World Chicken Festival London, KY
Day 1: 23September – Today I started working at the World Chicken Festival. Before the festival officially started I walked through the blocked off streets in the downtown area to see the sights. I met a few people who were prior service members from the Army and Marines. Some served in Vietnam and some in the Korean conflicts. We all thanked each other for serving. By the time I got back to the Army Strong booth it was time to go to work. The local recruiting BN had their own booth set up with a hummer and a mobile exhibit trailer that showcased the latest and greatest the Army is currently using today. We had mostly young men coming out to try their luck in push-ups and sit-ups for a chance to earn a t-shirt however, there were a few young women who participated also. I got to talk to a few young individuals about what is currently going on in Basic Training and the Army today. One of the highlights of my day has to be meeting a few veterans from Vietnam in the 556th Signal Company. As a fellow signal soldier I felt right at home with these men. They were also a great example of the camaraderie the Army can provide. These three men I spoke with found one another through the internet and finally linked up after 46 years. That is brotherhood rarely found outside of the military.
Day2: Today ran pretty much the same as yesterday with a few exceptions. We still ran the Army Strong Challenge but we had some VIPs in the area. First off was COL Sanders, a gentleman named Bob Thompson (the COL Sanders lookalike was in the area, yes I got a picture with him). SFC Jamie Buckley came out too. He got on the stage near our booth around 1900 and sang some of the bands original songs and some cover songs, a very talented individual. But the highlight of the day for me was right before I started working I was walking through the fair and met a few Vietnam veterans who were promoting a parade they were having in memoriam of service members who served in Vietnam. From the 7th through the 10th of October there will be several activities being held right here in London, KY so if you are in the area come out to show your support. I got to talking to one of the Veterans and they are going to have a reunion between one of the veterans and the family of a veteran who died in Vietnam. The individual has been trying to locate the family for over 40 years. He finally found the family and they will be reunited for the first time. This is an incredible story and needs to be told. For more information about this event check out www.vnamvetsparadelondonky.com.
Day3: Well today was the last day and the streets were packed. We had our Army Strong booth set up and running the physical challenge. The record holders for males was a 47 year old in the push-ups and an 11 year old named Andrea for sit-ups. SFC Buckley came back out to sing for the festival and brought in a great crowd. We had many of people come out and take the challenge as well as go through our mobile exhibit. I think that the event was a great success. On top of that I enjoyed myself and had a good time in London, KY.
Here are some Pics.
Downtown London, KY
Our AO (Area of Operations)
Push-ups! An Army classic.
556th Signal Company Vietnam Veterans Mark Costello, Glen Stencil and Bruce Hibbits.
London, KY Vietnam Veterans Parade promoters.
Bob Thompson (COL Sanders Look a like)and Me
SFC Jamie Buckley (Active Duty Soldier, Singer and Songwriter)