Two-years-ago, March 29th was designated as Vietnam War Veteran’s Day; a day set aside to honor the men and women who served during the Vietnam War.
Several dozen Vietnam Veterans were honored today for their duty and service to our country.
One by one, as their names were read, the veterans of the Vietnam War stood up to be recognized at the pinning ceremony inside Saint Johns Social Hall in Girard.
The vets were given a pin and a medallion.
The event was organized by Senator Pat Toomey and State Senators Dan Laughlin and Park Wentling.
On March 29th in 1973, the last US troops left South Vietnam ending America’s direct military involvement in the war.
Many of the veterans didn’t get the thank you’s they deserve.
Vietnam Veteran William Kuhn tells us, “When I came home and hit California, they were throwing junk at me, spitting at me and calling me names, swearing at us…”
And, even though John Dutkowski volunteered to serve his country, he was issued a warning.
“I was told when I got out of the service in ’71, not to say I served.”
But, John says he’s proud to say he wore the uniform and served his country and is happy the tide has turned and the Vietnam Veterans are getting the recognition and honor they’ve been missing for decades.
Senator Pat Toomey is the Department of Events Vietnam 50th Commemorative Partner.
Bob Desousa of Senator Toomey’s Office tells us, “…Toomey believes we might not have thanked them 35 or 40 years ago. It’s never too late to say thank you, to recognize them for wearing the uniform of their country.”
A special wreath-laying ceremony will be held at the Vietnam Memorial at State Street and Glenwood Park Avenue Friday afternoon at 1pm.