14 Sep 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by orangeleafma
Patch Instagram photo by orangeleafma
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Canton High School Honors Town's Missing Soldier

As part of its Veterans Day Program, Canton High School paid special tribute to Thomas H. Perry, a 1960 CHS graduate and U.S. Army Special Forces Medic who went missing in May of 1968 while helping others.

He was helping others at Ngok Tavak near the Vietnam-Laos border when he went missing. The military declared him dead in the 1970s but he's still unaccounted for. 

As part of the tribute, a special plaque and other memorable tributes were presented to Perry's niece Fiona and her son, also named Thomas. The plaque and a special shadow box were made by tech education students under the supervision of Daryl Zordan. 

Bill Newman, past commander of the Gildo T. Consolini VFW Post 3272 in Avon told Perry's story, from his 1966 enlistment in the U.S. Army, his love of caring for indigenous people at at a Civilian Irregular Defense Group, Clinic in Da Nang to his response to a call for for medics in Ngok Tavak near the Laotian Border. 

It was there he continued his practice of helping others, although it likely meant his own life. 

Students working with Jeff DuBois produced a special video tribute for the ceremony that honored Perry and all veterans. 

Fiona Perry said it was a great to see her uncle honored and said she wished her grandmother, the late Peg Perry, who was well known in town, had been there. 

"I just wish my grandma could have seen it," she said. "She would have been very proud." 

Read more of Perry's story  here

Jim Hutton, Jr. Vice Commander of the VFW Post, recited a POW/MIA prayer. He said more than 83,000 Americans are still missing from World War II, the Korean War, The Cold War, Vietnam War and 1991 Gulf War. 

The program at the high school was once again organized by Social Studies Chair Nora Mocarski and the VFW Post. In addition to a ceremony in the auditorium with speakers and performances by the Canton High School chamber singers, the event involved classroom visits, in which veterans shared their stories with smaller groups of students. 

At the end participating veterans were treated to refreshments and had the chance to talk further with each other and students. 

VFW commander Grant W. Hagedorn, said the program was great, the audio-visuals top-notch and the message important. 

"It's always good to get a chance to talk to the students," he said. 

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