American Legion post hosts Vietnam Veterans Day

Gov. Henry McMaster

Vietnam veterans ensured that the national attitude changed for future service members, she said.

"This is about saying thank you to those who served ... and welcome home", Veterans center Director Kimberly Bayes-Bautista said of the event.

The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize Vietnam Veterans and their families for service, valor and sacrifice in conjunction with the Commemoration. "You can say you remember them and share the emotion, but until there's a physical presence, it's not really confirmed", said Cuttill.

"Nowadays, I can go to Walmart or anywhere people see me with my Vietnam hat on and they thank me for my service".

"He was spit on; he was called a baby killer", said Teal, whose husband, Steve, served with the Navy in Vietnam from 1967 until 1969.

A boring roar of conversation filtered out from VFW Post 1287 as more than two dozen veterans regaled their comrades with stories of valor and loss Thursday afternoon during the fifth annual National Vietnam Veterans Day open house. "I am very proud to be a veteran, to be a Vietnam veteran, and I'm very proud of the service that I rendered our country".

Appreciation is not what many vets received 45, 50 years ago when they returned from the war.

The Welcome Home, Southwest Florida celebration to honor Vietnam veterans was a partnership between Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Manatee County Foundation and Tidewell Hospice. "People didn't want to talk about it so we couldn't get things off our chests".

"We were badly treated when we came back", Harmon told WAFF 48. Bishop said events like the recognition ceremony give Vietnam veterans a chance to come together, share their stories and heal. "When you put that in context and realize these soldiers, these sailors, airmen, marines, coast guard, served not only in a time of poor, but served in a time of great social unrest at home".

"Through programs like today and last year and hopefully for another 20 to 25 years they're going to get recognized", said PT Moore, Chaplain and Post 392.

Those who noticed he was a veteran sometimes made a decision to say something, but they weren't expressions of gratitude. "I was drafted right out of high school in Washburn, Maine in fact", said Rideout.

"This was a wonderful ceremony", Patterson said.