3 foreign companies remember, honor veterans at Alex City lunche - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

3 foreign companies remember, honor veterans at Alex City luncheon

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ALEXANDER CITY, AL (WSFA) -

In Alex City today more than a hundred war veterans were remembered and honored by three foreign companies. The luncheon group consisted of mainly Korean War veterans.

"We are free and enjoy the way of life because of you," said Benny McLeod, a front line veteran from the Vietnam War.

The three companies are Hyundai suppliers in Tallapoosa County. The suppliers employ around 2,000 people in the area.

Over BBQ and slaw no one had to be reminded that if not for people like Pat Bailey's dad, Lemuel Allen "Sarge" Bailey, companies like SJA, Inc. and Kwangsung America probably wouldn't be doing business in Alabama. Bailey was a decorated Marine who served in three conflicts; World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. Mr. Bailey retired in 1968 and died in 2007. He was 88.

"I think it's incredible they would go through so much trouble to appreciate those who came and gave of themselves," said Pat Bailey.

Chris McClellan helped put the program together.

"It was important for the companies because at this point they wanted to have an opportunity because of their age and the conditions most of these veterans are in at this point in their lives this is almost a last opportunity to say 'thank you' and what you did for Korea," said McClellan, the Purchasing Manager for KwangSung America in Dadeville.

Later in the luncheon the veterans received roses and plaques commemorating their sacrifice from the very South Korean executives who run the Hyundai suppliers.

"Thank you," said the head of one company to a veteran who in turn 'thanked' him for the jobs he brought to Tallapoosa County.

The Korean War ended 60 years ago this year when both sides signed the Korean Armistice on July 27, 1953.

John Cater was among those who received that special plaque. It's one for the wall.

"The Korean War is not one of the more famous wars so to be recognized is pretty special," said Cater.

For the Korean War veterans it comes down to this; it's one thing to be thanked by fellow Americans, quite another to be remembered by another country.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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