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Vietnam vets get park of their own
PL Veterans
Veterans stand in their new park, listening to a program to dedicate is Saturday. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon


Video of park celebration.

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Jefferson Airplane, The Rolling Stones, CCR and Janis Joplin blared from the loud speakers. The men wore their black leather vests as proud as the days they wore their uniform.
Young and old, veterans and civilians, gathered Saturday to dedicate a park adjacent to the YMCA at Tupelo and Mary Lou Drive to the Vietnam Veterans of America.
"Right now we are celebrating the very first Vietnam Veterans Day in Georgia," Jimmy Waynick, Vietnam veteran and member of VVA Hinesville Chapter 789, said."
In February Gov. Sonny Pedue signed a proclamation designating March 29 as Vietnam Veteran's Day in Georgia. The date is the date the last combat troops were pulled out of Vietnam.
Making the event more significant is the park will become a lasting memorial as the YMCA donated the land to the Vietnam Veterans. Waynick said they plan to have plagues and memorials dedicated to the Vets placed in the park.
"This is now Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park," he said. "It's the first one here in Hinesville."
On hand for the festivities, music and food was Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas and Liberty County Sheriff Don Martin. Martin spent several minutes viewing the photos that were posted on a display board and reading the governor's proclamation.
"This is a great thing for the community," he said.
Waynick and Paul Spence, of the VVA 789, read poetry in tribute to veterans here and those passed and Steve Adams, of KC Florists in Hinesville, took the stage with his band High Country.
"This park will provide a lasting memorial to all of us from the Vietnam era," Waynick said.
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