Surviving Vietnam War veterans have gone through a lot in their lifetimes. Fighting in thick jungles and dense heat, they had to deal with hidden enemies, diseases and other health hazards while being away from their families for long stretches. When they returned – many with post-traumatic stress disorder and other health issues – it was to a nation that didn’t welcome them with open arms.
For their suffering, it’s only right that we honor and remember their sacrifices now while we still can.
March 29 is Vietnam Veterans Day, named as such because it marks the date in 1973 when the last U.S. combat troops were withdrawn from South Vietnam. This year, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald and Defense Secretary Ash Carter are holding a wreath-laying ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., to recognize, honor and thank the nearly 9 million service members from that era. Other satellite events will be held across the country.