JONES COUNTY (WDAM) - Members of a recently-formed, state chapter of a national veterans organization gathered with another long-established veterans group to honor a local hero who gave his life for his country during the Vietnam War. The Mississippi Chapter of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association and the Marine Corps League hosted a memorial service Saturday afternoon for Marine Lance Corporal Roy Wheat.
Wheat was killed in action in 1967 and is the only Mississippian to be awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.
The brief service included the laying of a wreath at Wheat's grave site at the Eastabuchie Cemetery in Jones County.
The state chapter of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association was formed just 10 months ago.
"Since we're a brand new chapter in the State of Mississippi, we wanted to get out and start to pay respects to fallen comrades," said Joe Pellerito of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.
"I'm so happy the combat veterans are doing this," said Royce Nation, commandant of the Commiskey-Wheat Detachment of the Marine Corps League. That detachment provided an honor guard for the service.
"They don't forget the ones who sacrificed so much for this country and I think it's a wonderful thing what they do," said Wayne Wheat, brother of Roy Wheat. Several other members of the Wheat family also attended the service.
The state chapter of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association is based on the Gulf Coast.