Today is Vietnam Veterans Day. Tonight I’ll be attending one celebration; I’ll be at another tomorrow morning. I’ll hear again words that have become sacred to me: “Thank you. And welcome home.” I know I’ll tear up when I hear them.
When we came home from fighting the war in Vietnam, back to what we called “the world,” our fellow citizens, the people we fought for, spat on us, called us “baby killer” and “butchers.” Our shame was profound. Many of us did not speak of our service for many years.
Then about three years ago, things began to change. For the first time in almost forty years, I heard those longed-for words, “Thank you. And welcome home.”
If you know a Vietnam veteran, go out of your way today thank him. Let him know that you are grateful for his service. Welcome him home.