As of Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Thanking Vietnam Veterans — unsung, unseen American Warriors across the nation, Americans are uniting in community to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. Without thought of rehashing the war or rewriting history, this commemoration is firmly set on honoring those who bore the pain and price of the war. When asked, these veterans answered the nation’s call. Some fought the war in a distant land of which most had never heard, while others were assigned to support the effort from different locations around the world. Vietnam veterans bravely pursued the objectives established by our elected leaders, yet returned to a society in turmoil. Few wanted to hear their stories, share their hardships, or understand their problems. Most Americans did not separate the warrior from the war, and wanted the veterans — a reminder of the war — to simply disappear.
Flag-draped caskets enshrouded more than 58,000, while many who lived came home with scars born of battle and, in too many cases, invisible wounds coupled with haunting memories. Upon reaching U.S. shores, these veterans (with the exception of the former prisoners of war) received no formal public welcome or recognition of service afforded veterans of previous wars. Instead, the vast majority quietly assimilated back into their communities, raised families and used their talents and leadership skills to strengthen America.
Now is the time to not only remember those who gave their all during the Vietnam War, but it’s also time for all Americans to fully embrace the brave men and women who returned home from Vietnam, often to shame and disgrace, by publicly thanking them with honor and dignity, as well as recognizing the sacrifices of their respective families. Unfortunately, this effort comes too late for 2 million who wore the uniform during this turbulent period in our country’s history, including the 58,000-plus whose names are inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.; these Vietnam veterans already have passed and will not experience their nation’s appreciation during this commemoration.
— James T. Jackson, Retired Army major general,
Director of the Vietnam War Commemoration
The second annual Vietnam Veterans Welcome Home and Recognition Day is set for Sunday, June 24, 2018, at the Idaho County Veterans Center 318 E. Main, Grangeville, from noon to 4 pm.