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Watkins Memorial High School to honor first responders, veterans during football game

Fred Pringle, who served for 31 years and lost his dad during the Vietnam War, said the event is like a thank you to him.

ETNA, Ohio — Watkins Memorial High School is honoring first responders and veterans during its football game Friday night.

“That, that’s my hero,” said Fred Pringle.

Pringle holds a picture of his dad, Joe Pringle. It’s the last picture that was taken before he headed back to war.

“He was on a maintenance mission in Vietnam in February 1968 and they lost contact with the helicopter and it went down. Him and four others are still listed as missing in action,” Fred explained.

His dad’s service, and losing his dad at a young age, impacted Fred and prompted him to serve his country. Service Watkins Memorial High School will honor as a part of their First Responders and Veterans appreciation event.

Fred told 10TV why it was important for him to serve.

“Part of it is carrying on the legacy and having him not forgotten. That’s one of the easiest things, you are missing, you aren’t there and people forget about it.”

Fred served in the Army Reserves for nearly 31 years, including a tour in Desert Storm, before retiring.

“Travelling, getting to see the world, meeting new people, working with them,” Fred said, talking about what he enjoyed about serving.

Having a father who is lost, but not forgotten, Fred cherishes events such as the one being held Friday night to know others appreciate what he and his dad did for our country.

“It’s like a thank you,” he said with a smile.

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