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Reno County KIA Vietnam Veterans Honored

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By the Vieyra Honors Foundation

 

RENO COUNTY, Kan. — According to the most recent Census data, “Reno County, KS has a large population of military personnel who served in Vietnam, 1.36 times greater than any other conflict.” Today, there are 3,030 veterans living in Reno County. Of those, 1044 served in the Vietnam War. Vietnam War Veterans Day is celebrated each year on March 29th. KS4Vets, formerly Central Kansas Veteran Community Partnership (CKVCP), hosted a dinner for local Vietnam Veterans, including a ceremony to remember those who were Killed in Action (KIA).

In all, 17 Reno County Vietnam Veterans were KIA. One of those 17 was PFC Henry Lee Fisher. Fisher was born on May 31, 1947 in Haven, Kansas to Kermit and Chlodine Fisher. He was the second oldest of four children. The Fisher Family are lifelong Haven residents and all four kids graduated from Haven High School with Henry graduating in 1965. Fisher’s father proudly served in the Army during WWII so both of his boys chose to follow in his footsteps and serve their country. Upon graduating high school, Fisher enlisted along with two high school buddies. Fisher was rejected the first time due to a hernia that was found during his physical. Perhaps he could have walked away right then but he chose to return to Haven, have the hernia repaired, and went back and enlisted. Fisher joined the Army and became part of the 16th Infantry 1st Infantry Division and was eventually sent to the frontlines of Vietnam. Sadly, he would never return home. He was just 20 years old.

This winter, Fisher’s family worked with KS House of Representatives to pass House Bill 2481 to dedicate the portion of K96 from the east to west borders of Haven, Kansas as the PFC Henry Lee Fisher Memorial. The family is responsible for raising the $12,000 necessary to complete this project. To date, they have raised half of the funds needed. While KDOT does all of the work and maintenance of the highway, the family must pay for the signage. Together, with the help of Vieyra Honors Foundation (VHF), a fundraising event has been planned for Thursday, May 9, 2024, from 7‐10 PM at the Baker Ballroom located at 17 E 22nd in Downtown Hutchinson with proceeds going toward the PFC Henry Lee Fisher Memorial. This event will feature a live performance by Hutchinson’s very own country music singer/songwriter Morgan Wilk, a full taco bar, and a silent auction that is packed with more than ten amazing items.

Silent auction items include:
  • Apollo 13 16×20 photo signed by Fred Haise
  • Apollo 13 8×10 photo signed by Fred Haise
  • Weekend of golf for (2) at Sand Creek Station in Newton (2 sets available)
  • Weekend of golf at Firekeeper Course in Topeka
  • 1-night stay at Historic Elgin Hotel in Marion + dinner
  • Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad Excursion Train Ride for (2) adults and (2) kids
  • Gourmet food basket
  • Mother’s Day gift basket w/ massage from Anima Bella Salon
  • Emeril Lagasse 10 in 1 French Door air fryer
  • Midway Motors gift basket- oil change and full car detail
  • Zoo package with passes to Sedgwick County Zoo and Tanganyika Zoo
  • Ride for 1 in a Cessna UC-78 WWII-era plane
  • Tanganyika Zoo passes for (4)
  • Date night with (2) tickets to see Country Music Legend Doug Stone in Kingman on October 19 + dinner

Tickets are just $35 and can be purchased online (vieyrahonorsfoundation.org/events) or phone (620.960.8215). This event will not only honor PFC Henry Lee Fisher but all Reno County soldiers who were KIA in the Vietnam War to ensure that their ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms must never be forgotten.

VHF is a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to support veterans’ programs in Reno County by providing resources through fundraising and awareness initiatives. Registration, VHF merchandise and more details about VHF can be found on their website: https://www.vieyrahonorsfoundation.org/.