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A 10 year effort to honor Vietnam Veterans in Chattanooga and Hamilton County

Vietnam Veterans Appreciation Week in Chattanooga

This is year three of a 10 year effort to honor our Vietnam Veterans in Chattanooga and Hamilton County.

One of the main topics of this year's event is the Battle of Ia Drang.

"It was the first major battle over there with the regular North Vietnamese Soldiers, and it was pretty intense for both battalions," Sgt. Ernie Savage said.

Sgt. Savage was with the 1st Battalion, 7 Cavalry at the Battle of Ia Drang.

Retired Colonel Joe Marm received the Medal of Honor for what he did in the battle.

He says being with the other veterans of that battle this week is special to him.

"It just brings back a lot of memories, and we help each other out in any way we can," Col. Marm said.

Signal Mountain's Bud Alley fought there too. He convinced five other men who were at the battle to come to Chattanooga this week.

Tuesday they all appeared together to talk about Vietnam.

"That's the only reason the battalion actually survived was the skill and the training of the soldiers and the leadership of the company and below in the actual battle itself," Sgt. Savage said.

Several of those Vietnam Veterans have written books about the war.

Jim Lawrence is one of those people. He talked about getting those thoughts out of his head, and putting them down on paper.

"We all have ghosts," Mr. Lawrence said. "Anybody who was in combat has ghosts and we all have survivors guilt. We don't understand why we survived, and good men died in that battle."

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