Why is Vietnam Veterans Day not recognized?

02 April, 2018, 11:25 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • 175 Vietnam veterans honored in West Springfield ceremony

"You didn't feel like you were an American anymore".

It was "life changing", he said, to receive a positive, if belated, homecoming.

Vietnam veterans returned home to a society divided by the war with many people viewing them with distrust and anger.

Bishop noted this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive, some of the bloodiest fighting of the war.

In Pittsfield, veterans are "very, very happy" with how they are served at the local clinic, he said.

Aaron Olson, an Army National Guard veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he attended the ceremony Thursday in honor of his father-in-law Floyd Pesicka who served in Vietnam.

"This was a wonderful ceremony", Patterson said. "It's really nice to see that we can finally do that".

When Robert Russell returned home from Vietnam, there weren't parades or people walking up to shake his hand.

"In 1968, I arrived in Da Nang and served until the end of (1969)", he said.

"Team Redstone's participation is pivotal to successfully reaching these Vietnam veterans and their families, and we are proud to join this effort", said Greg Templeton, Redstone Exchange store manager. Gen. Robert A. Drolet, recognized the veterans at the Exchange Hero Wall and let them know the nation is grateful for their service.

As Dick Taylor, a U.S. Marine veteran and director of the county Veterans Service Department, said, "To all you Vietnam vets here today I want to welcome you home". When you consider just those 65 years and older, that number becomes 1 in every 8 Americans, and when you consider just men of that age, it's 1 in every 3.

"That's why we're taking all these opportunities nationally with VA and here in Northern Arizona to make sure that we say 'thank you for your service and welcome home", she said.

It's been a little over 50 years since 27,000 South Dakotans answered their country's call to serve during the Vietnam War. Whatever the specific method of service, all were affected in some way by that experience.

The ceremony took place Wednesday morning, the day before the National Vietnam War Veterans Day on March 29.

Sheriff Donny Youngblood, the guest speaker and a Vietnam veteran himself, said when he came back from the war in 1969 people made veterans embarrassed about what they'd done in service to their country. Moberly, a veteran from New Jersey, has lived in the Kansas City area for 40 years, and he hopes this new annual observance is the road to more.

"We were never honored", Isenberg said.


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