Scott City community honors Veterans 50 years later

SCOTT CITY, MO (KFVS) - Over a hundred people came out to honor Veterans in Scott City on Saturday.

The event was held at the Scott City Historical Museum where three KIA Vietnam Soldiers were honored 50 years later.

The three soldiers were from the Scott City and Illmo areas.

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David Lee Blattel, Thomas Jack Pennington and Larry Hunter Marshall were honored at the event.

"There's a lot of people here in Scott City that are living here that are my age," Gail Crader said. "They knew Jack. They knew David and they knew Larry. So I thought this means more to them than if they were someone else. So let's celebrate them but let's don't forget about those that have gone before."

Blattel died 50 years ago exactly on May 5, 1968, when he was killed in action in the Quang Tri province in South Vietnam from an incident while performing the duty of Aircraft Commander with the U.S. Army.

"When I realized that May 5, 1968, was the day that he was shot down on his fourth journey back over to pick up wounded soldiers, I told the group early in January that we need to do something on May 5, 2018, because that is exactly 50 years," Crader said.

Thomas Jack Pennington died on January 27, 1968, after a serious casualty in the Quang Tri province in South Vietnam.

Larry Hunter Marshall died on February 4, 1971, from wounds he received in a hostile situation in the Tay Ninh location in the Vietnam War.

"I believe it's real important to be a part of your community," National Guard Major Mike Woods said. "They were not only a part of their community but they sacrificed for their community. So that's why this is so appropriate."

The event also had several speakers come up and read off the names of the military men and women on the walls inside the Museum's Military Room.

"When you go in our museum and you see families and you have heard of the names like Arnolds, Blattels, Kimballs and all of these names," Crader explains. "You're going it was not only the son, it was the grandfather, it was the great-grandfather, it was the brother, it was the uncle. So it's kind of a national spirit here in a small town saying we love our country and we will serve. I just think we should honor that."

Crader said she expected maybe 40 people to show up. She said it was surprising to find out that 125 came out.

"It means they love this country and they love our military," Crader said.

She said if the three soldiers were to see this event from above, that she would like to thank them for what they did.

"All I can say is thank you," Crader said to the late soldiers. "They've allowed me to have a life. And I can have children that can grow up in a country like this and they didn't have that opportunity. So thank you, thank you, thank you!"

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