Garinger remembers those who didn’t come home from Vietnam - | WBTV Charlotte

Garinger remembers those who didn’t come home from Vietnam

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A bittersweet reunion is underway this weekend in Charlotte. The Garinger Class of 1964 is celebrating its 50th anniversary, but they are also taking time to remember those who gave their lives for their country in Vietnam.

The school would lose 15 graduates.

Hugs and very heavy hearts were delivered at a place that brought more healing from what's been billed as an unpopular war.

Ron Tucker is a member from the Garinger Class of 1964 who paid tribute to his classmates that didn't return home from the war.

"We had four guys in our class of our 50th reunion today and tomorrow who died, and didn't come home and I just thought we ought to do something for them," Tucker said.

What they did was honor the Vietnam servicemen at their high school alma mater. Larry Walker offered a flood of memories.

He was a member Garinger's class of 64 was one the driving forces behind the memorial that sits at the front of the school..

At the top of the list was Mike Smith. Everyone knew him as Pinky.

"Pinky Smith was a tough dude. Anyone one who becomes a Marine is the best of best," Walker said.

His passing became front page news at the school paper, and his sister Ramona Carlton was presented with his picture.

She said, "What I would have loved is for my mother to have lived a few more years to see this honor."

Darrell Lee Davis never got to meet his sister Paula Foxx. "He wasn't just an airman was also someone's child, someone's brother."

In many ways their sacrifices live on due to the fact that the Garinger Foundation is now funding 15 college scholarships in memory of those who gave sacrifice and service.

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