After the dedication of the Vietnam Wall in the 5th Marines Memorial Garden today I was able to speak with Lt Col John Gianopoulos, XO of the 5th Marines, specifically I asked him if the Regiment was interested in an artifact from Operation Union I. He was very receptive and I passed along the NVA flag that Colonel Esslinger had received from members of Mike Company on May 13th 1967 during Operation Union I.
Major General Eric Smith, CG of the 1st MarDiv agreed to accept the flag on behalf of the Regiment, so I was able to get a photo of him accepting the flag. They have a great display of artifacts, but interestingly enough, until today, nothing from Vietnam. The flag will now be displayed with the 5th Marines memorabilia from several wars dating back to 1917...WWI!