Veteran remembers hardships of combat - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Veteran remembers hardships of combat

Posted May 30, 2005 at 5:07 pm

Thomasville- A sea of American flags at Sunset Memorial Gardens represents each veteran who served Thomas County, but foremost, the United States. "They paved the way for those of us who survived," says Marine Staff Sergeant Dennis McGill, Junior. "I was a radio operator, First Marine Division, Vietnam. I served two tours back to back," he remembers.

     Alongside fellow veterans, McGill delivered a speech this Memorial Day, honoring troops who died alongside him. "We lost six of our guys during the Tet offensive. We got over run that night. It was foggy. The Viet Cong came up and took out our automatic weapons bunker. It was a harrowing night. It was a harrowing night," says McGill.

     "All gave much, some gave all," a credo set in stone for every veteran to remember his fallen comrades, no matter when they died, or how much time has passed since the war they died in. "We who are still here, we might say we're coasting on their coat tails, because they paid the ultimate sacrifice. They're our heroes. it's not about whether they got medals." Case in point why Memorial Day is such an important time for veterans: to come together to honor one and other, and a bond they say only they can understand. "They were my extended family in a large sense," says McGill.

     The Thomas County Veterans Council is accepting donations for more flags for next year's Memorial Day. They hope to buy up to 3,000 flags. That's how many veterans are interred in Thomas County.

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