Singer – Songwriter James Rogers entertained Vietnam Vets Friday during the First Day of “Vietnam Veterans and Spouse Appreciation Day.”
The weather was perfect for day one of this two-day event held on the highway 153 Wal-Mart parking lot. Mr. Rogers has officially retired after 50 years in the business but does several performances a year.
Mr. Rogers recently finished a book entitled “Fly Eagle Fly - The Story of a Song”, an inspirational autobiography.
He performed several songs he’s written about the soldier and their service to the United States.
With several dozen Vietnam Veterans assembled in front of him, Rogers led the audience in “God Bless America” and got a standing ovation.
Rogers told the crowd “Memorial Day is very important to remember those who lost their life for our great country.”
Television news anchor David Carroll characterized Mr. Rogers as “a local treasure who shared the stage with country legend Dolly Parton at her theme park Dollywood for over 35 years.” Mr. Carroll said, “We are all very proud of Rogers’ accomplishments.
Visitors passed by the Tennessee Vietnam memorial wall, a complete listing of those Tennesseans killed in Southeast Asia. Chapter members have books to help located a relative or friend’s name that didn’t come home alive.
Several WFLI DJ’s are being recognized during the two day event for playing the music listened to by Vietnam Vets while serving in Southeast Area. That DJ’s included Johnny Eagle, Rick Govan – who went to Vietnam out of the University of Chattanooga as a lieutenant, David Carroll, Ben Cagle, Max Obrien, and Gene Lovin.
Special thanks to WDEF TV’s Chip Chapman and his photographer David Moore who telecasts live over the station during their noon news.
At the close of Friday’s event, Vietnam Vets presented the proper way to dispose of a damaged Flag. Another special ceremony will take place Saturday Afternoon.
Several officials were in attendance including retiring Chattanooga City Court Judge Russell Bean, Former Red Bank Mayor Pat Brown, former city commissioner Manny Rico and Hamilton County Commissioner elect Jeff Eversole. Eversole is a top official with Wal-Mart and along with Vietnam Veterans Chapter 203 President Charlie Hobbs planned this special event. Hobbs said he’s very thankful for the many in the community helped put these two days together to honor our Vietnam Vets and their spouses.
The public is invited on Saturday to attend and enjoy free food and entertainment beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday.