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Changing Attitudes Towards Veterans

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

It's safe to say there has been a shift over the years of how soldiers returning from the battlefield have been welcomed.

Desert Storm vet Allen Hill says he was received with open arms.

"White, black, whoever, they came up to me and shook my hand and said thank you for serving the country so well," says Hill.

Those who fought in the Vietnam War say their return was nothing to celebrate.

"We had a quiet welcome. We didn't want to talk about it when we came back. We just wanted to mix into the crowd," says Vietnam War vet Mark Alvarez.

With the U.S. military death toll in Iraq standing at more than 2,000 and the toll in Vietnam reportedly close to 50,000, over the course of 20 years some may draw comparison to that war and the current War on Terror, and with that wonder why returning vets today are so honored and appreciated, whereas three decades ago they were not.

Vietnam vet Charles Christie says, "I think people are feeling more patriotic due to 9/11, not to say that we weren't patriotic before, but I think that woke up a lot of people who may have not been aware of what could possibly happen."

World War II vet Woodrow Lewis feels sympathy toward those currently serving in Iraq.

"I respect them for what they are doing and I hate to see those young guys go ever there and get killed," explains Lewis.

Overall many feel no matter the political climate, all veterans should receive the same recognition, a sign that over time we have matured as a nation.


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