Vietnam vets honored

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

More than 25 people turned out Monday in Logan to observe New Mexico Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day.

“We are very happy with the turnout,” said American Legion Post 77 Commander Bobby Casados.

With a police escort, the group marched on the 540 Loop from U.S. 54 to Post 77 on Eighth Street.

Vietnam Veteran John C. Matthews, of Frederick, Okla., joined the march as it passed him.

“I am in town visiting family,” Matthews said. “We were at the post office when the march began. I simply had to join them.”

For many Vietnam veterans the day is long overdue, said Virgil Brown, New Mexico American Legion sergeant at arms.

“A lot of us came home from Vietnam and did not get a warm welcome,” Brown said. “A lot of good men died serving and protecting their country.”

Brown said the march is one way of showing appreciation for soldiers and their families.

Donna White was in the march honoring her brother Jimmy Hohstadt, who was killed in the Vietnam War.

“It means a lot to recognize and honor those who fought and died for our country,” White said. “So many did not come back from that war. Those who did have had to continue fighting through hardships.”

Casados said the New Mexico Legislature last year declared March 29 as New Mexico Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day.

Fast facts

Vietnam War casualties from New Mexico

Tucumcari

• Cpl. Sam Eggert

• Pfc. Andrew Jose Pacheco

• Spc. Francisco M. Garcia Jr.

• Staff Sgt. Ramon Felix Ortega Jr.