Area Armed Forces tribute

Published 10:34 am Tuesday, June 4, 2019

As part of the 75th anniversary commemorations of D-Day, the Piedmont Area Veterans Council is sponsoring a tribute to the Armed Forces Veterans of the 20th century on June 8 at the Fireman’s Sports Arena in Farmville from noon to 3 p.m.

Initially focused on D-Day commemorations, organizers determined that veterans of all 20th century conflicts should be recognized.

Organizer and 4th District VFW Senior Vice Commander Fred Hill said, “We’re still in the 50th anniversary period for the Vietnam War, we’re approaching the 70th anniversary of the Korean War and the 30th anniversary of Desert/Shield/Storm and we’re nearing 20 years since 9/11. On top of that are the veterans of the many smaller, almost forgotten, conflicts in the Dominican Republic, the Iranian Hostage Crisis, Beirut, Panama, Grenada, Somalia and others. We also cannot forget the many overlooked veterans of the Cold War who ‘held the line’ until the Soviet Union eventually collapsed. We want to express appreciation for every veteran’s service. We do not want to leave anyone out.”

The keynote speaker is retired Army Major General Kenneth Bowra whose service from 1970 to 2003 included combat tours in Vietnam, Grenada, Desert Storm and Somalia. He was a member of the famed Delta Force and commanded the 5th Special Forces Group (the Green Berets) for combat operations in Kuwait. His decorations include two Purple Hearts for combat wounds and three awards of the Bronze Star Medal for Valor. He is scheduled to speak at 1 p.m.

In addition to food vendors there will be a Veterans Color Guard, music by the Heart of Virginia Community Band and the St. Johns Lutheran Choir, a vintage car display, a cannon and jeep, the American Legion Rider and Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Review as well as various speakers thanking veterans for their service. Hill said, “We’ll also have a flag so large that two ladder trucks are needed to hoist it.”

The Piedmont Area Veterans Council consists of local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts. The Fireman’s Sports Arena is at 1328 Zion Hill Road just behind the Prince Edward County High School Complex.

The public and all Southside area veterans are invited to attend. For more information contact the Piedmont Area Veterans Council at pavc23901@aol.com or call (804) 392-4142.