Vietnam Veterans Day: Mike Sikes

Charles Michael “Mike” Sikes was born on August 29, 1947, to Charles and Lila Sikes. Mike was the first of three sons born into the family. He enjoyed sports and played on the school basketball and football teams during most of his years at Osceola High School. He graduated from OHS in 1966 and attended Lake-Sumter Junior College before enlisting in the Army on December 27, 1967.

In February 1969, Mike’s unit was sent to Vietnam where on July 28, 1969, at the age of 21, he was killed in action. He served as a Specialist 5th Class in Company E, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division.

Mike was buried in Osceola Memory Gardens in Kissimmee on August 6, 1969. The ceremony honored Mike and other local men who had been killed in Vietnam. Flags were flown at half-mast at all local government agencies and the U.S. Post Offices in both Kissimmee and St. Cloud to recognize the sacrifice of those men, and several businesses closed during the funeral services.

Vietnam War Veterans Day

National Vietnam War Veterans Day is observed every year on March 29 and is a way to thank and honor our nation’s Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. There are five objectives with Vietnam Commemoration and the other four are:

  • Highlight the service of our Armed Forces and support organizations during the war
  • Pay tribute to wartime contributions at home by American citizens
  • Highlight technology, science and medical advances made during the war
  • Recognize contributions by our Allies

Written by Anza Bast

Sources:  Ancestry.com; “Orlando Sentinel” August 5, 1969, August 6, 1969; “Kissimmee Gazette” August 7, 1969