Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
A long-standing tradition of honoring those who served and gave their lives in defense of their country will continue this Sunday afternoon in Orange.
The 10th annual Memorial Day tribute to Orange County Veterans will be held at 6 p.m., Sunday, May 29, at Heritage Veterans Memorial Plaza, 3810 MLK Drive in Orange, which is located at First Church of the Nazarene. The public is invited to attend the special event.
Heritage Veterans Memorial Plaza is built around the life-size bronze sculpture “Tears from a Grateful Heart,” designed by Scott Stearman of Colorado and includes the names of numerous veterans from Orange County.
The plaza also features the bell from the USS Dyson, which was donated by Orange-native Eugene Goudeau, who served aboard the USS Dyson (DD-572) in World War II from December 1942 until December 1945. The USS Dyson, a Fletcher-class destroyer, was built at Consolidated Steel in Orange.
The event has become a highly attended program in the Orange community as scores of people turn out to remember those who died in defense of their country, as well as participate in the patriotic tribute to all veterans and those who are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Perry Jefferies, manager of Tex Vet Initiative, will be one of the guest speakers on hand.
Jefferies served his country in the U.S. Army after enlisting in the Texas National Guard. He has served overseas, including stints in Korea and Germany, as well as Iraq during “Operation: Iraqi Freedom” as a First Sergeant in the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division.
As manager of the Tex Vet Initiative, Jefferies assists Texas military veterans and their family members with information and referral services by connecting these individuals to the services they need most.
The program will also include patriotic music and other activities.