Instead of their service uniforms, they wore leather jackets and vests – but still represented the stars and stripes.
Hundreds of military veterans participated in a motorcycle ride and yellow-ribbon ceremony Saturday to honor the more 982 South Carolina service members who died in Vietnam.
Each of their names was read aloud and a yellow ribbon placed in a locker in their memory.
“Stuff like this means a lot to me,” said Dan Hampton, an Army veteran who rode with his wife, Cindy, a fellow Army veteran. Hampton said he comes from a long line of military service members in his family who have served in almost every American conflict. “The military is underappreciated until it’s needed.”
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The Hamptons rode with a young member of their military family, 7-year-old Jacob Fanene. Cindy Hampton served with Jacob’s mother, Selesitina Fanene, who continues to serve in the Army.
“It’s honoring everybody that’s served and protecting our freedom,” said Fanene, who was awed by the turnout. “For me, I do it because I love my country, and somebody has to do it.”
Reach Ellis at (803) 771-8307.