Darlene Edwards watches as Lisa Brooks, representative for U.S. Congressman Randy Neugebauer, presented veteran Lacy Edwards with a certificate naming him July Veteran of the Month. Edwards was also presented with a flag which flew over the state capitol, a plaque and a baseball cap. (HERALD photo/Amanda Duforat)
Many years of service were recognized as Lacy Edwards was honored as the Hangar 25 Air Museum July Veteran of the Month on Thursday morning.
Edwards, a Navy and Air Force veteran, received the honor at his home, because of medical reasons. The eventful, emotion-filled ceremony held meaning to all those attending.
âWe have been trying to honor him as veteran of the month for more than a year now,â Mike Tarpley, fellow veteran and member of the Veteran of the Month group, said. âOnce he finally agreed to be veteran of the month, cancer hit him.
âThis is all a product of agent orange. So the war is still killing our buddies, 40 years later. We wanted to recognize him before he had gone, that is the main thing now.â
Edwards served off the coast of Vietnam and supported the B-52 air strikes off the coast of Utapao, Thailand.
After retiring from the military, he moved back to Big Spring and worked in the oilfield and eventually retired from Colorado River Municipal Water District.
âEveryone who serves has a special story and that's the way we feel bout it. It's about getting their stories,â Tarpley said. âLots of them say they weren't in combat, they weren't shot at, but they served.â
Letting veterans know service to their country is important and they are not forgotten is a main focus of the Veteran of the Month program.
âIf it wasn't for him (Edwards) doing what he did, none of us would have made it as good as we made it,â Tarpley said.
When choosing veterans of the month, nominations are reviewed and nominees are interviewed. Past honored veterans include those who served as supply personnel as well as those who fought in combat.
âIt took each and everyone to fight the wars we fought,â Tarpley said.
There is a file on each of those who have been named veteran of the month at the Hangar 25 Air Museum. Anyone can go and view those files to find out more about past veterans of the month.
âWe ask that the community be real supportive of each veteran, not only the veterans of the month,â Tarpley added.
As for Edwards, his duty to his country continued even after he was out of the service. Upon being diagnosed with cancer, according to Tarpley, he went under several experimental treatments.
âHe knew they probably wouldn't save him, but he felt that anything they could learn by treating him then it was worth it if it would help someone else,â Tarpley said.
To nominate a veteran of the month, stop by Hangar 25 at 1911 Apron Drive or call 432-264-1999.