Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day

By: Angela Howard Email
By: Angela Howard Email

Some 40 years ago, the men and women returning from Vietnam were shunned by their fellow Americans, but that 'scarlet letter' is slowly fading and legislation in the U.S. Senate may lighten it even more.

In 1954, Veterans Day as we know it officially became a federal holiday, and we've celebrated it on November 11th since 1978.

The day is supposed to honor American veterans of ALL wars, but the negative stigma attached to the Vietnam War makes some vets who fought during that time feel left out.

"I don't believe that we received the true appreciation at that time and certainly the ones that went over later didn't receive that appreciation," said retired marine and Vietnam Veteran George McKee.

That's part of the reason why Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson co-sponsored a resolution to designate March 30th as "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.

"The brave Americans who served our country in Vietnam deserve recognition and gratitude for their sacrifices," Isakson said in a statement, and Vietnam Vet Joe West agrees.

"The idea is, is to put the negative welcome and the negative connotations that the Vietnam Vets had when they came home and put a lot of that to rest, and change the image," said Joe West, Vietnam Veteran and president of VET Inc.

And while many may not celebrate this day with the same grandeur displayed in November, local vets who fought in the Vietnam War say, it's a step in the right direction.

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  • by Proud son and brother on Mar 31, 2011 at 09:59 AM
    My father and now brother were/are in the Army. I went to college and work behind a desk all day. Not sure who got the better end of the stick. I don't need a day to appreciate our arm forces, I live it every day, but if they want one they deserve it. Words can’t describe the gratitude all of us should have for our soldiers. None of us would be here if it wasn't for them. GOD BLESS OUR SOLDIERS, and come home safe my brothers and sisters.
  • by twhite Location: Tally on Mar 31, 2011 at 06:18 AM
    I am lucky enough to have a father who fought in vietnam, and returned home. the ones who did not are heros also. Remember them as well. My father tought me alot about the war. How some americans were forced to fight, others fled the country.... My father went and fought, he and every other veteran from that war deserve MUCH MORE than what this country have given. I love my father and the brave men and woman he fought with. THank you all!
  • by U.S. Army Vet Location: Titusville on Mar 31, 2011 at 05:33 AM
    I agree with RetiredMarine.We Vietnam Vets don't need a special day.We have days to honor all Vets and that is as it should be.Welcome home Brother.
  • by JOHN Location: Florida on Mar 31, 2011 at 03:31 AM
    All the Nam vets should be marched by the reviewing stand first..... then Obama and Pelosi and the rest of the Beltway Progressives/Democrats can throw their bags of crap/urine on the "baby killers" as they pass by ----just like they did in the old days. I remember them doing it to me while I marched in Sacramento in 1969. I'll never forget that,,,,, Say, how 'bout an apology, Mr. Prez?
    • reply
      by Dex on Mar 31, 2011 at 03:41 PM in reply to JOHN
      Indeed, sir, thank you and all soldiers plus military families present and past for service and sacrifice. If any Vets deserve a special day it would be those of the Vietnam War...their treatment was a national disgrace. Further, let's create even more of these war memorial days....let's do everything we can to remind humanity of their inhumanity. Globally, mankind has an atrocious memory, even as they attend church week after week, man creates war...century after century. We need more reminders that war hurts, and chances to honor those who understand this like no other...a veteran.
  • by RetiredMarine Location: Tallahassee on Mar 30, 2011 at 11:19 PM
    Too little, too late. But as an aside we have a Memorial Day, National POW, MIA Day, and a Veterans Day, there is no need nor should the precedent be made to recognize a single conflict with a day of it's own...It takes away from and weakens interest when so many are put on the agenda....
    • reply
      by Franklin Thompson on Mar 31, 2011 at 07:47 AM in reply to RetiredMarine
      Yeah, sort of like Black history [MONTH]; 28 or 29 days as opposed to the 4 days you mention to honor Veterans.
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