CARDINGTON — Vietnam veterans were recognized and honored when Cardington held its annual Memorial Day parade and program. There were 118 volunteer marchers honoring 80 veterans of that war and 15 veterans were present. They were Dick Carsner, Paul Cole, Nolan Coleman, Robert Coy, Ken Davenport, Don Denton, Mike Goebbel, Chris Gompf, Pat Crosh, Frank Hickman, Jim Patterson, Randy Phillips, Jerry Ruth and Roger Slack.
Speaker Retired Air Force Colonel Kevin Hickman, paid tribute to the veterans and quoted a Technical Sergeant Bill Monahan, who was serving in the Air Force at Davis-Monathan, who wrote that “Memorial Day isn’t about romanticizing war or worshiping military veterans, it’s a day to recognize personal sacrifices of veterans and active military alike, regardless of their inclination toward war. “Too often today, ones political beliefs skew opinions on what constitutes honorable service so it is important to have a day during which we look back at who laid it all on the line,” a statement the speaker agreed with.
He said, while explaining that the Vietnam War was unique in history, “We have finally learned in the last 50 years that the military’s mission is to execute policy, not to make it and that soldiers don’t choose their wars.”
The speaker, explaining that the Vietnam War was unique from past conflicts, said “While the soldiers, sailors, Marines and Airmen did not choose the war, in large measure, they choose to go to the war, two thirds were volunteers. But what compelled them to be part of the war, whether a draft lottery or volunteer, they arrived and fought with valor.
“Upon arrival, they would quickly find that they were fighting for something different. When they thought they were fighting for the nation, and I don’t completely dismiss that, I think they found they were fighting each other. I have an anonymous letter to share with you that honors a handful of Vietnam veterans but also will clarify my last statement.
He quoted a letter from PFC Marine Phillip Moore a Morrow County resident who was a Marine machine gunner killed in action in the spring of 1967. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his heroic actions in combat. Hickman also paid tribute to two os his buddies killed in action during the war.
“We are a great nation, I’m proud of my service to it. I’m thankful for the time you gave me to talk today and hope that on days other than today, you give a look to the heaven;s pause and in spite of your stance on the politics behind past, current and future conflicts, remember those that laid it all on the line and be thankful.”
The speaker was introduced by Pat Drouhard, chairman of the Civil War Restoration Committee. Drouhard said Hickman is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and is now retired from active service. Colonel Hickman is a Program Management consultant for the Long Range Stand off Cruise Missile development program.
Giving General Logan’s Orders was Brooklyn Belt, CLHS Class of 2022 Marine Corps Recruit and the Getttysburg address was delivered by Jacob Belt, CLHS Class of 2022, Marine Corps Recruit.
The parade was led by the Cardington-LIncoln High School band directed by John Brehm. Members of Jenkins-Vaughan Post 97 of the American Legion also led the parade and paused at the Community park to fire a 21 gun salute in tribute to four members of Post 97 who passed away the past year: Gene Davis, Gerald Fowble, Jr., Bob Robinson, and Kenny Barber.
The Post 97 Rifle Squad gave a tribute to all their fallen comrades. Post 97 chaplain Jim Ruth, gave the benediction.
Following the program, a proposal of marriage was made by Jacob Belt to Zoie Bagwell, and at the site of the Civil War monument. She accepted.