I know I already commented on your profile entry, but I just wanted to comment again publicly.
Your story is very moving. IT exemplifies the cavernous space between closure and non-closure. Everyone knows, to some degree, what happened in Nam. Everyone knew someone over there, and many people knew someone who died there.
The wall provides a solemn reminder of the ultimate sacrifice paid by so many. You cannot, no matter who you are, leave the presence of the wall unaffected. You just can't. The wall is a tribute. To anyone that knew a name (or names) on the wall, it is gut wrenching to see it. To anyone who lived through that time in our history, it is equally emotional to be there.
Even though the Mall in DC has several memorials, this one, for some reason, is the most haunting.
Thank you for sharing your story. I hope now that you have been there, you find things easier to cope with and make sense out of.