Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

September 21, 2013

Rain dampens reunion, spirits remain high

Veterans continue to flow into the grounds on Ind. 26.

Mike Metzger of Detroit had his right eye shot out in Iraq in 2006 the same day Saddam Hussein was killed.

Suffering from PTSD after his stint in Iraq, Metzger found solace when he came to the Vietnam Veterans Reunion last year.

“I came with my VFW buddies last year,” he said Friday while walking through the 40-plus acre grounds on Ind. 26.

“Now, I can’t leave,” he said. “I love this place. I’ll be back next year.”

Serving with the Army’s 25th Division out of Hawaii, Metzger was sent to Iraq.

“I jumped out of helicopters and conducted Humvee patrols,” he said of his service. “I was shot in my right eye and was blown up several times. Now, I’m medically retired.”

Once he found the healing field, he knew he was where he belonged.

“I feel safer here,” he said. “It really is a healing field.”

Metzger, 33, is one of a growing number of younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan attending the reunions or who have become members of the veterans organization.

Even though the name says Vietnam veterans, the organization welcomes veterans of all wars.

“I’ve seen a lot more younger veterans this year,” he said.

As Metzger made his way around, veterans from across the country continued to flow into the grounds on the second day of the reunion.

Across the way, several soldiers from the D Company 815th Engineers educated a group of Taylor High School students and let them climb aboard a replica Vietnam-era gun truck called “Wild Thing.”

Along with the 5-ton gun truck, the unit had a 2 ½ ton gun truck called “I’m Not Happy,” and two other jeeps that were part of a convoy during the war.

“Any letter that I wrote home I started it with ‘I’m not happy’. So that’s what I named the truck,” said unit member Randy Recht, who served in Vietnam in 1971.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Higher ed chief rolls out class load campaign INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's higher education commissioner wants college students to get the message that they should take at least 15 credit hours each semester if they expect to graduate on time. Commissioner Teresa Lubbers on Monday kicked off a

    July 29, 2014

  • Illinois man leads police on high-speed chase PERU — An Illinois man driving at speeds of 120 mph led officers from three counties on a high-speed chase Sunday before crashing into a utility pole. Peru police say Isaac K. Hoefling, 31, Lamont, Illinois, was first pulled over by Howard County dep

    July 28, 2014

  • Gary Rhum bringing music lessons to Catholic school Rhum Academy of Music's owner is set to give all students at Sts. Joan of Arc & Patrick School music lessons next year as part of the school's curriculum. When Gary Rhum talks about why he loves to teach kids music, the long-time performer and instru

    July 28, 2014

  • Permanent road closure has Miami Co. residents worried PERU — Residents who live near a safety-flare company that’s expanding north of Peru spoke out against a proposal to permanently close a section of county road that runs through the company’s facilities. Orion Safety Products, located at 3157 N. 500

    July 28, 2014

  • One killed in overnight wreck One person was killed in an overnight car accident involving a car and semi in the northbound lands of US 31 near the junction with US 931. Rescue crews from the Galveston Volunteer Fire Department and Kokomo Fire Department responded to the scene. C

    July 29, 2014

  • Commission postpones rezoning vote for Functional Devices land TIPTON — Residents of Prairie Acres subdivision will have to wait at least two more weeks to learn the fate of a pair of zoning requests from Functional Devices. At Monday’s regularly-scheduled bi-weekly county commissioners meeting, city-county plan

    July 29, 2014

  • The Annex 01 Move-in date approaching at The Annex of Kokomo A new apartment complex catering to Indiana University students is ready for occupancy. Some students will be able to move into The Annex of Kokomo, located across the street from the IUK campus on Washington Street, as early as Aug. 1, while the maj

    July 28, 2014 6 Photos

  • Teachers worry about revamped ISTEP test INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana teachers heading back to classrooms starting this week are facing the daunting task of preparing students for a standardized test that's been retooled for the third time since 2009. Some teachers and district administrator

    July 28, 2014

  • NWS - KT072514 - Maconaquah celebrates 50 years - CLG Maconaquah alumni return to celebrate school's 50th anniversary Many fond memories were shared recently as 50 years of Maconaquah graduates gathered to celebrate as many years of Maconaquah High School history.But for all the reminiscing that took place, there was an equal amount of well wishes for “the next 50 y

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spirits high at Brickyard 400 SPEEDWAY – Despite threatening skies and chances of rain, fans at the Brickyard 400 were not disheartened by the forecast. Brickyard 400 race day dawned with rain and fog, and the sun broke through the clouds at mid-morning. Fans expected the race to

    July 27, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries