Augusta area Vietnam veterans to be honored with monument Friday

Augusta area Vietnam veterans to be honored with monument Friday

When he was growing up, James Brady III remembers thanking a Vietnam veteran for his service and telling him they will never be forgotten. Although the veteran thanked him for his words, he told him they had already been forgotten.

“It’s a very stark message that stayed with me and I certainly didn’t come down to Augusta 10 years ago with the intent to put up the Vietnam Memorial, but that has always been with me in the back of my mind that these folks were not properly recognized and treated well when they returned,” said Brady, chair of the Vietnam War Memorial Initiative.

Brady hopes to address that snub Friday, which is also National Vietnam War Veterans Day. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial will be unveiled at a 1 p.m. ceremony at its location on Broad and 4th streets in Olde Town, behind the Korean War monument. City officials, including Mayor Hardie Davis, are expected to attend, along with representatives from the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon.

The keynote speaker will be Maj. Gen. James Livingston. Livingston served in the Marine Corps and was a 1970 Medal of Honor recipient for his actions above and beyond the call of duty in the Vietnam War. Brady said the fact that Livingston was born in Georgia and lives in South Carolina is a good way to tie in the whole region being recognized at the event.

The Vietnam War Memorial Initiative is a project by the Military Order of the World Wars Augusta Chapter to honor the service and sacrifice made by Vietnam War veterans from the greater Augusta area. During Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies, Brady noticed that most of the veterans being recognized served during the Vietnam War, but did not have a memorial or monument to honor them.

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