It took over forty years before anyone ever Welcomed me Home. When I returned back to the World in August of 1970, I was met at LAX airport by War Demonstrators and they treated me with cold shoulders, like I was a Criminal. They called me names and I was spit on by a female who called me a "baby killer." I wanted to deck her but I just kept walking. You know, the Marine Corps trained me to do many things, most of all was how to survive. But they never prepared me for what and how I was going to be treated when I finally came back to the States. It really sucked the big one! WTF-over!
As a teenager I disagreed with the war in Vietnam, I was so naive that I couldnt counsel the taking of another life for ANY reason...but I never turned on the troops who had the guts to go over there...later as I matured, I decided that I needed to give back to my country for all that it had given me and for those who never came back from places like Vietnam...To this day I welcome them home heartily. I have rescued many Vietnam Vets from homelessness, which is difficult because they have been on the streets for so long.
GySgt Wayne A. Ekblad Sgt David G Duchesneau SFC Rollie Hubbard @sfcwilliam Farrell SPC Jan Allbright, M.Sc., R.S. Cpl Dennis F. @et all, I have responded to this question before on RP. I was in Nam in 1966-1967. When we arrived at Oakland Army Base, we were warned by our officers that protesters were waiting for us on the Tarmac to protest us being in Nam and they may spit at us and call us names. I had no idea what they were talking about. Sure enough they were there and they called us a lot of names and spit at us. I was not spit on, but only because we were running off the C-141, down the ramp, and formed up. I didn't realize how serious, what they did, was. I arrived at Houston Airport and was walking towards the baggage area when a man stopped me and asked me if I was coming home from Vietnam. I replied, proudly, Yes Sir. He told me I ought to be ashamed of myself. I was stunned and all I could come up with was to tell him to get out of my face before I killed him. Nobody was waiting on me. I took a cab home to an empty house and had to sit outside until my parents came home from work. They were excited to see me. I lived there a few months and was never asked anything about my tour. In fact, I asked my mom if she still had the letters I sent to them. She told me, no, she had thrown them away. When I asked her why, she said, well I read them and didn't think about keeping them. I went into my shell and stayed that way until 2000, when I had a breakdown at work. I started going to the VA in 2001. I was in the documentary " In The Shadow Of The Blade" and was reunited with one of seven injured 5/7th Cav soldiers we picked up one night in An Loa Valley. He had been shot nine times. He was paralyzed from the waist down. We were reunited and that began my reason to want to live. We stayed in touch until November 2012, when he died. All that crap from coming home to reuniting with him, made it all worth it. If you want to see the documentary go to In the shadow of the blade.com Thank all of you Nam vets and Welcome Home Brothers. It's been a long road but we made it. Thank all of you for your camaraderie to us Nam vets and thank you for your service. Keith Bodine
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