LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– The Jefferson County Platoon was a unique group of recruits during the Vietnam War. It included 50 young men from high schools in one area, enlisting together.
CBS4 first introduced you to the men as members of the platoon worked to reunite the group 50 years after they left Colorado for basic training.
Last year, Joe Sleevi, Don Emmot and Ron Rickard organized the first reunion.
“The hardest quote we heard was ‘We thought we were forgotten,’” Sleevi said.
“You kind of just came home, put your uniform away, and went on about life,” Rickard said.
Hearing that, the trio set out to find a more permanent way to pay tribute.
“The welcome home after 50 years,” he said.
Now, there is a place in the Lakewood community where their service and sacrifice will always be honored.
“We made it a marker for the 40 some people in that platoon, for their families, and for other generations and we made it for other veterans,” Sleevi said.
While it is certainly long overdue, the small stone bench and photo is more than a place to sit, it is an answer to that question about being forgotten.
“If there were times when I thought I was alone in this effort, if I thought like many veterans I was alone in the war, I realize I was not,” Sleevi said.