Sgt. Carl Cox.
Spec. 4 Keith L. Hardy.Those two names inscribed on the granite of "the wall," the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., and also on the war memorial at the Utah State Capitol are mistakes that have caused two Utah veterans bewilderment and a certain amount of reflection about their war of a quarter-century ago.
Cox and Hardy are both alive. Their names on the lists of war dead is some bureaucratic error, according to the Department of Defense.
Department officials say members of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which built the wall, added some names of people believed killed in Vietnam. For 38 now believed to have lived through the war, records were incomplete.
Recently, a researcher for the fund said the names were included, even though there was uncertainty, because he didn't know that names could be added later. He didn't want to take a chance and leave any out.
Hardy and Cox both served in the Army in Vietnam during 1967. Both were injured around the same time, and it is possible that filing errors made around then somehow resulted in their inclusion among the names of the dead.
Hardy was in a medical unit, flying as a crash rescue firefighter and a door gunner on a medevac helicopter for the 1st Air Cavalry. Now 47, he was drafted from Orderville, Kane County. He is a lifelong Utahn.
At the time of the attack in which he was injured, he had served nearly his entire one-year tour of duty in Vietnam.
"It was in late February, early March, I don't remember the exact date," he said. "I was at An Khe, Vietnam.
"At the time that it happened, I was sleeping very soundly. A mortar attack came and I ran out the back door from the billet where I slept, toward the bunker."
A mortar round exploded about 100 meters from him, and shrapnel hit his right foot. It wasn't a serious wound, and since he was in a medical unit to begin with, it was quickly patched up.
He served through the rest of his tour of duty in Vietnam and got home on Mother's Day 1967. He lives in Kanab, and he and his wife have six children between them. End of story - except that in some file, he apparently was listed as killed in action.
Suddenly, 24 years after he was wounded, he discovered that his name is engraved on the wall in Washington and the plaque in Salt Lake City.
"My first reaction was, well, you're kidding me," Hardy said. "I don't know how to describe it. It amazes me how it could have happened."
He and Cox visited the plaque at the Capitol on Thursday. "I was just - I don't know - bewildered, I guess is how you'd put it."
Hardy and Cox had "quite a chat," he said. Both would like to visit the memorial in Washington, D.C., some day.
Cox was a sergeant with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade when he was wounded in March 1967. Today, he is a security guard for Tooele Army Depot who lives in Orem.
"I got shot in both legs," he said. "Just got into an ambush. We were cleaning a road of mines. I got medevac'ed out to base camp at Ty Nin and then Saigon."
He was hit in the left eye and right ankle. His wounds were serious enough that he was flown to Fitzsimons Military Hospital in Denver. At one time, "they were thinking about amputating my foot," he said.
He recovered enough that he can walk now. When he found that he was memorialized as killed in the war, he said, "I couldn't think of my name being up there. It kind of shocks me a little bit."