Vietnam vet rides tractor to honor fallen soldiers for Memorial - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Vietnam vet rides tractor to honor fallen soldiers for Memorial Day

LACY LAKEVIEW, TX (KXXV) -

For Vietnam Veteran Carroll Ham, a traditional Memorial Day barbecue isn’t nearly enough to honor this country’s fallen soldiers. That’s why he’s doing it the best way knows how: on top of a John Deere tractor.

“We need to honor our veterans more than what we have done in the past,” Ham said.

He does his part with six flags, a trailer, and his 2-cylinder John Deere tractor that he bought and restored in 2000. On the back is a sign that reads “HONK! IF YOU LIKE IT!” for anyone who wants to join Ham’s mission.

Ham’s passion for John Deere tractors comes from his time growing up on his father’s farm. After graduating high school, Ham bought land of his own. But after five years of farming on that land with his family, Ham left for the Vietnam War.

“My dad had to sell all the dairy cows and give up all of the rental land,” Ham said. “He just couldn’t do it by himself.”

Ham served nearly four years in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. What he saw during that time has stayed with him for decades. The respect he has for veterans and fallen soldiers is a result of that experience.

“I want to honor all the veterans,” He said. “The things that they did for us is just unbelievable.”

Ham drove his tractor through Lacy Lakeview down the service road next to Interstate 35, down Highway 77, and through neighborhoods and parking lots. All to make sure that everybody had a chance to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

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