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Saying “We are challenged today never to forget,” State Senator Roger Thompson was among some 50 people honoring the sacrifice of a 20-year-old Hoffman area soldier.
SP4 Wilbert James Gresham will be remembered with two signs along US 266. They were unveiled Friday afternoon before friends, family and supporters of the American military.
SP4 Gresham died in a firefight in the Mekong Delta region March 8, 1967, just a couple months before his 21st birthday. He is buried in the Hawkins cemetery between Grayson and Hoffman.
“We are living in a time that we forget about the sacrifices young men made, especially when we look back at the Vietnam war,” Thompson said. He said that sacrifice was brought home to him when he made a recent trip to Washington, D.C. and stopped by the Vietnam Memorial. “It was overwhelming, all the names on that wall and the families there that day.”
He said that challenge is in Oklahoma where some VFW posts are closing or combining. “I’m hoping that never comes to pass. We need somebody with not just gray hair or no hair, we need younger people people to operate them.”
Following his address, Henryetta VFW Post 539 commander Bill Goodner presented the family with the commemorative sign that is a replica of the two signs now standing along the highway.
The ceremony closed with Henryetta high school band director Alan Montgomery playing Taps.