The Vietnam-Era Veterans Honors Day and Fair will be on Saturday, March 30 at the Coffee County Fairgrounds in Manchester TN located at 99 Lakeview Drive. Gates will open at 8 a.m.
“The day is designed with three goals in mind: to educate the public. To honor the veterans and their families and to entertain all who attend,” said VFW Commander Kimberly King.
“This is not solely a veterans event. Rather it is designed to be for the public with the three goals in mind,” she said.
Visitors are encouraged to participate in Walk for the Fallen. Laps walked will be recorded at the Fairgrounds and added to the other laps walked by registered walkers. To date, there are over 200 registered walkers and their laps have been recorded since Jan. 1 in conjunction with the Manchester Recreation Center.
“At the center, it takes 12 laps on the indoor track to equal one mile. So we wanted to record 58,479 'laps' one lap for every veteran killed in the war. To date, we have recorded well over 10,000 miles or over 120,000 laps. Part of this program was to promote fitness but to allow members to walk in honor of a deceased relative, a veteran or family member or an organization. And to bring awareness of the cost involved in that war,” King said.
At the event, there will also be a variety of displays to view. The Tennessee Valley Veterans Healthcare System will be at the Fair to promote health awareness, do medical screenings and process claims. Also Manchester Health care will be on hand. Many vendors will be there as well as food items for sale, shirts and hats, and a petting zoo for children.
The speaking events will begin at noon, including Senator Janice Bowling. Local veteran First Lt. Howard Thompson is the key-note speaker.
The Ultimate Oldies will perform followed by the WannaBeatles.
Preceding the event will be the Vietnam-Era Veterans Dinner on Thursday, March 28, starting at 6 p.m. at the Coffee County Veterans Building, 130 Shelton Rd. This dinner is completely free and all Vietnam-Era veterans and/or their families are welcome to attend.
The special guest speaker is Col. John Radke with the Vietnam War Commemoration program out of Washington D.C. He will recognize all veterans there as well as their families with a special program.
Register for the dinner by contacting Commander King at 251-554-8836. The dinner is limited to 100 attendees.