Charleston, W.Va. - The new veterans memorial cemetery in Institute will be named after a West Virginia war hero who received the Navy's highest decoration for his service in Vietnam.
Donel Kinnard, who died last February at age 72, was awarded the Navy Cross along with seven Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star for his service defending this nation.
He also received a Navy Commendation, Navy Achievement Medal, Presidential Unit Citation and the Vietnam Service Medal.
He retired from the military after a 22 year career that also included work with the United States Marine Corps.
He served as the state and district commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars as well as the Post Commander for VFW Post #9097 in Teays Valley. He also served as chairman of the West Virginia State Veterans' Cemetery organization and the West Virginia Veterans' Nursing Home Committee.
Senator Jay Rockefeller, Governor Joe Manchin, and other state leaders announced today in Charleston that Dow Chemical donated the land for the cemetery. The Veterans Administration will fund the more than $13 million project.
To hear some of Senator Rockefeller's remarks, click the above video.