Hokes Bluff Lions Club honors veterans

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By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

The Modern Woodmen Veteran’s Day Event was held at the Hokes Bluff Lion’s Club on Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Rick Vaughn spoke at the event about the issues facing veterans today. 

He spoke about the 25,000 veterans that have post-traumatic stress disorder after they return from war. 

“I don’t know if you believe in ghosts, but veterans with PTSD are haunted,” said Vaughn.

Another 8,000 suffer from traumatic brain injury. 

“We, as veterans, need to stand together,” said Vaughn. 

He even talked about veterans suffering from the negative effects of Agent Orange, a chemical used to cause tree leaves to fall in Vietnam. 

While useful in making it more difficult for opponents to hide or sneak up on American troops, the chemical adversely affected soldiers.

Vaughn said that soldiers that die in America from what happened in wars should be considered as killed in action. 

Vaughn shared that he suffered such severe injuries from an RPG attack that they put him among the dead. He remembers his deceased mother telling him that she was not ready for him to join her. When he woke, they were certain he could not survive. 

Vaughn had a broken back. The doctor x-rayed him and found that the cracks were perfectly straight, which meant that they would be able to heal. The injury was unheard of, especially since he was moved after it occurred. Vaughn was told that he must have a guardian angel. Vaughn believes it was his mother.

Vaughn said that he received medals for his service, but for every medal he received another got a flag for their coffin.

After Vaughn spoke State Representative Craig Ford presented the family of the late Hokes Bluff Mayor Gary Reeves with the Hometown Hero Award in his honor.

After the ceremony, the Hokes Bluff Lion’s Club had a ribbon cutting for their new flagpole.

The crowd went inside after the ribbon cutting to enjoy hot dogs, chips and cake.

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