Johns Creek has invited citizens who served in the military to create a service club and an oral history project in an increased effort to connect with and honor veterans.
“Through your voices, that will challenge [younger citizens] to move to the next level to make this country even greater,” Livingston said, “That’s your next mission order, my fellow veterans. Let your voiced be heard, let the young people hear them and let them be challenged to move to the next level.”
Livingston, who is a native of Towns, Ga., was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1970 for his heroic actions at Dai Do in the Vietnam War. As a Marine Captain he led his company to help other Marines at Dai Do, being critically wounded three times.
“I want this medal to be part of the memory of the young Marines and sailors that I served with and observed their service and sacrifice,” he said.
Livingston is also an author, having written his firsthand accounts of the war in “Noble Warrior.”
Several veterans in attendance said they were encouraged to tell their story, including Sgt. Maj. Odell Owens, U.S. Army (Ret.). Owens also served in Vietnam.
“I think a quote from [“Noble Warrior”] says it real good,” Owens said, “‘Courage is doing what you are afraid of. There is no courage without fear.’”
John Douglas, from the Vietnam Veterans Business Association, said the service club and oral history project would be beneficial to citizens and veterans alike.
“It’s a great thing for the community and it also gives the veterans a way to have buddies and be able to have some comradery and be able to share things. There are certain things you can’t just share with anybody but you can share with someone who’s been there.”
Johns Creek residents who have served in the military can contact Robby Newton in the city’s Recreation and Parks Department at (678) 512-3239 for more information about the Veteran’s Club and oral history project. Kick-off events already on the calendar include a cookout May 23 and an inaugural meeting June 6.
“Within this particular community, I know you take pride in your veterans. You understand that service and sacrifice,” Livingston said. “And this project, let me tell you, it’s very, very worthwhile.”