This year’s Welcome Home Veterans Celebration began at Appleton’s Harley Davidson where transporters of the American Veterans Traveling Wall met with an escort of soldiers, citizens and veterans on its way to Beachaven Vineyards & Winery.
Sherry Pickering, Executive Director of the Montgomery County Veterans Coalition, partnered with Frances Manzitto and the folks from Visit Clarksville for a five-day celebration of veterans in our community.
At the reception at Old Glory Distilling Co. Ken Burns’ new documentary “The Vietnam War” was shown. Afterwards, there was a panel discussion of the film featuring former POW Bill Robinson; Cindy Stonebraker, a board member from the POW/MIA League of Families; TN VVA State council President Barry Rice’ and Ernesto Rodrigues, a veteran who walked 2,200 miles to raise awareness for the 22 veterans lost each day to suicide.
“One of the things that drew me to partner with Visit Clarksville is the importance of these Vietnam veterans being able to look around at these venues this week and see lots of people,” Pickering said. “That will let them know that they will always be remembered.”
The procession, which featured dozens of motorcycle riders representing local veterans biker groups and members of a local Corvette club, led the way to Beachaven Winery. The Eyes of Freedom 911 Exhibit, the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Wall, and the Field of Honor, a display of 500 American flags purchased in remembrance or in honor of a soldier, were on display there for five days.