Late March days dedicated to Vietnam vets

A law signed past year officially made March 29 National Vietnam Veterans Day to commemorate Vietnam veterans and the sacrifices they made.

Fort Riley celebrated National Vietnam War Veterans Day and honored men and women who served during Vietnam.

The Black Hills National Cemetery and the VA Black Hills Health Care System honored Vietnam veterans for their service on Thursday March 29.

Like many veterans, Patterson said he never received much recognition when he returned home from Vietnam.

Gordy Nelson, 72, who served as an army medic in the 101 Airborne Division between 1969 and 1970, struggled for years with post-traumatic stress. Part of that time he was a member of the 101st Airborne.

"We served just like our fathers did in Korea and World War II and like or our sons did in Afghanistan and Iraq", said Brockman.

According to Vet Center Director, Heidi Mattson, and Vietnam Veteran, David Dean, community support and recognition are important to the healing process.

"I'm quite privileged to be here", he said. They came home and kept fighting for us, helping build the America that we love and cherish.

Vietnam veterans joined together in unity to remember their sacrifices and honor those lives lost.

"This is his coat with some of the places he was in Vietnam", said Teal, who wore her husband's jacket to the ceremony.

"If they need help, come talk to us".

Troops returning from Vietnam did not get the respect shown to troops today. "Well ... I certainly qualify there because I am old and believe me, I gained a lot of experience in Vietnam, as you all did". "They're not here. And you always think about them", said Ron Long, a Vietnam War veteran.

"Fortunately over the years, we've gotten our to-dos". On one occasion, he had been pulled aside to work on a project, and the driver who replaced him was killed. "And that is what this is going to do today", said Duncan.

  • Leroy Wright