AUSTIN, TX.- The Bullock Texas State History Museum
opened the "Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibit" August 18, 2014 with a ceremony that included the presentation of a flag to the widow of a fallen soldier.
This poignant exhibit of individualized dog tags honors the 3,417 Texans who were killed during military service in the Vietnam War. Each dog tag is hand-embossed with the name, rank, branch of service, date of loss, and home of each Texan who died in the war.
Kaplon, the son of Phillip F. Kaplon, Sr. and Dorothy J. Kaplon of Houston, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on Aug. 15, 1966 and arrived in Vietnam on March 28, 1968. He was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. On Nov. 7, 1968, Marines in his company were fired upon by several rounds of enemy small arms fire. One man was wounded and Cpl. Kaplon was killed by hostile rifle fire.
Cpl. Kaplon is one of the fallen soldiers whose name appears on a dog tag in the exhibit. Alphabetically arranged, the tags hang freely on chains, inviting visitor interaction and reflection. The exhibit offers visitors the opportunity to contemplate the magnitude of Texan sacrifice to war. The exhibit is an extension of the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument on the northeast side the Texas State Capitol grounds in Austin. A duplicate set of Texas Hero tags has been entombed in the monument.
The "Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibit" will be on view through Sept. 9, 2014.