Friday, May 22, 2015

NW DAR Honors Area Vietnam Vets

Vietnam Veterans..front row(l to r)Billy Morgan, Tommie Jefcoat, Billy Metts, Marvin Hemphill, Tommy Hopkins, Garry Mayo, Bob Burks, Royce Watkins.. Back row(l to r) Walter Pitt, Billy Eaves, Mike Dowd, John Sharp, Glenn Peters,Wayne Parrish, Ray Bolton, David Taylor, Larry Brantley
Area Vietnam Veterans and their spouses gathered on Thursday (May 21) at  the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall in Louisville. The luncheon hosted by the Nanih Waiya Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was held in cooperation with the Department of Defense to honor those who served in the Vietnam era.

Local DAR member welcomes Vietnam Vets
DAR member, Mary Tabor welcomed the veterans and stated that these events help to teach the next generation the importance of freedom and the sacrifices required. "These proud Americans saw our country through one of the most challenging times in our history."

The guest speaker for the event was retired Lt. Colonel Wayne Parrish from Carthage. Parrish noted that due to the unpopularity of the war at that time, events such as this one (on the 50th anniversary of the war) may be the first recognition that many Vietnam Veterans have ever received.
Lt. Col. Parrish speaks to area veterans

Parrish spoke of his own experience as he saw three of ten male high school classmates lost to the war and two college classmates as well. A third college classmate later succumbed to the effects of agent orange.

Parrish suffers from Parkinson's Disease with agent orange exposure as a suspected cause. He noted that he was one of 4000 veterans diagnosed between the ages of 40-44 through a study of the chemical.

He acknowledged that the war is always with those who returned. "Even though we came back, it didn't really end. I don't think any war is ever over until the last veteran is wouldn't take a million dollars for the experience but you wouldn't ever do it again."

Parrish thanked the DAR for hosting the event and again noted that for some of the veterans present, this type of recognition had never been done before.

The Nanih Waiya Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution plan to hold more events for Vietnam Veterans in the future.