On March 29th, Vietnam Veterans Day, 45 Vietnam Era veterans and 1 Gold Star family member were recognized for their sacrifices and service.
State Representative Patt Maney, a combat wounded veteran, shook each veteran’s hand, presented them with a lapel pin, thanked them for their service, and welcomed them home.
Rep. Maney presented his brother, Edward, a purple heart recipient of the war, with his pin and shared a few tears and laughter as Maney spoke of his brother as his personal hero.
- Another special recipient was 92-year-old Ray Bourque who served in both the Korean & the Vietnam Wars.
- Local veteran Tony Morris displayed numerous artifacts of the Vietnam War with interest shown be all who attended.
- Combat-wounded veteran Joe Osorio introduced each veteran as they received their recognition.
Presidential proclamations from President Obama and President Trump, bumper stickers, buttons, and information trifolds were available as well.
Also present at the event was a traditional POW/MIA ceremony table, also known as the “Missing Man” table.
- The tradition of setting a separate table in honor of our prisoners of war and missing comrades has been in place since the end of the Vietnam War, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command.
“The Davis-Sikes American Legion Post 296 in Destin was honored to recognize these patriots after 50 years of silence or disdain by some Americans,” said Post Commander Corlene Ziegler.