Vietnam vet added to ‘In Memory’ program
Distinction honors those who died from illnesses as a result of military service
Vietnam veteran Ronald D. Creps of Martinsburg will be posthumously inducted into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s In Memory program during a special ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 16.
The program, created in 1993 by the Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial group, enables families and friends of those who came home from the war and later died from illnesses as a result of their service the opportunity to have them be memorialized, according to the program’s website.
It was Amy Kennedy, Creps’ younger sister, who applied for him to be honored.
“It’s really neat stuff,” she said. “I’m glad we finally looked into it.”
In 1999, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund began managing and hosting the program. Since then, more than 5,000 veterans have been honored.
Now, Creps will be joining their ranks.
Born on June 7, 1945, in Clappertown, Creps served in the army for a few years before being sent to Vietnam for 11 months in 1964. While there, he served as a wrecker operator and earned a Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and a Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He was also presented a Certificate of Achievement, which is given in recognition of faith and efficient performance of duty to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, according to his In Memory page.
After returning home, Creps married and settled in Everett, where he worked as an auto mechanic. He was a member of the North/South Skirmish Association, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Rifle Association.
“Ron didn’t ever want to talk about the many bad things he witnessed,” Kennedy said.
While in Vietnam, Creps was exposed to Agent Orange, a powerful herbicide used by the military to eliminate forest cover and crops for North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops. He developed lung cancer as a result of the exposure and passed away on July 24, 2006, at the age of 61.
The other 2021 inductees from the area include Harold Deroy Barefoot of Alum Bank, died 2003; Terry Elmer Fix of Bedford, died 2018; Richard Edward Greaser of Bedford, died 2014; and James William Wood, III of Bedford, died 2018.
The 2020 induction ceremony will also be held next month, after the original date had to be canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. The only 2020 honoree from the area is Richard Benton of Bedford, who died in January 2020.
“So many of these men and women may not have had outward scars that you could see, but the inward scars they carried the rest of their life is something the rest of us can never truly understand or comprehend,” Kennedy said. “They all sure do deserve our respect and recognition for the sacrifices they made for our country.”
Mirror Staff Writer Rachel Foor is at 814-946-7458.