The Olney VFW Vietnam War Display will be open to the public on April 28.
The display will feature 45-50 local Richland County veterans of Vietnam as well as soldiers of support units. The exhibit will include a sizeable collection of field and dress uniforms.
Co-organizer of the display, Kaleb Beavers said, “Through our research we have found a few surprises.  At this time, we are wanting to save them for the display, but I can disclose that we have uniforms from all four branches which saw combat in Vietnam.  Also, we were able to recreate the uniforms of every KIA and POW/MIA from Richland County.”
Beavers says he is proud of how rural communities rally around their veterans, welcoming them back after service with open arms and praise.   
He said, “Drive down Main Street in Olney, or any other town from the surrounding counties, and you will see the names of all the soldiers serving today.  I am proud to say that I live in a community like this.”
Preserving history is important, Beavers says, because it allows a people to know where they are going by understanding where they have been. He recognizes the deep commitment required of any individual who serves in the military, and feels it is important that that sacrifice is not forgotten.
While the April 28 display will specifically honor Richland County veterans, Beavers feels it could offer some guidance for surrounding communities who would like to honor their veterans in this way.
Beavers says those interested in the undertaking to should be prepared to do lots of research.
He said, “That means countless hours of studying unit histories, verbal interviews with veterans, unlimited hours of searching local antique stores and online stores for all the original gear and uniforms.  Along with all the time spent speaking with families to obtain pictures and documentation of veterans.”
“It may seem like a lot, but if you are truly determined to do this kind of display, it is not as bad as it seems.  It is my experience that families and the veterans themselves are the biggest help to the process.  They have been more than happy to make sure their families’ sacrifices are remembered.”
“We want to thank our veterans for all that they have done, and all that they continue to do.  To the families that have offered all their help, for the pictures, documentation, and donations of uniforms and other gear.”
While Beavers and his project counterpart Eric Rennier have worked tirelessly to complete the display, they recognize the amount of community cooperation which made this possible.
Beavers extends his gratitude to The Olde Print Shop for helping with flyers.
“If you have seen them around town, they are amazing quality,” he said.
Beavers also extends gratitude to Kistler-Patterson funeral home for the guest book that will be part of the display, and to the Olney VFW Post 4226 for providing the space and the support to hold such an event. 
The Vietnam Display can be visited from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday April 28th, at the Olney VFW
There is no fee for entry.  Cameras and video cameras are encouraged.