KILLEEN — Two local Vietnam veterans, retired U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Jan Trouchet, of Harker Heights, and retired U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Larry Ware, of Killeen, were honored for their service during a pinning ceremony held for them Friday.
The ceremony was held at and hosted by Dennis Eakin Kia of Killeen.
Trouchet joined the Army in 1948 and retired in 1971. He served one tour of duty in Vietnam, from 1969 to 1970, as support. Ware joined and served in the Army first from 1960 to 1963. He reenlisted in 1965 and served until he retired in 1983. He saw three tours of duty in Vietnam as a combat engineer: 1966 to 1967, 1969 to 1970, and 1970 to 1971.
Retired U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Eddie Bell, who is himself a Vietnam veteran, began the ceremony by letting everyone present know that, “This is not just an event, this is significant.”
He went on to present his two fellow vets with commemorative coins, and then pinned commemorative pins to their lapels. These were followed by a presentation of double-sided certificates for each man: one side held a Department of Defense Certificate of Honor, commemorating the 50-year anniversary of the Vietnam War; the other side held a Presidential Proclamation, signed by former President Barak Obama, in honor of their service.
At the end of the ceremony, Anthony Freeman presented Trouchet and Ware with framed copies of their DD 214s, also known as discharge and separation paperwork, on behalf of Dennis Eakin Kia. Bell also let it be known that Dennis Eakin Kia is the only business in the area to recognize Vietnam veterans.
Trouchet said his only regret was that, “I only wish my wife could have lived to see this (his pinning ceremony).” As for Ware, his hat was covered in Vietnam war patches, his car covered in Vietnam veteran stickers ... he openly wears his pride for well and truly serving his country, too.