Vietnam veterans honored during dedication ceremonies
FRED PACE, EDITOR
PEYTONA Sacrifice, honor and tragedy are words that can be used to describe the stories of veterans killed while serving their country during the Vietnam War.
Chester A. Mollett gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country and was remembered and honored during a highway renaming ceremony in Peytona on Saturday.
Mollett, who was born in Drawdy in 1943, joined the U.S. Army shortly after graduating from Sherman High School in 1962.
After his stint in the Army, he returned home before joining the U.S. Marines and going to fight in the Vietnam War, state House of Delegates Rep. Larry Barker told the crowd during ceremony.
He was wounded and died on what was to be his mission before being discharged, Barker said. He was awarded the Silver Star for bravery during combat.
Molletts family members did not wish to speak during the ceremony, but to only say thank you to the state Legislature for naming the stretch of highway between Drawdy and Peytona the Sgt. Chester A. Mollett Memorial Highway.
Chester was a fine person that everyone loved, said his brother, Billy Mollett. I dont know of anyone who didnt like him.
Barker presented a replica of the highway memorial sign to members of Molletts family.
We are honored as your state representatives to be able to honor our veterans this way, Baker said. These veterans gave the ultimate sacrifice to make it possible to have the freedom we have today in our country.
Mollett was buried at Drawdy Cemetery in 1970.
State Senator Ron Stollings, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the Boone County Commission and members of the public were also present.
In a separate ceremony in Woodville, near the Boone and Lincoln county line, Karol Clay, an Army private, had a bridge named in his honor.
Clay, who was born in Boone County, was only in the U.S. Armys 101st Airborne Division just a little over four months when he was killed while serving his country during the Vietnam War.
He was a young man, and joining the Army was something he wanted to do, said Thomas Clay, brother of Karol Clay. Most got drafted, but Karol volunteered to serve his country in 1967.
He was posthumously awarded several metals for courage and bravery.
It is always a solemn occasion when we gather together to remember veterans who have given their lives for us, said state House of Delegates Rep. Greg Butcher, one of the guest speakers Friday at the dedication of the Private First Class Karol Clay Memorial Bridge naming ceremony.
We cant do enough for our veterans, he added.
The bridge is located in Woodville on Rt. 3, across the road from Whittens Feed Store and Exxon station.
This really means a lot to our family, Corvan Clay, one of Karol Clays brothers.
Karol Clay, the son of Frank and Edith Clay of Morrisvale, was killed in ground action on August 10, 1968. He is buried in the Clay Family Cemetery.
The bridge was christened with a plane fly-over in his honor during the ceremony.
State Senator Ron Stollings also attended and offered the state resolution renaming the bridge and brief remarks. Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and members of the public were also present.
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