National Welcome Home Vietnam War Veterans Day
Reported By RET C.Brock
Graphic credit: US Department of Veterans Affairs
Today Americans celebrate National Welcome Home Vietnam War Veterans Day, recognizing the service and sacrifice of our fighting men and women in Vietnam. Around the country, state and local governments, as well as numerous civic organizations, will hold Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans events, recognizing local veterans who served.
The national remembrance day was established in 2017 with the signing into law of the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act. March 29 was chosen because this was the date in 1973 on which the last American troops withdrew from Vietnam.
Due to the unpopularity of the war, particularly after 1968, many Vietnam veterans returned home to indifference, apathy, and even scorn. Americans today recognize the hardships many of our veterans faced due to our nation’s failure to support their mission and their return to civilian life. They want veterans to know they are not forgotten.
American involvement in Vietnam spanned over a decade. US servicemen and women fought in numerous battles in Southeast Asia, including the Battle of Ia Drang Valley (1965), the Battle of Khe Sanh (1968), the Tet Offensive (1968), the Battle of Hamburger Hill (1969), and many others.
During and after the war, the US awarded 235 Medal of Honor to Soldiers, Sailor, Airmen, and Marines who fought above and beyond the call of duty. History books are full of men and women who gave everything they had in service to their country and their comrades.
Most recently, Gunnery Sergeant John Canley was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during the Battle of Hue in 1968. He received the award in 2018, some 50 years after the fact.
The Vietnam War was hard fought. US personnel suffered 58,318 killed in action or missing in action, with an additional 153,372 personnel receiving wounds in action.
Our grateful nation realizes that for too many veterans, today’s celebrations come long overdue. And so we say, “Thank you and welcome home!”