Vietnam War veteran, Jerry Jaworski, from Longmont, Colorado, will be the guest speaker at the Memorial Day observance ceremony in Halifax County, Virginia, this year.
The event, held annually to honor those from Halifax County who died in all American wars, will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 29, 2017, at the Halifax County War Memorial located in the Town of Halifax.
The war in Vietnam claimed the lives of fourteen Halifax County young men.
Jaworski is traveling to Halifax County this Memorial Day to especially honor the memory of one of them, Corporal Donald Wayne Tisdale of Nathalie.
Both were in the same platoon in an Army mechanized battalion.
On March 7, 1968, they were traveling in a convoy of armored personnel carriers, on a mission in Bien Hoa Province when Spec. 4 Jaworski witnessed the incident involving the lead APC immediately in front of him that caused the death of Donald Tisdale and several others.
Corporal Tisdale was buried with military honors at Sunflower Baptist Church in Nathalie, leaving behind a young widow and 9-month old son who have never known the details of the incident.
Jaworski also witnessed others with whom he served being killed, almost 50 years ago, and has now made it his mission to visit the graves of those he knew, located in several states. He learned a few years ago that Donald’s home had been in Nathalie, Virginia.
While searching for the location of the grave and any possible living family members, he found the Tisdale name listed on the Halifax County War Memorial and contacted Douglas Powell of Halifax for help.
As a result, the grave site was located as well as Donald’s widow, Rosa Marie Tisdale, and other family members.
Prior to visiting the grave and his meeting there with the Tisdale family, friends, and local Vietnam veterans, Jerry Jaworski will speak at the War Memorial ceremony.
During his address, he will share some of his Vietnam experience, his witnessing of the death of Tisdale and others, and in recent years his efforts to find and visit the graves of those killed in action with whom he served and knew.
Sergeant Jaworski also received a Purple Heart award as the result of a prior encounter he had with a land mine.
In addition, he was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Army Commendation Medal, and several other awards including the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Service Star.
Upon completing his tour of active duty he returned to his Nebraska home where he married and later relocated to Colorado.
Memorial Day ceremonies began following the War Between the States to honor those who died in service to both the North and the South.
They have continued since then every year to honor those who died in all wars.
The John M. Jordan Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, is again coordinating the local Memorial Day observance at the Halifax County War Memorial in the Town of Halifax as one of its community service projects, with all the local veterans, heritage and historic organizations invited to participate and present memorial wreaths at the ceremony.
The public is also invited to attend, rain or shine, on Monday, beginning at 11 a.m.