ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Since 2018, Hospice of the Big Country has held dinners in honor of our Big Country Veterans. Having honored Vets who served in World War II and Korea in the past, its 2020 dinner would have been for those who served in Vietnam – but the COVID-19 pandemic postponed that dinner, until recently.

“We try to do this every year, COVID had put a halt to that for a bit,” said Hospice of the Big Country Director Angie Lane.

16 area Veterans were recognized for their service. Among them, Air Force Master Sergeant Don Denny voiced his appreciation for the event.

“It is an honor to be invited out… For them to recognize, especially Vietnam veterans,” Denny shared. “During our era it was not very popular, as you may know.”

The tumultuous return, experienced by many Vietnam Veterans, made events like this one that much more important.

“We all served for our own reasons, and they were spit in their face, and many other things… It touches my heart to recognize them,” Hospice volunteer and Army Lieutenant Colonel Loretta Starkey said.

Lane added, “As I told them before, if it wasn’t for them there wouldn’t be an us.”