American Veterans Traveling Tribute Wall Arrives In Kokomo Tomorrow

The American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT)  Wall will be open 24 hours each day.  Located at the corner of U.S. 31 & Boulevard Street (in front of General Motors Components Holdings building.)   It will remain there September 29, 2011 through Oct. 2, 2011.

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Daily speakers and ceremonies will be presented on site.  Click here:  Schedule of Events for complete list of special events.

AVTT consists of the following:

– 80% replica of the Vietnam Wall
– Vietnam Time Line Panels
– Walk of Heroes Collection
– WWII Tribute Collection
– Korea Tribute Collection
– 9/11 Tribute, Police & Fire Panels
– Fort Hood Tribute & much more

AMERICAN VETERANS TRAVELING TRIBUTE  ESCORT  PLAN

Riders wanting to make the “escort” ride should arrive at the Brandts’ location no later that 1:30 p.m.   All riders must check in at the registration table and sign a standard ride “waiver”.  A meeting of all riders will be held prior to the ride.  The “Ride Captain” will explain the route, the need for safety, and anything else he deems appropriate.  A prayer for the safety of everyone will be held at this same meeting.  Additional riders will have the opportunity to join the escort at Grissom Air Museum.  Click here for complete details including times and directions.

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MILITARY APPRECIATION DAYS
MISSION STATEMENT 
To create a county wide campaign designed to express the City of Kokomo/Howard County’s profound appreciation for all active military personnel and veterans who reside in Kokomo/Howard County.

Please click here to visit the Kokomo, Indiana Visitors Bureau website for more information on
Howard County veterans memorials & monuments.

Q & A with AVTT Event Coordinator Jerry Fivecoate

Jerry Fivecoate is the Commander of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 28  of Kokomo also served in the US Army from 1965-1967.

Q: What prompted the American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT) to come to Kokomo?
A: We wanted AVTT to come to Kokomo as a kick-off to Military Appreciation Days (held annually for one week in November in Kokomo.)  The DAV (Disabled American Veterans) applied and started planning in January for Kokomo to be one of the host cities for the AVTT in September 2011.

Q: What makes this event different?
A: The AVTT is a completely different memorial and traveling wall than has come to Kokomo before.  Besides the large Vietnam Veterans Traveling Wall (80% replica of the original in Washington D.C.), it also includes tribute panels for 9/11, Korean War, Police & Firefighters, and Commander in Chief pictorial of all the U.S. Presidents, among many others.

Q: Why did you get involved with the DAV?
A: I got involved with the DAV due to the agent orange related health issues from Vietnam.  There are 350 to 400 members in Howard County.  We raise money throughout the year through the Forget Me Not flower drive and the Golden Corral Military Appreciation Days week event with all proceeds benefiting the DAV.

Q: What does the DAV do?
A: DAV helps one another.  Our local group partners with Grissom Air Force Reserve Base to build ramps in homes to help mobilize handicapped and help lay floors in homes, and assist food pantries in our local area.  Our main goal is to help all Veterans, not just the disabled.

Q: Have you done an event like this before?
A: This is my first time as an event chair.  I have been involved in several other organizations, but not the scale of this one.  It’s been a learning experience.

Q: Why bring the AVTT to Kokomo now?
A: To provide a service to veterans that can’t get to Washington D.C. and provide a safe place to heal.  It is a great educational tool for youngsters to show the true cost of freedom.

Q: Any other comments?
A: This is an event to expand the desire to give a veteran another chance to pay respects to a comrade or family member and to educate all the actual costs of freedom.  This is a 24 hour opportunity to pay respect.  There are 26 names of individuals from Howard County on the wall.  There
will be a special ceremony on Saturday, October 1st with a 21 gun salute and sounding of the bell for those that gave all.  I am very thankful for all the community support.  AVTT coming to Kokomo would not be possible without the support of the DAV and DAV Auxillary.

More about Jerry Fivecoate …
Jerry has a wife, 4 children, and 9 grandchildren.  In addition to being a veteran, Jerry retired from Continental Steel and Chrysler.  He now works part-time at IU Kokomo.  He doesn’t seem be slowing down!  He says the DAV has been good to him, and his grandfather (WWI) was a charter member of this Chapter.  Roots go deep in his family, and his grandson Scott has been attending events with him since he was 4 years old (he is now 15 and wants to be a marine!)

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