Vietnam Veterans Honored for Their Service and Sacrifice

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Arlington police officers, past and present, who served in the U.S. armed forces regardless of their location during the period of November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, were honored this week for their sacrifice.

The Six Flags Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution pinned every veteran during a ceremony July 20 at the West Police Service Center. DAR members have a goal to award Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pins to every living veteran, Bonnie Shaw Higgins said. The ceremony was the first of several. The Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association will also honor veterans on Thursday, July 27.

“We are a better nation today because of the tremendous sacrifice that you made for this country,” said Mrs. Higgins as she read about the contributions of each veteran. “Today, we can say ‘thank you’ and today we can say, ‘ we’re thankful you came home.’”

Sue Nell Rhodes-Harl, the wife of Fallen Arlington Officer Gary Harl, pinned each veteran. Officer Harl served in Vietnam, returned home and was killed in 1975 on a traffic stop. His memory was honored with a lapel pin and standing ovation for his spouse.

Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson and members of the APD family attended the ceremony. Chief Johnson was also able to shake hands with Vietnam Veteran Roy Mitchell, a part-time Arlington officer, who will soon celebrate 50-years in law enforcement.

The Six Flags Chapter was organized in 1929,  more than 30 years prior to the name of the famed amusement park in Arlington. The group’s name was chosen to commemorate Texas history and the six countries which governed Texas. The national affiliate, founded in 1890, has more than 185,000 members with  close to 3,000 chapters across the U.S. and around the world.