Lynch resident Danny “Butch” Cuzzort, 67, a Vietnam veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart, was honored with a ceremony on Saturday in Lynch where a bridge was named in his honor.
Graduating from Lynch High School in 1965, Cuzzort volunteered for the U.S. Marine Corps before he even graduated from high school. He also volunteered for a 13-month tour in Vietnam.
While serving his country in Vietnam in 1966, Cuzzort was wounded and as a result he lost both legs and one of his arms.
“I tripped what they called an unknown explosive device that was intended to just wound you,” said Cuzzort. “This small device set off some of the ammunition I was carrying and that’s why my wounds were so severe.”
Cuzzort was a recipient of the Purple Heart as a result of his injuries. The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy.
After his military service ended, Cuzzort and his wife, Marsha, moved to Louisville where he worked as a national service officer with the DAV. He retired after 19 years of service.
Returning to Lynch to live six years ago, Cuzzort said he felt honored to have the bridge named for him.
“I don’t think anyone receives any award of greater significance than that of their hometown and the people that they knew and grew up with,” said Cuzzort. “I love the people of Lynch. They are close to my heart. We love our church, Cumberland Pentecostal Church, and our pastor Mike Blair. Everyone has been so kind and generous to us.”
Helping celebrate the event were members of the VFW Post 5171 Honor Guard, who gave Cuzzort a 21-gun salute, Taps and helped in the unveiling of the sign. Recording artist Brooklyn Woods and Mount Sinai Singers Benny and George Massey entertained the crowd with song.
Magistrate David Kennedy emceed the event and state Rep. Rick Nelson presented Cuzzort with a certificate honoring him for “the sacrifices he made for his country on behalf of his fellow Americans.”
“It’s an honor for me to prepare and present this to you,” said Nelson. “I’ve also got a hat to give you which says, ‘Vietnam Veteran — Time was served — Time to honor.’ I think this is appropriate for all Vietnam veterans.”
Cuzzort and his wife have two children, Sean and Melissa, and four grandsons.
Bragging on one of his grandchildren, Cuzzort said, “My youngest grandson, Peyton, just returned from being a Senate page. He recently was awarded the Governor’s Scholarship, which provides him with a four-year college education to a state supported school. I’m very proud of him and all my grandchildren.”
Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde