Two Vietnam vets share story of friendship and how they honor the fallen

Published: May. 28, 2022 at 5:21 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Fifty-three years ago, Jimmy Mosconis saved Jan Scruggs’ life in Vietnam.

“My right arm stopped working. I was filled with shrapnel, and I needed somebody to rescue me,” Scruggs recounted being injured in Vietnam. “And Jimmy was the guy who came along. He was our platoon sergeant at the time.”

Mosconis, who lives in Apalachicola, Fla., came to see Scruggs this Memorial Day weekend at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“It was worth just seeing him, and seeing somebody I was with 53 years ago,” said Mosconis. “It’s hard to believe. It’s hard to believe we’re getting old.”

In the late 1970s, Scruggs decided he wanted to make a memorial for the fallen in Vietnam. He began the fund that led to the memorial wall that exists today.

“I just believe we all need healing in our lives. And particularly people who have been through wars. This is for them,” said Scruggs.

The two vets caught up near a Vietnam soldier statue by the memorial wall. Mosconis helped bring a similar statue to Florida, with a little advice from Scruggs.

“The only reason we have the one in Apalachicola is because of him,” said Mosconis. “He talked me into it.”

Scruggs says all these decades later, it’s always nice to see the man responsible for getting him home.

”When you see somebody who you haven’t seen for decades and decades, within five minutes it’s like, nothing ever happened. The 50 years didn’t go by. You’re just completely bonded,” said Scruggs.

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