Evansville Vietnam Veteran Journeys More Than Miles On Memorial Ride

Life is a journey, sometimes bittersweet. For Evansville Vietnam veteran Joe Childers, his journey began long before Rolling Thunder stopped in his hometown.

"Its just, you think of everything that's happened in the past and its just tough to deal with. Very few of us even talk about it,” said Childers.

Childers served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970 as an undertaker for the U.S. Marines.

His time in the service, he says, is easier to forget than remember.

His decision to revisit his past on this ride to Perryville, Missouri, carrying flags from the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. to their new home at a replica memorial was not an easy one.

However, Childers says the trip has starting a new journey for him, one of healing.

“The welcome home wasn't much, we didn't get one, we just kind of came home, fell into the system, went to work, and here we are today,” said Childers, “you try not to think about it, you just go with your daily routine, get up and go to work and try to let it go.”

Childers is not the only one who's felt a sense of healing along the way.

Jim Rosenberg, State Director of Missouri Legion Riders and flag bearer on the trip said,”Yesterday a Vietnam veteran, a big guy like me chewing on a cigar came up to us and he cried like a baby, its like you said, the healing process, its got to start somewhere, and for him I believe it started right there.”

This time around, Childers' return home has gotten a different reaction.

“People are coming out and cheering us on, stopping to talk to us,” said Rosenberg.

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke was one of the many speakers at a short ceremony Friday morning held for the group at Four Freedoms Monument before they departed Evansville.

While Perryville may only be a few hundred miles away from here, for Childers, the journey, not the destination, is what its all about.

“There is some closure but there's still a lot more to go,” said Childers.

The group is expected to arrive in Perryville late afternoon Saturday, where they will dedicate and hang the flags over the America's Wall Monument, which is still under construction.

 


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Home For The Holidays Page
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Tristate Professionals
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Pro Football Challenge
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Dr. Oz Wellness Network
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Community Calendar
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Video Center