibur Award was established by the Rockford Register Star in 1971 to honor an individual whose outstanding service and commitment has made the Rock River Valley a better place to live, work and raise families. The winner receives a crystal Steuben Eagle. Go out and buy a copy for yourself.  

Right now you can go online and get a 6 month online only subscription to the Rockford Register Star for only $6.00. There's a link at the top of their web site. Click the link below for the home page of the newspaper.


December 15, 2021. 

Thanks to all those who braved the weather and came out to honor Captain Robert "Bob" Dole for his bravery in World War II and for serving Kansas and his country as a Representative and Senator. GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Thanks to Tango for the excellent pictues, as always.

Click here to see WIFR-23 coverage and their interview of Nick Parnello, the President of the Vietnam Veterans Honor Society. Thank you WIFR. You're always with us.



Thanks to all who came out to honor our American veterans. It was a beautiful day with a little rain, a little sun and lots of good people. Click to see 211 pictures taken today. See if you can stream it to your TV. There are hundred of pictures from other ceremonies on the SmugMug site, too.  Thanks to Scott Yates from the Rockford Register Star, WIFR-TV 23, and WTVO-TV 17 and a big shoutout to the kids and teachers from Spectrum School for their letters and the Lifesavers. You kids are great and keep learning and love your family, friends, teachers and America.

Here's a link to all the photographs Scott took. I hope you have access to view them. He knows how to take a photograph not just a picture.  Our best wishes to Scott when he moves back home to Virginia and a new job with another newspaper. Thank you and the Rockford Register Star.

Click this link for Veterans Day video from WTVO, channel 17.

Click here. Thanks to the Rockford Convention and Tourism Bureau.  Go Rockford.

Click to see a 60-min. video of the Agent Orange Ceremony. Thank you Todd and Todd and crew.

Veterans Fund Raiser at Army/Navy store, Click here to see pictures. Thank you.

Click here to see the pictures from 2021 Agent Orange Ceremony. The last picture is really a one-minute video we made Sunday morning. Thank you for caring.

Click here to see past events.

Click here for WIFR-TV channel 23, Memorial Day 2021


Robert Elof Carlson, age 98, was a B-17 pilot in World War II. He died on August 11, 2021. See all the clickable links at the end of the story.


Being the  editor of this website, I'm posting this story about Bob. His close friends call him "S.O.B." meaning "Sweet Old Bob".  I've known him since about 1966. He was quite a guy. Never bragged about anything except maybe his family. He was a good friend of my dad, Carl, through working together but to me their biggest connection was the War and both of them being members of The Greatest Generation: Those who served, fought, died, and lived through World War II.


His memorial service was held on Friday, August 20, 2021 at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Rockford, Illinois. I want to thank all the members of the Loves Park VFW Honor Guard for their final 21-gun salute to Bob. Thank you to three Vietnam veterans I knew: Dan Jensen, John Tuttle, and Bugler Don Allen for blowing "Taps."

Here's an interesting part of his life.  He was in the first graduating class of East High School in 1940. Bob enlisted in the Army Air Force shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, learned to fly B-17’s and became one of the youngest flight instructors to date. While stationed at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, Bob met our mom, Marguerite Heim, who worked in the communications office. He introduced himself as an Admiral in the Swedish Navy on special assignment. It was the beginning of a long and loving 73-year marriage and missed her every day since her passing in April of 2018.

Robert "Bob" Elof Carlson, a member of the Greatest Generation, soared above us when he passed away August 11, 2021. Bob was born in 1923 and joined the Army shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He was a B-17 pilot and was one of the youngest B-17 bomber instructors at the time in World War 2.

They say once a pilot, always a pilot. In 2016 Bob hooked up with a traveling air show in Janesville, Wisconsin and was once again able to fly like an eagle. 


Here's what Rockford's WIFR-TV channel 23 had to say about it.

DATELINE: July 21, 2016   JANESVILLE, Wis. (WIFR) – A one of a kind plane lands in Janesville and veterans are getting to look back on their battles from World War II.   The 2016 Heavy Bomber Air Show is showing off the planes that flew and giving us a chance to see some pretty unique aircraft.  Before the gates open on Friday, July 22, for the air show, veterans and their families had a chance to fly in planes they fought in back in WWII.  The B-29, B-17, and C-45 aircraft were all on the runway at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport and for veterans like 93-year-old Bob Carlson, being able to fly once again in the planes he flew during WWII was a special experience.

Bob says, "I had the privilege of putting the wing tip down over my church and rode around three towns, pulled the props up and down and made a lot of noise. Nobody saw me,” said Carlson. The planes will be open to the public to view from Friday to Sunday.

Thanks to WIFR for this great human interest story. As the editor of this website this is my salute to Bob Carlson, S.O.B.  "Sweet Old Bob"

Click here to read his obituary.

Click here for pictures of Bob's Memorial Service and the blowing of Taps.  Our SmugMug page contains thousands of pictures from ceremonies held at the LZ Peace Memorial. 

Click here to see the story on channel 23, WIFR-TV

Here's a story from

Here's a link to the pictures from Bob's Memorial Service on

If you have any comments or would like to add some pictures or whatever please contact me, Ken Nelson, aka "John Kennedy" at   Thank you for being our friend and may you Rest In Peace.

Dateline: Thursday, July 29, 2021

Above:  Mayor Tom McNamara, Blackjack 6 (Nick Parnello), and LT Manny.


The LZ Smoke Brothers had the honor of giving Mayor Tom McNamara a tour of the LZ Peace Memorial, the grounds and many monuments. The memorial is located at the northwest corner of the Midway Village Campus, 6799 Guilford Road, between N. Mulford and Perryville. Blackjack 6 (Nick Parnello) and LT Manny showed the mayor around, two great tour guides.


Mayor Tom McNamara hadn’t been here before and he was heartened at what so many volunteers had done. His father, the former Mayor John McNamara had been an Army officer who served in the Vietnam War. Mayor Tom also had the pleasure of meeting a World War 2 Navy veteran who lives in Rockford.

We hope his visit will help in the quest of making more people aware of this great memorial. LZ Peace is a tribute to all our veterans and it's one of many places to visit in Rockford, Illinois. There are over a million Vietnam veterans in Illinois and eight surrounding states.


Come on over and visit the LZ Peace Memorial. You might see the name of an old friend on the wall. Or you might hear the flags overhead blowing in the wind, or it could be the fluttering of angels' wings, watching over us. 

PS.  The LZ Smoke Brothers are a bunch of mostly veterans who do what needs to be done at the LZ Peace Memorial. God bless all of our veterans.

Thank you Mr. Mayor for coming out and thanks for the donuts.

The Mayor's comments from his Facebook page.

"I was humbled and honored to join veterans at the Vietnam Veterans Honor Society’s LZ Peace Memorial this morning. The memorial is an incredible asset to the city of Rockford, honoring those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice for us in the Vietnam War. It was inspiring to see the strong relationships the veterans have and the support they show to one another."

Below. On or about July 29, 2021  Mayor Tom McNamara, Nick and LT Manny after the mayor's tour.  


On or about August 6, 2021 Skipper and LZ Smoke Brothers welcomed his World War Two friend and his family. They gave them the Grand Tour. Thanks, Skipper, for doing this. Click here to see more on SmugMug. 

05-28-18  Memorial Day, 2018, poster, Bi
LZ Peace, 2014 Veterans Day 090.jpg
Click here to read more.
What is the LZ Peace Memorial?
Vietnam veterans names on the Wall
Gold Star Mothers
Vietnam Veterans Honor Society president Nick Parnello shows generous donation from our friends, Harley Owners Group, Rock River Chapter, Northern Ilinois.
Click for 2015 Agent Orange web page
Marines William A. "Skip" Coad and Ed Palumbo, 1965

LZ Peace

Sponsored by
Vietnam Veterans Honor Society

The LZ Peace Memorial is a place of honor for those veterans who served our country, in war and in peace. This memorial stands as a testimony to those soldiers from Winnebago County who made the ultimate sacrifice at a time of great conflict. We’re located at Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, in Rockford, Illinois.

How It All

Came About

It started on a hill in Pleiku

Joe Falzone and Nick Parnello, two young soldiers from Rockford, met while in Plekiu, South Vietnam in 1969, and they vowed to meet for supper if and when they ever made it back home. They did and here's the rest of the story.


Winnebago county veterans
who gave their lives.


  There are over 20,000 veterans living in Winnebago county and thousands of them are Vietnam veterans.


Illinois has over 246,000 Vietnam Era veterans.  


There are over 744,000 veterans of all wars in Illinois as of Sept. 23, 2013.

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