Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

November 5, 2007

Veterans of ‘forgotten wars’ to be remembered

Program will look at conflicts, honor America’s veterans

He received the letter and packed his bag. Young, thin and almost beardless, he boarded the bus for Fort Bliss and then went to a country he’d only heard about. He was answering the call for soldiers from his native land, the United States of America.

The young man traveled to Korea in the early 1950s and to Vietnam in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Layland Museum is honoring him — and all veterans — with a special emphasis on those who fought in Korea and Vietnam. The name of the program is “Remembering the Forgotten Wars.” It will take place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the downstairs gallery at the museum, 201 N. Caddo St. in Cleburne.

Many people feel veterans of these two wars were never properly thanked for their patriotism and their participation. The wars, especially Vietnam, divided the country, and the division sometimes overshadowed the soldiers’ service. Yet they obeyed the call to serve their country, and it is not too late for the American public to show appreciation.

The program will feature recognition of veterans, music by Dr. Joe Martin, presentation of flags and pledge by the Junior ROTC cadets from Alvarado High School under 1st Sgt. Chris Alston, and a talk by Hill College history professor Dr. Richard Elam. Representative uniforms and some memorabilia will be on display. A reception will follow.

Elam will discuss the two wars. He heads the humanities and social studies division at the Hill College Johnson County Campus and has been a history and government instructor there for 20 years. As a past president, he is active in the Texas Community College Teachers Association. He is also sought-after speaker at local and area service clubs and is a member of the First Baptist Church of Cleburne. He has written a history column for the Times-Review. Elam received his undergraduate degree from Baylor University and his doctorate in history from the University of North Texas. He taught at San Jacinto Junior College before coming to Hill College.

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