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Vietnam vets finally get their due and day

American Legion post past commander William R. West reports that the United States senate has passed legislation establishing March 30 as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. ’When most veterans of the Vietnam War returned to what we called ‘˜The World,’ we were not welcomed into the bosom of a grateful nation,’ said John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA). ’For far too long, we were blamed for the failings of a war that was waged under four different administrations. We were all too often considered losers, baby-killers, and pariahs of a war that divided the nation and reverberates till this day,’ Rowan said. ‘While many in our nation have come to embrace those who served in that war, and while there are memorials to those who served and those who paid the ultimate price, there has never been a nationally recognized day for a belated ‘˜Welcome Home’ to all those who served. ’This is why VVA endorses the resolution introduced in the Senate by Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Ranking Member on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, which would establish March 30th as ‘Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.’ March 30th marks the anniversary date of the completion in 1973 of the withdrawal of U.S. combat units and combat support units from the former South Vietnam. ’We know that several states and localities already designate a date, usually at the end of March, to honor their Vietnam veterans,’ Rowan said. ‘Having a single, nationally recognized day, to borrow from Senator Burr’s resolution, can go a long way to ‘˜provide the appreciation Vietnam War veterans deserve, but did not receive upon returning home; demonstrate the resolve that never again shall the nation disregard and denigrate a generation of veterans; and promote awareness of the faithful service and contributions of such veterans during their military service as well as to their communities since returning home.’ ‘

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