Knoxville hosts Conference for Vietnam Veterans

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Hundreds of Vietnam veterans are in town this weekend for the 2015 George C. Duggins Region III Conference at the Hilton Hotel. This is the first time Knoxville is hosting the conference- which brings together veterans from Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, DC. “It’s a real privilege to have all these Vietnam veterans together so we can share our comradery and our pride in what we did. Knoxville is certainly a veterans friendly city,” said Richard Gill with the local chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America. City and county leaders were on hand at the welcoming ceremony Friday morning to show their support. “We welcome them to Knoxville, we welcome them home and we want them to know that we’re rolling out the red carpet for Vietnam veterans this weekend,” Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero said. During the ceremony, soldier Patrick Hamburger was remembered. He was killed in Afghanistan three years ago. The Vietnam veterans are now working on a memorial dedicated to Hamburger. “I miss my son Pat terribly. It was really an honor to see the Vietnam veterans truly live up to their motto about never leaving another generation behind,” said Dough Hamburger, Patrick’s father. “If you see a Vietnam veteran walking around go up to them say welcome home and thanks for your service because it’s long overdue that we get the welcome home that we deserve,” Gill said. The Rolling Thunder Inc. Chapter 3 is highly involved in this event, and WATE 6 On Your Side’s Don Dare will be the Master of Ceremonies. There...