Stretches of Thurmon Tanner Parkway leading to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs clinic in Oakwood were dedicated Wednesday in honor of veterans from World War II through the Vietnam War.
In separate ceremonies, veterans unveiled signs marking Thurmon Tanner from Mundy Mill to Oakwood Road as World War II Veterans Parkway; Oakwood Road to Plainview Road, Korean War Veterans Parkway; and Plainview Road to H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway, Vietnam War Veterans Parkway.
“I’d say at least 200 veterans per day travel this parkway,” said Vietnam vet Johnny Hulsey, who helped spearhead the effort. “I believe if a World War II veteran comes down that parkway and sees that sign, it would put a little smile on his face — same with the Korean and Vietnam veterans.”
Ed Clark, a veteran of all three wars, said, “I can’t (think of) a better or more appropriate place to put these signs. All the (area) veterans, sooner or later, are going to take this route — some of us more often than others.”
Veterans gathered for photos at their respective signs, culminating with a group shot of about 30 veterans from all the wars at the Vietnam War sign.
“I think this was a beautiful presentation,” Korean War veteran Darrel Whiting said. “It was very touching to see the guys come out — just a few of them from World War II, as there’s not that many left.”
He told Hulsey, “It was a great job. Very touching.”
“Thank you,” Hulsey said. “It was a good day, a happy day.”
Hulsey, as part of the Rock Creek Vietnam Veterans, pushed to get the signs installed soon after the VA clinic opened in September 2013. He started by contacting state officials, then turned to Oakwood after learning the state doesn’t maintain Thurmon Tanner, City Manager Stan Brown said.
Oakwood spent $600 on the signs and passed a resolution honoring the event.
The city desires “acknowledging and celebrating the service of those veterans of U.S. wars as they travel along Thurmon Tanner,” the resolution states.
Thurmon Tanner is a four-lane road running from Phil Niekro Boulevard in Flowery Branch to Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13 near Interstate 985 in Oakwood.