NASHVILLE, GA (WALB) - A Nashville Vietnam veteran was, as of Thursday, about to receive a prestigious honor.
Gary Nelms will have his name inducted into the National Vietnam Veterans Honor Roll.
For current post commander Ashley Sewell, looking at the photo of his friend and former post commander Gary Nelms in the display case at the Nashville VFW Post brings back a lot of memories.
"[He] did a real good job. He was instrumental in the post; what it is today as far as I'm concerned," Sewell said of Nelms.
On June 20th, Nelms, who was shot in the lower leg while serving in Vietnam, will have his name read during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. to honor all those who suffered post-war physical or mental issues as a result of their service.
"He deserves it. I don't know anybody who deserves it more than he does," Sewell expressed.
Post Junior Vice Commander Charles Gilbert's father's name is also being inducted into the honor roll. Gilbert will read both his father's name and Nelms's name at the ceremony.
He said Nelms was the best friend he ever had. "I'm just very happy that I'll be able to do that," Gilbert said.
Bob Battle, the post's Senior Vice Commander, said he'll always remember Nelms for his dedication to helping veterans and for always being happy.
"When he walked in here, 'hi, everybody', is the way he was."
Battle's wife, Jan, is a member of the post's ladies auxiliary and said Nelms was always helping out, especially during the spaghetti dinners. "Gary would be sittin' out at the table, say, with Susan or other ladies, shreddin' up the lettuce," Jan Battle recalled as she stood in the kitchen at the post.
The cannon out front of the post was donated by Nelms, so the post was, as of Thursday, working to turn it into another honor for him.
"Our intention," said Sewell, "is to mount a plaque on it. It's gonna be in memory of Gary Nelms."
For more information about the Vietnam veterans honor roll, click here.