“I’m not a hero and I will never be a military hero; but what I can be — as many of you here today — is be a proud veteran. What I can be — as every single one of you here today — is be a proud patriot.”
That was the message Pulaski County resident and veteran Jerry Haynes imparted to those attending United Auto Workers 2069’s 23rd annual Ride for Freedom/Run to the Wall Memorial Day ceremony held Saturday at the Union Hall on Cougar Trail. Haynes, who grew up in Fries and served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, was a guest speaker at this year’s ceremony, but he insisted he is no hero.
“The closest I would ever come to Vietnam was San Diego, California. The closest I would ever come to earning a purple heart would be keypunching accident reports at the Bureau of Personnel in Washington, D.C. The closest I would come to sea duty” was implementing a computer system on a ship docked in Norfolk, he said. “The closest I would come to being a POW was welcoming our POWs back as I stood on the tarmac at Norfolk Naval Air Station.
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