Senator Jim Mathias welcomed home and thanked our Vietnam War veterans during a reunion dinner Thursday evening in Ocean City.
Surviving soldiers who served from 1970-1971 in the United States Army 9th Infantry Division, 3rd Platoon, have established a tradition of meeting annually. A different veteran hosts the reunion on their home turf each year.
“This year, we’re fortunate to have our Vietnam combat veterans from across the United States, that have remained lifelong friends, right here with us on Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore!” Mathias said. This year’s host was Sgt. Eddie Johnson (ret.) of Princess Anne, Md. Sgt. Johnson served as an Army Specialist in 1970 when he prevented a wounded enemy soldier from exploding a hand grenade, saving the lives of his fellow battalion soldiers. This action earned Sgt. Johnson the Bronze Star for heroism. “Sgt. Johnson and myself as Lower Eastern shore residents, are proud to join with our shore neighbor’s to welcome our distinguished Vietnam Vets here with us enjoying all Maryland’s Eastern Shore has to offer,” Mathias said. Their time together included relaxing at the beach with their families; enjoying the world famous boardwalk, the opening of Springfest 2018, and experiencing some of the legendary boardwalk treats including french fries, caramel popcorn, and all the Boardwalk specialities that added to our Vietnam Vets memorable visit, some for the very first time.
Senator Mathias joined Sargent Jones, co-hosting this reunion at the Embers restaurant in Ocean City, where he presented them with a Maryland State Senate citation, while thanking them for our freedom and their service to our great nation.
Mathias is a proud member of the Veterans Caucus of the Maryland General Assembly. He has staunchly supported our men and women in the armed forces throughout his legislative career.
During the most recent Legislative Session, Mathias co-sponsored legislation passed that creates additional tax benefits for veterans (SB 996), a bill which now awaits Gov. Hogan’s signature.
Senator Mathias’ legislative success during his tenure includes the passage of legislation enabling veterans to have “veteran” status notated on their Maryland driver’s licenses (SB 276 2012), the passage of legislation that he championed for several years that established the mandatory flying of the POW/MIA flag at all times over certain state buildings (SB 579, 2107), as well as other veteran support bills and actions. “I am most grateful we, as citizens of this great state and nation live our freedoms of speech, religion, thought, and actions daily as a direct result of the dedication and commitment our veteran men and women have made and continue to make for our country. Their service, sadly in many cases resulted in making the ultimate sacrifice with their lives, provides for our freedom and the freedoms of our future generations. I am eternally grateful for our veterans service, their family’s sacrifices, and the inspiration their service provides to our current military personnel as they serve our country, while protecting our freedoms and legacy of our grateful nation,” Mathias said.
Senator James N. Mathias represents District 38, which includes Somerset County, Worcester County, and part of Wicomico County on Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore. He is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over healthcare, energy, and business legislation. Mathias previously served as a member of the House of Delegates, and as the Mayor of Ocean City.
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