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As I have said in the past, it’s always a solemn occasion when a nation gathers to honor its soldiers, those who lived to come home, but even more importantly those who did not. Since ceremony last year, the remains of CWO Kenneth L. Stancil from Chattanooga along 3 other MIA’s who died in the same Helicopter crash were found and returned to their families. That leaves 32 remaining missing POW/MIA’s from the State of Tennessee. Each one was honored in a ceremony held at Veterans Plaza in Clarksville Tennessee on Sunday evening.
The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 396 hold this Memorial Day Vigil each year to remember the men and women who were left behind in Vietnam when American forces left that country in 1975. The Local vigil was first held in 1989 the same year that Chapter 396 was chartered. They consider it an honored duty to call the roll each year so that these lost bothers and sisters are not forgotten. The first reading contained 43 names on the roster, since then 11 remains have been returned the latest in April of 2010. This was their 21 year performing this solemn duty, and despite of a steady rain during the ceremony, they did not allow it to rush them. The colors were posted as an honor guard of Montgomery Central High School JROTC. Then a single chair representing all of the POW/MIA’s nationwide was placed in a position of honor before the audience. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited, and a moment of silence was held. Then Rev. Jimmy Terry of delivered the invocation.
The guest speaker for this year as Former Clarksville Mayor Don Trotter. Also on hand was Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers, Sheriff Norman Lewis, State Rep. Joe Pitts and his wife Cindy. Former State Senator Rosalind Kurita, & Former State Rep Kim McMillan.
Members of the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club carried up each chair as the name of the MIA soldier it represented was called out. Once the chair was placed each one received a crisp salute, and a flame was lit..
The Vietnam Veterans Chapter 203 of Chattanooga’s Tennessee Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall from has been setup for Memorial Day ceremonies down by the Health Department building at Veterans Plaza.The wall is intended as a place:
Below are the names of the missing Tennesseans. We offer our fervent hope that they too all find their way home once more.
Major Howard V. Andre Jr.
1st Lieutenant John R. Baldridge Jr.
Lance Corporal James A. Benton
Specialist 4th Class Dwight A. Bremmer
Specialist 4th Class James A. Brown
Lieutenant Colonel Donald F. Casey
Sergeant Echol W. Coalston Jr.
Corporal James B. Conway
1st Lieutenant Larry W. Cotton
Lieutenant Commander Carroll O. Crain Jr.
Lance Corporal Richard H. Dallas
Private First Class Joe L. Delong
Specialist 4th Class Billy J. Ellis
Sergeant Donald P. Gervais
1st Lieutenant Gary A. Glandon
Seaman Apprentice Thomas A. Goetsch
Captain Lucius L. Heiskell
Specialist 4th Class Jerry A. Hiemer
Private First Class James D. Hunter
Major Dale A. Johnson
1st Lieutenant Richard C. Lannom
Captain William T. McPhail
Petty Officer 1st Class James C. Newman Jr.
Sergeant Calvin A. Norris
Specialist 4th Class Marvin E. Phillips
Major Lawerence B. Tatum
Lieutenant Colonel James A. Treece
Major Woodrow W. Vaden
1st Lieutenant John T. Welshan
Colonel David R. Williams
Captain William C. Woods Jr.
Staff Sergeant Lawerence Woods
TopicsCarolyn Bowers, Cindy Pitts, Don Trotter, Jimmy Terry, Joe Pitts, Kim McMillan, Memorial Day, Norman Lewis, POW/MIA, Rosalind Kurita, Veteran's Plaza, Vietnam Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America
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