COMMUNITY HEROES: Vietnam veteran works to preserve names of Sullivan Co. residents who gave the ultimate sacrifice

Community Heroes

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) Along Tennessee State Highway 93, in Sullivan County, drivers can find a newly dedicated bridge.

“There’s always a lot of healing that takes place before we do one of these with family members and community members, and we want the community members to never forget that sacrifice that was made,” Vietnam veteran Samuel Jones said.

It dons the name of Kingsport native, Corporal Robbie Glen Light, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in 2006.

Jones said, “Corporal Robbie Light was the first from Kingsport killed in Afghanistan and this is the first bridge that I’ve done for the current conflicts.”

Jones has helped dedicate more than 20 similar bridges to other veterans from Sullivan County.

“Those freedoms that we have… don’t take them for granted because men and women have sacrificed their lives to protect those freedoms,” Jones said.

Jones, a veteran himself, was drafted while in college at etsu to serve in vietnam from 1968 to 1971.

“I spent 16 weeks in the states and two years in Vietnam.” Jones said, “We supported the 4th Infantry Division up in Pleiku, Vietnam.

His highest rank was an E5 Sergeant.

“Being able to make sure that our troops that were on the ground were getting the supplies that they needed, the equipment, the ammunition, food,” he explained.

Jones’ time serving overseas has trained him to serve back here in Northeast Tennessee.

“I currently serve as the County Commission for Sullivan County. This is my 15th year,” he said. “My wife has been my support for a lot of things that I’ve been involved in.”

He also helps veterans through the Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council (TCMAC).

“We’re an umbrella organization for other veterans and businesses that want to help veterans in this community.”

Other organizations Jones is involved in are the Kingsport Greenbelt Community and the Salvation Army Advisory Board.

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