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Honoring the noble

By RT | August 17, 2009

a a12I cannot imagine what it must have been like to have survived the Vietnam War and to then come home and feel unwelcomed in my own country. It must have been confusing, irksome, heartbreaking, and cold.

For years, the generations after the war, have tried to make ammends. When I was in high school, I had several teachers who were veterans of the Vietnam War, they had stories they shared, and one man in particular, shared the horrors he experienced there and the treatment he received at home.

I have a co-worker who is a highly decorated vet who also shares his stories. He told me about the time he went to register for college classes while in uniform. He received many nasty stares and comments uttered under the breaths of those who saw him as something to despise.

It makes me sad to think that people have been treated in such a manner.

Fast-forward to today’s veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of them are touched by the arrows of harsh words attached to their service. Again, we have veterans who should be treated like gold, but they are treated like second class citizens by a lot a of folks.

That understanding and a desire to do the right thing led the 101st Airborne Division to have an re-enactment of the return home for the Vietnam veterans.

Mickey Leighton, a 72-year-old Army veteran from Naples, Fla., said listening to the applause and praise from the community was very emotional.

Leighton, who started his military career at Fort Campbell in 1956, served two tours in Vietnam including the Tet Offensive. He returned in 1972 in the midst of angry anti-war protests that often placed blame on the individual soldiers.

“We were treated very shabbily,” he said. “In some cases they would throw eggs at us, they would throw empty beer bottles at us and they would call us baby-killers.”

He said many soldiers would immediately change clothes because they didn’t want to wear their uniforms in public in the late 1960s and early ’70s while traveling home after returning from war.

“Never in the history of the military have I known of any division or any military installation providing a specific welcome home for Vietnam veterans,” Leighton said. “This is very touching.”
(H/T: )

While today’s veterans do have to deal with things from the ignorant members of our political establishment and some clueless citizens, they do receive a ceremony when they come home. However, this special act of gratitude toward the Vietnam vets, afforded friends and family members to have an opportunity to salute them. Sadly, so many never had this opportunity and never will.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen of all manner of service to our country. It is greatly appreciated.

Topics: Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Honoring the noble”

  1. Dennis Petty Says:
    August 17th, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Back when we liberated Kuwait, the local Air national Guard unit held a big return home parade. As a part of that, they invited Vietnam era soldiers to form a unit and march in that parade. It was the return home parade we never had and a lot of my friends cried at the love and acceptance we got from the people. We were given ribbons to wear and most of us wore some or part of our Vietnam Uniform. Most of us just did our job and came home to live our lives. Thanks for your kind words. MUD

  2. Jon Brooks Says:
    August 17th, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Semper Fi to all marines who served in Vietnam and Hurrahs and Kudos to the 101st. Although signing up for the 2 year, go to Vietnam for 13 months, get full college GI benefits program in early ‘69 they never sent me, got assigned to G-4 at Hdqrt’s Co at Pendelton instead. But I saw each day the effects of the war on those returning for their brief stay at Pendelton before rotating out. God Bless You All.

    A short story. I stammer sometimes badly sometimes
    not depending on stress level. Was sitting in the office and Captain Steed called me over to his desk and said “Brooks, you’re a good man, you do your job, keep your nose clean and I’m glad you’re here with us”.
    Well my head was swelling to epic proportions when he added..”Cause I sure as hell wouldn’t want you over in Nam calling in fire coordinates”.

  3. Smite A. Hippie Says:
    August 17th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Great post, Wyatt!!

  4. Sully Says:
    August 17th, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Amen Wyatt!!!

  5. Mrs. Crankipants Says:
    August 17th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Hey guys,
    RT is posting this week.