Vietnam War veterans honor the fallen at Battleship service

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Almost 200 gathered at The Battleship Saturday morning to remember loved ones, and honor the Vietnam War veterans who sacrificed their lives. It is a reunion that started off with only about four people, but has grown over the last several decades.

“It means a lot,” says retired marine, George Martin.

Martin was joined by almost 100 other veterans to honor those who sacrificed their lives.

“I needed them. When I came home, we came home to protests, to being spit on. Not like the veterans today. We didn’t come home to parades,” said Martin.

Saturday marked the 35th annual Vietnam eteran reunion of the Mike Company 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines. It was a day of remembrance and celebration of the family these men created.

“Any chance that we can spend with them. And then especially for us to get chosen to come out here and perform for them, that’s the biggest honor that we can have. Because we do everyday, regular marine things. But to be able to come out here with them and show our respect with them, it means more than anything,” said Carl Worthington, an active marine who participated in the service.

The names of 176 marines were read, who died in Vietnam between 1965 and 1970. Each name was followed by a chime.

Worthington says it is an honor to stand beside these veterans.

“We call them war fighters. They’re our inspiration for what we do today. So any chance that we get to spend time with them, that’s what really makes it all,” said Worthington.

It was a powerful service that brought this tight knit group together again. Every year, it strengthens a bond that can never be broken.

“I was having trouble. PTSD. I needed to be with people that knew. That were there with me. That knew what I went through, and I knew what they went through,” said Martin.

Martin says there are almost 200 more vets who have died since returning. He hopes to see even more family, friends and Marines join the service every year.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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