Honoring the honorable

Published 9:21 am Wednesday, April 11, 2018

We commend the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors for establishing Highway 47 as a lasting memorial to veterans of the Vietnam War.

In September 2017, the board adopted a resolution to name the highway to honor people who served in the Vietnam War, including seven Charlotte County residents who died during the war.

The highway, outside the Town of Drakes Branch, was dedicated recently, and that event featured a crowd of people, many in uniform. Present were members of the community, county supervisors, Drakes Branch Mayor Denise Pridgen, Sen. Frank Ruff, Del. James Edmunds, members of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Posts from surrounding counties, including Lunenburg and Buckingham, and more.

We commend all of those who attended and paid tribute to the honor and sacrifice of those who served in the Vietnam War, veterans who were not always thought of fondly or treated well by some Americans who opposed the war, as indicated by retired Sgt. Maj. Douglas Randolph, of Charlotte County.

“When we came back, we were told in the airport, ‘Don’t wear your uniform outside,’” Randolph said, noting potential hostility from the public. “After all that’s been done, for America I’d still do it again.”

Randolph exemplifies the outstanding dedication to our country that Vietnam War veterans had and have, and we believe their steadfast service and allegiance deserves our utmost respect.
We commend Vietnam War veterans, particularly those from the county, like Randolph.

We also share the perspectives expressed by both David Stokes, president of the Stanley E. Taylor Memorial Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America, and Garland “Butch” Hamlett, VFW Post 8902 quartermaster.

Stokes said he was excited to see the community rally around the recent dedication. And following the event, Hamlett said, “I think it was very nice — long overdue.”