Veazie bridge named in memory of only resident killed in Vietnam War
Hayward Carl Spencer was an army medic serving in South Vietnam on March 11, 1967 when he died
VEAZIE, Maine (WABI) - A bridge in the town of Veazie has been named in memory of the only resident to be killed in the Vietnam War.
”He attempted to cross an unprotected area to give first aid to some of his wounded comrades. As he neared his goal he was killed instantly by an exploding enemy mortar shell,” said Jill Milligan, Hayward Carl Spencer’s niece.
Hayward Carl Spencer was an army medic serving in South Vietnam on March 11, 1967 when he died.
”Among other awards, Hayward earned the Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star with valor,” said Mark Leonard, Veazie town manager/ Veazie police chief.
Before he signed up for service, he grew up in Veazie.
“Hayward was a good kid. He got into some trouble, he raised a lot of hell,” said Frank Jordan, Hayward’s friend.
Jordan, a lifelong friend, fondly recalls summers spent playing basketball.
“His brother put up a backboard for us and painted it, bright green with yellow. I was in basic training when he got killed in March. They wouldn’t let me come home. I always felt bad and still do that I couldn’t come back for the funeral,” Jordan said.
Jordan had the idea a few years ago to rename the bridge on Main Street in honor of his fallen friend.
He asked local representative Peter Lyford to create the legislation to make it happen.
”It means a hell of a lot really,” said Donald Spencer, Hayward’s older brother.
Donald helped unveil the new signs.
”I think it’s very nice, and I want to thank Frankie Jordan particularly,” Donald said.
”To us, the family, he is our hero,” Milligan said.
”He was not scared of anything,” Donald said.
Hayward’s niece hopes more families can see their loved ones remembered like this.
“There are too many bridges in Maine and there are other heroes in Maine that should be honored,” Milligan said.
”He was a hero. He’s Veazie’s hero,” Jordan said.
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