VFW ceremony to formally rename post for Entrican

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Brookhaven’s Capt. Daniel Day Entrican went missing in thejungle toward the end of the Vietnam War in 1971, and he’s beenclassified as missing in action ever since.

But he can found in the hearts of veterans who fought beforehim, with him and afterward.

“We’re all brothers in arms,” said Crystal Springs’s Lt. Col.(ret.) Don Taylor. “Capt. Entrican’s story is very touching andmeaningful to us.”

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Taylor will try to explain that meaning as the guest speaker ata memorial and dedication service for Entrican that begins at 7p.m. tonight at Brookhaven’s VFW Post 2618, the Daniel D. EntricanPost. The solemn ceremony is being held to dedicate the post inEntrican’s honor after it took on his namesake years ago, andfeatures a long list of honored guests participating in hisremembrance.

A Mississippi Army National Guard honor guard will post thecolors to begin the ceremony, followed by the National Anthem, thePledge of Allegiance and an invocation by First United MethodistChurch of Brookhaven pastor Dr. Wayne Webster. Members of theEntrican family will be introduced prior to Taylor’s speech, afterwhich Military Order of the Purple Heart liaison Janet Sullivanwill conduct an MIA ceremony.

VFW members will present the Entrican family with a plaquededicated to their missing soldier, followed by the playing of tapsand a closing prayer. Refreshments will be served. The entireceremony is expected to last about an hour.

Taylor’s speech will be a quest for an answer.

“It begs the question, why do young people like this, patriotslike Danny Entrican, why are they willing to answer their country’scall?” he said. “We’re going to talk about why that is, what makesthese patriots different what’s important about them answering thatcall.”

Entrican actually answered America’s call before the call wentout.

He was a volunteer who first served in Brookhaven’s NationalGuard unit, then known as the 155th Infantry Regiment. When theVietnam War began, he transferred to the U.S. Army and trained as aGreen Beret to become an elite warrior of Special Forces.

Serving as a member of Recon Team Alaska, part of the covertMilitary Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and ObservationGroup, Entrican’s team was inserted into Da Krong Valley on May 15,1971, and attacked by an enemy force two days later. He was lastseen trying to escape and evade the enemy on May 18.

Subsequent searches were unable to find Entrican.

Enrican’s story is remembered in the Military Memorial Museum,and his status as an MIA has been mentioned in several books andarticles. Post 2618 dropped its former name, the Johnson Day Post,in favor of Entrican years ago, but never really formalized theswap with a ceremony.

When Billy Hughes became commander of the post in January, hebegan pushing for tonight’s event.

“A lot of people have a ceremony and different things, but hehas never had anything,” he said. “This is in honor of him, and tolet the family know people still care for those who gave theirlives for this country.”