Waco Citizens for a Vietnam Veterans Memorial hosted a ceremony to honor eight Baylor University students who died during the Vietnam War.
Seven of their names were added to the Waco Veterans Memorial during National Vietnam Veteran Memorial Day on Thursday.
"The graduates that we produce go out and do significant and important things in the world so today we have the privilege of honoring seven who did that in such a significant way and such a meaningful way. And in a way, we really can never repay with any type of words or thanks what they sacrificed for us," Baylor President Dr. Linda A. Livingstone said.
Robert Russell Barnett, Lowell E. Morgan, Benjamin Steve Fordham, Jack A. Whetsel Jr., William Thomas "Billy" Hale, Richard E. Latimer Jr and Orville Curtis Rogers Jr. were the names added on the wall.
“Today brings closure to a lot of families, especially from these last seven," Waco Veterans Memorial Historian Robert Gamboa said.
The family of Army Major Lowell E. Morgan was one of the ones in attendance at the ceremony.
Morgan's daughter, Karen Doskocil, still gets emotional when she remembers the loss of her father at a young age.
“He was missing in action for three days or so and I can remember the car driving up with a military officer in it and giving the news to my mom and our family," Doskocil said.
She said her family finds comfort to know he is now being recognized.
“After 50 years, it’s the most amazing thing that we could have had happened and such a surprise," Doskocil said.
Her brothers followed her father's footsteps serving in the military. Now, the memorial in Waco allows them to honor the person who started it all.
“It’s a place that our family can come to celebrate his life and the life of others.”
Michael Lee Dewlin, a Baylor graduate who died during the Vietnam War, was also recognized with the seven because of his affiliation with the university. His name was added a few years ago.
On Thursday, Baylor University also unveiled a plaque on a Memorial Lamppost in honor of Barnett, who was the only one who had not been recognized with a plaque on campus yet. There are more than 140 granite lampposts throughout campus commemorating each Baylor student who died while serving our country.
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