TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – For years Jim Logsdon has spent Memorial Day the same way.
“I’m alone,” Logsdon said. “I choose to be alone with my thoughts of what happened that day.”
It is that day that brought the Vietnam veteran to the Indiana Veterans’ Home this Memorial Day.
“This is actually the first time I have ever told my story to a crowd,” Logsdon said.
Logsdon, an Attica resident, travels around the country giving speeches about patriotism. On Monday, he was scheduled to speak at the Indiana Veterans’ Home Memorial Day ceremony, but his speech was different.
He told the crowd of veterans and civilians about a particular August day in 1970. His troop was preparing for a firefight when an explosion happened.
Several members of the troop died, and others lost limbs, including Logsdon who lost both legs.
“It was more emotional than I thought it would be,” Logsdon said.
However, it may not have been the veterans Logsdon felt needed to hear the story.
“In some ways, the speech was actually meant for the civilians that are here [rather] than the veterans, but the veterans sometimes need to hear it also,” Logsdon said.
“I think it’s neat because I’ve never heard that story,” Indiana Veterans’ Home Superintendent Linda Sharp said. “Jim has never shared that with me. So, I think he wanted people to know what the veterans truly went through.”
In the decades following the explosion, Logsdon wondered about some of his troop members. Had they survived? What are they doing now?
Then, he got in contact with the man who was behind him that August day.
“Sam got a hold of me a week before 9/11,” Logsdon said. “We were actually supposed to meet on 9/11. He was supposed to fly in from California.”
Sam didn’t make it to Indiana that day, but they soon made up for lost time and now talk daily.
The event also included a speech from U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, as well as remembering all the residents who have died in the last year.