JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS)—More than a dozen Vietnam veterans make up chapter 109 in Jackson. They consist of former air force pilots, to boots on the ground soldiers, but each one is part of a bigger message, and a brotherhood that they say goes beyond their time of service.
“I’m going to use the word almost unlimited. It’s like we would almost do anything for each other,” said Chapter 109 member, John Gibbs.
Gibbs served as radioman second class in Vietnam during the war. Now as a part of the Jackson Vietnam veterans chapter, he and his fellow veterans travel around the area to put on events like this. The goal? To help educate younger generations about what life was like for them and the sacrifices they made to keep people at home safe.
“We realized a lot of the teachers were not even alive when Vietnam occurred and sometimes it’s hard for them to find their research material in their books and stuff,” said Gibbs.
They bring their personal items and stories to them with lessons they learned that they carry with them today, but its also part of a larger mission to help open up a dialogue with others who also served in Vietnam.
“There is still life and we need to enjoy what we have,” said Chapter 109 member, Ray Prieur.
Prieur is the chaplain of the group. He says being a part of this team helped him to open up to others who have been in his shoes.
“We need to talk about it and they feel we keep reaching out to veterans, especially the Vietnam veterans to come and join our chapter and join our group and they could feel a whole lot better about life in general.”
And by giving back to those around them, they never lose sight of the brotherhood
with an appreciation of what this flag means to them.
“Family is a core to our nation and as I look at the service I see sons and daughters from every state in the nation coming together and working together,” said Gibbs.
Their next event is planned for July 10th. If you’re a veteran and would like to know how you can be a part of the group there is a link below.