News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.

Vietnam War

Erich M. Wilkens, 76; Decorated Marine Served In Vietnam War

IN MEMORIAM: Erich M. Wilkens, 76;

Decorated Marine Served In Vietnam War

Erich Wilkens

ONEONTA – Erich M. Wilkens, 76, of St. James Place, a Marine and decorated Vietnam War veteran, died Wednesday July 10, 2019, at his residence with his family at his side.  Survivors include a daughter in West Oneonta.

He was born Oct. 17, 1942 in Oceanside, Long Island, son of the late John and Ilse Sperling Wilkens.

Erich was a veteran of the Marine Corps, having been awarded the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Rifle Marksman Badge. His service to his country continued with his membership with the Phoenicia American Legion Post #950.

Vietnam ‘Wall That Heals’ Coming To Neahwa Park

Vietnam ‘Wall That Heals’

Coming To Neahwa Park

Council Member Paul van der Sommen, First Ward, holds a poster for The Wall That Heals, which Gene Schmidt, right, has scheduled to arrive in Neahwa Park for Memorial Day. (Ian Austin/

ONEONTA  – Two years after Gene Schmidt raised the funds and installed a monument to Oneonta high school students who died in the Vietnam War, he’s bringing the “Wall That Heals” back to Otsego County.

“Last year, Princeton had 10,000 people come to the Wall,” he said during the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting earlier tonight. “With everything we have going on Memorial Day, I’m sure that number will be eclipsed here.”

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