…and by archive – we mean the ‘collective we’ archive. Part of the U.S. Naval Institute’s mission is to honor those who serve.
There are a number of staff, many contributors, and a whole bunch of members who served in Vietnam. And some, who actually didn’t come home that day – staying behind as Advisors, like those in Iraq and soon, Afghanistan. And those who never come home at all.
If you are anywhere near a Vietnam veteran today, physically – or virtually, welcome them home – or/and welcome home a current veteran.
By Pfc. Chelsea Flowers
On March 30, 1973 all U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam. Instead of receiving a welcome fitting for the sacrifice they made for this country, the majority of the returning troops were met with criticism and hostility.
Frustration. Anger. Disloyal. Unappreciated. All of these words could describe the possible feelings and thoughts that went through the minds of these individuals. Some of these troops were drafted, yet still fought and died for the lives of the men to their right and left, only to be diminished for their accomplishments upon their return.
Over nine million military personnel served during the Vietnam War. Of that number 58,156 lost their lives, while 303,704 were wounded in action.
Politics played a key role in the lack of respect that was due to these individuals. Back then those who were against the war did not support the troops like many do today. Now, government is taking an opportunity to return that respect to the troops.
The U.S. Senate passed a resolution on March 7, 2011, declaring March 30 “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” The resolution currently awaits a decision by the House. This day will be recognized across the U.S. as a day of commemoration, a day to pay the proper respect to the veterans who sacrificed so much during the war.
Vietnam Veteran’s Day is a chance to repair the wrong done to these troops. The people of the United States can finally pay the respect due them.
Many cities and states have events planned for these veterans. Marines from Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow, Calif., have planned a ceremony honoring the Vietnam troops, followed by a parade through Fort Irwin. The base is also hosting a motorcycle ride in their honor.
We should all take this day to give our appreciation to our Vietnam veterans. Taking time out from our busy lives to give thanks for the sacrifices of those who we don’t know is a display of kindness and admiration that means so much to those who expect so little.
Thank you all for what you have done. Semper Fidelis.
“All it takes is all you’ve got.” ASM American