It has been more than three decades since my uncle came home from his tour in Vietnam, but he wore the battle on his face for many years. Even when I was little, I understood the man in my family who walked jungle trails as a Marine grunt was different from my other relatives. He didn’t talk about his experiences much, to the detriment of our family and our history.

My uncle’s story is hardly unique among Vietnam Veterans, and the less than welcoming reception from the public played a role in how comfortable many were in speaking about his experiences. As the Marine Corps blog noted, Vietnam Veterans never received a welcome fit for their honor and sacrifice.

Last year, the Senate recognized March 30 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” to right the wrongs of our past. State and local governments are holding their own events in a long overdue motion of support.

This year, the USO of North Carolina is organizing an event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on March 31 to thank Vietnam Veterans. Live entertainment will be on hand, but more importantly, VA will have mobile sites set up to help Veterans sign up for health care and benefits. Veteran Service Organizations will also be on hand to explain the services and support they offer.

If you’re interested in attending the free event, check out this page for more information, contact phone numbers, and information on how to get tickets. And don’t forget to bring a DD-214!

Veterans are still coming home long after the last shot in Vietnam was fired. Men and women like my uncle didn’t have the homecoming they deserved, so it’s up to every community to welcome home our Vietnam Vets any way they can.

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Published on Mar. 15, 2012

Estimated reading time is 1.5 min.

Views to date: 377


  1. Wendell Affield May 7, 2012 at 9:53 am

    I was wounded during my second tour and medevaced home. Antiwar protestors attacked the hospital busses transporting us from air base to hospital. Forty years later I found closure to that incident as I researched my recently released memoir, Muddy Jungle Rivers. Writing about trauma is cathartic. As I read the comments on this site, I thought, these men and women must write of their experiences and pain for the next generation. If your story can help one other person, you are a success. I do agree 100% that these belated “Welcome Home” events are a farce. The only closure is to those who ignored us in the 60s and early 70s when we did return.

  2. Tom Konieczko April 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    I am wondering when the support guys or Vietnam Era Vets are going to get our day for keeping the guys in the Nam supplied with everything from ammo to toliet paper. All you hear is In Country, In Country it took a whole Country to have a war not just the ground pounders. You know there is a saying in the military community Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another generation of Veterans, the Vietnam Vets abandoned us support guys a long time ago. We will never be brothers like the WW2 Vets ot the Korean War Vets, to much hatered for us. According to the In Country Vets we didn’t do a thing during the war. We are called every name in the book, but the one that hurts the most is when we are called Wannabe’s because we a told we are Vietnam Vets because of the time period we served in and then get chastised for saying we are Vietnam Vets. In the eyes of the Vietnam Vet the only Vietnam Vet is the one who saw combat all the rest are Era. If you were In Country and sat behind a desk you’re Era, if you were in Thailand, Cambodia or Laos, Era. If you were on a ship in the waters off Vietnam, Era or flying over Vietnam on bombing missions from another base you’re Era also. I hope one day we can all come together and be brothers, but I don’t ever seeing it happen in our life time.

    Tom Konieczko

  3. Allan Heuton March 30, 2012 at 5:18 am

    As a Marine grunt who did my time in Viet-Nam…..I have no love of my country and can only hope, that before I die.I can find forgiveness for this country sending me there.Sorry.

  4. robert madden usn disabled March 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Charlotte Motor Speedway Blog says;

    {The event is a long overdue tribute to the more than 216,000 North Carolina residents who served in Vietnam, some 1,600 of whom made the ultimate sacrifice.}

    Maybe us Vietnam Veterans from Massachusetts aren’t permitted to go ?
    I know I will not go in my wheelchair. 1970-1974 Para-1973-today.
    Don’t welcome me back now. USN never again.

  5. Richard C Vaspory March 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I am a Disabled Combat Veteran of the Vietnam War (1965-67), The action to welcome Home the Soldier’s of the Vietnam War, is because of the guilt that you have for what you have done to these Soldier’s! How can you ‘thank those that died during the war, or those afterward? You think that this ‘homage’, dissolves what you haven’t done for us more than 40 years? I think not. You are the same people that didn’t recognize us then, and now want to clear your souls, so God will accept you for this ‘ungreatful’ deed! It just reaffirms that there is no God, and if so we will deal with him in our own ways. I have Terminal Lung Cancer, and dying a little more everyday, and had to fight the VA ever since I return from that ‘dirty’ little war that the CIA, and Politicans statrted, and got very wealthy over. On April 2, 1971, my younger brother was KIA, so my family has given more than enough, to this country, and its corrupt agencies that were formed to protect, and care for us. The veteran organization cared even less for us until the older WWII veterans started dying off, then they wanted us with open arms, more so for the money for memberships! The only ones that cared for us was the ones in the field office’s that were also Vetnam Veterans (not all of them though). All they cared about was the politic’s of the organizations. And, patted themselves on the back for all the things they said they were doing for the disabled! Not True. The one’s in Washington, were sleeping in the same beds, with the VA, and Ass Hole politician’s! Keep your ‘thank you’s’, they mean nothing to our brother’s that have gone on before us, of the help they didn’t give to so many of us, and all the suffering they went through All they care about is membership money, and donation’s that have made them Billion’s of dollars for there own sake. Hopefully, own Brother’s of the Iraq and Afghanistan War’s will, not back down from these denial’s of their rights to obtain the benefits they deserve. We, the vietnam Veterans have paved the way, now just stay on course and fight the fight.

  6. Guy Hodgkins March 27, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Yes its too late, so I dont give a S–t any more its allways vets thanking vets or doing for vets.

  7. Leo March 27, 2012 at 7:42 am

    I came back by my self from a war zone to my family with no help from anybody. I have been married 4 times and been in prison. I went to the VA for help for PTSD and they told me I was just very depressed and turned me down. My present marriage is rocky also but reading these comments from others and a wife that won’t giveup on me and a God who will never leave me like our government did I will make it after 42 years of Hell. Semper Fi to all my Brothers and please DON’T GIVEUP

    • Guy C Jacobs May 10, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      Marines! Gods gift to Americai wish i knew how to,but, well I camehome in 75 to a band and Navy and Marine Officers with hands full of medals,and a tv camera .I refused to attend. Idont know why.

  8. S/Sgt Frank March 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    USMC 64-73, VIETNAM 65,66,68

    All Era VETS Check this out;

    The new handbook, called the Veterans Health Benefits Handbook, provides a personalized listing of health benefits based on each Veteran’s specific eligibility.

    It also has contact information for your local VA medical facilities, appointment scheduling information and guidelines for communicating with your clinical team.

    If it’s applicable, information about co-pays is in there, too.

    Distribution of the handbooks began in February, with all 8.5 million Veterans enrolled in VA’s health care system scheduled to receive their handbooks by May 2013.

    You will also receive updates to your handbook to reflect changes to your benefits or eligibility.

    Lot of Vets — A Big Job

    VA operates 152 medical centers and more than 800 community-based outpatient clinics. Last year, inpatient facilities treated more than 690,000 patients, while outpatient clinics registered more than 79 million visits.

    For more information about the Veterans Health Benefits Handbook, visit or call VA’s toll-free number at 1-877-222-VETS (8387).

  9. Tracy Mathews March 21, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I think it is wonderful that you are doing this in Charlotte, NC. My dad spent 2 years in Vietnam and is in need of a liver transplant because of the exposure to Agent Orange. I am proud of my father and very sad that our government is willing to let him suffer and die before they will give him the medical care that he needs.

  10. Darlene March 20, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    I am a Vietnam Era Veteran, Medic, Stationed in SF, LAMC. I was injured during operation baby life, and medically discharged, not eligable for re-enlistment. Being a female veteran has it’s own traumas. I just recently started receiving 10% disability. When the Army started processing me for discharge, I didn’t want out of the military, but they threw me down, in their rush to reduce the troups. Our government is just giving lip service in their thank yous! It’s a shame! We were treated horribly by the public and the government, and even some of our fellow veterans, because we served stateside. Even though there is this big “Thank-You for your service” campaign on now, it is just meaningless lip service in my opinion. Todays veterans are thrown down when they get home too, but the gov says thank you while they screw them. There are more homeless veterans than ever in history, more unemployed veterans than any other group of unemployed. The very companies that got rich from these wars won’t even hire veterans. I think if America wanted to truly Honor Vietnam Veteran’s they would insist on them getting the benefits they deserve instead of spending 19.3 million per hour on yet another war!

  11. Tracey Jennings March 20, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    My father can’t get anyhelp. He recieves his retirement and because of this he does not qualify for help now that he is unable to care for himself. Sad that by serving his country his country turned it’s back on him.

  12. ROBERT ROCHA March 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Lost family in Vietnam and still over there missing in the Jungle of Vietnam. Every State should be involved in welcoming home those who came home but were never recognized. I hope to see something planned in the state of Texas. God Bless those that came home to nothing and God Bless those who sacrificed it all.

  13. jimmy v claus March 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    im a vietnam vet 68/ 69 disabled 100% ,the thing that bother me the most is the way we was treated when we returned home,,when i was released from the hospital at fort ord ca i received a good beating from the locals for my troubles , its to late i think

  14. vietnam vet March 20, 2012 at 10:48 am

    how are we suppose to know if our state is doing anything?

  15. j adams March 20, 2012 at 4:34 am

    here is a perfect example of the treatment of the forgotten vets . my dad a wwII vet had to go to a nursing home because he could not afford to have a live in nurse. even at that i had to help my dad pay for his nursing home as his retirement alone was not enough. what was difficult for me is i was also receiving retirement , so squeeking by eating a lot of soup i was able to pay the $2000 a month plus meds special food , transportation . etc etc . even with dementia he recognized me up until the last month . it was very difficult to watch my dad dwindle down to nothing. i won’t go into the amount of forms and paperwork it took to get some help from the va but fortunately the va granted approx $1600 a month the last year of his life . there was no retroactive pay which would have helped both of us. With all the bs i went through trying to get help for my dad here is the coldest part of it all. my dad passed march 22 2011. since the checks are always one month behind when i got the last check for march i immediately paid the nursing home which i added my $400out of pocket. about one month later i got a letter from va stating that since my dad died before the end of the month they wanted me to pay the $1600 back . they said it was a regulation. excuse me but i am still appauled . pissed etc etc . so please just a warning to my veteran brothers and sisters make sure you die on the last day of the month. THIS IS NOT A JOKE AND I’M NOT TRYING TO BE FUNNY

  16. Pauli March 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Are there any events in Colorado, Utah, Arizona or New Mexico?

  17. Mel March 19, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    OMG I have to thank this string of heart felt remarks. I thought it was only me. We have soooo much in common. I’m a Marine Vietnam vet. I came home on a ship. When we docked, we were told to wear our uniforms. We were spat at. For 40 years, I never acknowledged to anyone, I did the Nam.

    Only recently, did I purchase a hat.. oops “cover” that states I am a Vietnam Vet and I wear it proudly, and maybe YES a little “I was there and am proud of it.” Just waiting for someone to come up and say that it offends them.

    It’s too little too late for a public showing of support. I have ischemic heart disease… due to agent orange. I didn’t even know it was caused by my tour in the Nam. I pledge to inform every Nam Vet, that THEY know.

  18. Robin Million March 19, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Thank you for your service I got this at Muskogee Oklahoma Veterans hospital. Its says what me and and my Veteran ( My Neil ) U..S Marine for 7 plus. Feel expresses how we feel. GOD BLESS WHAT IS A VETERAN??????????????????????? ?? A VETERAN WHETHER ACTIVE DUTY, DISCHARGED, OR RESERVE…….. IS SOMEONE WHO, AT ONE POINT IN HIS OR HER LIFE, WROTE A BLANK CHECK MADE PAYABLE TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, FOR THE AMOUNT OF UP TO AND INCLUDING HIS LIFE. NEED I SAY MORE

  19. Mary March 19, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    My father was a rescue helicopter pilot in Vietnam 1966-67. I was a baby.. He came home, so I got to know him, and got to have my younger brothers. We didn’t realize until he was 60 that he had Non Hodgkins Lymphoma due to Agent Orange exposure. It was already in Stage 4. He passed away Sept 11, 2009 at age 69. I miss him everyday. I am so proud of what he did in Vietnam. He is my hero. I think that a lot of people in my generation (40s) and younger don’t realize that the Vietnam Vets didnt get a welome. Everyone is conditioned to support our troops & welcome military as they arrive home in the airport. It was a different time then and a different war. It makes me sad that my father came home to a less than welcoming nation. It confuses me that people couldnt separate the war/government from the men & women who were fighting for our freedom. Whether you support a war or not, you have to respect that people in the military are trained and they take an assignment and they go. They do their best and then they come home. I am glad that there is a day to recognize the Vets, but I am sure many of you feel it is too little too late.

  20. peyton. March 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    I am grateful having been afforded the opportunity to be a member of the Viet Nam era. It was more than a honor to serve in the far east asia in 1966.It is now time to be grateful, and honor those who gave “All”. We must not hold all responsible for the decision of a few.

  21. Bear Thompson March 19, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    How do you say after 43 years,oops! didn’t mean to spit in your face,and baby burner is a term of endearment?I realize I am just being bitter,but all who recieved the welcome we recieved understand the depth of the hurt inflicted,and the healing proccess is now finally able to start because we are dying off at an alarming rate by Agent Orange poisoning,self inflicted lead poisoning,and lack of government involvment in our health care of Post tramatic stress disorder,which seems nonexistent in Government circles!I do hope the turn out is fantastic,and a lot of Vets are recognized for their sacrifice,but for me, save your hoopla for the returning Vets from Iraq,and Afganistan!Now is their time!Honor them for me so they never know the hurt we had to endure!

  22. James A. Davis March 19, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    As a Vietnam Veteran (1974-75) I am glad that the US is proclaming a national welcome home day. The claims process for us veterans of the Vietnam era is horrible. We are ask to submit documents to support our claims the they send us to doctors who don’t read the documents and render a denial of the claims. They created a fast track for PTSD that is supposed to be completed within 60 days and an agent orange fast track claim tha is supposed to be settled within 90 days. Yet it tkes about a year or more for any decision to be made. They send this letter that says ” We are still processing your claim. We apologize for the delay”. At what point do the processing end and the decision process begins? Backlog can only occur if someone does not take the necessary steps to get the claim processed in, and review the evidence supplied by the veteran. After this a decision can be made without the need for a compensation and penson examination which is just a way of dening the claims. A review of the appeals that have been filed shows that the claims should have been approved at the regional offices instead of tying up the benefits of veterans for years!!!
    Come on people put a fire under yourselves and get the job done right within the alotted timeframe that you say!!

  23. T. Alexander March 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Yes, it really is too late. Its over and done with. The best that can come of the way we were treated is for the American people to have learned from it. They say that history has a way of repeating itself; Lets hope that the lessons learned from the Vietnam War will never allow another returning combat vet to be so mistreated. 11th ACR

  24. Bravo Charlie Charlie March 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Larry Baker, I did not see any phrases like “phuong hoang” or “Bright Light” or even “Leaping Lena” in your grammartically incorrect novella. Let the reader beware.

  25. Jim McCullough March 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    you used way too many hallucinogins my friend.

  26. John D. Miller March 19, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Guilt trip by the powers to be, we are under served by VA and ignored.

  27. mike March 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    The thought might be nice , but im sure this is all going to take time and money, so why not just use the resources to get all these back log of claims handled, so we get our C/P before we’re 10feet under the ground. With all my disabilities i have going on now, i wouldnt go anyway. My life is very limited now. So yes, i would say to little to late also. I need my benefits alot more

  28. C.L.Cook March 19, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Vietnam Vet (1967) Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, I feel all better now

  29. Larry Baker March 19, 2012 at 11:03 am

    By Johnson April 12, 1972

    This is my story of the war in East Asia from Nov 8th 1971 to March 25 1975 which mark the end of the war that was not all the true because after the troops were pull out per say there were 3.500 men and woman that were never heard from again and the US never went back for them and cover up with the lies that they went back and recover the lost people but want they found was body’s that were left there too rot where they were kill. I was part of a support group to which we would go in on foot looking for our MIA. And POW, for we were told our C.O.s if they were not able to walk then we were under orders to shoot them our self for it was better for them to be dead then to fall into hands the Vietnamese hard core or worst yet to the Viet Cong to get their hands on then for they would die 1000 deaths in their hands. On Feb 21 1975 myself and 10 others got Oder’s to go in so we pack up want we needed and we left base camp for want was to be a three days we were gone ten days and brought back 3 men and none of them live to see their home’s again. There was a man in the three we brought home his legs had to cut off blower knees and need blood in which we did not have at that time and the doctors said there nothing they could do for him that it was just a matter of time before he die. So I sit with him and talk with him up until Jim die the 30th of Feb he ask me to take his body back home to Mother and Father and his wife and 6mos old son Jim never got to see his son.
    There was I lot of money Being made off the war in Vietnam for the oil and mostly drugs and lot of it was coming to the US but the US Government didn’t see that part of it all they were wanting to end this war so they could get back into grace and to forget it for in their eyes it was lost and they had save face with the people and most of faith of the people were gone. There were 8 people that were left over there they call us the Phoenix project our orders were just this to kill as many as the communist and Vietnam leaders as we can so that they could make war again so ended the ten year war in the US eyes not for the people that were left over there mop up after they pull out. Out of 16 of my unit three of us came home 13 die within the ten days that were left of hard fighting. One of the worst fire fights that I was in the last 3 days We had cross over from North Vietnam to south Vietnam into a trap to which the last of three were kill Joe a close friend of mine was one…

  30. Lonnie Morris March 19, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I reached my 21st birthday in Viet Nam in 1967. I was old compared to most who served there. No matter what branch of service we were just kids doing what our country thought was right. Most of us were trying to just get our service out of the way due to the draft and get back home to our girlfriends or family. I was discharged on a medical following surgery from Viet Nam. I just never wanted to think about what I saw and experienced and did again. I am now 66 years old. It all comes back most everyday. I have had a great life. Those who came back in silver coffins with a cover flag did not have those same opportunities. I honor and think of them everyday and all of us who served. We were also a great generation.

  31. Carol Epps March 19, 2012 at 8:38 am

    As a fellow veteran, I am glad to hear that the Vietnam vets are finally being recognized. They have waited a long time to receive this recognition. It is well deserved. Carol

  32. Bob March 19, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Ok, we as vietnam vets are getting their welcome home. I want to say thank you North Corolinea. Now whenis the rest of the states going to wake up and do the same, Or maybe they doin’t care

  33. john burroughs March 19, 2012 at 12:17 am

    I am a vietnam vet, spent one year over there 1966. If it wasnt for the afgan/irac war we as v.n. vets would not get much help at all. Thats the way I see it. However I also think that we should get the H—- out of that area, and let those people take care of them selfs. they have already ask us to leave more than once. I will hold the door open for them!! I have been exposed to agent orange, I also have ptsd, an Ischemic heart, I have had open heart surgery because of the a.o. however i would still fight for my country! love my country.

  34. Marsha Rice March 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Also, for those who have posted here that this gesture is perhaps “too little too late” I would respectfully set forth to you that, perhaps you are right, but we have to start somewhere…

    Marsha Rice, MS
    Gen Psych PhD Program
    Capella University

    • vietnam vet March 20, 2012 at 11:14 am

      yes they do have to start somewhere , so start with the processing of all these supposely backlog of claims. im sure most vets would agree to that.

  35. Marsha Rice March 18, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    What a wonderful thing to do. Often our soldiers who have been in combat zones return broken, and this was especially true of those returning from Vietnam. This does not, of course, make up for every dis-service and instance of disrespect that the Vietnam veterans faced, but actions like this are a voluntary, compassionate, and contrite action of atonement extended by the VA (and meant to represent the country at large) as to what should have been done years ago. I have always had ultimate respect for the Veterans Administration, but that has increased astronomically today with the knowledge of this action. Thank you, VA, for perpetually seeking to better yourself and to better serve soldiers and veterans from all walks of life.

    Marsha Rice, MS
    Gen Psych PhD Program
    Capella University

  36. Eagle's Dominion March 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    “Vietnam Veteran 69-70…Proud To Have Served!
    Ashamed Only Of The American Congress And
    The Support Of The American People!”

    As a proud father of a 82nd ABN DIV Paratrooper currently
    downrange on his second deployment in OEF and the brother of a
    Desert Storm Veteran, I vowed they would never receive the treatment
    Vietnam Veterans received returning home! So far we have succeeded.

  37. John Klasavich March 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    At least it’s better than being spat at, called “baby killer” or Americans threatening your family. Of my 22 years in service, 11 were during the Viet Nam era and Americans let us know that we GI’s were to blame for the war.
    It is because of the way we were treated in the 60s and 70s that I don’t give one good god damn about today’s troops. Americans are cheering them while they shit all over us.

    • David March 19, 2012 at 11:21 am

      I feel the same way you do about today’s troops. Where was our welcome home parade. Where are our benifits that we need today since we can no longer work because of Agent orange.
      When I first came home back in 1969 from Nam I didn’t want to tell anyone I was in Viet Nam. At the airport I was call a “Baby Killer” and spat on.
      Viet Nam is part on my live that I and many other Viet Nam Vets live with ever day. I hate the way they treat the troops now when they come home it’s should a big deal.
      Too later you can’t make it up to me and I don’t want your pity.
      Keep your parade just give me my BENIFITS before I die.

    • Veteran March 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      My father was a Vietnam Vet, but I was to small to realize how Americans were treating Vets, I am now a Veteran and did one tour in Iraq, With what you went through why would you not give a damn about the troops these days, they werent the ones booing and spiting on the Vietnam Vets, they are doing the same thing you did follow orders and go into harms way. I am personally ashamed the way your era were treated. It took me a long time when I got out the first time to go to the VA just the they treated Vietnam Vets. I do believe they should take care of Vietnam Vets before they take any other veterans claims, it took me over 2 years and one denial to get my claim. I am so sorry your were trated the way you were. I personally want to welcome home the Vietnam Veterans you paved the way for our troops today.

  38. Nancy Belcher March 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    long time coming is ex deserved in 70 when he came back from busting jungles over there,I did my share for the WAR,sending packages,letters & goodies over there for him & the rest of the guys with him.

  39. Alan Stanley March 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I can think of too many of my friends who returned from Vietnam and slowly self destructed from the horror they experienced. I watched a friend kill himself with alcohol… he died in 1985. I lost other friends too. As for being too little, too late.. for many that will be the truth. Many are now in cemeteries all over this country.

  40. Ken Smith March 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Where to start?—As a Vietnam Vet, thanks for remembering us and for our dedication in fulfilling the requirements that our country placed on us, but learn from the errors that were committed against us by our own country. Many of us came back after our tour and were ready to be discharged, no exit debriefings or exams unless your claimed an injury or illness and were told it would tie up your dischrge by up to amonth or more,,,many made no claims in order to simply get out of the service then. Then later it becomes almost impossible to get claims that were service connected approved. The young men who willingly went when their govenment called were, and often still are, the recipients of disdain and disapproval by the government that sent us. Better to grant complete amnesty to those that ran from there obligations to other countries…What a slap in the face to the veterans to not even require some type job core or similar requirement of the ones who shirkeded that responsibility. But, I guess this is a step in correcting those errors.

  41. Jim Hennes March 18, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I appreciate my brothers and sisters in arms now and from all conflicts. Navy Corpman 2Bn. 26th Marines 67-68.. Didn’t realize the animosity until I returned home. I am pensive re. these events but thank those who support them.
    posts on here re. the VA. I work at a VA hospital now. It’s been my mission to make it a top notch health facility but alas its not. the bureaucracy forbids it. In many ways it still operates in 1960’s mode. Due to confidentiality I am limited by sharing here what I see wrong and can be fixed. I agree if more vets were hired in strategic positions at each VA things would be above board.
    I encourage all vets and their families to use the official channels. If they appear to be blocked go outside the VA to your representatives,media, DAV, VFWs, and legal services. Know how the VA facilities in your area are spending their allocated funds.

    • Nick March 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      Jim: I share your sentimrnts. I was with 1st bn. 26th Marines, 66-68 as a machine gunner. Because of my injuries at Khe Sanh I was forced to use the VA hospital system to treat me. There are a lot of reasons why the care is sub-standard, and its in my view not for a lack of caring. They don’t have the funds and it is very frustrating for those that do work for the VA to administer the proper care. A homecoming would mean nothing to me now. I feel that because of our treatment when we got back to CONUS, the VA and the military learned something about how they should treat our warriors. That is the satisfaction I get now. That perhaps they do care and our returning Vets do get the recognition and care they so deserve. We as Vietnam Veterans suffered so that our soldiers now are treated better. Thats my satisfaction.

  42. Dirt 5 March 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Thank You all Vietnam Veterans . You shaped & changed the VA so when people of my generation returned from deployments, There was always a Vietnam Veteran to greet us on all 5 of my deployments . Again Thank You

  43. Jim McCullough March 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I am also a Vietnam Veteran (1967-68) U.S. Army. I enlisted becausse I wanted to serve my country as did my two brothers in the Korean War and my father who served many years before. I went to Viet Nam, did my duty, and was glad to come back in 1 live piece. Found out a few years later I had agent orange poisoning, and have gradually deteriated to the point, my health is very poor. So what. Some parts of life it sucks to be you. I didn’t go to war for a parade, handshake, or pat on the back, or for some kind of special favors because of my service. I went because I believed it was the right thing to do, and I’ve held my head high every since. The VA in Nebraska has aalways treated me just fine, good prompt care, respectfull employees. Sorry it isn’t the same for vets elsewhere. Had to get it off my chest. I know for some it’s hard, but you have to move on. It happened, life goes on, and some people didn’t appreciate it. Why be bitter.

  44. Greg Creech March 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    When I came home to the World from Nam my dad picked me
    up at the San Diego Airport. no one else could be bothered. Not my mom, my brothers, my girl friend, my best buddy, no one. There were no parades, no welcome signs, no flags, no yellow ribbons, no grateful nation. For Vets it was a dark time that hopefully is never repeated. Welcome Home Vets.

  45. Perry March 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Welcome home to the Vietnam Veterans. I am one also, the welcome home was not the best
    thing that has happened to me or us, The men that flew back with me. I was a sorry way to
    treat us. I did not like the thought of going but I did because it was the right thing to do. Our
    so called government said go. I did. The VA is a poor site of a government, it has crapped
    on the Vietnam Vet. from square one. I have been fighting the VA since 2005 and got 30%
    PTSD. I have given facts from a national institute that the junk sprayed in Nam was very
    harmful to people. We were Ginny pigs for the government to test the sprays. Well enough
    crying . Again welcome home to all that made it back in what ever shape we got back in.
    Remember that GOD loves you and so do I, as fellow Veterans.

    • Steve Isaacson March 26, 2012 at 9:31 am

      I have talked to a lot of vietnam veterans I am one myself.. I fought the V.A. For over 23 years and was always told it did not happen. well, I have a surprise for you, Contact the Military Order of the purple heart. You do not have to be a recipiant of the purple heart to use them as yoyur P.O.A. They can gey you more than 30%. give them a call and get back with me. God bless you and good luck.

  46. Rich March 17, 2012 at 12:05 am

    I to was in the central highland from 69-70, with the 1st log. It’s nice to be welcomed home and it would be nice if the VA would not stall claims in hopes we will died off before they approve or more likely disapprove our claims.
    I would like to give a shout out to another group of brothers that never got a welcome home. Those that served during the Korean War.
    Here is something I wrote several years ago and would like to share it with all my Brothers and Sisters in arms and their families,

    They took us in our youth,
    Ripping the innocence from our souls,
    Casting us into a world of hopelessness and fear.
    They took the rose colored glasses from our eyes,
    Forbidding our hearts to ever again cry.
    They showed us a world of distrust and despair,
    Where death hangs heavy in the air.
    They cast us aside when they are done,
    Telling us it was all, in the name of FREEDOM.
    So rest Sisters and Brothers, that have gone on before,
    For someday, together, we shall REJOICE once more.
    A Brother
    Nam 69-70

    Please fell Free to make a copy for yourself or to share with family and friends. But it’s not for commercial usage of any kind as I reserve all right.

  47. Nick March 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I agree I did the leave the service when my initial Term was up. Along with others I had a Short Timersw Chart. Wanted to go to college, etc. but no avail. The GI Bill was un helpful, Unemployment almost non existent and felt like an outcast. What Vets were around were against the War, Hippies receded in society, Watts, Kent State, Black Panthers, Weather Man even religion seemed too radicle. Never in combat didn’t feel part of the war effort and wasn’t comfortable being part of a radical group. Finally deciding on forgoing formal collegiate education. Returned to the service and became the treaded Lifer! 22 yrs later retired, 10 yrs later return as a Civilian and supported GWOT and deploying Soldiers to OIF, OEF, KOSOVO, GITMO … Again non-combat. Not until 2011 did a fellow American give thanks for my service. It sounded was so rare that I was dumbfounded and answered Thanks for What? Answer – serving our Country. Wow 30 years. Every Soldier that served noy only deserves a recognition for serving but a heart felt acknowledgement for maintaining our American Freedoms and Rights that we all enjoy as a birth right… Thanks

  48. Joseph Tremblay March 16, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    As a Vietnam vet I feel very insulted by this. I’m sorry to say this is to little to late.I was treated like a leper on my return.After over 40 years you want to welcome me home,what a joke.Save your careing for our troops that are comming home now ,don’t make the same mistake you made with us.

  49. Richard Jones March 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    To my fellow Vietnam Vets, and the thoughtful and caring grandchildren, now, of that confrontational generation of an ungrateful nation who denied the Vietnam Veterans a decent welcome home…
    Please don’t “Welcom Home” me anymore,
    It only brings back tears;
    I know you mean well but, what the hell,
    (Just let it die with us).

  50. Richard L. Smith March 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Do it your way; I’m gone! rls

  51. Richard L. Smith March 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Most veterans of that war are bitter for having our hands tied, and this story has always been suppressed, but this lesson needs to be learned if we are ever to win. Negotiation to get out is the same as defeat.
    If you object to my using the words “Democrats” and “hoping to get more votes,” then just substitute “Instead, our political leaders, in their wisdom, refused to escalate.” rls

  52. Richard L. Smith March 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Too little, too late!
    The war could have been won if we had been allowed to escalate the action until the enemy could no longer stand it. That’s the way any fight is won; there has never been any other way. Instead, the Democrats refused to escalate, hoping to get more votes. Never forgive! rls

  53. Crosby March 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Being a Black American, and Viet Nam veteran, times were hard for me then and now. I still suffer from the many trauma’s witnessed in Viet Nam. When I returned, I was one of many Black Americans who went to war for our country, but came home to much turmoil and despair. It was very uncomfortable for me to walk in uniform and be proud of facing an enemy unknown, witnessing my fellow man killed in combat, hurting from the fear of where to go to seek comfort, in a country divided????? Man you will never know how much it hurts, and in so many places. Pray for all of us who survived and returned home, be it that they were rejecting you or you were dubbed an outcast, God was always there!

  54. C.L.Cook March 16, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I cannot overemphasize my disdain for the “Greatest Generation” and the utter contempt they held for us Viet Nam vets. It was they who were in charge of “THE WORLD” when we finally got back to it, and it was they with their “hooray for me and to hell with you” attitudes that created the situation which pre-emted any respect or thanks for our sacrifices. When i joined the military in 1959, they were my heros and role models, when i looked to them for backing and compassion i was awakened to what a sorry bunch the majority of them really were.
    Made a good life for me and mine without them, don’t need anyones belated bull shit thanks now. Sevent two year old Viet Nam vet, and proud of it…

  55. Peggy Dugas March 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Yes, I think it is about time these Veterans of the Vietnam war had their special time of thanks. They all deserve it!

    • Nancy Belcher March 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      this is certainly a long time coming ex waited years to get recognized…to say the least..when he was over there I (as a new bride)did my best for him & his whole platoon…cards…goodies… I did my share u could say..& didn’t regret one cent I spent to do was my patriotic duty I thought..GOD BLESS OUR VIET NAM VETS…

  56. Tom Andres March 16, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Too little, too late. Here’s my suggestion: Cancel the ‘dog and pony show’ and spend the VA manpower resources on processing claims in a more reasonable and timely manner!

    It’s absurd that a disabled Vietnam Veteran, at age 68, with a long list of disabling diseases, has to wait over a year to hear “Denied”, and then has to hire an attorney and wait another two to three years to win an appeal. Actually, it’s more than absurd. It’s immoral – just like the lack of a respectful homecoming was for my buddies and me in 1968!

    • Michael Cowan March 17, 2012 at 10:41 am

      This Marine Vietnam veteran agrees 100%!!

      I would also like to remind people. BLUE WATER NAVY GUYS AND AIR FORCE GUYS WHO DIDN’T “STEP” INTO COUNTRY GET NADA!!! I have a friend who was on a cruiser that had cong prisoners captured from their sampans just off the rivers on-board for days. He had to deal with them, handle them, cuff & uncuff them etc. Now he has Parkinson’s and was told he isn’t covered because he never stepped on dry land. WHAT A CROC!!!

    • vet also March 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      I am a Viet Nam era vet who served in another country than Viet Nam and was exposed to Agent Orange (I hope no effects from it) but have lost all hearing in my right ear and a % in my left and I am on 20 months with 4 tests, 3 conclusive of my MOS and one spent a few minutes with me (from the VA) and said it probably occured before I went into the service. Still suffering the brunt of what took place many years ago when returning, but am glad to see some change in the people who now recognize we vets from that era and are very nice. Guess the old ones who did not care have died off. Welcome home troops. One of the worst things that one who did not do the combat is feeling the need to have been there and looking after comrads in combat. There is always that guilty feeling that one has for not being there. It gets better, but is always there. I had no choice in the decision, I went where I was told. Good soilders at that time, did not ask, but did their job.

    • Sandy B March 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      I respect your thoughts and feelings on this matter and understand what alot of the our Vietnam Vetrans are struggling with. I am the daughter a Vietnam Vet who served 2 tours, and I am active member of Rolling Thunder SC1. I have witnessed the treatment some endured when you all came home. I know I am not the generation that disgraced you and I am proud of all of you and do my best to shake hands with every Vet I meet and let them know. All we ask is to give us a chance to say THANK YOU and WELCOME HOME.

    • chuckiepoo March 18, 2012 at 8:14 pm

      Well said Tom i agree with you 100%

    • vietnam vet March 20, 2012 at 11:09 am

      I also agree with you Tom. Seems a waste of man power to me, when its taking years for claims to be processed(and yes then DENIED) get a attorney is what it boils down to, which in returned cost them more in the end. Once again nothing makes sense though to me when it comes to all this crap.

  57. Steve Maieli March 16, 2012 at 11:30 am

    My father was one of them, and our Vietnam Veteran’s deserve a welcome home and be given the recognition they deserve. Breaks my heart to hear the stories from my father, and after walking in his footsteps and serving in the military, I couldn’t imagine what it was like. Today we are thanked so often in so many ways and it’s greatly appreciated.

    For me, I know I had to be on the other end and share my Thanks to my father and the other Vietnam Veterans out there. So please take a look at what I wrote to give The Vietnam Veteran “The Recognition They Deserve”.

    • Nick March 16, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      Good for you and thanks to you father.

  58. Connie March 16, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I work retail, and my company offers a 10% discount to military veterans. I meet so many Viet Nam vets who are surprised and almost embarassed when I shake their hand and thank them for their service to our country. They shouldn’t have to feel that way!! They served and came home to ‘boos’ and negative attention. Honoring them is LONG OVER DUE. It shouldn’t have taken 40 years to show them our support, and to give them the benefits they deserve. But “better late than never”.

  59. L. S. (Roy) Schoen March 16, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Vietnam veterans led the way in making sure the Desert Storm and now OIF & OEF & OND vets are welcomed home and recognized for their sacrifice. Some Vietnam veterans feel any recognition now is too little too late. Others appreciate the effort. The Nebraska Vietnam Veterans Reunion will hold it’s 28th Reunion this year in Columbus, Nebraska. Earlier years (when we were younger) of the Reunion provided a parade in which veterans and their families could participate. It was appreciated.

    • Michael Cowan March 17, 2012 at 10:36 am

      How nice! A parade!! It’s obvious you don’t live in Kentucky.

  60. Emory (The Big M) Brown III March 16, 2012 at 9:17 am

    This is an honor long over due Vietnam Vets. I am not knocking any celebration for America’s brave men and women who risk their lives in hostile environments. The Vietnam Veteran home coming was not celebrated adding to the confusion of transitioning from military life to civilian life. Even WWII veterans received a similar home coming that is being experienced today. Thanks for recognizing the VV.

  61. Adrienne March 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    All the attention lately has been on the Iraq/Afghanistan wars and the vets from those conflicts. I am so glad and so proud that today’s vets get the appreciation that they deserve in spite of the questionable reasons that the U.S. is in Afghanistan and Iraq. But don’t forget the Vietnam vets who didn’t get any of the approval and attention that the younger guys are now getting. I remember wearing my uniform at that time and feeling very uncomfortable from the hostile stares, and I am a woman. I can’t help comparing the veterans of today and those of us who were serving during the Vietnam war. We Vietnam era vets got very little appreciation, including the benefits of the G.I. bill which was a measly $300+ a month then. Today’s troops not only get enough money to afford college, but many also get housing allowances. Glad that the VA has finally woken up and given those veterans their fair due. Vietnam vets should be given priority for employment, and then the latest veterans. We all are struggling today! Don’t forget us!

    • Nick March 16, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      Strong points. When I got out in Aug 73, I too felt uncomfortable serving our nation but no less proud. During WWII they had Riveting Rosie. During Vietnam they had some strong women that were the only American some Gi’s got to see for the last time. I’ve always respected the soldiers of WAC and of the other services. 20 YEARS LATER My medical platoon included women medics and nurses a LPN it was peace time and I treated THEM no different than the male counter part. We all worked side by side treating the sick injured and trained to care for the wounded. I thank you aND salute you.

    • John Klasavich March 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm

      I certainly understand that feeling of trying to hide the fact I was active duty when I went off-base. The hair cut was always a dead give away.

    • Kenneth J. Robinson March 18, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      Vietnam Disabled Veterans whether sece connected or not have been given the shitty end of the stick during and especially after those of us that made it back whole or not benefits were never up to par with any of the previous veterans before or now.Look at the disabilty benefits and the educational benefits and any body with eyes and a brain left in their heads can clearly see the tremedous disparities the benefits pay is way lower thanthe present veterans and the educational benefits amount and the new and special programs far exceed those of us Vietnam Veterancombat relatedor not service or non-serviceshouldn’t matter in the case of an honorable discharge is a proven fact we all put our lives and sanity on the alter of freedom for GOD and country and should have more pay raises than we get and better and more quality of special programs unique to the Vietnam experience 808-220-0868

    • Linz March 18, 2012 at 9:36 pm

      Nice Post Adrienne, I’m not sure what state you are coming from; however New York is in the process of passing the state law of a 12 month entitlement to vets ranging the age from 35-55 that have exhausted any other GI benefit they were entitled to. We’re seeing more and more vietnam veterans open up now than ever before. God Bless you for your service!

      • Ben McEachin March 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm

        I applaud New York for making the effort to pass a law for a 12 month entitlement to vets ranging between the ages of 35-55. I belive more states should make a similiar effort to increase the age of entitlement for Veterans beyond the age of 55.

  62. scott March 15, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Finally, a well honored and much deserved recognition, Welcome Home once and for all, let us not forget the families they left widowed and orphaned as well and those MIA’s/POW’s who never came home . They still wait to be returned home to there resting place on US Soil, I remember the day the wife of the last officially listed POW Col. Charles Shelton took her life. I was with her and found her body that horrible day along with the two daughters of MIA Naval Aviator shot down of Laos Shannon Pike and Denise Pike we with me when we found Marian dead in the family garden, so let us remember the children and wives left alone as well. Mrs. Col. Charles Shelton along with her children and Mrs. Lou Ann Pike and her children all deserve our prayers and honor for there husbands and fathers sacrifice to a grateful Nation.

    • scott March 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      sorry about the typos I am a disabled vet

      • Bravo Charlie Charlie March 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

        Scott, Marian was a dear friend of mine also, and I know she had taken you under her wing. I was also at the NVVC luncheon in DC when you and Bo actually shook hands. I learned of Marian’s death a day or two later from Judy Willey (Mark Danielson’s sister) and was shocked, especially that a firearm was used. As some of us know, Marian was deathly afraid of firearms. I know thayt you and the “kids” had gone to dinner, and Marian had begged off. Questions have remained in my mind over these years over what really happened. Marian devoted her entire life, since 29 April 1965, to bringing Charles Erwin Shelton home, and I also know, as do you, that involvement in the POW issue can be very wearing, on both the mind and body. Scott, please get back to me backchannel. No spaces add yahoo.

        • Bravo Charlie Charlie March 19, 2012 at 2:15 pm

          Scott, this is different from the VA on FB I am ramrod bandits. (with my previous post re: backchannel)

          • scott March 19, 2012 at 11:08 pm

            Hi here is my only mode of communications drop me a note
            God Bless You

    • Nick March 16, 2012 at 10:06 pm


  63. Nicholas A. De Martinis Maj, USA, Ret March 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Welcoming home Vietnam Veterans is a nice gesture but there is far more that should be done. Many of us are now in our 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Many of us are unemployed; many are homeless. There is finally a move to solve the homelessness problem among veterans but where are the programs to help us find work at our ages. There are many programs to help Post 911 veterans find employment and those are needed and appreciated. But what about us. We could use some special programs to help us find employment. That would be appreciated as more than a gesture. We need a hand up not a hand out. Give us the help we need.

    • Nick March 20, 2012 at 1:04 am

      2003 I read an Article on the VA site if your intial claim was turn down and one didn’t appeal that Congress dictated the negative non SC was as good as being written in stone. Except my 10% for seperated shoulder which occured in 1976 and never disabled me WAS only recognized. The others c hronic back pain, neck pain, hearing loss, head trauma ; laceration pole met forehead resultng in laceration and scar. Did I appeal. Unknown, non combative but did serve 22 years 15 yrs after 1976. Each Retirement day at local post the DVA recommends refile. Don’t know ? As long as I could do PT, Remember where home is and put my boots on for morning formation didn’t feel disabled. Now do to my service year I may qualify for Pension for years service during war time. Still iundecided feel takening away or interferring with those vets who had boots on the ground and never really given a well earn thank you. My opinion The Congress should mandate a combined Vietnam Veterans, OIF, OEF and wartime combined National recognition and Public Recognition. If someone said ” I DO” than the Government should say Thank You.

  64. Harvey Flores March 15, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    As a Viet Nam Vet, 4th Infantry Division, Central Highlands, Pleiku. It warms my heart that the Viet Nam Vets are finally being welcomed home, long overdue and sometimes time does heal, in my case about 15 years, before I could sleep in the dark without a night lite.
    Thank you for honoring the Viet Nam Vets, yes they are true hero’s who fought a different type of war, coming home and reliving the war on the television was a nighmare. God bless all the vets who have paid the ultimate price and may we never forget the evils of war. Thank all the present day hero’s of Iraq and related wars, may they come home to peace and tranquility. God bless America.

    • calvin gotts March 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      I was also in VietNam in Central Highlands with the 4th Inf. Div LRRP K75 Rangers in 1969-70 I thought it was wrong that we were not welcome home. I was told not to ware my uniform home as I was leaving Ft. Lewis. As, you know all verts that were in combat were always in danger for the lives and this is all the respect we get.
      I am glad someone is paying a little attention now. It would good for all us to be honered for our part. I was drafted and I went because it was the right thing to do. But, I also think the VA Adm. could do a better job of taking care of us vets. and lets get the back log of claims,appels and remands taken care before we accept any more, Lets hire some returing vets to help the VA get thru. the back log. I have a claim that goes back to 2003 and it is now just setting at the Detroit regional office.
      What does it take to getting their attention. I just don’t understand how they can treat us. Sorry for Neg. stuff.

      • DJ March 17, 2012 at 9:15 pm

        I agree with Calvin. I understand that the vets now file for compensation before they get out of service. Also hear that the VA reps are there to help expetite their claims so the Hell with us Vietnam Vets,you would think we could forgive and forget the shame and disgrace we went thru upon returning home now our Claims are on the back shelf just waiting for more of us to die or commit suicide. I really like the TV ads showingshowing Welcome Home Veteran because when we finally got back to the [world] we were shunned,spat at and called baby killers. But guess what this Veteran didnt give up in Vietnam and im not giving up fighting with the VA now. GARY OWEN……..

        • CNN March 20, 2012 at 2:24 am

          I was evaluated by the VA six months prior to my separation. The results of those evals were that I was total and permanent, unemployable, and well over 80% and permanent. The guard unit I was in was such in a hurry to get me out that they ordered my military attorney to not get involved and look the other way while my former unit discharged me without even doing a final exit physical or final medical evaluation of any kind. The VA might attempt to do the right thing but are terribly slow and would be nice if they could give the DOD a swift kick in the pants to do right by their troops before they separate from voluntary service.

        • vietnam vet March 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

          I agree with you . I believe they should be processed in the order received, not to mention vietnam vets were not informed properly when they returned home. I guess they figured we were a bunch of kids who wouldnt ask any question, that just wanted to get out of that hell hole. So if anything are claims should be expetited even faster. There are to many who understand the concept now. Dont give up, keep fighting. I believe things will be changing soon for us.

        • Tim Lindenzweig March 21, 2012 at 2:15 pm

          Your correct.Nothing has changed and it wont.But I will keep trying at age 65 and I am not askin for the world just some HELP.denied,denied,denied.So it goes on .Welcome to the NAM………Mekong Delta..67-68 …………

      • David Villarreal March 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm

        I thought I had a problem with the VA but now all of us Vietnam veterans are still getting the same treatment. What good is those celebrations if the VA will not take care of us? Those celebrations are just a way for the old hippies to clear their conscience for the way they treated us. I will not give them that satisfaction by attending one.

    • John Smith March 19, 2012 at 3:17 pm

      Also 4th Infantry -10th Cav – I still have a night light in the bathroom….the reflections…

  65. UdornVet1970 March 15, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    We sent more than 3.4 million men and women to Southeast Asia. Today something like 800,000 of us are still alive. It’s a lot easier to say thanks to 800K than to 3.4M, and easier to pay for their earned benefits, too. I’m afraid that a large number of the remaining Vietnam Vets will feel that, like the Vietnam Memorial Wall, this gesture is too little, too late. The adversarial relationship between Vietnam Vets and the Veterans Administration, created by the VA, is totally disgraceful and despicable. How many more of us have to die before the VA and the U.S. Government will begin to honor their responsibilities to Vietnam Veterans? Do you want to really make a difference and finally give a decent welcome home to the Vietnam Vets? Force the VA to get off their butts and give our remaining vets their earned benefits!

    • Nick March 16, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      kUDOS FOR YOUR SERVICE AND THANKS FOR THE COMMENT . CAPS BY accident no ill meant msg or intent. Disabled……..TBI

    • Bob March 19, 2012 at 2:50 am

      I agree with you 1000% I fought for over thirty years to get my benifits, I got them when I turned 66, and that was the only reason. I am still fighting to get my PTSD.

      • vietnam vet March 20, 2012 at 10:50 am

        what does your age have to do with getting your benefits?

        • Rick March 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm

          To vietnam vet: My experience and some other vets I know from the era have no luck getting any kind disability rating until you reach your late 50’s or 60’s. Then the VA seems to just roll over and cry “uncle” and give you what is due you. PLUS, you can’t go it alone when applying for benefits, you must use the county office of Veterans affairs or the VFW, American Legion, or the DAV. In extreme cases a private lawyer may be necessary.
          Personally I stayed at 10% for 33 years, Getting re-evaluated every 5 years or so with no change in percentage. Hit my late 50’s and boom next thing you know I am at 80%. 40% back surgery, 20% diabetes (agent orange) and 50% PTSD. Good luck to all of the vets trying for treatment. It is just ashamed it can take so long for any kind of resolution.

    • wood, benita m March 21, 2012 at 9:39 am

      My husband an AF Vet was in Undorn ,Takhli, Nakhon Phanom and in Korea, Loas, and Cambodia. When he retired after twenty one year and went to the Va. for help. They turned their back on him as if he was begging for help. He was so proud he left the V.A. with the additued they did care about him or any Vietnam Vet. Which is so true, because they are out to clear there record.Our children will not except this from the V.A. they have learned to stand up for there rights

  66. GENE March 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    We may not have been treated like warriors back then, but in our hearts we knew what we did moral and obeying orders to go to this sorry bad smelling deadly place. I am happy for our Vietnam warriors to finally receiving the proper recognition and welcome home.

  67. georgiegirl March 15, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I would think that many Vietnam Era Vets would think it was all too little, too late. It was a terrible time for many veterans, even for those who weren’t in Vietnam. I’m a female, didn’t go to Vietnam, but even I was given a hard time by prospective employers.
    For those veterans that had one, two or more tours in Vietnam, it must have felt like the whole world was against them. Between PTSD, and medical problems caused by Agent Orange exposure, and other issues they dealt with, it must have been pure hell.
    My cousin was injured in Vietnam, had a plate in his head….got increasingly worse until he started having seizures, and finally committed suicide four years ago on Veterans Day.

    • Michael Cowan March 17, 2012 at 10:32 am

      You go girl!! I was stationed on and on in S.Cal. and saw enough military guys wearing wigs so they wouldn’t be harassed on the street to know what you mean.

      I avoided the VA for almost 40 years before I finally broke down and admitted I needed medical help the civilian doctors didn’t understand.

      In my opinion and apparently the V.A.’s and the US Government as well, there are two types of veterans.

      1st & most important being members of the “Greatest Generation”, regardless of whether they ever left the states. They are followed quickly by anyone, regardless of posting who served (serves) after 911.

      2nd & of no interest are those from Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War etc.. regardless of injury or loss.

      Sad but true!! Read the laws.

    • Julia Mckinney March 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      I am also a vietnam era veteran. US Navy. I so wanted to do something to do my part, but women,were not allowed on ships, didn’t go to any jungle and felt total frustation with just copying morse code. But still women felt the pain, faced the ridicule and got such comments as are you a whore or are you looking for a husband. Way to go people you really screwed up my head.

    • chuckiepoo March 18, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      georgiegirl,i am sorry for your loss,but i feel that its to late.I am 64 now and have the Traumatic events in my mind and cant seem to shake them.I am to old to enjoy anything now.I have been out of the USMC for over 40 years,where was the welcome then???

      • Jerry Chesnut March 21, 2012 at 9:20 pm

        Still I for one and many, many others, I have no doubt, say thank you for your sacrifice. Incidently I am a USN veteran, and I attended the internment of a USMC veteran at Arlington, a relative of mine. Semper Fi

    • wolfess March 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      Your poor cousin! Many of us that didn’t go to Vietnam still have scars from that period in our history … my husband went, and our first child was born 10 months after he returned, and died 2 days later. Our second son is severely retarded and I know both of these ‘casualties’ were a result of agent orange. My husband has been on full disability since 2006. He started dialysis last summer; has had a pacemaker installed; and 6 weeks ago had a triple bypass. The scars from that war are deep and will probably never heal completely, but the care the vets are now receiving helps, as does the respect for veterans that this show embodies.

      Pwr 2 ALL vets! END the wars NOW!

    • Steven La Rue March 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      Vietnam Era Veterans are different than Combat Vietnam War Veterans! I was wounded twice in firefights, been though one Broken Arrow, I recieve 80% Service Connection Disability. My thoughts on Era Veterans: These veterans are clogging the VA system at these VAMC Hospitals. Example you worked 3 years in a Federal Job and then you quit! All the benefits also stops! Why would the Employer continue your benefits if you do not work there anymore? But Combat War Veterans that were wounded in action or recieved PTSD has the only rights for Veterans Benefits!

    • Nick March 20, 2012 at 12:44 am

      May your Cousin be resting in peace. I am a recent survivor of a TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury going on 3 years. You’ve probably heard TBI IS THE NEW signature injury of these new conflicts , which have been ongoing longer than WWI and WWII put together. References and stories of this wars revealed many catestrophic injuries to the head resulting in a limited survivability, long or early nursing home residency or eventual succumbing to the injury. Those Vets JUST SUIRVIVED and tried to make the best of a raw hand dealt to them. Sounds like your cousin experienced a severe TBI and attempted to deal with it the best he could. Although mine was not combat or even service contected having acquired this condition has been an eye opener to a new world. A WORLD OF frustration, anxiety, over reaction and ignorance that borders on in my opinion in humane and non compasionate caring mixed with blatent ignorance on the part of Medicine at the primary level and avoidance at the Specialty level. The whole scene is cONTROL by limited involvement of insurance denial , especially Tricare , previously uncaring attitude by the chain of command, legislature and VA. NOT until a few providers in DOD, VA, AND SOME INDIVIDUAL Legislator took notice and began screening for mild TBI DID THIS ISSUIE STAR TO TAKE FORM BACK IN 2005. From 2005 to June 2009 there were previously guidlines of treatm,ent outside of formal medicine. Too costly too rare to care for and non-military care was available to those that could pay. Than in 2009 two activities occur; 1. recognition of possibility of TBI and PTSD OVERLAPING WITH the occurance of TBI being mild or just a Concusion. With the emphasis of PTSD being the potential to be worse of the two. 2. Actual TREATMENT Guidelines establish by DOD, VA and CDC. Now the VA is becoming more responsive, DOD concern but individual still avoiding recognition. Personally, I had a buddy during the 80’s who was blown out of a Armor Personnel Carrier in Vietnam, a M113 APC, we were medics and he was a fellow friend mentor and a Sargeant. But not always there, a lot of memory issues, but he attempted to function like one of the guys. THOSE that were allowed retention did so but other Vets return or attempted return to the home front only to be met by resistance and negative recognition. Now many are gone and new conflicts occurred. It will be interesting to see how the system takes care of those Vets they have blatanly ignored. Thank you for sharing your cousins story, and thank you for my Freedom. Recognition is well…

  68. Ellen Bletzer March 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Are any Welcome Home events being planned in the Boston area(Ma or RI)?

    • Geoege Cruz March 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      Yes. Long over due. And every year after. Thankyou.

      • Mel March 19, 2012 at 7:35 pm

        YES TOO little too late

        • Cal Boomer March 27, 2012 at 7:49 pm

          I agree TOO LITTLE AND WAY TOO LATE. At a certain point, I say “F-it”
          Actually “Forget it”.is even better. I don’t want a birthday card that says “HAPPY 25TH”, when I am more than twice that age. Send us all a dollar for every day the U.S. government “forgot”.

    • Cheryl McConnell March 20, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      I was a young girl when the Vitnam Was was in full swing. Little did I know that one day I would marry a Vietnam Vet, a Marine who served two tours (1967-1969) as part of the 4th Marines seeing extensive combat including the tet offensive. He sufferred from PTSD and drank and used drugs for 35 years before getting sober and I met him. Fortunately he did tell me a few stories in his attempt to regain his mental health. Coupled with an industrial injury which left him unable to function like a Marine and severe pain my belovd husband of only 18 mos shot himself on a cold rainy Sunday. Our life together had just begun and I miss him every day.

      He told me that when he was discharged at El Toro in Southern California he threw away his uniform as he left the base. It was that bad to be in uniform n the Marine Corps of the United States. How sad and tragic the homecoming was. Unlike the current wars, the country did not ‘support the troups” before during or after they came home broken and battered. I am so proud of what my husband did and I tell him that when I visit his gravesite at Sacramento Valley National Cemetary. Here he lies in hallowed grounds with the dignity and respect he long ago deserved.

      I would like to also know where the events are being held in the San Francisco Bay area. East Bay specifically. Thank you


      • john c Scharringhausen March 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm

        After all these years.The damage is already done and we have learned to deal with that, just like we have resolved our issues with our tour of duty, three decades ago!

        • Bob Smith March 27, 2012 at 10:33 am

          I still hold a LARGE grudge against the postal people in San Francisco. Our APO was out of there and numerous mailings and packages were never forwarded to Vietnam due to the progressive liberal attitudes in that City on the LEFT COAST.

    • Mark Alan Smith March 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      This isn’t the first time that the Government which sent soldiers to war has neglected them. Look at the “Bonus Marchers” of the late nineteen-twenties who camped out on the Mall in Washington, DC for an increase in their pensions.
      YOu might know that it was Douglas MacArthur and Dwight David Eisenhower who were ordered to clean them out.
      And what about George Rogers Clark, who fought in the battle of Vincennes, retired to Clarksville, and lost his leg in a fire? The government “forgot” his papers so he got no pension at all, while his brother William received all sorts of glory for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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