Veterans honored with pin ceremony

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More than 50 local Vietnam-era veterans were honored recently at the Waynesboro American Legion Joe Stickell Post 15. SUBMITTED PHOTO

WAYNESBORO—More than 50 Vietnam-era veterans were recently honored for their service with the presentation of a Vietnam Veterans Lapel Pin during a ceremony at Waynesboro American Legion Joe Stickell Post 15.

The Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin features an eagle’s head, representing courage, honor and dedicated service; stripes, representing our nation’s flag; six stars, representing the allies who served, sacrificed and fought alongside one another; all encircled by a ring of blue, matching the canton of our national flag and signifying vigilance, perseverance and justice. The phrase “A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You” is embossed on the reverse side, along with the Commemoration’s name. 

The commemorative pins were presented to each Vietnam veteran or family member of a veteran who served on active duty during the Vietnam War period, 1955-1975, for their courage and valor.

The ceremony was sponsored by the Military Officers Association of America. Ret. Lt. Col. H. McIllroy, committee chair for the Vietnam War Commemoration Program of the Upper Potomac Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, and Ret Cpt. Guy Everhart, chapter president, presented the awards during the program. For some veterans, this was the first time they heard, “Thank you for your service from a grateful nation.”

“Forty-two million American men and women have sacrificed and served in time of war – many here counted among them.  Your collective service and individual sacrifices have safeguarded the cherished principles embodied in our Constitution.  Whether deployed in harm’s way, all the while watching over your buddies as they watched over you, or training and serving at home, you sacrificed.  Our country, our community, our families and our children owe you a debt of gratitude,” McIllroy said. “Unfortunately, there is a specific generation of these patriots that was not treated with respect or shown gratitude during their service by our citizenry. Today, we commit to every effort to right that wrong for the Vietnam veterans among us.”

“Thank you so much for the wonderful ceremony to commemorate the Vietnam-era veterans this afternoon,” said Cpt. Robert T. Myers Jr. “It was an honor to serve and all of us did what was directed and we asked no Quarter. We each would do it again.”

“This afternoon’s ceremony was exactly what we have been hoping to be a part of for several years,” McIllroy said. “There are 67 more Vietnam-era veterans that have been honored for their service and sacrifice.”