HONORING GALLANTRY, SACRIFICE AND PATRIOTISM
by Mike Horan, "C" Co. 3rd Recon Bn. 1962-63
The 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, RVN Memorial
County Veterans Memorial Park is located in Central Florida, approximately
90 miles from
Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando. Located close to downtown Ocala on an 8 1/2 acre tract of donated land,
this park honors the service of all veterans of all wars in all six recognized branches of the U.S. Armed Forces:
Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines.
of this park is the Medal of Honor Plaza which celebrates Florida's eighteen
recipients of the highest
award for bravery given by the United States of America. Marion County's only Medal of Honor recipient is U.S. Army
Staff Sergeant Hammett L. Bowen, Jr. a hometown hero. The park and the special tributes in the
Medal of Honor Plaza has attracted veterans groups, tourists and visitors from all over the United States.
This dynamic tribute is increasingly becoming known as "Florida's Medal of Honor Park".
in the Medal of Honor Plaza is "Charlie Co. 3rd Recon's own", Marine
PFC Robert H. Jenkins, who was
KIA March 5 1969 at Fire Support Base Argonne, RVN. Many are struck by the ironic similarities in how
PFC Jenkins and S/Sgt Bowen lost their lives. Both individuals saved the lives of fellow squad members by shielding
them from the devastating effects of exploding hand grenades. Heroic efforts indeed!
three fourths of the park is complete. Several big-ticket items will be completed
in the coming years.
These include a main ceremonial stage, veterans museum, gazebo for civic and community concerts, lighting,
landscaping and a state of the art sound system.
Association members knew this park was a fitting venue to honor 3rd Reconners.
a memorial has been built thanks to private donations and support from individuals members and their families.
The centerpiece of this memorial is a 24" X 17" four color grey granite plaque complete with Battalion unit insignia
and the names of four MOH recipients from 3rd Recon who were KIA in the Republic of South Vietnam.
The Battalion plaque is centered in a stanchion of 72 red etched memorial bricks purchased by individual 3rd Reconers.
By any standard this is a strikingly beautiful memorial.
gallantry for the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, RVN is unparalled. 3rd Recon
Bn is the highest decorated
(Battalion Size) unit in military history. Our contributions and efforts are forever etched in the annals of military history
and lore. With the addition of our own plaque and "Stack of Bricks" in this park, our beloved unit take's it's rightful
place along side other patriots whose sacrifices have helped defend freedom and preserve liberty during our glorious
history. Future generations visiting this remarkable tribute to veterans cannot help but sense the purfume of their
heroic actions - and that's the way it should always be!!!!!
Click here for: Dedication Ceremony & Photos