PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — In 1966 at just 19-years-old Paul Pelleschi was drafted into the United States Army, serving a year and one day in the Vietnam War. Now 73-years-old Pelleschi continues to remember, with a display he built by hand, filled with pictures and artifacts from his time in Vietnam.
“It's 8 panels, a tabletop, a video, and the video is the movie that I put together based on the film that I took, of 35-millimeter film, and super 8 millimeter, that was really hidden for 40 years,” said Paul Pelleschi.
Pelleschi started to collect information from his unit members roughly 10 years ago, telling their stories of life as a soldier.
“It's really kind of amazing how we lived, what we did, what we accomplished, and there are even pictures of how we dealt with the local Vietnamese people, and how we helped them” said Pelleschi.
He says the display is to also honor his fallen brothers.
“I have pictures of the surgeons working on them. We lived together every day, we shared care packages” said Pelleschi.
Starting off as a display for a presentation, it has become something more.
“Now it's become something that I do for the 28 names that you see up there in white, that’s their photograph of their place on the Vietnam Wall” said Pelleschi.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic Pelleschi's showcasing has been canceled, but he is opening his home in Port Charlotte for all to see.
“ I decided this would be the second-best, so that’s why it's here in my garage. Anybody wants to come I'll show them” said Pelleschi.
Memorializing those who fought for our country.
“It's an interesting piece of our history, that I have included and it's all because of the members of our unit. They gave me the information, they gave me the verbiage, so it's a tribute to all of them too” said Pelleschi.
You can find the display tomorrow, Memorial Day, at 10113 Long Beach St, Port Charlotte, Florida. (South Gulf Cove) From 10:am till 4:00 pm. Pelleschi can also be reached via email at email@example.com