The six Carroll County American Legions, as well as the Manning and Carroll VFWs, will host a ceremony for the 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War next Wednesday. The event was created to share appreciation for the U.S. veterans who fought in the Vietnam War.
A list of Carroll County veterans who did not return from the Vietnam War, which can be found on the A7 Aircraft Monument. The honored men include Thomas John Eischeid of Halbur, Gerald Lee Feltner of Carroll, Wayne William Gross of Carroll, Lawrence Raymond Hagedorn of Carroll and Steven Thurlow Jewell of Coon Rapids, who were all killed in action. At the bottom reads Donald Lee Sparks of Glidden, who is considered missing in action.
“This is a special day because it marks the 50th anniversary of the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam and the return of 591 prisoners of war,” R.T. Schreck, a member of the Carroll American Legion, said. “It gives our community the opportunity to say thank you to the Vietnam veterans and the chance for us to show our continued appreciation and support for their service to us and our country, in addition to showing they are not forgotten after 50 years.”
The ceremony will take place at the Arthur N. Neu Airport, located at 21177 Quail Ave., beginning at 6 p.m.
At the beginning, Vietnam veterans Steve Hoogestraat, Bill Stork, Bob Vonnahme and Gary Borkowski will post the colors, including the United States flag, the State of Iowa flag, the POW/MIA flag and the VFW flag.
Hoogestraat, Stork and Vonnahme were drafted together on April 1, 1969, with Borkowski being drafted 30 days earlier.
After the opening prayer, Ryan Ahrenholtz, who is actively serving in the Iowa Army National Guard, will sing the national anthem.
Greg Siemann, who is an active member of the Carroll Airport Commission and served in the U.S. Marine Corps, will speak at the ceremony. Siemann was instrumental in bringing the A7 Aircraft Monument to the airport.
The monument was created in dedication of the veterans of Carroll County who did not return from the Vietnam War. On the side of the monument reads the names of the veterans, including Thomas John Eischeid of Halbur, Gerald Lee Feltner of Carroll, Wayne William Gross of Carroll, Lawrence Raymond Hagedorn of Carroll and Steven Thurlow Jewell of Coon Rapids, who were all killed in action. At the bottom of the plaque reads Donald Lee Sparks of Glidden, who is missing in action.
Later in the ceremony, veterans Ron Roe, Larry Heithoff, Don Bernholtz and Larry Feltner will place a wreath at the monument. Afterwards, a 21-gun salute will be performed by various members of the local American Legions with Jane Cunningham performing taps.
Following the ceremony, members of the VFW will present a plaque to the staff of the Carroll Veterans Affairs clinic.
The event is expected to last 30 to 40 minutes. In case of rainy weather, the program will be held in the airport hangar. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs.