Community honors its fallen Vietnam soldier - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Community honors its fallen Vietnam soldier

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The gymnasium at North Linn High School was full of veterans being honored for the district's Veterans Day assembly, but it was one of the men who never made it home that was the special honoree.

A member of the North Linn Class of 1967, Lance Corporal Randal "Randy" Shackelford never returned home from the Vietnam War. Instead, at only 20 years old, he paid the ultimate sacrifice. He was the only area servicemen to die during the war.

A plaque honoring Shackelford was unveiled during Friday's assembly. It'll hang near the gym as a way to honor him now and for years to come. 

"I knew Randy real well and I liked him. When he talked about joining the marines his folks asked me to come over and try and talk him out of it,"  Grant McKee said. "I went over and talked to Randy and like I said he was reckless and he was going to go the marines." 

McKee grew up with Shackelford's parents. His mother died some years ago and his father just five months ago. Randy was their only son. 

He said it was special to see him get recognized after all of these years.

The assembly was finished with a special send off for the veterans. Elementary students lined the halls of the school waving American flags and saying "thank you" as veterans walked through.

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