Veterans honored during the capitol ceremony represented the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Four Missourians who proudly served their country during the Vietnam War represented each branch of service. Governor Jay Nixon honored them during Missouri's first Vietnam Veteran's Day. John Albright, of Sunrise Beach, was a captain in the U.S. Navy who commanded the U.S.S. St. Louis during the war and 3 other navy ships after the war.
Albright said, "It's a big honor. It's a big surprise. It's a great honor to stand here with the other services, the army, navy and marine corps. We're representing this 177,000 group."
Michael Puckett, of Camdenton, served as a master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force at locations around the world during the Vietnam War, and also served in support of operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. David Coleman, of House Springs, was a sergeant with the U.S. Marine Corps, and was wounded in the battle of Khe Sanh. Steven Hill, of Webb City, served 7 months as a first sergeant in the U.S. Army in 4 hostile fire zones in Vietnam before being wounded.
Hill said, "I'm just honored to be here and represent the army. It's just fabulous. I appreciated the governor and the representatives that made this day happen."
Governor Nixon and Missouri National Guard Major General Stephen Danner presented each of the veterans with a special medal, coin and a certificate for their courage and sacrifice.