AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – The Academy of Richmond County alumni need your help to honor their late classmates.
Several former students were killed in the Vietnam War. WJBF News Channel 6’s Stefany Bornman has a look at how those heroes are going to be honored and how you can help. Right now the alumni association has identified 13 former Academy of Richmond County students that served in the Vietnam War, but they think there may be a few more out there that they haven’t found yet.
Plans for a memorial bronze plaque honoring former Academy of Richmond County students, who died in the Vietnam War, are taking shape.
“They’re not just names on a wall to us. These are guys that we went to school with. Some as way back as grade school” said Jim Pardue, the Chairman of the graduating class of 1965.
To alumni like Pardue, the Vietnam War was the biggest thing to happen in his young life up to that point. He says he remembers watching some his classmates leave as volunteers or draftees.
“Some felt like before they left they had this premonition that they would not make it back,” Pardue told WJBF News Channel 6.
Now 61 years after the Vietnam War started, Pardue and the graduating class of 1965 want to honor those men. Many of whom weren’t able to graduate because they had to leave for war. “I was in Vietnam myself but not in a touch combat role and I can just imagine what it would be like and I guess the other thing, and I’m just reflecting on my thoughts, is I remember my first day in Vietnam sitting in the airport watching these guys go by that were carrying M-16’s and they had acne on their face and I’m thinking how terrible this war is. They rely on the young I guess to fight these wars,” he said.
Pardue says this is the best way he can think of to honor his former classmates who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
If you know someone who went to the Academy of Richmond County and served and died in the Vietnam War contact Jim Pardue at firstname.lastname@example.org. The memorial will be unveiled in a ceremony at the Academy of Richmond County on Saturday, March 5th at 1 p.m. The class of 1965 wants to invite the public to attend.