Veterans Voices: A Vietnam Memorial is established in front of the Dale County Government Complex in Ozark

Local News

Ozark, Ala. (WDHN)—From 1969 thru ’70, Les Combs was a Chief Warrant Officer in the U.S. Army flying Cobra gunships over North Vietnam.
His memories include support of the 101st airborne, embroiled in a “bloody battle” referred to as
“Hamburger Hill”.

Combs says “The smell, I can still smell it. A very pungent smell throughout the whole country.”

Recently, Vietnam Veterans of America Posts 373 and 607 “raised the funds” to build the memorial. It bears’ the names’ of 50 service members from Dale, Houston, Geneva, and
Coffee counties’ killed in the Southeast Asian conflict. U.S. Marine Veteran Harry Grainger now suffers terminal cancer due to “Agent Orange”.

“It was not so much an I-thing back in that era, we had a purpose and we went to fufill that purpose,” according to Grainger.

Vietnam veteran Ken Donahue says “We don’t need police actions if we go to war, we need to go to go to stragically win and go to finish it. So we haven’t learned that lesson in Afganistan.”

In 1969, Bob Cooper went to Vietnam. “All our generation is getting a lot older and going west. But the big thing is we’re still proud of our army and just hope our politicians will allow us to build
A force to protect America, we are all Americans,” according to Cooper.

Engraved on the monument is the motto of Vietnam Veterans of America: “Never again will one generation of veterans
abandon another”.

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