|Booth, left, and Upton, right, during dedication.|
Booth, a U.S. Navy veteran, is a dentist in Spanish Fort and is known far and wide for his efforts in support of Honor Flight South Alabama. As part of the Honor Flight program, World War II veterans are flown to Washington, D.C. to see the National WWII Monument. Upton, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, is a local radio personality and is also a member of the Evergreen City Council.
Booth and Upton are both survivors of the Battle of Khe Sanh, which took place in Vietnam between Jan. 21 and July 9, 1968. Total U.S. and South Vietnamese casualties totaled 10,350, including 2,016 killed, 8,079 wounded, seven missing and over 250 captured. North Vietnamese soldiers killed in action totaled 2,469.
Over 45,000 U.S. service members served at Khe Sanh, including over 6,000 Marines. Many of these service members today receive copies of Red Clay magazine as part of their membership in the Khe Sanh Veterans Association. Thanks to the recent article in that publication, many veterans across the country and probably in other parts of the world got the opportunity to read about the new veterans memorial in Evergreen.
Other Conecuh Countiains mentioned in the Red Clay article include Leslie Addicott, J.D. Etheridge Jr., Arthur Ingram, John Jones, Johnette Jones, Willie R. Salter, John Watkins, Janice McCreary Watson, James Leon Windham, Tess Windham, Woodrow Windham and Willie George Woods.
For those of you unfamiliar with the relatively new monument in Evergreen, I encourage you to check it out first chance you get. Located near the intersection of Perryman Street and North Shipp Street in Evergreen, the monument features the names of the county’s war dead and also the names of living veterans who served in the various branches of services and in conflicts around the globe.
The monument isn’t just a memorial to all those who have served our nation, but it’s also a testament to what the people of Conecuh County can do when they all pull together in the same direction to accomplish something worthwhile. Lots of people worked hard to make the local monument a reality, and lots of good people made donations of their time and money to the project. Donations toward the monument’s final bill are still being accepted, however, and if you’re interesting in learning about how you can make a donation toward the project, call Upton at the radio station at 578-3121.
Names of local veterans are also still being accepted for inclusion at the monument, and I’m sure Upton will be happy to tell you more about how you can have your name or a family member’s name placed on the monument.