Ken Oostenink, who grew up in Hull, will be one of more than 400 Vietnam veterans inducted into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’sIn Memoryprogram in 2017. The program honors Vietnam veterans whose lives were cut short as a result of their service in Vietnam, but are not eligible for inscription on The Wall under Department of Defense guidelines.
On June 17, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund will host more than 2,000 attendees at the annual ceremony on the East Knoll of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where each In Memory honoree’s name will be read aloud. This year, 411 service members, including six from Iowa, will be honored during the ceremony.
The plaque that honors these veterans was dedicated as part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 2004. It reads: “In memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice.
Oostenink was 67 when he passed away on July 29, 2016, in Des Moines.
His wife, Lois, along with their children and grandchildren, plan to attend the ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Oostenink was born Aug. 23, 1948, in Hull, the son of Richard and Wilmina Oostenink. He graduated from Boyden-Hull High School in 1966 and was drafted into the U.S. Army from 1968-1970, serving in Vietnam 1968-1969 with Charlie Company 1st Battalion 8th Infantry 4th Infantry Division.
In Memorybegan in 1999 and has since honored more than 2,800 veterans. TheIn Memoryhonor roll has a remembrance page for each veteran and can be seen online at www.vvmf.org/honor-roll. The 2017 inductees will be added to the honor roll after the June ceremony.