Coweta Vietnam veteran bus drivers honored

Vietnam era veterans (L-R) Vincent Booker (Army), Thomas Duff (Navy), Martin Toperzer (Navy), Raiford Smith (Marine Corps), Wayne Moore (Navy), Chester Woodard (Army), David Lewis, Jr. (Navy), Reggie Lybrand (Marine Corps), Orman Harcrow (Army), Robert Woods (Army), Sam Stevenson (Army), James Feltman (Army), Garry Abair (Navy), Stephen Byrd (Air Force), Danny Griswell (Air Force) and Dwight Moody (Army). Photo/Special.

It was a way to pay tribute for services rendered to their country. The Coweta County School System on Oct. 25 honored its 21 bus drivers and mechanics who served in Vietnam or were on active duty during the Vietnam era. A luncheon in their honor was held in conjunction with Bus Driver Appreciation Week and the arrival last week of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall at the Coweta County fairgrounds.

 The Coweta County School System observed Bus Driver Appreciation Week Oct. 17-21. And on Oct. 25 the school system’s transportation department showed some appreciation in turn for some of its own drivers who were also veterans of the Vietnam era.

School system transportation manager Judy Gresham said transportation department employees chipped in and held a lunch to honor 21 drivers and mechanics who served in Vietnam or who were on active duty military service during the Vietnam era.

“The lunch treat was inspired in part by the recent visit of the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall, but is also a part of the transportation department’s culture,” Gresham said. “We’re all about red, white and blue. Most of us wear red shirts every Friday in support of our troops.”

Among the veterans honored were Vincent Booker, Thomas Duff, Martin Toperzer, Raiford Smith, Wayne Moore, Chester Woodard, David Lewis, Jr., Reggie Lybrand, Orman Harcrow, Robert Woods, Sam Stevenson, James Feltman, Garry Abair, Stephen Byrd, Danny Griswell, Dwight Moody, Guy Cox, John Davis, Willie Fowler, David Nash and Dave Parkison.

Gresham said Coweta County school bus drivers safely transport an average of 13,844 students over 12,000 miles daily. Coweta’s 300 school buses rack up over 2 million miles annually in completing 440 daily routes across the county. School Bus Driver Appreciation week gave Coweta schools, students and parents a chance to thank drivers in many ways for their service.

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