Upon returning home from the war, many Vietnam veterans felt abandoned and betrayed by those they fought for. Now, one East Texas veteran is trying to heal the emotional wounds suffered by so many of them by campaigning for a new Vietnam War memorial in Hemphill.
When veteran John Woodward left the Sabine County Courthouse in December to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, he wasn't sure how the story would end. Now he knows.
Monday morning, Woodward was back at the courthouse fighting for the memories of those lost in Vietnam.
"I just felt it was time now while myself and other great veterans are alive from the Vietnam era to complete a project that America has neglected to do," Woodward said.
Woodward is leading a campaign to bring a national Vietnam memorial to Hemphill. He's doing it as part of a mission given to him by the president while on his trip to the nation's capital.
"I'm honored that I am serving my country one more time and to be fighting for my brothers: past, present and future," Woodward said.
Part of that campaign was to request that the county hand over public land for the project. The land requested is next to the sheriff's office, which is located across from the courthouse.
It's a project that residents seem to be fully backing.
"It's a great thing for the community," Larry Weaver, said. "I think people will come from all over, because it will let us know that citizens and Americans that are free are proud of our veterans."
"They still embrace America and all the beliefs that Americans held many, many years. There's still a lot of patriotism here," Sabine County Judge Charles Watson, said.
This memorial this will go way beyond a history lesson.
"It's going to be a national healing process for all of us," Woodward said.
Woodward has already started the healing process for himself.
A decision will not be made on the land until all legal sides have been addressed. The project will be funded through donations by private citizens and some corporations.
To find out how you can support the project, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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