Vietnam Veterans Day


Gerold Wilkin of the Highland County Veterans Honor Guard spoke Wednesday at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie in Hillsboro to honor National Vietnam Veterans Day before presiding over a wreath laying in honor of Vietnam veterans at the Highland County Veterans Memorial at the Highland County Courthouse in Hillsboro.

National Vietnam Veterans Day was proclaimed in 2012 by President Barack Obama and signed into law in 2017 by President Donald Trump. The last of America’s troops left Vietnam and the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam was disestablished on March 29, 1973. More than 58,000 Americans were killed in the war.

Wilkin said the exact total number of people killed in Southeast Asia during the conflict is unknown. “First they said one to five million, and then they upped it to eight, and they really don’t know,” he said.

“The Vietnam veteran has been an unsung hero for many years — way too long,” said Wilkin. “The bravery it took to put their lives on the line is unprecedented, and their courage and patriotism has long been overlooked by this nation.”

Hillsboro Mayor Justin Harsha presented a proclamation declaring March 29, 2023 as Vietnam War Veterans Day to Wilkin. “The city of Hillsboro is proud to join in the national commemoration of the Vietnam War Veterans Day,” said Harsha. “We must never forget the pain and suffering that lingers today for the men and women who fought with honor and distinction in the name of freedom and democracy for all.”

Highland County Auditor Alex Butler presented a proclamation signed by the Highland County commissioners declaring March 29, 2023 as Vietnam War Veterans Day in Highland County. “At least 11 Highland County servicemen that we are aware of paid the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War,” said Butler. “It is well documented that many veterans of the Vietnam War did not receive the honor, gratitude and recognition they deserved during the Vietnam War or immediately after its conclusion.”

Members of the Highland County Veterans Honor Guard placed a wreath in honor of Americans killed in Vietnam at the Highland County Veterans Memorial and fired a 21-gun salute in their honor. Wilkin read the names of the 11 Highland County Vietnam veterans who lost their lives in the war and taps was played in their honor.

The 11 Highland County veterans killed in Vietnam are: Cary F. McAfee, Neil J. Morris, Donald W. Priest Jr., Charles R. Lovedahl, Robert Charles Wing, David L. McConnaughey, John R. Crouse, Mark L. Hook, William E. Brown, Ollie J. Gross and James H. Waulk Jr.

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

No posts to display