Larry Salzman has a long history of military service and a connection to Pittsburg State. He served a pivotal role in advancing the idea of bringing the "Moving Wall" back to southeast Kansas as part of a permanent memorial to veterans.
Salzman served in the US Army from 1957 to 1977, including two tours in Vietnam as a chief warrant officer and helicopter pilot. Raised in Iowa, he came to Pittsburg State in 1966, where he was stationed for two years on active duty as a member of the ROTC staff. He now lives in Girard, where 10 years ago he played a key role in obtaining the traveling Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall for temporary display, and in erecting the Huey Helicopter Memorial on the northeast side of the courthouse square. In 1994, Salzman struck up a friendship with John Devitt, owner of the "Moving Wall," when the traveling tribute to Vietnam Veterans was on display in Girard. Salzman served a pivotal role in bringing university leaders together with Devitt, which eventually resulted in the donation of the "Moving Wall" to the PSU Veterans Memorial.
John Devitt was an Army helicopter gunner in Vietnam. After the war, he returned to his native San Jose, CA and in 1982 traveled to Washington, DC for the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. That experience inspired Devitt to create a half-sized moving wall so more people could share in that powerful experience. Devitt's Moving Wall first went on display in October 1984, in Tyler, TX. Eventually, the one wall became three, all traveling simultaneously to large cities and small towns across the US. Through his work with the traveling walls, Devitt has brought the memorial in honor of Vietnam Veterans to thousands of people across the country who may never have the opportunity to see the permanent memorial in Washington, DC. In 2002, Devitt designated the PSU Veterans Memorial at Pittsburg State University as the permanent home for the first of his Moving Walls to retire.