Vietnam is among the murkiest and most confusing times in the the history of the United States—and that’s coming from a young writer born well after the conflict. Some call it a black eye, while some use words such as “sobering.” Passions were inflamed on the home-front and the reality is that many servicemen fought in the war and then came back home to a place they didn’t recognize.
According to USWings.com, more than 2.7 million U.S. troops served in Vietnam, and it’s terrifying to think that many among us could not give them the warm “welcome home” they deserved. The war inspired great contention in its day, but was that ever a real excuse to turn our backs on those who risked it all in the jungle in the name of home?
Why a Welcome Home, Vietnam Veterans Day?
Instead of thanks, Veitnam veterans were glared at and called names. Instead of respect, they were scorned and spat on. This is the reason that we now have a day dedicated solely to these veterans to say what too many Americans neglected to say in the moment.
“Welcome Home, Vietnam Veterans Day” is relatively young, as far as nationally recognized days of remembrance go, having been officially adopted in 2011. Celebrated on March 30, this day marks the final withdrawal date of all combat and support troops from Vietnam in 1973. Next Wednesday marks the 43rd anniversary of that day.
Reach out to a Vietnam veteran by the end of March. It’s never too late for a little kindness and it’s the least we can do.
Hear stories from Vietnam veterans about returning home during/after the war:
Follow this link to History.com for more short videos about Vietnam War history.