Cancer Journeys Foundation Supports Vietnam War Veterans Day

Glen Norman
April 1, 2018

"As a Vietnam veteran myself, I'm honored that The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017, established March 29th as an annual National Vietnam War Veteran Recognition Day".

More than 60 people attended the service, according to Adjunct Jerry Diskin.

The National Conference of State Legislators says many states celebrate "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day" on March 29 or 30.

Gov. Bruce Rauner, who was a teenager when US combat troops left Vietnam in 1973, recalled the conflict's political and emotional turmoil Thursday during a ceremony at the University of IL at Springfield.

Wallace led the Pledge of Allegiance at the VA's 50th Anniversary Vietnam Veteran Recognition Thursday, March 29.

That date, March 29, is designated as Vietnam War Veterans Day, and Thursday marked the 45th anniversary of when the last US troops vacated South Vietnam soils.

"The average age of a Vietnam veteran now is 70 years old".

Lee McNeil, a veteran of three wars, enjoys a VFW gathering of fellow Vietnam War veterans.

More than 58,000 Americans killed during the entire war.

Veterans like Joseph Butler, who served in the Navy Construction Battlation in the Vietnam War, reflected on the difficulties of returning home after the polarizing war. "People didn't want to talk about it so we couldn't get things off our chests".

Conley's friend, Randy Wagner said he's visited the Vietnam Wall four times. He returned to Newton in 2015 to take part in the dedication of the Jasper County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Complex.

"When they came home, they were not treated very well".

"So when they said it was going to be about my brother, I was just crying and crying and crying and i thanked them so much", Borrego Melendez said. Ware said, "coming up and thanking me for my service where before they just ignored it and didn't care".

"When I came back there were a lot of issues at the airport", said Dale Eslinger of Minooka, who was a mechanic for the Army's 101st Airborne Division.

"It is long overdue, and the few that remain deserve an extra helping of thank you", said Killian, who brought her husband's ashes to the cemetery.

Each veteran went home with that medal as well as some reassurance that arrives with this occasion that retired soldiers aren't forgotten.

Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution placed small American flags for every fallen veteran from the Moultrie and Colquitt County areas, as Gidge Taylor, the Veterans Committee chairman, read the names.

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