Chapter 1078 Replaces Wildfire Victim’s Purple Heart

Sevierville, TN

Friday was an emotional day in Sevierville, TN for Jim Cogdill, a disabled Vietnam veteran. The motto of the Vietnam Veterans of America is “never again will one generation of vets abandon another.” Jim Cogdill, who lost his home in November’s wildfires, received a check for $1, 000 from VVA Chapter 1078 of Knoxville.

“All of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapters around Tennessee came together and contributed some funds so that we could have the opportunity to help out our fellow veterans who suffered as a result of the fires, ” said VVA Chapter President Don Smith.

The Cogdill home was destroyed in the wildfires that swept through Gatlinburg and Sevier County on November 28. Last month, Jim Cogdill’s son Travis explained how he and others searched the debris for his dad’s missing Purple Heart, but couldn’t find it.

In 1966, then-Specialist Jim Cogdill with the First Cavalry Division in Vietnam, lost his left leg in combat. Friday, his fellow Vietnam veterans presented him with a replacement Purple Heart. Jim Cogdill’s eyes filled with tears when given the ribbon.

“The people at the veteran’s store in Pigeon Forge were gracious enough to say that they would order it for us. Then we tried to buy it, they said, ‘No, we’re going to donate this. We feel like it’s an honor, ” said Rob Kirby with VVA Chapter 1078.

Jim Cogdill has cancer and kidney failure and couldn’t speak for long, but said he was overwhelmed with the VVA’s generosity and concern for his well being. Chapter members say people like Jim Cogdill and others matter.

“Actually this is the fifth veteran we’ve been able to help in this area due to the Gatlinburg fire, ” said VVA member Bobby Northcutt.

Fellow Vietnam veterans were pleased today they could help one of their own.

Video and Source: WATE-TV  


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