Kentucky Town Honors America’s Vietnam Veterans in August Fest, Adrian Cronauer to Attend


Adrian Cronauer

By Joe ‘Ragman’ Tarnovsky
Vietnam Combat Veteran

Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood morning, Vietnam! How many times did we wake up to, or hear, that familiar opening line from the DJ’s on Armed Forces Radio in Vietnam? Well, Vietnam Veterans will be able to hear it again this August when Adrian Cronauer comes to Elizabethtown, Kentucky for the annual Heartland Festival with this year’s theme to welcome home the men and women who served with honor in South Vietnam.
The annual festival is usually three days long but this year’s event has been extended and will take place August 26th through the 29th and the theme is all about America’s Vietnam Veterans.
There have been a number of homecoming events throughout our country over the years but I have never attended any of the gatherings because I just could not overcome my emotions of anger, bitterness and hurt associated with the Vietnam experience.
I am 61 now and my wife suggested I should attend this event in our hometown and this is one homecoming I will be present and accounted for because I am not getting any younger. I am hoping by being there, I will be able to receive some healing and make friends with my experience of answering my country’s call and fighting communism in South Vietnam, but more importantly, to help ease and bind up the wounds experienced upon coming home after the war.
The Heartland Festival will take place in Elizabethtown, Vine Grove, Radcliff, West Point and Fort Knox, Kentucky. All of these towns are in close proximity to one another and this area is a military community where people respect our active duty personnel and veterans. There has been a lot of love and effort put into this celebration from the community leaders to make Vietnam Veterans feel welcome and it is open to everybody. When the festival opens, Vietnam Veterans will gather at Fort Knox for a ceremony at Brooks Parade Field and we will be recognized for our contributions at 10:00 a.m. Active Duty soldiers will greet the Vietnam Veterans and the fantastic 113th Army Band will be playing for our enjoyment. There will be a keynote speaker with static displays of an Apache helicopter gunship, Humvee, Stryker and Combat Engineer equipment. After the ceremony veterans are encouraged to socialize with the latest generation of Americans in uniform and to take a closer look at the Army equipment.
The towns of Vine Grove, Radcliff, West Point and Elizabethtown will also be hosting a wide variety of events. Adrian Cronauer will be recreating his show at Freeman Lake in Elizabethtown and playing the familiar rock and roll music that conjures up so many memories of our time in Vietnam. The USO group, the Liberty Bells, will be performing, too, with other dancers, singers and once again, the great 113th Army Band at the Freeman Lake pavilion. Going back in time to the Bob Hope 1968 Christmas Show in South Vietnam, there will also be Bob Hope and Ann-Margret impersonators.
The last week in August will be special for Vietnam Veterans, their families and supporters, so make the trip to Kentucky and experience the appreciation and thanks this community wants to extend to you. The people of these communities feel the welcome home for Vietnam Veterans is long overdue and the leaders and people of this area have worked long and hard to make you feel welcome. Come experience the camaraderie with other men and women that know how you feel and let the people of Hardin County, Kentucky extend to you that warm hospitality the folks of the bluegrass state are famous for and you will not be disappointed. Please click on the following link for more detailed information about this extraordinary event.


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