Andalusia High Honors Veterans in 30th Annual Veterans Day Program

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Andalusia High School celebrated veterans on Thursday with its 30th annual Veterans Day program.

Andalusia High School celebrated veterans on Thursday with its 30th annual Veterans Day program. This year’s program included patriotic poetry readings and songs from the students and featured former First Lieutenant and Andalusia-native John Givhan as the guest speaker.

Givhan served in the Vietnam War, and suffered a horrific injury during his deployment.

“Got to Vietnam on my 23rd birthday, September 19th, 1963,” he said. “On a combat assault mission on April 12, 1964 I was shot in the cockpit at about 400 feet. Basically taking my right leg off and putting it up on the ceiling of the helicopter.”

Givhan was flown to and treated at a hospital in Saigon, where his leg was amputated. He came back to Andalusia, where he says he experienced a lot of hate from his fellow Americans. He claims the attitude surrounding the Vietnam War created a lot of hostility towards those who served. Recently, however, he’s noticed a change in the way people speak to him.

“I’ve kept count, since the first day of January 2016,” he said. “I’ve had more human beings; young, students, female, male, old folks, walk up to me and say thank you for your service. I’ve had more this calendar year than I have had since September ’64 until the end of 2015.”

Givhan said he appreciates all the thanks he and his fellow veterans get daily and especially this time of year, but wants to give thanks for some other people, too.

“Thank you for honoring us. We thank you so very much,” he said.