War Veterans Honored In Montgomery With Special Coins

Montgomery, Al. (WSFA) -- John Givhan almost paid the ultimate price after getting shot down in Vietnam.

"Never crossed my mind I might die," Givhan said.

Givhan did lose his right leg but never really felt appreciated for his service and suffering until today. That's when Dennis Clark presented Givhan a special VA hospital coin.

"By honoring me they honored all the veterans,' Givhan said.

Clark once evaluated and outfitted soldiers with prosthetics at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Clark was in town and gave a speech on the latest in prosthetics at the VA hospital in Montgomery.

"This is a Commander's Coin from the VA. Very special," Clark said.

28-year old Josh Olsen is another veteran who lost his right leg from the hip down in the war in Iraq. Clark also honored Olsen with a Commander's Coin.

"It's a life-changing experience but I am fortunate I have family and friends," Olsen said.

John Givhan and Josh Olsen are worlds apart in age and experience but connected by a common thread of war and perseverance. Both lost a limb but found a way to overcome and forge ahead. The veterans say their coins will always be a reminder of their victory over personal loss.

To prove their point Givhan spent the next 28 years as an attorney and Olsen went back to active duty for the Army where he's training as a rifleman. Olsen wants to take that training to a new level. He hopes to make the para-Olympics that will take place after the summer Olympics in China.