Team Moody honors Vietnam veterans
By Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer, 23d Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 31, 2021
MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Team Moody recognized multiple Vietnam veterans for their service during a pinning ceremony at the Exchange, March 30, 2021.
Airmen held the ceremony one day after National Vietnam War Veterans Day, an annual observance dedicated to honor the nation’s veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.
Col. Kyle Head, 23d Mission Support Group commander, presented opening remarks for the ceremony.
“Today I am pleased to represent the leadership here at Team Moody as we pause to honor the sacrifice of those who served during that conflict,” he said. “Today we honor a generation who cannot be thanked enough and are not fully understood.”
Retired Chief Master Sgt. Jimmy Ingram was among the devoted generation who attended the ceremony. He served 30 years in the Air Force’s avionics systems career field.
“We put the guns, bombs and rockets on those planes,” Ingram said. “The system that I worked on guided the bombs and guided the rockets.”
When asked about his experiences during the Vietnam War, Ingram shared a story about his first night in Vietnam.
“We came all the way from England Air Force Base, Louisiana, and we flew into Bien Hoa Air Base. Of course, you could imagine how long that trip would have taken during that time period on a C-130,” he said. “We got there at night … it was dark so you didn’t know what you were looking at, but I heard all these military vehicles move up and down the road behind the barracks. I think about it, and I just think of how frightened or excited I was. The next day, I found out the road that was being utilized was for our vehicles, and that kind of calmed me down.”
Ingram recalled a few occasions where he and his wingmen dove into bunkers with their gear in the midst of rocket fire. Despite these hardships, he continued serving the Air Force long after.
Many Vietnam veterans experienced similar stories to Ingram, and the pinning ceremony gave them the opportunity to share these experiences with military members serving today.
For Ingram, the ceremony was of high importance, as it gave recognition to those who had not received much thanks following the war.
“A lot of military people got no real recognition for what they had to do in the Vietnam War. A lot of people just did not get the accolades that they should have for their experiences and the contributions they have made. I really feel for them, especially the Army guys because they were in the field and directly engaged with the enemy.”
The retired Chief had a short message for the younger generations: never forget.
“Just realize there were a lot of lives lost for this country,” he said. “The primary (reason) of course, in America, was to do what was necessary to preserve the rights, privileges and ideals of America.”
Head ended his speech echoing the gratitude he and many others have for the veterans.
“On behalf of a grateful nation, we salute our Vietnam veterans and pledge that our nation will never forget the sacrifices they made,” he said.