Several Killeen-area residents will be on hand for Saturday’s dedication of the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument in Austin.

The monument, located on the northeast side of the Capitol grounds, will be unveiled in a special ceremony at 10 a.m. led by Gov. Rick Perry.

“This event warrants our support and participation because it sums up the recognition vets deserve,” said Hal Schiffman, Harker Heights mayor pro tem, who plans to attend the ceremony.

Also attending will be local resident Jean Shine, a civilian aide to the secretary of the Army.

“I’ll be in Austin to join others who believe that we live in the land of the free because of their sacrifice,” she said.

Retired Col. Otis Evans of Killeen will represent the Army at the dedication ceremony.

“I’ll be standing shoulder to shoulder with my military comrades from the Navy, Marines and Air Force, and assisting them in unveiling the monument,” Evans said.

Heights Rotarian Ed Mullen said he would be there to honor Evans, a quintessential American hero.

Perry will accept the monument 41 years to the day after the last American combat troops left Vietnam and nine years after

the effort got underway to build the memorial.

More than 3,000 Vietnam veterans and family members from across the state are expected to attend the five-hour event.

Throughout the day, the Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibit will be on display in the Lower Rotunda of the Capitol.

Vietnam-era military equipment and educational exhibits will be set up on the Capitol grounds.

The Texas Legislature officially designated the date as “Texas Vietnam Veterans Day.”

“This honor is way overdue,” said Jennifer McCann, Heights Rotary Club president.

The event is free and open to the public.

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