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Coggon veteran memorialized after sacrifice in Vietnam

Lance Corporal Randall Lee Shackelford, a Coggon native, died in March 1969 in South Vietnam while serving with the United States Marine Corps.

North Linn Community Schools honored all area veterans on Friday - but it's the Marine that never came home that they'll now memorialize forever.

Lance Corporal Randall Lee "Randy" Shackelford, a member of the North Linn High School Class of 1967, was killed in March 1969 while serving with the United States Marine Corps in South Vietnam. He was just 20 years old.

"Randy was just a super guy. He was a good friend," Jim Noonan, a North Linn classmate of Shackleford's and U.S. Army veteran, said on Friday. "He was loyal. He loved life. We loved him."

During a Veterans Day assembly at the high school on Friday, a plaque commemorating Shackelford was unveiled. It will be permanently displayed at North Linn as a reminder of what he gave up for his country.

"To die that young - and here we are, 50 years later, we've lived all of our life," Jim O'Connor, another classmate and U.S. Air Force veteran said. "He didn't get a chance to do that. Sometimes, that's not fair - so I hope that they recognize what a sacrifice it is."

Shackelford's name can be found on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. on Panel 29W, Line 32.

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