War Veteran Honored, Waits 38 Years To See Medals


War veterans from almost every branch of the military received a very special honor Sunday, at the Greater Vision Church in Paragould.

Pastor Rick Etherdige, who served 24 years in the military, says Sunday's service is the least he can do to honor his fellow veterans.

"Freedom isn't free and we want to acknowledge that today and give them an opportunity to be recognized," said Ethridge.  "I think that's part of the kingdom of God."

For all veterans this day is something special, but for one in particular who's long felt forgotten, it's especially important.

Five months ago, Dan Brewer sent the military a letter requesting to be honored for his service during Vietnam. Three months later, he received two of his medals in the mail and he's waiting on one more.

He says Veteran's Day means so much to him because of his sacrifice and the sacrifice made by all his fellow servicemen.

"I served in Vietnam and I served in Germany," said Brewer. "I believe if you're a veteran, you deserve it. Today is their day and I want to honor them."

Brewer says he's forgiven but he won't forget the reception he received years ago after returning to the United States from Vietnam.

"They called us baby killers and all that and we got spit on but you know I don't hold it against them," he said. "I came back and I was just happy to be home."

Even so, some veterans say more needs to be done by the government to honor their sacrifice.

"I think things need to be more readily available for veterans because not everyone signed up and not everyone went, and these men and women who went, I don't think we can do enough for them," said Ethridge.

Brewer will receive a Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam.

He says he thinks the delay in receiving his medals was due to an administrative error.

Questions or Comments? E-mail me at rsmith@kait8.com