Staff photo by Tommy Millsaps
Jimmy Arwood and his grandson, Eli Arwood, remember Larry Arwood, who was killed in
Vietnam 45 years ago. The tribute was part of Sweetwater High's Veterans Day program held
|Published: 10:10 AM, 11/14/2012
||Last updated: 1:58 PM, 11/14/2012
Author: Tommy Millsaps
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
SWEETWATER-Jimmy Arwood put his
arm around his grandson and looked out at the hundreds of Sweetwater High students surrounding
them on both sides of the gym.
"This is what my brother looked
like," he said.
Because Jimmy Arwood's grandson is Eli Arwood, a
current student at SHS, the point was driven home.
brother, Larry Arwood, never really got to grow up. He was killed in action in November 1967 in
Vietnam, not long after graduating from Sweetwater High.
Arwood's poignant story about his late brother was all part of the school's Veterans Day tribute
Students even got to hear the actual letter the
family received 45 years ago about Larry Arwood's death read aloud.
"I told my brother he would never be forgotten," the elder Arwood said after the letter was
The somber tribute to solders' ultimate
sacrifice was further emphasized by Principal David Watts, who paid
tribute to SHS graduate Joey Hunt, killed in action in 2005, and
Robert Repkie, killed in 2010 while serving his country not long
after leaving his days at Sweetwater High behind.
Watts and Vice Principal Rex Rhodes had
gone to the county Veterans Day tribute in Madisonville on Friday in
honor of Repkie, after he had been deserted by his family years ago,
Guest speaker and 1976 SHS graduate
Nita Fioravanti, a retired Army colonel, told how her service had
taken her all over the world and now back to Sweetwater.
Sweetwater Mayor Doyle Lowe asked
Sweetwater High students to partner with him raising money to replace
the weather-worn banners that hang by the train car in the center of
town. The banners were hung in honor of local soldiers killed in
service to their country.
The mayor said if enough money was
raised, he would replace the giant flag that hangs outside the school
on the nearly 100-foot high flag pole.
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