Posted on Jun 19, 2015
CH (MAJ) William Beaver
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It may be 50 years late, but better late than never. I attended Fort Gordon's big 'welcome home' celebration to Vietnam Veterans. About 200 of them were paraded across post to a big celebration and official salute. I spoke to several Vets who had big smiles on their faces, a few tears in their eyes, and comments such as 'this sure beats being spit on!' As for me, I was incredibly moved by these Veterans. They went through hell. It's about time we finally welcome them home. My only question is: why haven't we truly welcomed home the Korean War Veterans like this? That was as much a war as Vietnam.

What are your thoughts on this big welcome home celebration?
Posted in these groups: 74b1c372 CelebrationVietnam service ribbon Vietnam WarPow logo POW/MIA
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Responses: 26
LTC Ed Ross
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Edited >1 y ago
It's a fine gesture, but for me it doesn't make up for the way we were treated. I'm one of those who was spat on in the San Francisco Airport when I returned from Vietnam in 1967. After my second tour in Vietnam I returned home to see Vietnam vets portrayed as murders, baby killers and criminals in TV drama after TV drama. It wasn't until the First Gulf War that attitudes really changed. What makes me feel better is just knowing that the U.S. military today is the most respected institution in the United States. I went on to a 20 year career in the military so I suppose I may not have been as effected as all the enlisted men who came home and got out of the military after two or three years. They had the additional burden of being treated like second class citizens by potential employers and civilians who avoided service in Vietnam.
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SPC Jeffrey Bly
SPC Jeffrey Bly
>1 y
LTC Ed Ross Thank you for your service Sir!
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Sgt Field Radio Operator
Sgt (Join to see)
>1 y
LTC Ed Ross, I am sorry for the way that you were treated. Welcome home Sir! At LAX, I had one teenager ask me how many babies had I killed, and another older woman, telling me to repent for my sins. These memories will be with me forever. Today, I find satisfaction in mentoring our fine men and women in uniform.
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MAJ David Vermillion
MAJ David Vermillion
>1 y
I could have written this, you said it well. I came back in 1967 and again in 1970. Felt the same way. Thank you for your service in Vietnam.
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SSG(P) D. Wright Downs
SSG(P) D. Wright Downs
6 y
The thing that pissed me off was that right through the 90's one would hear on the news, "Vietnam veteran".. and then it would proceed with the crime, usually a firearm related one, that the veteran had commited. This was not fair reporting. I was trained to be a journallist by the Dept of defense. Unfortunately, the civilian news people did not train its reported to be unbiased when reporting news. It made me decide to throw all the training and my degree away and not work for the 4th estate...or is ti the 5th..
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COL Mikel J. Burroughs
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CH (MAJ) William Beaver Way long overdue. It is great to have these types of events from a healing standpoint for some of our great Vietnam Veterans. I'm just so disappointed in the way we handled this 50 years ago as a nation. These veterans deserve so much from a society that forget them and treated them so badly. My Dad is a Korean Veteran and they really didn't get the welcome home our troops get today (or) received the welcome home our troops enjoyed after WWII. No matter whether we win, lose, or draw in a war, when our troops are in harms way and they come home we need to thank them for their service - period!
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CH (MAJ) William Beaver
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Capt Seid Waddell
Capt Seid Waddell
>1 y
COL Mikel Burroughs, your Dad was a veteran of the "Forgotten War".

I am reminded of a Mauldin cartoon from the '60s of a grizzled MSgt at a bar surrounded by tense looking civilians who said:

"When I came back from WWII I couldn't buy a drink.
When I came back form Korea I had to buy my own drinks.
Now everybody just wants to fight."

I know how he felt.
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CPT Pedro Meza
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CH (CPT) William Beaver, you have posted a thread that touch my heart, I enlisted in Nov 1973 and started active duty in January 1974, all my instructors were Vietnam and Korean War soldiers with the 0-6 a WWII soldier. I would also include those soldiers that served in clandestine missions who would return home after weeks or months gone only to be met by an empty home.
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Capt Seid Waddell
Capt Seid Waddell
>1 y
CPT Pedro Meza, it wasn't just the clandestine troops that experienced that. Three men on my crew got "Dear John" letters from their wives in the year I was there.
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CPT Pedro Meza
CPT Pedro Meza
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Capt Seid Waddell - You are right and I am sorry that I left them out. But on the bright it was for the best.
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