Weatherford News

Veterans invited to ceremony

Ron Chandler and Dr. Jim Messinger have teamed up for a special event.

Both men, five decades following the Vietnam war, continue to serve veterans - Chandler through his efforts at the American Legion and Messinger as the curator of the Vietnam War Memorial. On Saturday, the duo will be hosting a special celebration - a 50th Commemoration for Veterans of the Vietnam War.

Parker County American Legion Post 163, VFW Post 4746, along with the local communities and the thousands of 50th Commemoration Partners across America, want to extend a special invitation to the Vietnam Veterans and their families to join them at the National Vietnam War Museum at 10 a.m. Saturday.

“It’s so veterans and their families can be honored and given a much overdue and celebrated welcome home,” Chandler said.

“This commemoration has a very special purpose: to thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action, for their services and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.”

The ceremony will be at the National Vietnam War Museum in West Parker County at 12685 Mineral Wells Hwy 180/ 1-mile East of Mineral Wells.

The agenda will include the Master of Ceremonies - Messinger, National Vietnam War Museum, followed by speakers Mack Payne; Vietnam Veteran -Veteran Spouse, Barbara Mills; and Sgt. Major Hayward Bellah. Representatives from the City of Weatherford, Parker County and the State of Texas will each be issuing proclamations for the week of May 9th as Vietnam Veteran’s Awareness Week.

Chandler will be issuing opening remarks followed by the posting of the colors, Pledge of Allegiance, an invocation by Mike Edwards of Long Creek Baptist Church. Jessica Pelletier will sing God Bless America followed by the always-touching POW/MIA Empty Table Ceremony led by Penny Chandler, and the Empty Table Prayer by Nancy Cobb.

The ceremony will close with the post color guard and the Star Spangled Banner by Chuck Poole. The benediction will be done by Rev. Mike Edwards and Taps by Weatherford College Jazz Band, Hanna Griffin.

For information send e-mail to: or Call: 817-223-8926, Vietnam Veterans Awareness Committee, Ron Chandler, Chairman.

Lance Winter, 817-594-9902, Ext. 102

Twitter: @LanceWinter

As Billy Graham said in a letter to Vietnam Veterans:

"We have only to look at the many thousands of names carved on the Vietnam War Memorial Wall to realize the great loss suffered by so many families. For those of you who lost father or brother, sister, or mother, husband, wife, or friend during Vietnam, or in the years that have passed since then, or whose loved one was listed as Missing in Action and not yet returned, it is my prayer that events planned during this 50th anniversary period will be a comfort and encouragement to you as their service and sacrifice is recognized and their memory honored."