Area veterans welcomed home 50 years after Vietnam
Welcome home ceremony held at Fort Sam Houston for local veterans 50 years after Vietnam conflict
This weekend, the nation will observe Veterans Day and while most war vets were given a heroes welcome home, those that fought in the Vietnam War had a much different experience.
The nation is now remembering the 50th anniversary of the conflict and properly thanking those vets.
Dozens of local veterans were officially welcomed home at Fort Sam Houston on Wednesday.
Veteran Daniel Alva said he will never forget the shame he felt when he returned from Vietnam.
"I was ashamed of being a vet because during the 60s it was a bad time for soldiers," said Alva.
Alva is one of the more than 3 million Americans who put their lives on the line in Vietnam.
More than 58,000 Americans never came home, and those that did were often greeted with hatred. "I got into a few skirmishes fights with people calling us baby killers and all sorts of stuff," said Veteran Marvin Jones.
There were no parades, no heroes welcome. They were the forgotten warriors from a war the nation wished it could forget.
"Here's a chance to turn the pages of history back and properly thank and honor the men and women who served in that very difficult war," said Ret. U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Mick Kicklighter.
"Long time overdue and I'm just overwhelmed at everything," said Veteran Ron Panuccio.
It may be several decades late but these patriots are finally getting the respect they deserve.
"Today is a great day. It heals a lot of wounds. I feel good," Alva said.
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