1/623rd honors war veterans at Vet Jam 2011

Story and photo by Sgt. Bryan Ploughe, 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery UPAHR

Members of HHB 1/623d FA performing a color guard detail at the opening ceremony of Vet Jam, located in Barren County, Ky. This event has been held for five years and the Kentucky Guard has been a participant since its beginning. (Kentucky Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Bryan Ploughe, 1/623rd FA UPAHR)

NOTE:  Each Wednesday kentuckyguard.com publishes stories by Kentucky National Guard unit public affairs historian representatives, also known as UPAHRs.  This is an additional duty taken on by a Soldier or Airmen with the intent of telling their unit’s story.  This is one such story ….

Glasgow, Ky (June 11, 2011) – This year’s Vet  Jam held in Glasgow marked five years of an outdoor music festival recognizing and celebrating some of the area’s unsung heroes: the American war veteran.

This year’s event featured performances from 10 local bands ranging from bluegrass to hard rock, and catered to hundreds of supporters.   Members of the Kentucky National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery – based in Glasgow – took to the field and conducted a color guard detail as the national anthem was performed.  The Soldiers also provided a 21-gun salute in honor of the war heroes.

Ernie Wagoner hosted the celebration on his farm.  He expressed emotion in talking about the Kentucky Guard troops attending the event.

“The 623d is near and dear to me, as well as this community,” Wagoner said.  “It is just a natural fit to have them here today, and they know we are here for them. They have been here and helped out since the conception of this event, and they are deeply appreciated for all that they do and we hope they are able to continue to do so in the future.”

First time attendee, Staff Sgt. Patrick Raby, Headquarters Battery, 1/623rd, was impressed by the celebration.

“This event is unbelievable,” he said.  “I was not sure what to expect upon arrival today, and the sight of all of these veterans, that include World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, Gulf War and others is very humbling.”

“The wealth of knowledge and experience that is concentrated here is priceless,” he added. “More communities need to arrange an event of this caliber to recognize and show appreciation for what they have today.”

Proceeds from Vet Jam go to support local veterans organizations.

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