ANNAPOLIS -- The names of five major Vietnam War battles soon may decorate the U.S. Naval Academy's football stadium, which already lists the names of 34 battles from earlier wars that involved Navy and Marine Corps units.
Cmdr. Stephen Becker, the academy's public affairs officer, said such a plan of honoring Vietnam veterans "has been thought about for some time" at the academy, although he added that the "climate" for such action might be better with the recent appointment of Navy Secretary James Webb, who served in Vietnam.
If officials in Washington do not object to the request, the decision whether to add the names to the upper tier would be made by Rear Adm. Ronald Marryott, the academy's superintendent. Becker said the names could be added during the football season, which begins Saturday and ends Nov. 7.
A Marine Corps spokesman said the battles include Hue, an engagement during the 1968 Tet offensive marked by bitter street fighting and heavy Marine casualties; Khe Sanh, a 1968 battle in which Marines came under heavy artillery fire; Starlight, a 1965 operation that was the Marines' first major battle of the war, and two Navy operations in the Mekong Delta.