Tri-Valley Honors Local Vietnam Veteran

Silence filled the auditorium, for there was everything, but nothing further to say.

“You always will be my brothers, I will see you someday when my time is up. On that day, I will be at rest in peace. Until I see you again, you have my love and respect”. These were the words James Richardson wrote in a letter that he read to Tri-Valley Secondary School students at the Tri-Valley Veterans Day Assembly on November 9th, 2023.

James served as a Sergeant in the Army from 1961-1969 and went on to complete two more years in the Army Reserves. He spent a tour in Korea and also spent time in Germany. He was with the 199th Infantry Brigade in Vietnam where he was wounded in combat. In 1968, he lost 50% of his hearing and sustained a serious leg injury from a landmine.

This year, James finally got to go on the Honor Flight with his son. When James got to the wall, he broke down in tears. It was very emotional for him. He stated in his letter ”They call it the healing wall, not for me. I feel pain and sorrow for all the people who this wall touched. This wall touched the pain and sorrow from them all. You gave your all, your life. I made it home, I feel ashamed to be here”.

James had a classmate who also served but did not make it home. The Dennis Ackerly VFW 8648 in Neversink is named after him.

James is the recipient of a Purple Heart. He currently resides in Grahamsville with his wife. The Tri-Valley community wants to thank James for his service and dedication and for continuing to share his story with us.